“Silent Dancer” at SLAC ft. Theatre Alumni

9 Apr , 2019  

World premiere play, Silent Dancer starring Musical Theatre Program alumni Mikki Reeve, Alice Ryan, and Makayla Cussen is now playing at Salt Lake Acting Company April 10-May 12.

Described as “dance/play/romance” by Utah-based playwright Kathleen Cahill, Silent Dancer is a world of dangerous love, secret identities, maids, dancers, criminals, silent movies, and the most famous couple in New York–Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. A groundbreaking theatrical experience which expresses the pulse, the change, and the infinite possibilities of life in America.

Department of Theatre Professors Michael Horejsi (lighting design) and Jen Jackson (sound design) are part of the creative team in this Jazz Age romance.

SILENT DANCER | Salt Lake Acting Company April 10-May 12 | tickets available here.

This play contains adult themes.

“First time I saw Zelda, I thought she was a mermaid.”–Rosie Quinn in reference to Zelda Fitzgerald, played by Alice Ryan (pictured). Photograph courtesy of SLAC.


“American Pride” by PADP Alumna, Iris Salazar at Plan-B Theatre

1 Apr , 2019  

Department of Theatre Performing Arts Design Program alumna, Iris Salazar premiered her play, American Pride as one of four short plays that comprised “…Of Color” at Plan-B Theatre Company in March, 2019.

Story below retrieved from

Playwright Iris Salazar was born in Gomez, Palacios, Durango, Mexico. She has lived in Salt Lake City since she was eight months old and became a citizen in 2000. A member of Plan-B’s Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop, she makes her playwriting debut this season with a very, very dark comedy about making America great again: “American Pride” is one of four short plays that comprise …OF COLOR, premiering in March of 2019.

I knew when I signed up for the Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop that I wanted to write a piece that reflected my political thoughts. I am not a politician, and I have never been able to articulate or debate politics in any way. I went through a torrent of emotions as I watched Donald Trump attack groups of people and brag about his sexual predatory behavior during his campaign but I naively believed that we would never allow this man to preside over our country. My disappointment, anger, and sadness were far too large to measure and simply get over as some would suggest. I found myself posting everything anti-Trump that I could post on social media. In the process, I discovered that people who I knew, went to church with and even admired were supportive and defensive of this individual.

One day I saw a picture of an acquaintance on social media standing next to Mike Pence. She is an educated, well-to-do and respected Christian Lady. She studied politics, is in-the-know when it comes to political policies and she is persuasive. That picture was the beginning of my short play. As a person of color, I didn’t think I could write a play about white racists, but white people write about people of color all the time, and not always in a good light. So I took what I saw and created “American Pride.” This was not only a fantastic writing workshop for artists of color but, on a personal level, it was a way for me to work through my emotions surrounding our current political state.



“The Live Creature and Ethereal Things” FEB 1-2 at the Capitol Theatre

25 Jan , 2019  

Photo Credit: Tori Duhaime

The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company presents, ‘the live creature and ethereal things’ Feb. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre

This production is in collaboration with Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory, founded by University of Utah Assistant Professors, Robert Scott Smith and Alexandra Harbold.

the live creature and ethereal things’ draws inspiration from the Red Fred Project which collaborates with children living in extraordinary circumstances (rare diseases, critical illnesses, life-limiting situations) and asks them the question: If you could write a book for the entire world to read, what would it be about? Their stories are full of colorful characters both humorous and wise.

Guest performer Robert Scott Smith joins the company on this curious, shapeshifting, and theatrical quest. Flying Bobcat’s adaptation with storytelling with both English and Spanish, explores the power of storytelling and forming connections in a magical theatrical quest to prove that every voice matters.

Choreography by Artistic Director Daniel Charon, storyline in collaboration with Alexandra Harbold and Robert Scott Smith of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory, and original score created by John Paul Hayward. Additional support provided by Mary Jane O’Connor, the Price Family Foundation, and Zions Bank. Music commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.

Tickets: $35 ($40 day of)

Purchase Tickets:

Rehearsal photos by Tori Duhaime


Alumni Spotlight: Ash Patlan

25 Jan , 2019  

Ash Patlan on the left in “Halfway” by Emily Schwend

Tell us about yourself: Name, where you are from, what theatre emphasis you did, graduation year, what you do and how you got into your field of work?

