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Death of a Driver

by Will Snider

September 11 - October 20, 2019


Playwright Will Snider
Director Alexandra Harbold
Play Dates Sep 11-Oct 20, 2019
Show Type Utah Premiere
Cast Cassandra Stokes-Wylie*, Patrick J. Ssenjovu*
Other Notes *Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Accessibility Considerations


When an American engineer moves to Kenya to build a road that will shape the country’s future, her charismatic African driver becomes her first employee and trusted friend. After a dispute over a local election lands him in jail, she questions the integrity of their alliance. DEATH OF A DRIVER is a sharp political drama about the complexities of “doing good” abroad.

News & Reviews

Creative Team

WILL SNIDER (Playwright) was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. His play How to Use a Knife received a Rolling World Premiere through National New Play Network, won the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play, and was a finalist for a PEN Center USA Literary Award. Other plays include The Big Man (Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 35th Marathon of One-Act Plays), and Strange Men (PlayPenn Haas Fellowship). His work has been developed at MCC Theater, NNPN National Showcase of New Plays, The Kennedy Center, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Salt Lake Acting Company, SERIALS @ theflea, the claque, and Makehouse. He is an alumnus of Youngblood and received an EST/Soan Grant and The Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. He earned a BA in History from Columbia with a specialization in post-colonial East African political history and spent three years working in agricultural microfinance in Kenya and Ethiopia before earning an MFA in Playwriting from UCSD.

Alexandra Harbold (Director) is thrilled to return to Salt Lake Acting Company to direct DEATH OF A DRIVER. Previously at SLAC, she directed THE WOLVES, TRIBES, and the premieres of CLIMBING WITH TIGERS (SLAC, Flying Bobcat, & the Red Fred Project), (A MAN ENTERS), and THE PERSIAN QUARTER, and acted in the NPSS Reading of THE ROBERTASSEY, HAND TO GOD, TWO STORIES, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, SIX YEARS, and ICE GLEN. Recent projects include: dramaturging SWEAT and OSLO (Pioneer Theatre Company), co-creating THE LIVE CREATURE AND ETHEREAL THINGS (Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in collaboration with Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory, inspired by the Red Fred Project) and directing THE RIVALS (U of U, Babcock Theatre) and THE NIGHT WITCHES (Egyptian YouTheatre at the Great Salt Lake Fringe 2019). Current and upcoming projects: directing THE ODYSSEY (U of U, Babcock), the premiere of AT THE BOTTOM (Pinnacle Acting Company), dramaturging THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT and MARY STUART (Pioneer Theatre Company), and collaborating on a reimagining of THE LIVE CREATURE AND ETHEREAL THINGS (Ririe-Woodbury & Flying Bobcat, Capitol Theatre). Harbold is co-founder and co-artistic director of Flying Bobcat and Assistant Professor of Directing in the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre.

Shawn Fisher** (Set Design) has worked as a designer and playwright on over 150 plays and operas nationally. His designs include sets for the New York productions of SEAL SINGS ITS SONG, COP OUT, and TALKING DOG as well as East Coast productions of RED, OTHER DESERT CITIES, PROOF, TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, THE SHUCK, and many others. In Utah he regularly designs for Utah Festival Opera, Lyric Rep, and here at SLAC. His designs and original plays have been seen the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Off-Broadway at both the Spanish Repertory Theatre and Urban Stages, L.A.’s Fremont Centre Theatre, Cape May Stage in New Jersey, and others. As a playwright, Shawn’s seven original full-length scripts include the SLAC productions of STREETLIGHT WOODPECKER, DO NOT HIT GOLF BALLS INTO MEXICO, and HOW TO MAKE A ROPE SWING, the latter of which was the recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award. He earned his MFA in Theatre Design from Brandeis and currently serves as a Professor and Head of the Graduate Program in Theatre at Utah State University. Shawn is a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829 designers union and The Dramatists Guild. He is a native of the Jersey Shore.

