Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:32

NPSS: The Vermillion Hand

BY CORT BRINKERHOFFrehearsal picIn rehearsal, L to R: Jaten McGriff, Cort Brinkerhoff, Colleen Baum, Melanie Nelson, Anne Stewart Mark

Monday, October 6, 2014 @ 7pm
Chapel Theatre

 

 

About the Play

Orrin Porter Steed, a seventeen-year-old drifter from Colorado City, is arrested for setting fire to a Mormon church. His caseworker, Faith, delves into his past to figure out why and attempts to reunite the boy with his estranged mother. Meanwhile, as Faith's marriage crumbles, she begins to seek solace from Orrin and finds herself questioning everything she believes in.

THE VERMILLION HAND began as a ten-minute play titled UGLY TO THE BONE. The play was commissioned by Plan-B Theatre Company and premiered at SLAM '06. It was then developed into a full-length script, and workshopped in a script-in-hand production. THE VERMILLION HAND was then re-written as part of Vagrancy's Writers' Group in Los Angeles and received a staged reading at its annual new play festival.

SLAC is proud to welcome Cort Brinkerhoff back to Utah to continue fine-tuning THE VERMILLION HAND in the place where it was first conceived.

 

About the Playwright

Cort Brinkerhoff headshot

Cort's plays include THE BLUE HOUR, BULLET, THE BOMB PLOT, and THE NIGHTMARE ROOM, a play about the last days of British mathematician, war hero, and convicted homosexual Alan Turing. His works have been produced or had staged readings at The Vagrancy (Los Angeles, CA), Alive Theatre (Long Beach, CA), The Last Frontier Theatre Conference (Valdez, AK), Plan-B Theatre Company (Salt Lake City, UT), Piano Fight Productions (San Francisco, CA), USC, and the University of Utah. His ten-minute play NEUROSIS was published in Canyon Voices Literary Magazine, Issue 8 (Fall 2013). He wrote the screenplay for the independent feature BEYOND THE RYE, which will premiere in Norway in 2015. A native Utahn, Cort began his writing career in the 2003 Playwrights Group at Salt Lake Acting Company led by Julie Jensen and JT Rogers. He holds an MFA in dramatic writing from USC, where he currently serves as an Assistant Instructor. He lives in Los Angeles.

 

DIRECTOR - Anne Stewart Mark

CAST
Orrin - Jaten Lee McGriff
Faith - Melanie Nelson
Emma - Colleen Baum
Reader - Shannon Musgrave

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:34

2014-2015 Season Press Release

PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING | 801.363.7522 |

August 14, 2014
For Immediate Release

Salt Lake Acting Company's 2014-2015 Season
Reflects New Mission Statement to Engage and Enrich Community
Through Brave, Contemporary Theatre

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), with renewed energy and excitement for the future, announces a new, community-centered mission statement as it launches its 44th season of brave, contemporary theatre.

SLAC's Executive Leadership and Board of Trustees recognized the need to revise and simplify the organization's mission to get right to the heart of why the Salt Lake Acting Company exists. Following invigorating and focused conversation at a retreat this past spring, SLAC's leaders have released the company's new mission statement: to engage and enrich community through brave, contemporary theatre.
This new, community-centered mission will be reflected in SLAC's 2014-2015 season, which in addition to the vibrant work onstage, will also cultivate more and deeper partnerships with area non-profits, schools, and community centers. Now more than ever, SLAC recognizes the rich and dynamic culture that exists here in Utah, and is proud to invest and play a role in its continued growth. It's an exciting time to be in Salt Lake City and an exciting time to be at SLAC.

The 2014-2015 season opens with I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS by Tony Award-winning playwright John Logan. Hailed as the first female "super-agent," Sue Mengers was the talk of the entertainment industry, representing the likes of Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, and Cher. This one-woman show, starring Utah favorite Camille Van Wagoner and directed by Robin Wilks-Dunn will run September 17 – October 26, 2014. SLAC invites audiences into Sue's glamorous living room for an evening of dish and dirty secrets.

For more information on I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS click here...


RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN by Obie Award-winning playwright Gina Gionfriddo and directed by Adrianne Moore, will run October 22 – November 16, 2014. After graduate school, Catherine and Gwen chose polar opposite paths. Catherine built a career as a rock star academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. This sharp-witted comedy takes an unflinching look at gender politics and asks, 'Can any woman have it all?'

For more information on RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN click here...

SLAC will work on behalf of its youngest audiences with its sixth annual professional children's production, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD with book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale, and based on the ever-popular books by Arnold Lobel. Two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. A story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD will be directed by Penny Caywood and will run December 5 – 27, 2014. Part vaudeville, part make-believe, all charm.

For more information on A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD click here...


TWO STORIES by local playwright Elaine Jarvik was one of the 5 plays workshopped in SLAC's New Play Sounding Series (NPSS) during the 2013/14 Season. Jarvik said, "Nothing beats hearing your work read by good actors in front of a real, unbiased audience willing to stay afterwards to dissect what they've heard. By hearing the words out loud, by watching how the audience reacted, by listening to their questions and suggestions, I learned what worked and what didn't. This is how new plays get better." After its development last season in NPSS, SLAC has committed to ensuring the continued life of this play, presenting its World Premiere, directed by Keven Myhre, February 4 – March 1, 2015. Jodi is a struggling journalist eager to keep her job in a changing economy. When a Pakistani family moves in next door, Jodi gets more than just a great story. TWO STORIES is an exploration of diverse landscapes, including economic rise and fall, sensationalism and honesty, how we navigate the growing diversity and lingering stereotypes in our communities, and more intimately, how identity is bridged between generations.

For more information on TWO STORIES click here...

SLAC's commitment to new plays continues as it celebrates spring with the World Premiere of a 'sort of' romantic comedy, MR. PERFECT by William Missouri Downs. SLAC is proud to welcome Downs back to Utah after previously working with him on last season's hit, THE EXIT INTERVIEW. Directed by John Caywood and running April 8 – May 5, 2015, MR. PERFECT tells the story of a quirky flight attendant and romance novel junkie who thinks she's met Mr. Perfect. When it doesn't work out, she sets out to connect the random events that make up life, hoping to find the meaning of it all.

For more information on MR. PERFECT click here...

And of course, no SLAC season would be complete without SATURDAY'S VOYEUR, created by Allen Nevins & Nancy Borgenicht, two of Salt Lake City's most celebrated playwrights, and directed and choreographed by Cynthia Fleming. SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2015 will shake up Salt Lake June 24 – August 30, 2015. This annual musical satire connects SLAC to the community like nothing else. SLAC is the only theatre company in the nation that presents a new play written for us, about us, each year.

For more information on SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2015 click here...

With its renewed commitment to community, SLAC's 2014/15 Season will promote theatre and the arts in Utah through a variety of programs, several being the first of their kind in the region. SLAC strives to promote theatre, literature, and art to students from kindergarten to university. SLAC's arts education programs include:

Title I Matinee Program:

SLAC believes in the power of the arts to enhance children's literacy, educational performance, and interest in learning. A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD will include eight free matinee performances for over 1,400 Title I schoolchildren. As school curriculums continue to narrow at the expense of the arts, SLAC's free performances provide a live theatrical experience to academically at-risk schoolchildren who often lack access to opportunities as basic as field trips and arts exposure. SLAC will also offer discounted performances for non-Title I schools; literary partnerships with the Salt Lake City Public Library and local bookstores; an online study guide available for schools and students as they prepare for their visits; and collaborations with local organizations and sponsors.
University Professional Theatre Program: For the past two years Salt Lake Acting Company's University Professional Theatre Program (UPTP) has provided the opportunity for over two dozen students from Utah universities to contribute to productions on a professional scale through both performing roles and technical theatre positions. UPTP was developed through the recognition that SLAC had the resources to offer more to students than ticket discounts and internships. Rather, a paid, working experience would allow for tangible exposure to their craft and the chance for students to build a professional resume before even graduating. SLAC has cultivated working relationships with theatre programs from the following schools: University of Utah, Weber State University, Utah Valley University, and Utah State University.