Hi! I’m Ash Patlan. I’m from Sandy, Utah, and I graduated from the Actor Training Program in the Spring of 2018. I’m currently acting in the Professional Training Company at the Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville. As a member of the Professional Training Company, I’ve been able to perform in many shows put on for the community of Louisville, Kentucky, and have been able to dive headfirst into the professional world of new works. In my time at Actors Theatre, I’ve originated a role in the world premiere of a site-specific new play by celebrated Humana Festival Playwright, Mara Nelson-Greenberg; I’ve performed a fully produced run of my own original work on the Actors Theatre Stage; I’ve played Petunia Fezziwig in the 43-performance run of  Louisville’s traditional classic, Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol; and I am about to start rehearsals for the world premiere of the new play, We’ve Come To Believe, that will be featured in the 43rd Humana Festival of New American Plays.

I was first introduced to Actors Theatre when I was a junior in the ATP, as we auditioned for the Director of the Professional Training Company during his recruitment trip to the U. I completely took advantage of the fact that this industry professional was coming to Utah — just to audition and meet us —  and I used that time to really foster a good professional relationship. I made sure I sent thank you emails after he left, that I kept in contact with him from time to time, and that I auditioned for him again when he came back my senior year. It worked. After I auditioned for him again my senior year, he immediately recognized me from my video submission when I formally applied for the company and the rest is history.

“Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol” at Actors Theatre of Louisville

How did your experience in the U’s Department of Theatre help you as a professional?

There is no way in the world that I would be where I am today without the things that I gathered from my time in the ATP. Being in this program gave me all of the tools necessary in order to survive and succeed in this immensely difficult field. The quality of the education that I received from the ATP is of such a high quality that it easily rivals anything I could have ever learned from going to any acting school on the East Coast. I daily use the warm up techniques that I’ve learned from all of those Voice and Speech and Singing for the Actor classes; I meditate and focus myself and the characters I become before, during, and after stepping out on stage with the skills I’ve obtained from all of those Movement and Butoh classes; and I tackle any script and balance the maths and the humanity of the text with the mastery I’ve acquired through through the years of Shakespeare and Acting classes at the U. Honestly, I am so glad I went there.

What is your favorite Utah memory?

I miss everything about Utah, but I especially miss the U. My favorite moment was the last Finals Week of my senior year and seeing all of my classmates and friends from all 4 graduating classes perform . I thought it was really special to go to each person’s final and get to see them in completely in their element and get to cheer them on. I also really liked getting to perform my senior project, MAYFLOWER, and I felt extremely supported by my classmates, friends and faculty in the audience. It became such an important moment for me to create and perform my own work and it really gave me the courage to keep working on it. I eventually went on to further develop MAYFLOWER at Actors Theatre and got to perform a run of it on the same stage where plays by Obie Award-winning playwright, Lucas Hnath, have first premiered. Honestly, what a special time to get together to celebrate one another’s work — it really is magical.

 What advice do you have for recent grads?

My advice for recent grads is to hit the ground running as soon as you receive that diploma. DO NOT GET LAZY. Have a set of goals of where you want to go and what you want to do and hustle like your life depends on it. You literally have everything you need to succeed, so if you want it, you can make it happen. Research everything, stay in touch with your contacts, be prepared,  stay hungry, and stay humble. You’ll be surprised where you just might end up if you do.


Alumni Spotlight: Catherine Heiner

4 Jan , 2019  

Name: Catherine (Cate) Heiner
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Program: Honors BA Theatre Studies (also Honors BA Writing and Rhetoric, both class of 2017), emphasis in dramaturgy and playwriting
What I Do: Dramaturgy

How I Got Into It: When I was in high school, I loved English and theatre, and I could never decide which one I wanted to pursue to study. Then, I realized that if I did dramaturgy I could do research in both areas. I loved dramaturgy because I got to use my knowledge of performance, history, writing, and analysis to good use.

Experience at the U: During my time at the U, I was able to work on a number of productions. I worked on everything from Shakespeare to musicals to contemporary drama, which added a lot of variety to my experience. Working with so many different directors helped me understand how my position changes based on the needs of a specific production and creative team, and I enjoyed finding unique opportunities to collaborate with other artists in meaningful ways.

Favorite Utah Memory: I worked in athletics for all four years I was at the U. This made for a really interesting intersection between theatre and the rest of the university, and I used it as inspiration for a writing project in Tim Slover’s Intro to Playwriting course. After the semester ended, Tim told me my work had been selected for the New Play Workshop the following spring. Not only was the workshop itself an awesome experience, but I loved seeing the two worlds of athletics and performance come together for the staged reading. I loved being able to share my artistic life with my work friends, and it was awesome to see the actors reaching a new demographic on campus. It was the kind of cross-connection that benefits all departments and students.