Kerstin Hallows (Costume Design) is thrilled to join Salt Lake Acting Company for this production. Her previous design credits include DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES (Kingsbury Hall), THE WOLVES (SLAC), OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD (Babcock Theater), ECLIPSED (Studio 115), and YOU NEVER CAN TELL (Babcock Theatre). She graduated from the University of Utah in the Production Art Design Program last spring. In addition to costume design, Kerstin has been acting around the Salt Lake Valley for over 20 years. Her favorite productions include MY BIG FAT UTAH WEDDING (Desert Star Playhouse), NUTCRACKER: MEN IN TIGHTS (Desert Star Playhouse), REEFER MADNESS (Dark Horse), and SEE HOW THEY RUN (Off Broadway Theatre). She spent a few years in the improv group QUICK WITS and enjoyed working in the film industry where she landed a couple commercial gigs. She also choreographed many shows at Desert Star Playhouse and loves to dance in her time away from the theater. She also voiced the title role in the PC game 13 Cards to Midnight and its sequel 13 Cards to Dead Time. She has ambitions to add more voice work in the coming years. She would like to thank her beautiful family for supporting her through everything.

William Peterson (Light Design) is pleased to design his fourth show at SLAC, having previously designed THE WOLVES, SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY, and STAG’S LEAP. Past theatre design credits in the area include CONSTELLATIONS, WHERE WORDS ONCE WERE, AMERICAN IDIOT, IN THE HEIGHTS, THE MOUNTAINTOP, THE NETHER, PIRATED, and 35MM. In 2016, he received the National Barbizon Award for Excellence in Lighting Design from the Kennedy Center for his work on Weber State University’s 9 CIRCLES. William is the Technical Director/Stage Manager for Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, with whom he tours nationally and internationally. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts – Design/Tech from Weber State University, and works as the Production Stage Manager for California State University Summer Arts. He is semi-fluent in Czech, 40-word fluent in Mongolian and Korean, and enjoys trail-running, traveling, and working in the arts in all its forms. (www.william-peterson.com)

Jason Jensen (Sound Design) graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor's Degree in Technical Theatre and went right to work at Tuacahn in their audio department. He spent three summers there working his way up to A1 as well as Sound Designer for JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Since that time, he has worked in several theaters throughout Utah and California. He currently resides in Francis, UT with his three kids and works full time as the Assistant Technical Director at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts in Park City. Additional sound design credits include SHREK, LITTLE WOMEN, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, MAMMA MIA, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, and SONDER. Jason has worked in many different capacities at SLAC over the past five years. Most recently he was privileged to mix the sound for FUN HOME. This will be his first Sound Design with SLAC. He is honored to be associated with this wonderful theater and all the great people that work here.

WILLIAM RICHARDSON (Stage Manager) is delighted to be working on this play having seen the magic of #SLACLab18. You might’ve seen him around this year running lights for THE CAKE, playing Michael in the World Premiere of SILENT DANCER, and Asst. Directing/Co-Choreographing/Performing In SATURDAY’S VOYEUR 2019: DARK LIGHT. He most recently stepped in as the Production Stage Manager for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with Colonial Theatre Shakespeare in Westerly, Rhode Island. Previous SM credits include: THRILLER (3 seasons - Odyssey Dance Theatre); con•tem•POE•rar•y (Meat & Potato Theatre); JEKYLL & HYDE, RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH, and ASSASSINS (Dark Horse Company Theatre); DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER, AND A FLY and THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS, as well as A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY here at SLAC. BA, Musical Theatre, Weber State University. Proud member of Actors’ Equity. theatrebywill.com.

Tommy Jennings (Assistant Set Design) has worked as an actor and technician for various companies over the last ten years. His most recent work has been with Opera in the Ozarks where he served as assistant designer and assistant technical director for the summer season. He is currently working on his MFA in set design at Utah State University.

**The set designer of DEATH OF A DRIVER is represented by United Scenic Artists Local USA 829 of the IATSE.

Press Release

 pdfDEATH OF A DRIVER Press Release

Photo Gallery

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Patrick J. Ssenjovu in DEATH OF A DRIVER at Salt Lake Acting Company. (McKenna Frandsen Photography)

University Professional Theatre Program

SLAC is delighted to partner with local universities to heighten theatre students’ educational experience by taking them out of the classroom and hiring them at a professional theatre. During DEATH OF A DRIVER we were thrilled to welcome Utah State University student Tommy Jennings as Assistant Set Designer.

“Immersion in a local company that is dedicated to producing new works is very exciting to me. I will have the opportunity to sit in meetings and tech rehearsals with other career designers and watch them do what they do. I think this is very valuable as most of my design experience is in a university environment.”

If you are interested in supporting this vital program, please contact Erika Ahlin, Director of Development.