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Living/Losing the American Dream Panel | Press Release

February 04, 2015

News Release
January 27, 2015
For Immediate Release

Salt Lake Acting Company Presents:
A FREE Panel Discussion
Living/Losing the American Dream
Based on themes in TWO STORIES
Sunday, February 15 @ 2:30 pm

On Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) will host a free panel discussion entitled Living/Losing the American Dream featuring the views of Rep. Angela Romero, Safi Safiullah, Elaine Jarvik, and Tim Chambless with moderation by Terry Gildea.

In conjunction with Jarvik's new play TWO STORIES, which brings to light questions of the 'American Dream,' the discussion will focus on the definition of the 'American Dream' as seen by those who were born in the United States and those who immigrated here. "Living/Losing The American Dream" will bring together a panel of diverse experts from around Salt Lake City to take an in depth look at the so-called "American Dream." Who can live it now? Has its meaning changed? Have some people let it slip away—or have some had the dream taken away from them?

The American dream that once universally consisted of the small little house with the white picket fence has evolved, and is now diverse and individualized. TWO STORIES reflects these changes and explores the issues that develop when there is no longer only one collective idea of success.

An article on New America Media states: "There are two versions of the American Dream. The first is the Dream of the outsiders, the immigrants that say 'I will come to America and I will change my life.' For those born in the United States, there's a different notion. It's not about changing one's life. It's about acquiring more, or trying to hold on to what you have. In that sense the American Dream is failing those who live in this country but not failing those who come to this country. The American Dream is alive and well all over the world, but it is dying in the United States." (http://newamericamedia.org/2014/09/qa-what-is-the-american-dream.php)

Audiences will leave TWO STORIES with a lot to talk about. SLAC invites everyone – whether they have seen the play yet or not – to attend this free panel discussion armed with questions, opinions, and an appetite for compelling discussion.

This program has received funding from Utah Humanities. UH offers funding to empower individuals and groups in Utah to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.


Tim Chambless is an Associate Professor/Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and the Academic Outreach Coordinator for the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. He speaks frequently to community groups and to the news media on politics and government. This play is very interesting to Tim – for academic reasons, for personal family reasons. July 4th their daughter Dominique will marry her long-time boyfriend, Mike, whose father was born and raised in Pakistan. They have had interesting and provocative talks with Ali -- their future father-in-law. Together, they have explored matters found in this play: "Two Stories."

Elaine Jarvik is author of TWO STORIES, and playwright in residence at Salt lake Acting Company. Her credits the short play DEAD RIGHT was produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in 2008 and has been anthologized in the "Bedford Introduction to Literature." Her full-length play (A MAN ENTERS) was produced by the Salt Lake Acting Company in 2011, and THE COMING ICE AGE was produced by Pygmalion Theatre in 2010. Jarvik has spent most of her writing career as a journalist, first for the Deseret News and more recently freelancing, earning national awards for reporting.

Rep. Angela Romero was elected to the Utah State Legislature in 2012. Representing House District 26, Angela has been an advocate for issues that matter to working families in the district. Angela is the Community Programs & Operations Manager for the Sorenson Unity Center where she oversees community programming in the Glendale, Poplar Grove and Rose Park neighborhoods. Through her work with residents and community organizations, she is able to implement programming that best serves the community.

Safi Safiullah is originally from Bangladesh. He studied at the University of Dhaka and graduated from the University of Benghazi in Libya with a BA degree in teaching History. In 1983, Safi moved to Canada to pursue a higher education and received a MA degree in History, specializing in South Asian Middle Eastern Studies. He earned his PhD in Middle Eastern History from the University of Utah where he currently serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. He works at the Salt Lake City Public Library as the Manager of the Browsing Library but will be moving to manage the new Marmalade Branch Library scheduled to open in October 2015! Safi considers himself an activist when it comes to promoting education.


Terry Gildea will serve as our moderator. He is originally from San Antonio where he spent four years as a reporter and host at Texas Public Radio. While at KSTX, he created, produced and hosted the station's first local talk show, The Source; he covered San Antonio's military community for the station and for NPR's Impact of War Project. Terry's features on wounded warriors, families on the home front and veterans navigating life after war have aired on Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and All Things Considered. His half-hour radio documentary exploring the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center was honored by the Houston Press and the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. Prior to his position in San Antonio, Terry covered Congress for two years with Capitol News Connection and Public Radio International. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Washington and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He moderated several SLAC panel discussions, most recently the November 2014 panel discussion in conjunction with RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN.

Salt Lake Acting Company

Free Panel Discussion:

Sunday, February 8 @ 2:30 p.m.

168 West 500 North
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103

By Elaine Jarvik
February 4-March 1, 2015
Wednesdays – Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
*New this season: additional Tuesday evening and Saturday matinee performances:
Tuesday, February 17 & 24, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 21 & 28, 2:00 p.m.

Salt Lake Acting Company
168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84103
Box Office: 801-363-7522, Open 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
Single tickets range from $15 – $42, depending on the performance.
Student, Senior and 30 & Under discounts are available.
Discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more. Subscribers always pay the lowest price.

*Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC)'s mission is to engage and enrich community through brave contemporary theatre. Founded in 1970, SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre 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 and is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group (a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres), and the National New Play Network (a national alliance of non-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays).


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