Advice for Recent Grads:

  • Keep in touch with people you enjoy working with. (This includes professors and students.) You never know who will help point you in the right direction for your work.
  • Ask for help—there are other people out there who have had similar journeys.
  • Say yes as much as you can to as many different opportunities as you can. It will probably be scary and a little overwhelming, but it will also be worth it. Just keep breathing.
  • Stay humble, stay kind, stay grateful—the world is small and the world of theatre is even smaller.


Recent Grad Spotlight: Keeley Anne McCormick

14 Oct , 2018  

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Keeley Anne McCormick, I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio, and I’m a graduate of the Musical Theatre Program, class of 2015!
I’m currently touring all around the US with the Broadway production of Something Rotten! by Wayne Kirkpatrick, Karey Kirkpatrick, and John O’Farrell, Directed by Steve Bebout (Orig. Casey Nicholaw).
How did your experience in the U’s Department of Theatre help you as a professional?
My time at the U was a huge growing experience for me. As an actor I feel like it’s incredibly important to be as balanced and well-rounded as possible, and with every different aspect of our training from acting to voice, to studio, to dance, to all of the wonderful masterclasses we were fortunate enough to have, I really feel like I graduated with a solid base to take with me to New York and project me into my career. Something that specifically stands out to me now, as I’m performing in a show about Shakespeare, was the study abroad trip to London. It was such an incredible experience. I’m also a firm believer that travel is one of the best educators, so to be able to add everything from that trip into my repertoire (so to speak) was very impactful.
What is your favorite Utah memory?
My favorite memory from Utah… too many to name! I’ll never forget the feeling of holding my classmates hands during bows at the opening of our senior show, Godspell. We had been through so much in those four years, and with all of the ups and downs we really became a family. To cap everything off with such an overwhelming feeling of togetherness was truly special.
What advice do you have for current students?
If I had any advice for current students… Firstly, I’ll sound like a broken record, but it’s advice I wish I had taken in college: classes are expensive in the outside world and it can be hard to find time to take them, so you’ve got to take advantage of the time you have–to learn and absorb as much as possible while you’re in school, even in your GenEd classes. Secondly, keep a light and open heart. I truly believe what will be, will be. And if you decide to move to New York and hit the pavement, there will be times when it can get you down. But there’s a lesson to be learned in every moment, from the rainy days and terrible auditions to the times a stranger pays for your Starbucks, or you finally book the job. What you put into the universe always comes back to you!

Share your story! Are you an alum with a story to share? We want to hear about it! Email


THE WOLVES directed by Assistant Professor Alexandra Harbold ft. Department of Theatre faculty, students, and alumni

10 Oct , 2018  

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, directed by Assistant Professor Alexandra Harbold featuring Department of Theatre faculty, students, and alumni is playing at Salt Lake Acting Company October 10-November 11, 2018.

These warriors are ready to take on anyone. Their minds move at warp speed, their emotions jostle for position, their bodies are fine-tuned, and their hormones are raging. It’s war out there on the girls’ soccer field. Get ready for The Wolves.

Tickets available at Salt Lake Acting Company.

Design Team:
Set Design – Erik Reichert
Costume Design – Kerstin Davis
Lighting Design – William Peterson
Sound Design – Jennifer Jackson
Prop Design – Janice Jenson
Dramaturg – Catherine Heiner
Soccer Consultant – Joe Murray
Stage Manager – Justin Ivie*
Assistant Sound Design – Kate Hunter
Assistant Stage Manager – Katelyn Limber

Madi Cooper – #25
Louise Dapper – #14
McKenzie Steele Foster – #11
Tracie Merrill – Soccer Mom
Mary Neville – #7
Ireland Nichols – #00
Hailee Olenberger – #13
Fina Posselli – #2
Cézanne Smith – #8
Alison Jo Stroud – #46


Feel all the feels with A FUNNY THING…now through October 21 at SLAC

5 Oct , 2018  

Check out A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan kettering Cancer Center of New York City by Halley Feiffer at Salt Lake Acting Company now-October 21.  Directed by Professor Sarah Shippobotham, starring Associate Professor Chris DuVal and alumna Cassie Stokes Wylie.

About A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan kettering Cancer Center of New York City: It’s a comic catastrophe when Karla, a crass comedian and Don, a sad super-nerd meet at the bedsides of their dying mothers. There’s nothing less funny in the world than cancer…except when it’s hilarious.

