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Salt Lake Acting Company - NPSS

As we gear up for an exciting 51st Season, we're pleased to announce the final New Play Sounding Series reading of our 50th: Let’s Fix Andy by Rachel Bublitz.


The free reading will take place in SLAC’s Upstairs Theatre on Monday, August 1st at 7pm. Let’s Fix Andy is described by the playwright as follows: 

Andy’s best friends, Logan, Marcus, and George, decide it’s time they step in after he’s been dumped by his long time girlfriend, to snap him out of his funk. Each armed with their own idea of what Andy needs, they drag him to the gym, the bar, and the woods. They can’t lose another friend. A play about friendship, body image, and feelings… Even the feelings we tell ourselves not to feel.

Let’s Fix Andy marks the second New Play Sounding Series reading for Bublitz. Her play Burst received a reading at SLAC in September, 2018. Burst has since gone on to be named as a finalist in the 2022 National New Play Network Showcase. Another previous work by Bublitz, Ripped, received a special reading for university students at SLAC in 2017.

"Let's Fix Andy" promo artwork featuring an abstract image of a paper heart and hammer. Show credits are also included.


RSVP Here

In anticipation of the August 1st reading, Bublitz provided the following statement: "I jump at any opportunity to work at Salt Lake Acting Company. They've helped me develop a couple of my plays (Ripped and Burst), and I'm thrilled for this new opportunity to work on Let's Fix Andy there. I always find the level of artistry and support through the roof, and being a local writer, I love how they connect with other local artists."

Comprising the cast of the NPSS reading of Let’s Fix Andy are SLAC alum Tito Livas (SLACabaret: Down the Rabbit Hole) as George, Topher Rasmussen (Fun Home) as Logan, and Jordan Reynosa (Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”) as Marcus. They are joined by Aidan Tappert (Liminal: A New Work at the University of Utah), who makes his SLAC/NPSS debut as Andy. Chris Curlett, a recent cast member of Passing Strange, will read stage directions. Directing the reading will be Jason Bowcutt, who also co-directed SLAC’s 50th Season opener, Four Women Talking About the Man Under the Sheet.

While admission to the NPSS Reading of Let’s Fix Andy is free, reservations are required. They can be reserved via the link above or by contacting the SLAC Audience Relationship Team at or 801-363-7522.

All SLAC attendees must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of the event. (No home tests.) Masks are optional. For more information about Salt Lake Acting Company, visit SaltLakeActingCompany.org.

 

 

Published in Blog & News

We're delighted to announce our first in–person New Play Sounding Series reading in over two years: Sleeping Giant by Steve Yockey. The free reading will take place in SLAC’s Upstairs Theatre on Monday, May 2nd at 7pm.


Salt Lake Acting Company audiences will remember two previous world premieres authored by Yockey: Blackberry Winter (2015) and Mercury (2017). Since seeing Mercury receive its world premiere at SLAC, Yockey has gone on to become a multi award-nominated (WGA, PGA, Emmy) creator of the popular HBO Max series The Flight Attendant.

Sleeping Giant, a new play which will also receive a full production at SLAC next season, is described by the playwright as follows:

When a firework-filled marriage proposal goes very wrong, the accompanying explosions wake up something very old that’s been sleeping in the nearby lake for thousands of years. What follows are intimate, darkly comic, and sometimes startling vignettes about the lengths people go when they desperately want something to believe in.

Sleeping Giant Final Graphic

“After truly killer experiences with Blackberry Winter and Mercury, SLAC has become a vital and dynamic creative partner,” stated Yockey. “Their artists and their audiences just get it. And Cynthia [Fleming] sets the bar for artistic excellence. I'm thrilled to be back.”

Comprising the cast of the NPSS reading of Sleeping Giant are SLAC alum Alexis Baigue (Stupid F***ing Bird), Lily Hye Soo Dixon (Mercury), Tito Livas (Mercury) and Cassie Stokes-Wylie (Death of a Driver). Kimi Handa Brown, playwright from last year’s NPSS reading of Daddy Issues, will read stage directions. Directing the reading will be Emilio Casillas in his SLAC directorial debut. Casillas is also a co-writer of the upcoming #SLACabaret 2022.