SLAC has always been dedicated to nurturing the work of local theatre artists and providing a home for both new and established playwrights. More recently, Salt Lake Acting Company has created a landscape for local audiences to access a more in-depth exploration of the work. SLAC's programs that continue to elevate the theatre experience for those on both sides of the curtain include:

New Play Sounding Series:

Free and open to the public, the NPSS is an essential component of the SLAC season: four to five staged readings of new plays, each tied to the current production and/or playwright. Celebrating its 20th year, the NPSS gives playwrights an essential testing ground in which to see their work in progress, and involves SLAC's audience in the dynamic process of new play development. The NPSS has workshopped over 70 plays, with nearly 50 percent going on to main stage productions at SLAC and other regional and national theatre companies.

Green Room Gallery:

SLAC maintains an active gallery, showcasing and selling the work of local visual artists in rotating exhibitions inspired by and tied thematically to productions on stage Curated for each play, the Green Room Gallery is a space for local artists to exhibit their work and for SLAC's audiences to reinforce the themes they see onstage. The 2014-2015 season will include work from Terence K. Stephens, Tricia Forsey Terry (TSquared Art), and Stephanie Swift (Pretty Little Pixel).

Discount ticket programs: SLAC's Student and Under 30 ticket programs are designed to meet varying financial needs of these demographic groups, and are the foundation of the company's efforts to create deeper connections with young audiences, making live theatre more accessible. This program has helped SLAC reach a larger, more diverse audience by making theatre more affordable to a younger demographic. SLAC has seen an immense period of growth over the past few seasons and these young theatre-goers are an important part of SLAC's continued vision.

Free discussion programs and performance:

Free and open to the public, these Sunday post-matinee discussions engage our audience with the director, cast, artistic crew, and whenever possible, the playwright. They examine issues and themes particular to each production and help place the relevance and tone of each play. One of the longest-running programs for SLAC, these discussions encourage thoughtful conversation among the audience and SLAC staff and artists.

Panel Discussions:

SLAC offers free panel discussions in conjunction with productions onstage, open to the public and featuring scholars and experts from the community whose work ties directly to themes raised in productions. Holding between 2-4 panel discussions each season, SLAC hosts experts and scholars to share their thoughts on the issues raised in each production. These discussions invite collaborative conversation with the audience as well. The Utah Humanities Council and KUER partner with SLAC during these discussions, which are well attended and create rich dialogue that connects themes from the stage to contemporary life.

In addition to these established community programs and partnerships, Salt Lake Acting Company is proud to announce the following new programs, reinforcing its commitment to playwrights in our community and beyond:

Playwrights' Lab at SLAC is a new program dedicated solely to the development of new scripts. With David Kranes at the helm, and modeled after the Sundance Playwrights' Lab, which he founded, the Playwrights' Lab at SLAC will take a good play, and through exploring and opening the playwright's vision, help make it stronger, deeper, and more of the play it had hoped to be when first conceived.

The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists honors the memory of SLAC's dear friend and collaborator, David Fetzer. SLAC is proud to partner with the Foundation to offer a grant that will provide a playwright 35 years of age or younger with a week-long opportunity to develop their script with professional actors and a director, culminating in a reading on SLAC's stage August 31, 2015.

Tanner Humanities Center presents their 2015 Artist in Residence, celebrated playwright Tony Kushner, for a 3-day residency and public lecture at Kingsbury Hall on February 5, 2015. To celebrate Mr. Kushner's residency, SLAC will present a reading of his 5 short plays, Tiny Kushner on February 2, 2015 at 7pm.

This is a rich and exciting time to reaffirm support in SLAC's mission and to continue to be inspired by what is possible in the arts. For some, it is the perfect time to visit SLAC's historical space in the Marmalade Neighborhood for the first time... it is more alive than ever.

SLAC NOTES

Salt Lake Acting Company deeply thanks their many season subscribers, without whom this theatre's work would not be possible.

Season tickets are available. For tickets call 801-363-7522, visit www.saltlakeactingcompany.org, or come to the box office at 168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103.

SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre founded in 1970 and is dedicated to producing, commissioning and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists. SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. SLAC operates under a STP Actors Equity Association contract. SLAC is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group, a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres, and the National New Play Network.

 

Published in Blog & News
Thursday, 10 April 2014 11:31

NPSS: Streetlight Woodpecker

 

SLAC's New Play Sounding Series presents a free reading of STREETLIGHT WOODPECKER by Shawn Fisher on Monday, April 28th at 7:00 PM. 

ABOUT THE PLAY

STREETLIGHT WOODPECKER follows the story of Benji, an undersized Marine who has returned to his Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Philadelphia after being critically injured during battle. He bears not only the medals he earned but also the scars, and now that he has come home he must face the emotional wounds he avoided by going to war.  

When his father’s suicide renders him homeless just days after his return, Benji moves in with his childhood friend Sam. Soon questions that threatened Benji throughout his youth resurface, questions about his manhood and his relationship with Sam, and he distracts himself with booze, pills, and reckless fighting. Meanwhile, as Sam tries to protect him from self-destruction, Benji plots to kill a woodpecker that loudly bangs the metal streetlights in the neighborhood.

SHAWN FISHER HEADSHOTShawn Fisher (Playwright) original scripts include SCOPE, THE CROW SONG, CHUMMING, STREETLIGHT WOODPECKER, and DO NOT HIT GOLF BALLS INTO MEXICO which was a National Finalist for the MetLife Nuestras Voces Playwriting Award and the David M. Cohen National Playwriting Award. HOW TO MAKE A ROPE SWING, which had a rolling premiere at both Salt Lake Acting Company and Cape May Stage, won an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, was a national finalist for New York's Urban Stages Emerging Playwright Award, and was a nominee for both the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association and the Barrie & Bernice Stavis national playwriting awards. His work has been produced or had staged-readings at Cape May Stage, the Spanish Repertory Theatre (Off-Broadway), the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Urban Stages (Off-Broadway), and Salt Lake Acting Company, among others. Shawn is also the Co-founder and Director of the National Playwrights Symposium at Cape May Stage. He earned his MFA in Theatre from Brandeis University and currently serves as a Professor and Head of Graduate Studies in Theatre at Utah State University. He is a native of New Jersey and is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild of America.

RICHIE CALL HEADSHOTRichie Call (Director) is thrilled to be directing a reading for the first time at SLAC. He was previously part of the cast of SLAC's presentation of Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico, also by Shawn Fisher. Richie's acting credits include work for American Globe Theatre and Gorilla Rep in New York, Mile Square Theatre in New Jersey, and Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake Shakespeare, and the Old Lyric Repertory Company in Utah. Richie is currently an Assistant Professor of Acting at Utah State University, and he is serving as a Co-Artistic Director of the Old Lyric Repertory Company. He received an MFA in Acting from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts and a BFA in Performance from Utah State University.

 

STEFAN ESPINOSA HEADSHOTStefan Espinosa (Benji) is thrilled to be joining SLAC on this project – there is truly nothing more exciting or artistically satisfying than helping to bring a talented playwrights' new work to life. A native of Tucson, Arizona,Stefan has been fortunate to perform with wonderful theatres across the country. Favorite past regional theatre credits include: The Importance of Being Earnest, Urinetown (PCPA); The Pirates of Penzance, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Pride and Prejudice (Arizona Theatre Company); Richard III, Henry V, Wild Oats (Wortham Theatre); Big River, Amadeus, Little Shop of Horrors, Lend Me A Tenor (Old Lyric Repertory); Camelot, The Mikado, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof (Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre) and Stefan will be playing Thenardier in UFOMTs upcoming summer production of Les Miserables. Stefan has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona, and an MFA in Acting from the University of Houston. Stefan also runs the Utah Festival Conservatory for the Performing Arts and is an adjunct member of the Theatre faculty at Idaho State University.