See the show audiences are calling “the funniest and most touching production SLAC has produced in years. Student, senior, and 30 & under discounts available! Call 801.363.7522 or click this link for more information.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This play contains adult language and sexual content.


“BROWN FISH” by Troy Deutsch at FilmQuest on Sept 13

31 Aug , 2018  

BROWN FISH a short film by alumnus Troy Deutsch will be showing on Thursday, September 13 at FilmQuest Festival in Provo, UT. The film stars alumni, Sean Kazarian and Kelsie Jepsen who graduated from the Actor Training Program alongside writer and director, Troy.

Troy’s film is part of the Taste The Rainbow shorts block #10 starting at 8:00 p.m., featuring all LGBT filmmakers. FilmQuest Fest describes the Taste The Rainbow shorts block as “a dynamic, and provocative selection of films from the LGBT community that celebrates love, diversity, monsters, revenge, and the best pot pie you ever tasted.”

“Our film is now officially crazy enough to be welcomed into the realm of horror/sci-fi/fantasy/and the beyond…” Troy said. BROWN FISH is based on a short play from Troy’s collection of one-acts, IN A TILTED PLACE, which premiered at IRT Theater in New York City in 2015.

FilmQuest tickets are available for the entire festival, featured films, short blocks and more at Student discounts available.


SYNOPSIS: It all starts with a missing goldfish and a strange smell. Now a young woman’s world spins out of control, as she goes to meet her friend in the park.

DIRECTOR’S / FILMMAKER’S BIO: Troy Deutsch is a filmmaker and playwright from rural Minnesota living in New York City. He studied with Nicky Silver as part of The Vineyard Theatre’s Playwriting Workshop.





ATP Alumni in “Wait Until Dark” at Dunes Summer Theatre in Michigan City.

27 Aug , 2018  

ATP Almni, Kalika Rose and Andy Ricci are in the cast of Wait Until Dark at the Dunes Summer Theatre in Michigan City.

Check out the article below from the Chicago Tribune.

Kalika Rose, plays Suzy, a blind woman confronted by Mark Westcott, center, and Patrick Regner as her tormenters, in the stage thriller “Wait Until Dark” at Dunes Summer Theatre Aug. 17-Sept. 2 in Michigan City. (Dunes Summer Theatre)

Director Leigh Selting is a stage sage about the differences between producing a thriller and a murder mystery for theater audiences.

“So many people categorize these two genres as being the same and they are not,” said Selting, who is guiding a cast of five for the Aug. 17-Sept. 2 new run of “Wait Until Dark” at Dunes Summer Theatre in Michigan City.

“A stage thriller, such as ‘Wait Until Dark,’ is more of a suspense melodrama with the audiences wondering what will happen next, in contrast to wondering who is behind a crime such as in a mystery thread. For a thriller, it’s usually the case that the audience knows who the antagonist is and so then, it becomes a matter of what will the final outcome be for all.”

Written by Frederick Knott, it’s Andy Ricci and Kalika Rose, talents familiar to Dunes Theatre audiences, as the leads in “Wait Until Dark,” playing husband and wife Sam and Susan, a couple living in Greenwich Village in the 1960s. Susan is blind, but knows her way around the apartment to live independently, while her husband is away for business travels.

The play’s thriller twist and turns begin after Susan discovers that a doll, gifted to her after Sam’s most recent trip, has secretly been stuffed with a valuable bag of drugs, unbeknownst to her husband. When three murderous thugs attempt to reclaim the contraband from Susan, a nightmarish scenario unfolds during the two-hour stage story.

The play premiered on Broadway in 1966 starring Lee Remick as Susy Hendrix, James Congdon as Sam and Robert Duvall as Harry Roat Jr., the tormenting ringleader of the relentless thugs. The following year, the story was brought to movie screens in 1967 by Warner Bros. and backed by a score by Henry Mancini and starring Audrey Hepburn as Susan, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Sam and Alan Arkin as Roat.

“I’ve previously directed a number of stage mysteries, but not many thrillers,” Selting said.

“And I wasn’t very familiar with this title. In fact, I’d never even seen the film. This is a play that gets very intense as the scenes unfold.”

In addition to the challenges of working with the cast to fine-tune performances during the two and half week rehearsal span, Selting said the set construction was also a “tricky process for details.”

“Because the story is set in the 1960s, many people might think that this doesn’t qualify as a period piece, making it easy for set design elements because it’s thought of as being a modern setting,” Selting said.

