Thursday, 16 October 2014 12:19

RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN - Press Release

PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING | 801.363.7522 |
October 16, 2014
For Immediate Release

Salt Lake Acting Company presents RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN by Gina Gionfriddo from October 22 through November 16.

"That guy who comes in and saves the girl in the end? He might not be coming. But the girl is still going to be O.K."
-Avery, RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN

Salt Lake Acting Company is thrilled to present the second production in our 44th season, RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN a Pulitzer Prize Finalist by Obie-Award Winning Playwright Gina Gionfriddo, from October 22 through November 16, 2014. Hailed by the New York Times as "Intensely smart, and immensely funny," this sharp witted comedy takes an unflinching look at the politics of gender, and asks can anyone have it all?

After graduate school, Catherine built a career as a rock star academic, while Gwen built a home with her husband and children. Now in her early 40's Catherine moves back home to take care of her ailing mother, and reconnects with Gwen; who is married to Catherine's college boyfriend. While these three friends begin to discover their new relationships with each other, they start to question their life decisions. With discussions of Betty Friedan, Phyllis Schlafly, Pornography and slasher films, RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN looks at cross-generational feminism in an incredibly insightful, relevant way.

Director Adrianne Moore describes the play as, "Fascinating - one of the most insightful and purely delightful plays I have worked on. A tri – generational look at gender politics, the changing face of feminism and the all too human problem of agonizing over whether you made the right life choices – way back when. For these characters the grass is looking awfully green—is it too late for a do over? I'm eager to see the audience response to this play that has provoked such strong feelings and opinions amongst the cast and artistic team."

The five member cast includes Nell Gwynn, who was last seen on the SLAC stage in GOOD PEOPLE and THE EXIT INTERVIEW; Tracie Merrill-Wilson whose SLAC credits include the 2010 Fearless Fringe Festival as well as ICE GLEN; Jeanette Puhich, who graced the SLAC stage in THE WATER PROJECT, SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS, THE RIDE DOWN MOUNT MORGAN and 13 seasons of SATURAY'S VOYEUR; and Robert Scott Smith who was last seen at SLAC in GOOD PEOPLE and CHARM; and Stewart Fullerton who will be making her SLAC debut.

PARTNERSHIP
During the run of RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN Salt Lake Acting Company is elated to partner with Crossroads Urban Center an organization that helps low-income people in Salt Lake City. "We are delighted to be included in SLAC's upcoming production. Crossroads Urban Center operates one of Utah's busiest emergency food pantries," said Crossroads Executive Director Glenn Bailey. "We specialize in the needs of women and children, especially infants, so donations of baby formula are always much needed and greatly appreciated."

THE PLAYWRIGHT
Gina Gionfriddo
Gina Gionfriddo has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Lucille Lortel Fellowship, and a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship. Her work includes AFTER ASHLEY, SAFE, TREPIDATION NATION, U.S. DRAG (published in "Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2002") and GUINEVERE. AFTER ASHLEY and U.S. DRAG are published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc..

DIRECTOR
ADRIANNE MOORE
ADRIANNE MOORE is delighted to be directing once again for the Salt Lake Acting Company. Previous directing credits for SLAC include 4000 MILES, HOW TO MAKE A ROPE SWING, CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, HOLD PLEASE, WATER IMAGES (part of THE WATER PROJECT), ANCIENT LIGHTS (New Play Sounding Series) and 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 GOOD PEOPLE, VENUS AND FUR, GRANT AND TWAIN, BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, RED, ANGELS IN AMERICA, CHARM, THE CARETAKER, END DAYS, CLEAN HOUSE, and SKIN IN FLAMES. Other Utah directing credits include THE WOMAN IN BLACK, ALWAYS PATSY CLINE, THE FOREIGNER, RELATIVE VALUES, THE RIVALS and SYLVIA (Old Lyric Repertory Company) THE MIKADO (Utah Festival Opera) TALKING WALES (Utah Contemporary Theatre) PETER PAN (The Egyptian Theatre Company) and MIASMA (Plan B Theatre.) 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, an M.F.A. in Directing from Florida State University and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

CAST
STEWART FULLERTON (Avery)
Stewart Fullerton is absolutely thrilled to be a part of this sharp production. Stewart is a senior at the University of Utah, working towards her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre where she was last seen as Sabrina Daldry in IN THE NEXT ROOM or THE VIBRATOR PLAY. Favorite productions include THE WILD PARTY, GUYS AND DOLLS and DAMN YANKEES. This one is for mom, who taught Stewart not to curse at her elders.

NELL GWYNN* (Gwen)
Nell Gwynn is very happy to be back at SLAC this fall, after last year's run as Margie in GOOD PEOPLE. Other SLAC credits include; Eunice in THE EXIT INTERVIEW, Veronica Novak in GOD OF CARNAGE, Ann/Emily Gilles in THE PERSION QUARTER, and The Angel and others in ANGELS IN AMERICA. Favorite NYC credits include: David Johnston's THE ORESTEIA, and CANDY AND DOROTHY, (GLAAD New Media Award Winner), Tom Rowan's KISS & CRY ( GLAAD New Media Award Nominee, Innovative Theatre Award Nomination- Best Supporting Actress ), COUSELLOR AT LAW (Lortel Award Winner- Best Revival, Obie Award Winner- Director Dan Wackerman), Robyn Burland's PIECEWORK " and Charles Mee's BIG LOVE at Theatre for A New City, among others. Shakespeare credits include: Adriana in COMEDY OF ERRORS, Regan in KING LEAR, Celia in AS YOU LIKE IT, Mistress Ford in MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, Maria in TWELFTH NIGHT, Lady Macbeth, Horatio in HAMLET and Portia in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. She can currently be seen in film festivals around the country in the short film, "Monsura Is Waiting", which received the Best Fantasy Film Award at The Mexico Int'l Film Festival, as well as a Silver Remi Award at the Houston Int'l Film Fest. She'll appear in 2015 opposite Katherine Heigl as Darlene in the independent feature, "Your Right Mind". Nell is a proud Actor's Equity member, and is represented locally by TMG. Many thanks to Dan and Miss D, Cynthia and Keven, and all of YOU.