 

JASON MICHAEL SPELBRING HEADSHOTcropJason Spelbring (Sam) is thrilled to be a part of SLAC's New Play Sounding Series. Jason is an actor, director and educator. He is currently an assistant professor of acting at Utah State University's Caine College of the Arts. Theatre credits include six seasons at the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Ensemble Theatre Company, Santa Barbara and PCPA Theaterfest. This fall Jason will be directing Pierre Marivaux's The Game of Love and Change for the Caine College of the Arts. www.jasonmichaelspelbring.com

 

 

ANGIE ROUNY HEADSHOTAngela Roundy (Elizabeth) attended Utah State University where she earned her BFA in Acting. While at USU she appeared in such productions as KING LEAR, JAMES and the GIANT PEACH, TARTUFFE, and ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD. Her acting training began at the College of Eastern Utah where credits included THE CRUCIBLE, PICASSO at the LAPIN AGILE, and THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN. Angela also appeared in The Neil Simon Festival's production of COME BLOW YOUR HORN.

 

RICHARD JOHNSON HEADSHOTRichard Johnson (Matt) is thrilled to make his SLAC debut with a talented and seasoned cast of peers. Richard has been seen locally this past summer in THE ODD COUPLE with Old Lyric Repertory Company. California credits include AS YOU LIKE IT with New Village Arts/Moonlight Cultural Foundation, LOST APOLLONIA and PICTURING MY SISTER with New Village Arts/Playwrights Project, JACOB MARLEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL with Oceanside Theatre Company, and HENRY IV pt1 and THE TEMPEST with North Coast Repertory Theatre/MiraCosta College.

LANCE RASMUSSEN HEADSHOT

 

Lance Rasmussen (Reader) has performed for three seasons at the Old Lyric Theatre Company where he played in THE ODD COUPLE, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, and AMADEUS among others. He is about to graduate from Utah State University with a BFA in Theatre Performance. At USU he has acted in plays including CANDIDA, LEARNED LADIES, TALKING PICTURES, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD, and TWENTIETH CENTURY. He intends to pursue an MFA in acting.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:32

NPSS: Road to Eden

 

Salt Lake Acting Company’s New Play Sounding Series Presents a Free Reading of

ROAD TO EDEN by Sean Christopher Lewis

 Road to Eden Twitter

Salt Lake Acting Company is pleased to offer a free reading of ROAD TO EDEN by Sean Christopher Lewis and directed by Robin Wilkes-Dunn on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7 p.m. as part of the New Play Sounding Series (NPSS). An outreach program at SLAC, NPSS provides an essential testing ground where playwrights can see their work in progress and receive insightful feedback from the audience in a post-play discussion. We thank the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their support of this vital program.

In 1848 a group of Mormon pioneers flee to the Mexican Territories of Utah to escape their oppressors. In 2013 a Mormon family's life is forever changed when a woman, who came to this country much like their ancestors did, mysteriously risks her life to save their rebellious son. ROAD TO EDEN tells two riveting stories which take place at the same place in Iowa but at two very different times. While the group of pioneers are forced to flee from Missouri and Executive Order 44 which authorizes the murder of any Mormon, a mother, father and son in 2013 are faced with the threat of gang violence. Both groups will be offered help in the form of a bold, strong Mexican woman and both will get way in over their heads.

ROAD TO EDEN explores themes that are complicated in a most thought provoking way. How does one distinguish the word of God from the whim of man? When is it okay to doubt? When is it good to trust? What choices would we make in the face of life-threatening danger? How far can fear push us?

This free reading offers a unique opportunity to hear a new play by an excellent cast and take part in a post-play discussion in which the playwright welcomes comments, questions and feedback from the audience.

THE PLAYWRIGHT
SEAN CHRISTOPHER LEWIS can be heard as a commentator on NPR'S This American Life. His plays have won the Kennedy Center's Rosa Parks Award, the 2010 National New Play Network's Smith Prize, the NEA Voices in Community Award, a Puffin Foundation Artists Award, a Barrymore Award from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, a Central Ohio Critic's Circle Citation for Best Touring Production, a Central Ohio Critic's Circle Citation for Best New Work, a National Performance Network Creation Fund Grant, the William Inge Fellowship and more. He served as National New Play Network Emerging Playwright in Residence at Interact Theatre in Philly and as Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Arts Center in Independence, Kansas. His work includes MAYBERRY (Hancher Auditorium, Bucksbaum Performing Arts Center, Iowa Arts Center); KILLADELPHIA (Baltimore Centerstage, Woolly Mammoth, Interact Theatre, Cape May Stage, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Touchstone Theatre, Hartbeat Ensemble, Drilling Company, Riverside Theatre, CSPS/Legion Arts, John Jay University/Gerald W. Lynch Theatre, Available Light Theatre, Revolutions International Theatre Festival); JUST KIDS (Available Light Theatre, Sandglass Theatre, Working Group Theatre, Pontine Theatre); I WILL MAKE YOU ORPHANS (Uno Festival of Solo Performance, Available Light 01 Festival, Equinox Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Center for Independent Artists, Galapagos Art Space, Hyde Park Theatre, TIXE Arts Center, Bowery Poetry Club);THE GONE CHAIR (Penn State University's Cultural Conversations Festival, Openstage Harrisburg's Flying Solo Festival, Riverside Theatre); MILITANT LANGUAGE (National Premiere at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Halcyon Theatre of Chicago, Bang and Clatter in Cleveland, and Theater for the New City in NY, published by Original Works Publishing); THE APERTURE (Cleveland Public Theatre); THE HOMESCHOOLING OF JONATHAN ANDERSON (Drilling Company NYC, Luna Theater and Theatre of Note); SURVIVING THE BABY (Riverside Theatre); THE TEACHER SHOW (Revolutions International Theatre Festival) and GOODNESS (Project Y Theatre, Clockwise Theatre). He has been a playwriting fellow at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and has had his work developed at the PlayPenn New Play Conference, Lark New Play Development Center, Orlando Shakespeare Festival's Harriet Lake Festival of New Work and at the National Center for New Plays at Stanford University. He is currently under commission with Davenport Theatricals, Interact Theatre, Hancher Auditorium, Available Light Theatre and Adirondack Theatre Festival. Internationally he has collaborated on MAJNOON SAITARA with the Ashtar Theatre of Palestine and with the International Theatre and Literacy Project he worked on JOURNEY TO THE DREAM a new play by high school students in Tanzania, East Africa. In 2011 he collaborated and directed WE STOOD UP for the Centre X Centre International Theatre Festival in Rwanda that incorporated the performances and stories of 23 orphaned survivors of the genocide. Lewis is also a noted actor, working Off Broadway at the Pearl Theatre, in NYC at La Mama ETC, regionally with companies like the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, in television and feature films from COMEDY CENTRAL'S Upright Citizen's Brigade to GOD'S COUNTRY and his work has been nominated for the Fox Foundation Fellowship and the Princess Grace Theatre Fellowship.

THE DIRECTOR
ROBIN WILKS-DUNN is back at SLAC after directing GOOD PEOPLE and DOTTIE: THE SISTER LIVES ON. She recently directed LAST LISTS OF MY MAD MOTHER and THE GOOD BODY for Pygmalion Theatre Company. Robin is script supervisor, co-writer and director for a children's touring show for the Intermountain LIVE campaign. Robin has directed several staged readings at SLAC, most recently David Kranes' THE LAST WORD. Other productions she has directed at SLAC include BOOM, PEARL, ONE LAST DANCE and NAPOLEON'S CHINA. She reads scripts for the Sundance Theatre Lab and works as Outreach and Education Coordinator for Kingsbury Hall.

 

 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 13:24

NPSS: Two Stories

 Salt Lake Acting Company’s New Play Sounding Series Presents a Free Reading of 

TWO STORIES
by Elaine Jarvik

Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) is pleased to offer a free reading of TWO STORIES written by Elaine Jarvik and directed by Keven Myhre on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 at 7 PM as part of the New Play Sounding Series (NPSS). This is a special opportunity to experience an exciting new play by local playwright, Elaine Jarvik. An outreach program at SLAC, NPSS provides an essential testing ground where playwrights can see their work in progress and receive insightful feedback from the audience in a post-play discussion. We thank the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their support of this vital program.