RSVP Here

While admission to the NPSS reading of Sleeping Giant is free, reservations are required. They can be reserved directly via the link above, or by contacting the SLAC Audience Relationship Team at or 801-363-7522.

Please note: all SLAC attendees must show proof of full vaccination and wear a properly-fitting mask. Please visit our COVID-19 safety guide for more information.

Production images from Mercury and Blackberry Winter. All images by David Daniels.

Published in Blog & News

Live Zoom reading of Melissa Crespo and Sarah Saltwick’s EGRESS to take place March 29

[SALT LAKE CITY, UT, MARCH 22, 2021] - Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), Utah’s leading destination for brave, contemporary theatre, announces the third and final installment of 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 in January with DADDY ISSUES by Kimi Handa Brown, followed by HAIRY & SHERRI by Adrienne Dawes in February.

The final play selected for SLAC’s festival is EGRESS by Melissa Crespo and Sarah Saltwick. Saltwick describes EGRESS as follows:

You are an expert on safety, but you no longer feel safe. You have just moved to a small college town to teach architecture, but you realize that your nightmares have followed you. And now, uncertainty lies around every corner. EGRESS is a provocative psychological thriller that draws us into the mind of a woman struggling to face her fears.

A multifaceted theatre artist, Melissa Crespo directed the NPSS Festival presentation of HAIRY & SHERRI, as well as SLAC’s 2019 world premiere of Charly Evon Simpson’s FORM OF A GIRL UNKNOWN. She has developed work at LAByrinth Theater Company, New Dramatists, The Lark and many other theatres across the country. Sarah Saltwick is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin and was a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. Her plays have been produced or developed by Cleveland Playhouse, the Lark, the Vortex, and many others. EGRESS is currently to have its world premiere later this year at Amphibian Stage in Fort Worth, TX.

“It's such a gift to be able to work on EGRESS at Salt Lake Acting Company. One of my favorite things about making theater is the alchemy that happens within a creative team,” stated Co-writer Saltwick. “Every reading, every rehearsal process, becomes its own unique event. I am craving creative spaces these days, I think we all are. I'm excited to see what is revealed by this process.”

A promotional image featuring eight headshots of the cast, director, dramaturg, and playwrights of EGRESS

Colette Robert, in her virtual SLAC debut, directs EGRESS. Robert’s credits include Charly Evon Simpson’s BEHIND THE SHEET (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and Nambi E. Kelley’s NATIVE SON (PlayMakers Repertory Company). She is also a playwright, a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, a New George's affiliated artist, and an adjunct lecturer at New York University.

Appearing in EGRESS are SLAC alumni Austin Archer (SILENT DANCER) as Man and Latoya Cameron (FOUR WOMEN TALKING ABOUT THE MAN UNDER THE SHEET) as Woman. Naomi Lorrain, a Harlem-based artist who has appeared onstage at Ensemble Studio Theatre and Williamstown Theatre Festival, makes her virtual SLAC debut as You. Massachusetts-based Janice Paran serves as dramaturg, Taylor Wallace will read stage directions, and Jennie Sant is stage manager.

The NPSS Festival reading of EGRESS is free to the public and will take place Monday, March 29th at 7pm via Zoom. Attendees can register via this link.

To further SLAC’s commitment to making theatre accessible to all, open captioning will be provided through Otter. 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 and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their generous support of the New Play Sounding Series.

Published in Blog & News

Live Zoom reading of Adrienne Dawes’ HAIRY & SHERRI to take place Feb 23

[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."

Square copy

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.

Published in Blog & News

Salt lake acting company announces first-ever new play sounding series festival, highlighting BIPOC artists. The Three-play festival begins January 25 with Kimi Handa Brown’s DADDY ISSUES

[SALT LAKE CITY, UT, JANUARY 18, 2021] - Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), Utah’s leading destination for brave, contemporary theatre, proudly announces its first-ever New Play Sounding Series Festival. The virtual festival, comprised of three new works, will be presented free to the public in January, February, and March, respectively. Details for the February and March readings will be announced at a later date.

Building on its support of Black Lives Matter and commitment to making meaningful and lasting change at SLAC and the American theatre as a whole, Salt Lake Acting Company specially sought new plays written, and to be directed by, BIPOC artists. A focus on diversity has also been made in casting for the festival.