TRACIE MERRILL-WILSON* (Catherine)
Tracie is thrilled to return to SLAC to work with this amazing group of artists. SLAC credits include the 2010 Fearless Fringe Festival (SB DANCE'S YOGA CONFIDENTIAL and THE HARVEY GIRLS) as well as ICE GLEN. A transplant from back east, other favorite local and regional works include: RINGS (Grand Theatre), CHEAT, STOP & KISS (Pygmalion), LADY MACBETH, Di Esperienza, SLAM (Plan-B), DRACULA (PTC), THE RAINMAKER (Hale), METAMORPHOSES, AS YOU LIKE IT (Clarence Brown Theatre), LA BETE (Theater at Monmouth) and three Shakespeare tours. Tracie also takes great pride in being involved in readings to develop new plays. A proud member of AEA, she received her MFA from UT-Knoxville and a classical degree from Weber Douglas Academy in London. Endless love to Scott, both of their families, and huge thanks to her Dad for hours spent running lines.

JEANETTE PUHICH* (Alice)
Jeanette is excited to be on the boards at SLAC again! Her past SLAC credits include THE WATER PROJECT, SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS, THE RIDE DOWN MOUNT MORGAN, THE BEARD OF AVON, MERE MORTALS, NAPOLEON'S CHINA, GUNMETAL BLUES and CABBIES, COYBOYS, AND THE TREE OF THE WEEPING VIRGIN. She also played Haley Walker in the one woman show, BAD DATES. She also proudly played Roma Downey, Gayle Ruzika (or Godzika or Gadzicka , etc) Paula The Porn Czar and A ZCMI Manikin, to name a few, in 13 seasons of SATURDAY'S VOYEUR. Other Utah credits include; Dot in Last Lists of MY MAD MOTHER for Pygmalion Theatre Company; Yitzak in HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH for Plan B Theatre; Rosie in BYE BYE BIRDIE at The Grand Theatre; Janet in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at the Institute of Terror and ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARDEN at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City. Jeanette is originally from Seattle Washington where she performed at Pioneer Square Theatre, The Group Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Tacoma Actor's Guild and The Cabaret de Paris. Jeanette also works in the television, film and voice over industry. Some of her film and television credits include; Touched By An Angel, Promised Land, Everwood, Gentleman Broncos and Mobsters and Mormons. This December Jeanette will be seen in Plan B Theatre's production of Julie Jensen's CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS. Jeanette holds a bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts from The University of Idaho.

ROBERT SCOTT SMITH* (Don)
Robert is the Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory. In September Flying Bobcat collaborated with the SLC Men's Choir to create LOST IN THE WOODS a theatrical concert at The Masonic Temple. This past May collaborated with choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen, NOW-ID and NYC Playwright Troy Deutsch to create FEAST a site-specific performance at The Great Saltair. As former Creative Director at The Leonardo he created the POPUP@LEO program. Co-created and performed in SENSES 5, LOVE, and MIND OVER MATTER. As a professional actor, his NYC credits include KEEPING ISHMAEL (Workshop); PERICLES (SLANT); and the co-development of Roger Benington's new work, MORMON BIRD PLAY. SLC acting credits include SHHH! BURLESQUE, PAINS OF YOUTH, AND SANTALAND DIARIES with Tooth and Nail Theatre; GOOD PEOPLE, CHARM (World Premiere), SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS, SIX YEARS, BIG LOVE, BATBOY: THE MUSICAL, and GROSS DECENCY with Salt Lake Acting Company; OUR TOWN with The Grand Theatre; and BASH with Plan-B. Film and TV credits: Wildlife, Blessing, Animae, Guiding Light. Print: The Unfortunate Moment of Misunderstanding (Jim Fiscus). Education: MFA Old Globe Theatre San Diego; BFA Actor Training Program University of Utah.

WHO:
Salt Lake Acting Company

WHAT:
RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN
By Gina Gionfriddo

WHEN:
October 22 through November 16, 2014
Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays at 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
Additional performances on Tuesday November 4 at 7:30 p.m. & Saturday November 15 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Salt Lake Acting Company
168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City

PRICE:
Single tickets range from $15 to $42, depending on the performance.
Student, Senior and 30 & Under discounts are available.
Discounts are also available for groups of ten or more.

MORE INFORMATION:
Box Office: 801-363-7522
Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
www.saltlakeactingcompany.org

CAST:
Stewart Fullerton Avery
Nell Gwynn* Gwen
Tracie Merrill-Wilson* Catherine
Jeanette Puhich* Alice
Robert Scott-Smith* Don

ARTISTIC TEAM:
Director Adrianne Moore
Assistant Director Heidi Olsen
Set Design Keven Myhre
Costume Design Brenda Van Der Wiel
Lighting Design James M. Craig
Sound Design Shea Madson
Production Stage Manager Janice Jenson*

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

NOW PLAYING:
I'LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS By John Logan
Running now through October 26, 2014.

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
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
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 08:20

Rapture, Blister, Burn

by Gina Gionfriddo 

Obie Award-Winning Playwright

October 22 - November 16, 2014

Directed by Adrianne Moore

Featuring performances by Stewart Fullerton, Nell Gwynn, Tracie Merrill-Wilson, Jeanette Puhich, and Robert Scott Smith

Published in 2014-2015 Season
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