TWO STORIES is a look at two neighbors, two families, two cultures and the conflicts and misunderstandings that can occur on two different sides of a fence. Jodi Wolcott is a newspaper journalist trying to find her footing in a 24-hour news cycle, while her husband Kevin, after losing his job, is quickly using up their savings on his failing donut shop. When a Pakistani family—Amir and Hasna Masori, their three children, and Amir’s mother Bashira—moves in next door, Kevin and Jodi welcome them with open arms and a pot of chicken masala. Jodi is only too excited to befriend the matriarch of the family, Bashira, a widow who has recently arrived in the United States. Bashira opens up to Jodi, revealing her feelings about her image-conscious daughter-in-law and her eye-rolling grandchildren, and she reveals the reason she left Pakistan so suddenly. With Jodi’s newspaper job on the line, Bashira’s life becomes the fodder Jodi needs to write her next big story.

Two Stories Photo
As Jodi is faced with a choice between friendship and self-preservation, tensions in the neighborhood build as well. Amir and his wife have plans to remodel their house into a large, two-story French chateau that will change the look of the neighborhood and will cut off the Wolcott’s light and view. “Why is my desire for space any less important than your desire for a view?” asks Amir. “Because we were here first,” answers Kevin. Jodi is then caught in the middle, afraid to alienate the Masoris but wanting to keep them from building their addition. Religious and ethnic tensions escalate. Rocks are thrown, a gun is fired, hate crime charges are filed and a fence of prejudice and misunderstanding is built.

The story that Jodi eventually writes about Bashira angers Amir, who is mortified that his family’s privacy has been breached. He accuses Jodi of using his mother’s story and friendship for her own gain. When Jodi’s newspaper colleague, a younger Hispanic reporter, comes to the Wolcotts’ house to write a story about the incident, Jodi is suddenly face-to-face with her prejudices and her own vulnerability at the hands of the media.

TWO STORIES began as a personal war of aesthetics for playwright Elaine Jarvik in 1990 when her neighbor built a faux-stone wall that Elaine felt destroyed the bucolic nature of their wooded lane. What stayed with her, years later, was how helpless she felt to challenge her neighbor’s aesthetics, and how immature she acted in response, retaliating by putting rocks in his mailbox. This unlikely genesis for her play created an outlet for her to explore her professional life as a journalist, her feelings about property and aesthetics, and the ways in which good people can behave badly as they try to protect what they think is theirs. During her career as a newspaper reporter, Elaine covered ordinary people and celebrities, immigrants and the descendants of Mormon pioneers. In writing their stories she often asked herself, “Am I telling the story right? Am I hurting anyone?” Sometimes she woke in the middle of the night worried that she had misspelled someone’s name, or, worse, had not represented these very real people—her “sources”—accurately. It is from these concerns about story and property that TWO STORIES was born.

TWO STORIES is a powerful work that tells an American story with universal appeal. Elaine has created a neighborhood that can exist in any city in the country, with unique characters that promote dialogue and reflection. SLAC has a reputation for producing and championing the work of new plays. At the heart of the theatre’s mission is a dedication to valuably contributing to the American theatre field, as it has for the past 43 years. SLAC works with living playwrights to support the development and continued life of new plays beyond SLAC’s stage. SLAC is equally committed to the important voice of Elaine Jarvik’s TWO STORIES and will work to ensure its continued life.

This free reading offers a unique opportunity to hear a new play by an excellent cast and take part in a post-play discussion in which the playwright welcomes comments, questions and feedback from the audience.

THE PLAYWRIGHT

ELAINE JARVIK
Elaine’s 10-minute play DEAD RIGHT was produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in 2008 and has recently been anthologized in the high school textbook, Bedford Introduction to Literature. Her full-length play (a man enters), co-written with her daughter, was produced by Salt Lake Acting Company in 2011, and her play THE COMING ICE AGE was produced by Pygmalion Theatre in 2010. Jarvik has spent most of her writing career trying to report the facts, first for the Deseret News and more recently as a freelance journalist, earning national awards for reporting.

THE DIRECTOR

KEVEN MYHRE
Keven received the Mayor's Artists Award in the Performing Arts in 2009. He was awarded the 2008 City Weekly Award for directing THE CLEAN HOUSE and MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS at Salt Lake Acting Company. His other directing credits at SLAC include BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, RED, ANGELS IN AMERICA: PARTS I & II, THE OVERWHELMING, RABBIT HOLE, I AM MY OWN WIFE, BAD DATES, KIMBERLY AKIMBO, GOING TO ST. IVES, WATER LILIES, THE MEMORY OF WATER, TWO-HEADED, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, C'EST MOI in MERE MORTALS and THREE DAYS OF RAIN. Keven has designed all of SLAC's sets and many of the costumes for the last 18 years. He has also designed 16 sets for The Grand Theatre. He designed sets for ACCORDING TO COYOTE, WEST SIDE STORY, CROW AND WEASSEL, and SOUTH PACIFIC at Sundance Theatre. His designs have also been seen at Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Utah Musical Theatre, Egyptian Theatre, Kingsbury Hall and the Babcock Theatre. His work for the Utah Arts Festival includes site design for the 20th anniversary. He received a BFA from the University of Utah and a MFA in Theatre from the University of Michigan.

CAST

Joel Applegate, Kathryn Atwood, Brenda Sue Cowley, Shane Mozaffari and Nicki Nixon with Marin Kohler as the reader.


 

 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:57

NPSS : Permanent Collection

By Thomas Gibbons

A free Reading April 22, 2013
7:00 pm

The Salt Lake Acting Company joins the National New Play Network, and over 25 partnering theatres across the US, in celebrating NNPN's 15 anniversary with a nationwide theatre event: a staged reading of NNPN's first Rolling World Premiere, Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons.
THis reading also celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Continued Life of New Plays Fund, which supports three theatres that choose to mount the smae new play within a twelve-month period.  The result is a "Rolling World Premiere".

ABOUT THE PLAY
Inspired by events at Philadelphia’s storied Barnes Foundation, this compelling drama follows a suburban Museum’s newly hired African American Executive Director, whose ideas for making adjustments to the permanent collection set off a firestorm of racially-charged controversies, within and beyond the institution’s hallowed walls.

COMPANY

THOMAS GIBBONS (Playwright) is playwright-in-residence at InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, which has premiered eight of his plays: Pretending to America, 6221, Axis Sally, Black Russian, Bee-luther-hatchee, Permanent Collection, A House With No Walls, and Silverhill. Other plays include The Exhibition and Homer. His plays have also been seen at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, off-off-Broadway at Blue Heron Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Florida Stage, Unicorn Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, New Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Center Stage, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Kirk Douglas Theatre/Center Theater Group, Aurora Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, and many others. He is the recipient of seven playwriting fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Roger L. Stevens Award from The Fund for New American Plays, the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwriting Award, the NAACP Theatre Award, two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding New Play, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Permanent Collection was the pilot selection of the National New Play Network’s Continued Life of New Plays Fund, and A House With No Walls was a subsequent selection. Both plays, along with Bee-luther-hatchee, are published by Playscripts.

BRIEN JONES (Sterling North) is thrilled to again be part of the cast supporting the Salt Lake Acting Company's New Play Sounding Series (NPSS). He has been featured in the cast for prior NPSS readings including GRANT & TWAIN (Harrison Terrell), THE OVERWHELMING (Joseph Seromba), FRANKINCENSE (the Reader), and COURTING DISASTER (Kaman Holmes).
Brien has also had the good fortune to appear in several Salt Lake City theater productions including MISS EVERS' BOYS (Dr. Brodus) with the EttaGrace Black Theatre Company at The Grand Theatre, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE (The Bus), LOVE! VALOR! COMPASSION! (Gregory), and BOYS IN THE BAND (Bernard) with Wasatch Theatre Company, MASTER HAROLD...AND THE BOYS (Sam), A SOLDIER'S PLAY (C.J. Memphis), JITNEY (Turnbo), and HOME (Cephus Miles) with People Productions SLC, and A RAISIN IN THE SUN (Joseph Asagai) with the University of Utah Babcock Theatre.
Brien's "big boy job" is the Executive Vice President for Business Development and Continuing Education for an international association of business valuation and financial forensic analysts. He dedicates this performance to his stepfather the Rev. C.C. Hines and his mother Annie Hines who always challenged and encouraged him to discover how freeing it is to speak for himself ... what he believes.