“For nearly 30 years, SLAC has presented cutting-edge works by burgeoning playwrights through its New Play Sounding Series. But for too long, the voices of so many in our BIPOC communities have been silenced by systemic oppression in the American theatre,” said Executive Artistic Director Cynthia Fleming. “SLAC is committed to playing its part in implementing meaningful and lasting change. It is in this spirit that we present our first ever NPSS Festival. Each of these three plays is written and directed by some of the most promising voices the American theatre has to offer.”

“Nearly a year into this pandemic, we’re continuing to learn more about ourselves and community. We’ve been forced to face a temporary reality where live theatre is not a part of our lives. I’m proud of the work we’ve put into creating digital entertainment, yet I’m even more humbled by our supportive audiences who continue to adapt with us,” continued Fleming. “We’ve been encouraged by the response to our digital offerings (CLIMBING WITH TIGERS, AMERICAN DREAMS)—so much so, that we’ve decided to bring the community three new digital works over the next few months, instead of the previously-announced single. This allows us to uphold what SLAC has always done best: develop new works for our adventurous audiences.”

Founded in 1994, Salt Lake Acting Company’s New Play Sounding Series (NPSS) is the longest-running reading series of its kind in Utah. Past works that have been workshopped in the NPSS to later receive full productions at SLAC (and elsewhere) include SILENT DANCER and HARBUR GATE by Kathleen Cahill, MERCURY by Steve Yockey, STAG’S LEAP by Sharon Olds, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS by Mike Daisey, A SLIGHT DISCOMFORT by Jeff Metcalf, and THE RECEPTIONIST by Adam Bock.

NPSS Daddy Issues

Kicking off the NPSS Festival is DADDY ISSUES by Kimi Handa Brown. In addition to appearing in last year’s SLAC DIGTIAL SHORTS series, Brown is a recent graduate of the University of Utah, where the play had a digital student production last year. The NPSS Festival production will be directed by Summer L. Williams, who serves as Associate Artistic Director at Company One Theatre in Boston. The play is described as follows:

DADDY ISSUES is a new play focused on four college girls and how their experiences with the men in their lives affect them on a day-to-day basis. We follow them throughout their days as they bond with each other, make mistakes, and try to learn to grow during a time when it seems that everyone else's opinion matters more than your own.

“This whole experience is a dream come true. Salt Lake Acting Company has provided me with the best environment to learn and grow. This also feels like a second chance for Daddy Issues, which will be nurtured in a professional setting with wonderful working artists,” said Brown. “I have loved being able to work on this play in its many iterations, especially during a time when theater is scarce.”

Appearing in DADDY ISSUES are Brynn Duncan (Daphne), Helena Goei (Jade), Eva Merrill (Bridget), Nadia Sine (Laney), and Matthew Rudolph (Jackson). Francisca Da Silveira serves as dramaturg, Sammee Jackman will read stage directions, and Jennie Sant is stage manager.

The virtual reading of DADDY ISSUES is free to the public.

SLAC acknowledges the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation for their generous support of the New Play Sounding Series.

Published in Blog & News

 

As our record-breaking New Play Sounding Series enters its 26th year of nurturing exciting works from some of the country's most gifted voices, we're pleased to announce the February 17th reading of local playwright Shawn Fisher's new play, THE (obsolete) UNKINDNESS OF RAVENSSHAWN FISHERShawn Fisher

After many miles and days of hiking through relentless rain, six waterlogged strangers converge on a tiny mountain shelter that they are forced to share. Deb, a wilderness-loving professor of ornithology, and her wife Marley, an urban food truck chef are journeying to save their marriage by rediscovering why these two opposites fell in love in the first place. "Brando" is about to be kicked out of college and takes his awkward fantasy-loving younger step-brother, Paul, into the mountains where they discover the meaning of strength, loyalty and brotherhood. Bee, an impulsive 16 year old, and her new 40-year-old companion Edward travel the trail together, until their relationship is challenged by Bee and the others at the camp. As they each attempt to dry out and struggle for their own small patch of relief, they soon discover that some journeys are not meant to be taken alone.

