[SALT LAKE CITY, UT, FEBRUARY 16, 2021] - Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), Utah’s leading destination for brave, contemporary theatre, announces the second installment in its first-ever New Play Sounding Series Festival. The virtual festival, comprised of three new works written by, directed by, and starring BIPOC artists, launched last month with DADDY ISSUES by Kimi Handa Brown.
The second play selected for SLAC’s festival is HAIRY & SHERRI by Adrienne Dawes, a self-described “Afro-Latina playwright, producer, and teaching artist originally from Austin, TX.” Dawes, who received her bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College, studied sketch comedy and improv at Chicago’s Second City. In addition to being a company member of Austin’s Salvage Vanguard Theater, her work has been developed and/or produced around the world; including LA’s Sacred Fools, English Theatre Berlin, National Black Theatre, B Street Theatre, and many others. Dawes describes HAIRY & SHERRI as follows:
Hairy and Sherri (Sharon) are an “adorkable” interracial couple living in gentrified East Austin. When they very graciously and publicly open their home to Ryshi, a 12-year-old former foster care youth with special needs, Hairy and Sherri are confronted with the ugly realities of their marriage and “good” intentions.
"I am so grateful for the invitation to develop new work with SLAC. This workshop has provided precious resources (like a professional director, dedicated dramaturg, and stage manager) that can be difficult to come by, especially when self-producing,” said Dawes. “I feel an abundance of support from collaborators (new and old) to grow my play-in-progress. I'm excited to see where this exploration and collaboration leads."
Making her directorial return (albeit virtually) to SLAC is Melissa Crespo, who helmed the theatre company’s world premiere of Charly Evon Simpson’s FORM OF A GIRL UNKNOWN in 2019. Proving to be one of the nation’s most sought-after directors, Crespo has developed work at LAByrinth Theater Company, New Dramatists, The Lark and many other theatres across the country. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and received her MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama (where is also a faculty member).
Appearing in HAIRY & SHERRI are Christian DeMarais (Hairy Speyer), Cherrye J. Davis (Sherri Speyer), Jason Veasey (Ryshi Speyer), SLAC alum Trayven Call (Ryshi Only), and Eva McQuade (Vera Castillo). SLAC Playwrights’ Lab alum Phaedra Michelle Scott serves as dramaturg, Wendy Joseph will read stage directions, and Jennie Sant is stage manager.
The NPSS Festival reading of HAIRY & SHERRI is free to the public and will take place Tuesday, January 23rd at 7pm via Zoom. Attendees can register here.
To further SLAC’s commitment to making theatre accessible to all, open captioning will be provided through Otter.ai. Those seeking assistance with accommodation requests can contact SLAC’s Accessibility Coordinator, Natalie Keezer at or by calling 801-363-7522.
SLAC acknowledges the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their generous support of the New Play Sounding Series.