TONI BYRD (Ella Franklin) has been acting and directing in the Salt Lake Valley for over 30 years. Her recent acting credits include Tituba in THE CRUCIBLE, Sadie Delany in HAVING OUR SAY, Louise Seger in ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE. Toni was last seen in a reading of Kurt Proctor's A TURQUOISE WIND at SLAC. She is the cofounder of the EttaGrace Black Theatre Company.

KENT HADFILED (Paul Barrow) is thrilled to be appearing with Salt Lake Acting Company for the first time and working with his U of U schoolmate Robin Wilks Dunn. Pioneer Theater Company credits include THE ODD COUPLE (Roy), DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Nazi Officer), 12 ANGRY MEN (Juror #2), world premiere of Charles Morey's THE THREE MUSKETEERS (O'Reilly), and as one of the first PTC interns. Graduate of the University of Utah's Actor Training Program; member Chautauqua Conservatory Theater Co. under the direction of Michael Kahn and Rebecca Guy; AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (Fogg) Meat and Potato Theater Co.; DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE (Gordon) Wasatch Theater Co.; KING LEAR (Kent), PROOF (Robert) guest artist Utah State Theater; INTO THE WOODS (Cinderella's Father) Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater; ST. GEORGE AND THE RELUCTANT DRAGON (Dragon) Unicorn Children's Theater; NOISES OFF, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, CASH ON DELIVERY, RELATIVE VALUES, AN INSPECTOR CALLS, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and more during the course of 8 seasons with Old Lyric Repertory Co.  Kent is a proud member of Actor's Equity.

TOM JACOBSEN (Alfred Morris) "If only I looked as young as that old headshot!  It is a pleasure to be back at SLAC."  It has been since the mid 90's that Tom has performed at Salt Lake Acting Company.  He is excited to once again work with beloved friends on a familiar stage.  "It doesn't get better than this."

ANGELA TRUSTY (Kanika Weaver)

STEPHANIE HOWELL (Gillian Crane) has appeared in BORDERLANDS, THE END OF THE HORIZON, THE ALIENATION EFFEKT, and BASH with Plan-B Theatre Company. She has also acted in all 9 (soon-to-be 10) 'SLAMs (Plan-B's annual 24-hour-hour theatre festival.) Other local credits include ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, BIG RIVER, FORUM, and SOUTH PACIFIC at Pioneer Theatre Company. Additional favorite roles include Cassie in A CHORUS LINE, Amy in COMPANY, and Susie in W;T. Stephanie is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre Arts and is a member of Actor's Equity. Film/television credits include: DAYS OF OUR LIVES and PECULIARITIES. Stephanie is also an aerialist and has performed locally with Revolve Aerial Dance.

DIRECTOR

ROBIN WILKS-DUNN is pleased to be back at SLAC again after directing last season's DOTTIE: THE SISTER LIVES ON!  She recently directed LAST LISTS OF MY MAD MOTHER and THE GOOD BODY for Pygmalion Theatre Company. Robin is script supervisor, co-writer and director for a children's touring show for the Intermountain LIVE campaign and will direct it again for the Spring tour. Robin has directed several staged readings at SLAC, most recently David Kranes' THE LAST WORD. Other productions she has directed at SLAC include the premiere productions of BOOM, PEARL, ONE LAST DANCE and NAPOLEON'S CHINA. She reads scripts for the Sundance Theatre Lab and works as Outreach and Education Coordinator for Kingsbury Hall.  Robin's work has been seen on stages across Salt Lake Valley for years and hopefully for many years to come!

Monday, 03 December 2012 10:05

NPSS: Devil Dog Six

by Fengar Gael

Free Reading December 3, 2012

Company:  Sean Carter, William Ferrer, Nell Gwynn, Bijan Hosseini, Paul Kiernan, Nicki Nixon, Josh Thoemke
Director: Alexandra Harbold

Salt Lake Acting Company is thankful to the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and the Dramatists Guild Fund for their generous and vital support of our New Play Sounding Series program.

 

 Playwright's Notes

The inspiration for Devil Dog Six came from a friend who relishes the mathematics of handicapping, and took me to racetracks all over the country. Naturally I noticed there were very few women jockeys or trainers, so after some research and interviews, the play evolved, and because I admire the magnificent horses themselves, I couldn't exclude their presence in the play. I especially loved the Fairgrounds race track in New Orleans, and read in a book of interviews called Women in the Sport of Kings that southern male jockeys make it especially hard on women trying to break in.

For me, Devil Dog Six is primarily about raw, untamed ambition gone awry. This is a very American theme since we live in a capitalist republic which encourages competition at all levels of society and sometimes fosters the mentality that the ends justifies the means. So what better than a horse race to exemplify the spirit of racing to the finish at all costs, even the price of personal ethics and integrity.

Devil Dog Six takes place in Louisiana, and there is an interracial love affair between a jockey and her groom. Race and social status are also very American themes, and racial bigotry and a form of virtual apartheid still exists in parts of the south and major American cities, and affects relationships at every level of the class structure. This is true at the racetrack and in every other business in America.

About the structure: I'm weary of linear-seqential domestic realism, and believe audiences are eager to experience plays that take risks in their stories, themes, and styles, and are truly theatrical. My plays also tend to have metaphysical dimensions for which I'm often dismissed as delusional, but I can't seem to help myself, and am always grateful when the audience gallops along for the ride.


Company


Mug shot  of FengarFENGAR GAEL (PLAYWRIGHT) Ms. Gael has had her plays developed and produced at various theatres including the Sundance Playwrights Lab, New York Stage and Film Company, the InterAct Theatre of Philadelphia, the Moxie Theatre Company, New Jersey Repertory, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Seanachai Theatre of Chicago, Kitchen Dog Theatre of Dallas, The Theatricum Botanicum Seedlings, the Tangent Theatre and AboutFace Ireland New Play Festival, and in New York City: MultiStages, The Abingdon Theatre Company, Collaborative Arts Project 21, Playwrights Gallery, Reverie Productions, and the Flux Theatre Ensemble. Ms. Gael is a recipient of the Playwrights First Award, The Craig Noel Award, as well as commissions from South Coast Repertory, New Jersey Repertory, the InterAct Theatre, (through the National New Play Network),  and a playwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council. Most recently, The Usher’s Ball was given a showcase production at the Collaborative Arts Project 21's Shop Theatre; The Cantor's Tale was produced at the Hunger Artists Theatre Company, directed by Jill Johnson; and The Buttonhole Bandit was produced by the Edna Manley College of Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica. In February, 2012, The Gallerist (A Tale of Desecration and Desire) was produced at the Rorschach Theatre in Washington D. C.; this October Devil Dog Six was produced at The Venus Theatre in Laurel, Maryland; in November, The Island of No Tomorrows, as coproduced by MultiStages and the Interart Development Series in New York under the direction of Lorca Peress. Ms. Gael is currently a writer in residence at CAP 21 with the composer, Dennis McCarthy, continuing work on their musical, Soul on Vinyl.

andraharboldALEXANDRA HARBOLD (DIRECTOR) Previously at SLAC, she directed the world premieres of (a man enters) and The Persian Quarter.  Other directing credits: Betrayal, Three Days of Rain, Rabbit Hole, and Romeo and Juliet (Pinnacle) and SLAM (Plan-B). Acting: Circle Mirror Transformation, Dancing at Lughnasa, Six Years, The Seagull, Ice Glen.  Most recently, she directed a reading of Spark for Pygmalion Productions and served as Dramaturg on Pioneer Theatre Company's Of Mice and Men; also at PTC: Assistant Director on Emma and the Player Queen in Hamlet.  Education: Masters, University of London Goldsmiths; BA, Middlebury College; SITI Summer Intensive; and Midsummer at Oxford.  Current and upcoming projects:  SENSES 5, a collaboration with Robert Scott Smith (The Leonardo), A Slight Discomfort, and The Eccentrics (University of Utah, Studio 115).