THE (obsolete) UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS marks Fisher’s fourth play to receive a NPSS reading. According to the playwright, “It’s easy to convince myself that something I have written is either fabulous or disastrous, both of which are almost always wrong. There is always something worth keeping and something that needs changing, but until we experience an audience’s response and hear their feedback, it’s a lot of guesswork.” In regard to the importance of feedback from SLAC patrons, Fisher adds, “[the audiences] truly give us a sense of how the plays are being received. This is the most vital final link between the private process of sitting alone at the keyboard and a fully produced public performance of a play. I am so grateful that SLAC and the supporters of the New Play Sounding Series give us the time, space, and support to do this.”

Cast Grid 16x9Clockwise from top left: Mollee Barse, AJ Black, Cat Evangelho, Anne-Marie Kate, Matt Koenig, Cameron Neeley, and Alex Smith

Appearing in THE (obsolete) UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS are Mollee Barse (Marley), AJ Black (Brando), Cat Evangelho (Debra), Anne-Marie Kate (Bee), Matt Koenig (Edward), and Alex Smith (Paul). Richie Call serves as director, Cameron S. Neeley will read stage directions, and Tanner Sase is stage manager.

Founded in 1994, Salt Lake Acting Company’s New Play Sounding Series (NPSS) is the longest-running reading series of its kind in Utah. Past works that have been workshopped in the NPSS to later receive full productions at SLAC (and elsewhere) include SILENT DANCER and HARBUR GATE by Kathleen Cahill, MERCURY by Steve Yockey, STAG’S LEAP by Sharon Olds, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS by Mike Daisey, A SLIGHT DISCOMFORT by Jeff Metcalf, and THE RECEPTIONIST by Adam Bock. Elaine Jarvik’s FOUR WOMEN TALKING ABOUT THE MAN UNDER THE SHEET, featured during last season’s NPSS, will receive its world premiere at SLAC March 12-22, 2020.

THE (obsolete) UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made via SLAC’s website or by calling 801.363.7522.

 

SLAC acknowledges

Doctorow

for their generous support of the New Play Sounding Series.

 

Published in Blog & News

New Play Sounding Series
Free Reading

Monday, October 14 @ 7pm

Director: Robin Wilks-Dunn

Actors: Sean Carter, Barb Ganddy, Tamara Johnson-Howell, Dan Larrinaga, Tito Livas*, Morgan Lund*, Nicki Nixon, Lane Richins*, Natalie Keezer

Stage Manager: Katelyn Limber*

Summer, 1998. Once popular, Arrowhead Community Pool has seen membership decline for years. Retired pool president Dorothy Wilson blames video games and air-conditioning. But when new pool president Freddie Rosedale abolishes Dorothy's longstanding alcohol ban and installs a frozen margarita machine, the place comes back to life, and a battle begins. SWIMMING POOL is a dark ensemble comedy about American excess and restraint on the cusp of the 21st Century.

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

New Play Sounding Series
Free Reading

Monday, March 4 @ 7pm

 

Director: Jason Bowcutt

Dramaturg: Camille Washington

Actors: Colleen Baum, Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, Susanna Florence, Tamara Howell, Nicki Nixon

Reader: Michelle Love-Day

Stage Manager: Katelyn Limber

 

On the morning of February 21, 1895, the day after the great man died, Susan B. Anthony shows up on his widow’s doorstep. She is there to grieve — but is she also feeling guilty? FOUR WOMEN TALKING ABOUT THE MAN UNDER THE SHEET is an exploration of feminism and race, asking “what compromises should you make in pursuit of a cause?”

 

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

Reserve Tickets Here

Doors open at 6:30pm. Open seating; first come, first served.

New Play Sounding Series
Free Reading

Monday, October 29 @ 7pm

 

Director: Per Smedegaard
Assistant Director: Cynthia Fleming

Actors: April Fossen, Nicki Nixon, Topher Rasmussen, Lane Richins, Cassandra Stokes-Wylie
Reader: Joshua Black

Stage Manager: William Richardson
Sound Technician: Katelyn Limber

 

From Denmark's Teatret Svalegangen, comes this racy, absurd, yet painfully relatable new play about the many faces of feminism.

 

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

Doors open at 6:30pm. Open seating; first come, first served. 

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS HERE
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