Displaying items by tag: New Play Sounding Series

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 13:13

LAURA AND THE SEA by Kate Tarker

New Play Sounding Series Free Reading
Monday, November 21 @ 7pm

Director: Shannon Musgrave
Cast: Anne Louise Brings, Eric Cadora, Dee-Dee Darby Duffin, Jacob Russell Johnson, Melanie Nelson, Topher Rasmussen

It’s company outing day, and Laura, one of the top travel agents of her generation, is having the best / worst day of her life. So much so that she decides to end it all. Afterwards, her colleagues try to piece things together on a memorial blog, but how do you mourn someone you didn’t know that well?

A comedy about depression, or: a treatise on travel agents who don’t travel.

Workshopped in the 2016 SLAC Playwrights' Lab, LAURA AND THE SEA has gone on to be developed in the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, was a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, the Princess Grace Award, and was a semi-finalist for the Relentless Award.

SLAC thanks the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their generous support of this vital program.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 14:44

MERCURY by Steve Yockey

New Play Sounding Series Free Reading
Monday, April 25 @ 7pm

Director: Dave Mortensen
Featuring: Brighton Hertford, Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, Elise Groves, Jenessa Bowen, Stephen Drabicki, Tito Livas, Aaron Adams
Reader: Joy Haynes

This pitch black comedy has an illicit affair, a couple hanging on by a thread, bears at the window, and an adorable missing dog named Mr Bundles. No one's happy, people stop being nice, and blood spills in a story that mashes up violent myth and ideas about "good neighbors" to explore what happens when the mercury rises.

SLAC thanks the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their generous support of this vital program.

Thursday, 14 January 2016 17:14

WINTER by Julie Jensen

New Play Sounding Series Free Reading
Monday, February 1 @ 7pm

Director: Tracy Callahan
Featuring: Daniel Beecher, Anne Louise Brings, Anne Cullimore Decker, Cragun Foulger, Bob Nelson
Stage Manager/Reader: Sarah Danielle Young

WINTER is the story of an older couple who has an end-of-life pact, until one of them backs out. This new play from Julie Jensen, inspired by the story "Robeck" by Margaret Pabst Battin, is a beautiful tale of family and the right to die.

SLAC thanks the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their generous support of this vital program.

Friday, 06 November 2015 15:11

STAG'S LEAP by Sharon Olds

New Play Sounding Series Free Reading
Monday, November 9 @ 7pm


Director: Nancy Borgenicht
Featuring: Meg Gibson, Tamara Howell, Valerie Kittel, Susan Levin, and Shannon Musgrave
Dramaturg: Kathleen Cahill
Stage Manager: Justin Ivie


In this intimate sequence of poems, which tell the story of Sharon Olds' divorce, the author opens her heart, sharing the feeling of invisibility that comes when we are no longer standing in love's sight; the surprising physical passion that still exists between a couple during parting; and the loss of everything from her husband's smile to the set of his hip. Adapted for a theatrical reading by Nancy Borgenicht, STAG'S LEAP is both an elegantly personal story of divorce and a universal journey through love, sex, sorrow, memory, and new freedom.


SLAC thanks the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their generous support of this vital program.


*First published in Stag's Leap (Alfred A Knopf) copyright Sharon Olds 2012

Friday, 02 October 2015 15:18


New Play Sounding Series Free Reading
Monday, September 21, 2015 @ 7pm


Director: Shannon Musgrave
Cast: Olivia Custodio, Danny Egan, Brighton Hertford, Patrick Kintz, William Richardson
Stage Manager/Reader: Sarah Danielle Young


Sloane isn't sure why exactly her husband Timothy brought home a probably dangerous drifter. It's something about "doing a good deed." Of course, it's hard to think straight when her kleptomaniac neighbor keeps dropping by to chat and steal. And then things get violent. BLEEDING HEARTS is a dark farce about the disappearing middle class and the way people can slowly forget how to put themselves in each others' shoes. 


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Thursday, 29 January 2015 15:28


Tiny Program coverOn Monday February 2nd, the words of Tony Kushner will once again reverberate off the walls here at the Salt Lake Acting Company. SLAC is proud to present TINY KUSHER, a series of five short one-act plays by Kushner that is presented in conjunction with the Tanner Humanities Center's lecture with Mr. Kushner on February 5 at Kingsbury Hall, with support from Lee and Audrey Hollaar. Kushner's work is no stranger to the SLAC stage; SLAC was one of the first regional theaters to produce ANGELS IN AMERICA in 1995. It was brought back to the SLAC stage in 2010 for the company's 40th anniversary. Keven Myhre, Executive Producer at SLAC and director of the 2010 re-envisioning of the play, said that ANGELS was the one play that "encapsulated SLAC's mission to produce vibrant new work in contemporary theater... [it] defined that moment in our history."

TINY KUSHNER, unlike ANGELS, won't keep you in your seat for seven hours. Out of the five short plays, all but one feature characters who really existed, including Laura Bush. In typical productions of TINY KUSHNER, only four actors play the multitude of these eccentric personalities, but SLAC will be using a total of twelve different actors for each play. Director Robin Wilks-Dunn says, "When I heard Tony Kushner was coming to Kingsbury Hall, I thought it would be a nice community event to do a reading of one of his scripts that hasn't been done in Salt Lake before. And I thought the perfect partner would be Salt Lake Acting Company."

If you have never had the chance to hear the words of award-winning Tony Kushner in person, TINY KUSHNER is the perfect opportunity for you. You'll get five different samples all for the price of nothing! Bon appetit, theater goers! It is not to be missed.


-Olivia Custodio

Published in Blog & News
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

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

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:34

2014-2015 Season Press Release


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.


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. 


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 (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.

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.

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.



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