 

Sean Carter HeadshotSEAN CARTER (ACTOR #1) Sean is ecstatic to be back at Salt Lake Acting Company, where he was last seen in “Angles in America” as Belize. Sean has performed in several venues along the Wasatch Front to include Hale Centre Theatre, The Grand Theatre and The Egyptian Theatre Company. In addition to Belize, some of his favorite roles include Willie Johnson in “Miss Evers’ Boys,” and Papa Ge in “Once on This Island.” Sean would like to thank the production team, cast and crew, and his friends and family for their continued support.

 

Josh HeadshotJOSH THOEMKE (ACTOR #2) Josh last appeared on the SLAC stage in The Persian Quarter, in dual roles.  He was most recently featured in Meat & Potato's production of Aliens:  The Puppet Musical, in six roles.  Devil Dog Six marks his third collaboration with Andra Harbold.  When not acting, he plays and sings in the Celtic band, Bad Colleen, usually seen at Scottish festivals and St. Patty's Day celebrations.

 

 

 

 

Paul KiernanHEADSHOTPAUL KIERNAN (ACTOR #3) Is proud member of Actor's Equity Association. Locally has been seen at the Pioneer Theater in; Hamlet, 12 Angry Men, Is He Dead, Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Our Town, The Tempest, Of Mice and Men and Amadeus among others.
SLAC productions include; Freedomland, Skin in Flames, The Beard of Avon, The Memory of Water, Six years and End Days. He was last seen with Salt Lake Shakespeare as Brutus in Julius Caesar and as Falstaff in Henry IV. He has toured with the one man play A Slight Discomfort, written and lived by Jeff Metcalf. Regionally; Romeo and Juliet, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; Cyrano in Cyrano at the Hangar Theater; MacBeth, As You Like it, The tempest and The Taming of the Shrew, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival; Merry Wives, You Can't Take it With You and Amadeus at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival; Twelfth Night, Much Ado, Hamlet, Richard III, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew, Henry V and Every Christmas Story Ever Told with The Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Much Ado with Kentucky Shakespeare. Film and TV include; The
HBO series From The Earth to the Moon, Luck of The Irish, Go Figure, The Cell 2, Gold Coast, Rosanne among others. He received his MFA in Acting and Directing from Brandeis University in Boston.

William Ferrer2 CroppedWILLIAM FERRER (ACTOR #4) William Ferrer has lived in the Salt Lake City area for about 13 years.  He has spent much of that time teaching in the city's schools.  Ferrer has also performed as a storyteller in the region.  After years away from acting, he returned to theater in 2002 and has performed with Salt Lake Acting Company, Pygmalion Productions and worked extensively with People Productions.  Ferrer has also appeared in a number of feature and independent films shot in the area.  He plans to continue acting and directing in both the theater and film mediums.

nellheadshot2NELL GWYNN (ACTOR #5) Nell Gwynn is very happy to be back at SLAC after playing Veronica Novak in "God of Carnage".  Other SLAC credits include "The Persian Quarter" and "Angels in America".  She most recently completed the filming of playwright David Johnston's "Mothra is Waiting", directed by Kevin Newbury and hitting film festivals in 2013.  She is currently employed by the Sundance Institute for the 2013 Film Festival.

 

 

 

 

nickiNICKI NIXON (ACTOR #6) is thrilled to be returning to Salt Lake Acting Company’s directed readings for the third time with the talented Andra, the previous two premiering THE AGONY AND ECSTACY OF STEVE JOBS, as well as Kathleen Cahill’s MONSTER HEART. She also had the privilege of playing Antigone in TOO MUCH MEMORY at SLAC. She was most recently seen in Pygmalion Theatre Company’s reading of SPARK as Lexie. She was happy to play Annelle in STEEL MAGNOLIAS with Pinnacle Acting Company. Other local credits include Michella in Off Broadway Theatre’s TRANSMORFERS and Princess Justine in PUSS 'N BOOTS at the Children's Theatre. She is a proud graduate of Weber State University’s Theatre Arts program, where some of her favorite roles include Tess in SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, Angie/Dull Gret in TOP GIRLS, and Eve in WAITING FOR THE PARADE. She was also given the opportunity to perform as a Weird Woman in MACBETH at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

BIJAN HOSSEINI (READER) Bijan would like to thank Andra, Kev, Cyn and the rest of the SLAC family for this - and so many other -opportunities. Bijan has worked with the Salt Lake Acting Company (Too Much Memory, Charm, The Persian Quarter NPSS reading), Plan-B, PYGmalion, Sting & Honey, the Babcock, the Classical Greek Theatre Festival, Pinnacle, Around The Globe, Wasatch, UTAC, Holiday Arts, and SLCC. He was last seen as Polixenes in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" and is still touring with PYGmalion and Art Access' production of "The Mysterious, Happy Life of Brown Bag". Bijan is represented by TMG.

Friday, 26 October 2012 14:09

NPSS: Turquoise Wind

by Kurt Proctorturquoise wind image

 

FREE READING Monday, October, 29, 2012

Director Keven Myhre

Company Toni Byrd, Brenda Sue Cowley, Heidi Klein, Annette Wright, Cassandra Stokes-Wylie

Salt Lake Acting Company is thankful to the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and the Dramatists Guild Fund for their generous and vital support of our New Play Sounding Series program.

 

 

Playwright's Notes

Turquoise Wind came from a dream I had while I was in the final stages of writing Roundup (my cowboy poet play). I've always felt like it is the counter to that first play - not a sequel, obviously, but rather its other half.

Shortly after finishing the first draft of TW, I submitted it to Denver Center theatre where it was picked up by one of their partner theatres for a staged reading. That reading took place at the Aurora Fox theatre under the direction of Angela Astle. The feedback from the audience there was terrific, but they agreed that something was missing just prior to the end of the play. The resolution before the denouement, if you will.

At the same time that I had given the play to Denver Center, I had also given it to Chuck Metton at Utah Shakes. Chuck took it back to his readers and I was invited to be one of three playwrights in their New American Playwrights Program for August of 2012. I spent a week in Cedar City in rehearsals with the actors and director as well as Chuck and with the help of a drive up into the mountains, several naps for dreaming, and the voices of the actors in my head, I found the resolution that the play needed. In the process, I found that the ending needed to change as well. The audience response in Cedar City was great and the feedback very helpful. After each reading I would take notes and make a few tweaks before the next day. A word here, a clarification there.

I'm very excited to bring it home to the SLAC audience and to put it in the mouths of the women who inspired that initial, magical dream.


Company

Kurt Proctor Headshot
KURT PROCTOR (PLAYWRIGHT)
Kurt Proctor started his professional theatre career at Salt Lake Acting Company. Long time subscribers may remember him as "that guy who's in all the readings." Eventually performing several times in SLAC full productions, he branched out into directing, producing (as one of the founders of Utah Contemporary Theatre), and playwrighting. His plays Roundup and Treading Water have both had full productions. Turquoise Wind was developed at the Aurora Fox Theatre in Denver and as part of the New American Playwrights Project at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, where Kurt was one of the playwrights in residence for the 2012 program. When he is not working in theatre, he moonlights as an Air Traffic Controller (the longest acting job he's ever had!) Kurt is very pleased to bring Turquoise Wind home to the SLAC audience.

 KEVEN MYHRE (DIRECTOR Executive Producer) was chosen to receive the Mayor's Artist Keven MyhreAward in the Performing Arts for 2009. Keven was awarded the 2008 City Weekly Award for directing THE CLEAN HOUSE and MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS at Salt Lake Acting Company. His other directing credits at SLAC are RED, ANGELS IN AMERICA: PARTS 1 & 2, THE OVERWHELMING, RABBIT HOLE, I AM MY OWN WIFE, BAD DATES, KIMERBLY AKIMBO, GOING TO ST. IVES, WATER LILIES, THE MEMORY OF WATER, TWO-HEADED, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE, GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, C'EST MOI in MERE MORTALS, andTHREE DAYS OF RAIN. Keven has designed all of SLAC's sets and many of the costumes for the last seventeen years. He also designed sixteen sets for The Grand Theatre, including ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE, JOHNNY GUITAR, MY FAIR LADY, SONG OF SINGAPORE, MORNING'S AT SEVEN, and GODSPELL. ACCORDING TO COYOTE, WEST SIDE STORY, CROW AND WEASEL, and SOUTH PACIFIC were designed for Sundance Theatre. His designs have also been seen at Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Utah Musical Theatre, Egyptian Theatre, Kingsbury Hall and the Babcock Theatre. His work for the Utah Arts Festival includes site design for the
20th Anniversary. He received a BFA from the University of Utah and a MFA in Theatre from the University of Michigan.

TONI BYRD (TONI) is both actress and director. In the past 30 years she has been involved with productions at SLAC, PTC, The Egyptian Theatre, Theatre Works West and the Grand Theatre. Ms. Byrd is the cofounder of the EttaGrace Black Theatre Co.

Brenda Sue CowleyBRENDA SUE COWLEY (LISA) has been working professionally as an actor in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas since 1991. A member of Actor's Equity, Brenda has spent much of her time on the boards of the Salt Lake Acting Company. Originally from Portland Oregon, Brenda holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Northwest Nazarene University, and is the owner of Ninth Avenue Salon.

 

Heidi Klein

HEIDI KLEIN (DAWN) was happy to be a part of the reading of Nora Ephron's Love, Loss and What I Wore at Salt Lake Acting Company. She was recently seen in Sting & Honey's The Winter's Tale as Perdita. Previously she performed with Salt Lake Shakespeare Company's Twelfth Night (Viola) and in Measure for Measure (Isabella). A graduate of the University of Utah's Actor Training Program, some of her favorite productions were The Comedy of Errors (Adriana), The Duchess of Malfi (Duchess), Three Sisters (Natasha) and Bright Ideas (Lynzie).

Annette wright WEBANNETTE WRIGHT (CHARLETTE) is soooooo excited to be doing her boyfriend's play!! After seeing it in Cedar City this summer, she just knew it was ready for more audiences!.  Annette has been a part of this since Kurt first wrote it and told her there was a part for her. Thats all it takes, I'm there. I hope you enjoy this play as much as I do.

 

Cassandra Stokes-WylieCASSANDRA STOKES-WYLIE (READER) was most recently seen in SLAC's reading of LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE, as Mrs. Givings in THE VIBRATOR PLAY with Pygmalion Productions, and Elizabeth Proctor in THE CRUCIBLE at the Grand Theatre. Other local credits include various characters in THE GOOD BODY with Pygmalion, the Reader for ANGELS IN AMERICA: PART 2, PERESTROIKA at SLAC, Shudder and Stella in THE HARVEY GIRLS during SLAC's Fearless Fringe Festival, Anna in Utah Theatre Artists Company's production of BURN THIS and the Governess in their production of THE TURN OF THE SCREW. Cassandra is a graduate of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah and spent a season with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's acting internship program where she performed in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, THE CHERRY ORCHARD, STATE OF THE UNION and understudied their one woman show THE BLONDE, THE BRUNETTE AND THE VENGEFUL REDHEAD.

TATESJ blastBy Mike Daisey

FREE NPSS Reading | Monday, March 12 @ 7 pm

Company Jason Bowcutt, Nicki Nixon, and Robert Scott Smith

Director Alexandra Harbold

Salt Lake Theater Examiner | Biting the Apple: Free reading of The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs set

Salt Lake Acting Company is thankful to the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and the Dramatists Guild Fund for their generous and vital support of our New Play Sounding Series program.

MIKE DAISEY (PLAYWRIGHT) has been called "the master storyteller" and "one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by the New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. His latest work, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, was called "the best new play of the year" by the Washington Post, and was recognized as one of the year's best theater pieces by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and will return to the Public Theater in 2012.

Since his first monologue in 1997, Daisey has created over fifteen monologues, including the critically-acclaimed The Last Cargo Cult, the controversial How Theater Failed America, the twenty-four-hour feat All the Hours in the Day, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, the four-part epic Great Men of Genius, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years. Other titles include If You See Something Say Something, Barring the Unforeseen, Invincible Summer, Monopoly!, Tongues Will Wag, I Miss the Cold War, and Teching in India.

daiseytlccsmileHe has performed in venues on five continents, ranging from Off-Broadway at the Public Theater to remote islands in the South Pacific, from the Sydney Opera House to an abandoned theater in post-Communist Tajikistan. A partial list: Cherry Lane Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Barrow Street Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Intiman Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, ACT Theatre, Performance Space 122, the Noorderzon Festival, the T:BA Festival, the Under the Radar Festival, the Flynn Theatre, the Lensic, and Chicago's Museum for Contemporary Art.

He's been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, as well as a commentator and contributor to the New York Times, This American Life, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR and the BBC. His first film, Layover, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and a feature film of his monologue If You See Something Say Something is currently in post-production. His second book, Rough Magic, a collection of his monologues, will be published in 2012. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, five Seattle Times Footlight Awards, the Sloan Foundation's Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn with his collaborator and partner Jean-Michele Gregory.

Company

J-ShotJASON BOWCUTT (ACTOR) For years Jason worked primarily as an actor and was on the stage of many great theatres including McCarter Theatre Company, The Guthrie Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Shakespeare Theatre in DC, and our very own Pioneer Theatre Company. In New York Jason played Nathan Leopold Jr. in the Outer Critics Circle Award winning production of NEVER THE SINNER, for which he earned a Drama Desk and Helen Hayes Award nomination. Jason is also proud to be one of the Founding Directors of the New York Innovative Theatre Foundation (the IT Awards) which honors excellence in Off-Off-Broadway.

Since returning to Utah Jason has had the pleasure of working with Plan B Theatre Company and Pygmalion Productions as an actor and director. Jason currently works at Utah Arts & Museums in Community and Performing Arts.

NICKI NIXONnicki (ACTOR) is excited to return to SLAC for her first reading after having the privilege of playing Antigone in TOO MUCH MEMORY.  She was most recently see as Annelle in Pinnacle Acting Company's STEEL MAGNOLIAS.  Other local credits include Michella in Off Broadway's TRANSMORFERS and Princess Justine in PUSS'N'BOOTS at the Children's Theatre.  She is a proud graduate of Weber State University's Theatre Arts Program, where some of her favorite roles include Tess in SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, Angie/Dull Gret in TOP GIRLS, and Eve in WAITING FOR THE PARADE. She was also give the opportunity to perform as a Weird Woman in MACBETH at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.. She has been a proud and faithful subscriber at SLAC for the last 4 fun-filled years.

Robert Scott SmithROBERT SCOTT SMITH (ACTOR) NYC: Pericles (SLANT). SLC: CHARM, Swimming in the Shallows, Six Years, Big Love, BATBOY:The Musical (Salt Lake Acting Company); Pains of Youth, Santaland Diaries (Tooth and Nail Theatre); BASH (PlanB). Film and TV: Blessing, Animae, "Guiding Light". Print: The Unfortunate Moment of Misunderstanding (Jim Fiscus). Training: MFA Old Globe Theatre San Diego.

ALEXANDRA HARBOLD (DIRECTOR, ARTISTIC & LITERARY ASSOCIATE) At SLAC, Andra directed the world premieres of (A MAN ENTERS) and THE PERSIAN QUARTER and the New Play Sounding Series readings of T.I.C. (TRENCHCOAT IN COMMON), THE PERSIAN QUARTER and PROPHETS OF NATURE.  Local directing credits: ROMEO AND JULIET, RABBIT HOLE, THREE DAYS OF RAIN (PAC), and SLAM (Plan-B); Assistant Director: EMMA (Pioneer Theatre Company) and CHARM (Salt Lake Acting Company). Education: BA, Middlebury College; Master's in Performance Studies, University of London Goldsmith's College. Training: SITI Company's Summer Intensive at Skidmore. Upcoming directing projects include BETRAYAL by Harold Pinter (Pinnacle) and SLAM (Plan-B Theatre).

MIKE DAISEY (PLAYWRIGHT) has been called "the master storyteller" and "one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by the New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. His latest work, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, was called "the best new play of the year" by the Washington Post, and was recognized as one of the year's best theater pieces by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and will return to the Public Theater in 2012.

Since his first monologue in 1997, Daisey has created over fifteen monologues, including the critically-acclaimed The Last Cargo Cult, the controversial How Theater Failed America, the twenty-four-hour feat All the Hours in the Day, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, the four-part epic Great Men of Genius, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years. Other titles include If You See Something Say Something, Barring the Unforeseen, Invincible Summer, Monopoly!, Tongues Will Wag, I Miss the Cold War, and Teching in India.

He has performed in venues on five continents, ranging from Off-Broadway at the Public Theater to remote islands in the South Pacific, from the Sydney Opera House to an abandoned theater in post-Communist Tajikistan. A partial list: Cherry Lane Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Barrow Street Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Intiman Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, ACT Theatre, Performance Space 122, the Noorderzon Festival, the T:BA Festival, the Under the Radar Festival, the Flynn Theatre, the Lensic, and Chicago's Museum for Contemporary Art.

He's been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, as well as a commentator and contributor to the New York Times, This American Life, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR and the BBC. His first film, Layover, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and a feature film of his monologue If You See Something Say Something is currently in post-production. His second book, Rough Magic, a collection of his monologues, will be published in 2012. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, five Seattle Times Footlight Awards, the Sloan Foundation's Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn with his collaborator and partner Jean-Michele Gregory.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009 21:17

NPSS: How to Make a Rope Swing

Rope Swing Poster

By Shawn Fisher

FREE READING Monday, February 27th @ 7 pm

Director Adrianne Moore

Stage Manager Elizabeth Miller

Company Randall Eames, Marilyn Holt, Michael Gardner, Darryl Stamp

Salt Lake Acting Company is thankful to the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and the Dramatists Guild Fund for their generous and vital support of our New Play Sounding Series program.

Playwright's Note

Years ago I came across a massive 300-year-old live oak that had been blown over by a hurricane somewhere in the South. On the side of the tree was a black scar resulting from years of cooking-fires built by plantation slaves, centuries ago. The scar had been mostly closed-over as the trunk had grown thicker and I was struck that, as with emotional scars, it had become deeper but harder to see as time went on. The idea of this "slave tree" and its scar stayed with me and eventually became a catalyst for the play. It led me to explore race from a point of hind-sight and through a societal lens that has evolved through the decades. I decided to set the play in the North, where opinions about race weren't as explicit as they were in the South. Specifically I chose my home region of rural South Jersey, a rustic part of the country once nicknamed the "Mississippi of the North" where some schools were segregated until the 1950's. The main character of Mrs. Wright is inspired by a real woman, Cora Fisher, who was mandated to integrate the elementary schools in Bridgeton, NJ despite the fact that she privately held racist attitudes. The fascinating aspect of her life is that, even with her personal biases, she was a dedicated educator who was successful by all measures and served her students equally regardless of race. This contradiction fuels the story and the character of Mrs. Wright as she prepares for her imminent death and faces the legacy she will leave behind.

Company

Shawn Fisher cropSHAWN FISHER (PLAYWRIGHT) is originally from New Jersey and works nationally as a theatre designer and playwright. He is currently based in Utah where he runs the MFA Program in Theatre at Utah State University. His other original scripts include SCOPE, The Crow Song and Do Not Hit Golf Balls into Mexico which was staged here at SLAC last summer. His plays have been produced or had staged-readings in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Salt Lake City. He is the Founder and Director of the Fusion Theatre Project, a non-traditional ensemble, based at USU, which creates original works of progressive theatre. Shawn's professional design work includes the New York productions of Seal Sings Its Song for Woken' Glacier Theatre Company, Cop Out and The Talking Dog at the Gene Frankel Theatre and over seventy other designs around the country. Shawn holds an MFA in Theatre from Brandeis University.

Adrianne MooreADRIANNE MOORE (DIRECTOR) Adrianne's previous productions for SLAC include CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, HOLD PLEASE, WATER IMAGES (part of THE WATER PROJECT), ANCIENT LIGHTS (New Play Sounding Series) and most recently, DO NOT HIT GOLF BALLS INTO MEXICO for SLAC's Fearless Fringe Festival. She has also served as dialect coach on numerous SLAC productions including, RED, ANGELS IN AMERICA, CHARM, THE CARETAKER, END DAYS, CLEAN HOUSE, and SKIN IN FLAMES. She directs regularly for the Old Lyric Repertory Company; productions include ALWAYS PATSY CLINE, THE FOREIGNER, RELATIVE VALUES, THE RIVALS and SYLVIA. Other Utah directing credits include THE MIKADO (Utah Festival Opera) TALKING WALES (Utah Contemporary Theatre), PETER PAN, (The Egyptian Theatre Company) MIASMA and PLAY SLAM for Plan B Theatre. She is a professor of Voice and Directing at Utah State University. Favorite productions at USU include PROOF, OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD and KING LEAR.

A native of New Zealand, Adrianne worked as a director and actor in New Zealand, Australia and England before coming to the U.S. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Theatre Directing from the British Theatre Association in London and an M.F.A. in Directing from Florida State University.

RandallEames cropRANDALL EAMES (READER) graduated Magna Cum Laude from Weber State University with a degree in Theatre Arts. He is happy to be returning to SLAC's stage after appearing in last season's Saturday's Voyeur and this season's How I Became a Pirate. Some of his favorite roles include: one of the guys in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ABRIDGED, Flute in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Roy Johnson in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, part of the company of UNDER CONSTRUCTION and Willard in FOOTLOOSE. He would like to thank his friends, family and educators for their endless support.

Micheal Gardner cropMIKE GARDNER (MICK) is a Utah trained actor, studying at Hurricane High school, Dixie College, and finally graduating from Utah State's acting program in the spring of 2007. While at Utah State and under the direction of Adrianne Moore he played, and was awarded Irene Ryan nominations for outstanding performer, as Simon in Hayfever, Action in West Side Story, and Aunt Spiker in JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. Mike has performed at SLAC as Adam in DARK PLAY: OR STORIES FOR BOYS, and as Boy in IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE. Mike has also been seen in EVERYMAN and SHADOWS OF THE BAKEMONO with Meat and Potato theatre. Other favorite roles include the title role of Pippin (HHS), Sydney Bruel in DEATHTRAP (DSC), Arnold Wiggins from THE BOYS NEXT DOOR (DSC) and Mercutio in Pinnacle Acting Companies' production of ROMEO AND JULIET.

Marilyn Holt

MARILYN HOLT (MRS. DELORES WRIGHT) Dr. Holt was a faculty member of the University of Utah Theatre Department for more than 30 years and chair for 9 years. She has played leads in about l20 full productions and has directed 30 at the University, in Salt Lake City, and throughout Utah and the Intermountain West. Some of her favorite roles were in LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, KNOWING CAIRO, VIVAT, VIVAT REGINA, and ROAD TO MECCA. Among her favorite productions directed were 2 productions of RAISIN IN THE SUN, one at Pioneer Theatre and again a few years later at Babcock Theatre. She and husband, John, have been married 63 years, are parents of 3 children, grandparents of 5 grand children and - in April, will be great grand parents. She does volunteer work for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, has been president of Utah Theatre Assoc. and Utah Women's Forum. She reads widely, loves theatre of any kind and takes her cat, Buddha, for walks on a leash. She is known in the neighborhood as "The Crazy Cat Lady".

ELIZABETH MILLER (STAGE MANAGER)

DARRYL STAMP (ARTHUR "BO" WELLS") Darryl is thrilled to be making his SLAC debut after having directed and acted in Wasatch Theater's 2010 Page to Stage Festival. He is also a former Kansas City Drama Desk Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. Locally, he has recently appeared as Midge in I'M NOT RAPPAPORT for the Holladay Arts Theater, as Ron in THE TALENTED TENTH for People Productions, and has just completed directing "Niggah," and Blues for an Alabama Sky for the Edward R. Lewis Black Theater Festival at the downtown Sal Lake City library. He has taught acting, Teaching Theater in Secondary Schools, and Shakespeare for Teachers courses at Weber State University, and he is currently a Language Arts teacher and an Assistant Baseball Coach at Hunter H.S. He thanks his wife Mindy and his daughter Sophia for their love and support.

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