“But modern and contemporary are not the right words to describe the time period. It’s more than 50 years ago, and there so much that has changed in decor and device. The furniture and the furnishings have to reflect the time. I call this decade ‘mid-century contemporary.’ It means you have to be concerned with how a door bell chime sounds and make sure you know where to get your hands on a rotary dial phone for our recreation of this apartment.”

Derek Ryan Brummet of Chicago, playing the role of Roat, is making his debut at Dunes Summer Theatre.

An instructor at Chicago’s famed Second City and also a veteran cast member of Chicago’s long-running Irish comedy “Flanagan’s Wake” at Chicago Theater Works, Brummet is originally from Lowell, Ind.

“I wanted to be part of this production for a couple reasons,” Brummet said.

“I did the open audition in Chicago for ‘Wait Until Dark’ because I wanted the summer stage experience of working at Dunes Summer Theatre since it has this great half-century of history for doing all of these wonderful show performances. I was also inspired to do a different kind of role that would be a new experience for me. I’m not usually cast as the bad guy. My character Roat is quite nefarious.”

Brummet describes Roat as a “rich and complicated character with a very specific agenda.”

“There’s so much intrigue and unexpected moments in ‘Wait Until Dark’ to keep audiences drawn to the dynamics between these characters. A good thriller is something unmatched.”

‘Wait Until Dark’
When: 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Aug. 17-Sept. 2
Where: Dunes Summer Theatre, 288 Shady Oak Drive, Michigan City
Cost: $18 for adults and $15 for students
Information: 219-879-7509;
Philip Potempa is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

Original article from the Chicago Tribune


“In Spite of Ourselves” ft. Theatre students and alumna opens this weekend at GSL Fringe Festival 2018

31 Jul , 2018  

In Spite of Ourselves written by Alumna, Cate Heiner, starring Actor Training Program students Hannah Ensign and Maxwell Paris premieres at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival this weekend.

In Spite of Ourselves is a devised piece based on the poem “All My Love Poems Sound Like Break Up Poems” by Ashe Vernon. Heiner said in an interview with The Chrony, “My play exists in this weird space between falling in love and falling out of love… it does have a beginning, a middle and an end, but they don’t have to happen in that order and you can decide what they are.”

In Spite of Ourselves has 6 performances between August 3-12. For more information visit the Facebook event page.

They were in love.

Are. Were. Maybe.

They’ve grown apart, or back together.

This has all happened before, or it’s a sign of what’s to come.

They can’t stand each other, and they can’t let each other go.

About the playwright:

Catherine Heiner received her master’s degree in Literary and Cultural Studies this spring from Carnegie Mellon University. This year she has also presented at the American Theatre in Higher Education conference, Comparative Drama Conference, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Theatre and Drama Graduate Student Conference. Her work in dramaturgy has included productions of As You Like It, American Idiot, and Self Defense, or death of some salesmen, as well as upcoming productions of The Wolves,The Lion in Winter, and the world premiere of An Evening with Two Awful Men.

About the cast:

Hannah Ensign is a senior in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. Previous credits include Meg Long and Captain Jemmy Campbell in Our Country’s Good (University of Utah), Ellie in Elephants Graveyard (Anthem Theatre Co), The Vagina Monologues (University of Utah), Maggie in Somewhere In Between (Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival), and Ursula/Outlaw in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Salt Lake Shakespeare).

Maxwell Paris is thrilled to be making his debut at the Fringe Festival. He is a sophomore in the Actor Training and Stage Management Programs at the University of Utah, originally from Wisconsin. Back home he appeared in Inspecting Carol as Wayne Wellacre, All in the Timing as Trotsky, and in Peter Pan as Tik Tok Croc. Here in Utah, he was most recently seen as Submarine in A View From the Bridge. His upcoming projects will include being the PA for U of U’s production of Chess and as an ensemble member in Big Love.


Recent Graduate, Mark Macey premieres his play “Shooter” at Salt Lake Fringe Festival

31 Jul , 2018  

Recent University of Utah Theatre graduate, Mark Macey, will premiere his play Shooter at the Great Salt Fringe Festival, August 3-12, 2018.

Shooter had it’s first staged reading on April 23, 2018 as part of the New Plays Workshop class taught by Department of Theatre Professors Tim Slover and Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell. During the New Plays Workshop class taught every spring semester, plays are developed through discussion and exploratory workshops over the course of the semester. The development process culminates with student-run staged readings where members may serve variously as actors, directors, dramaturgs,stage managers or producers depending upon area of interest and the requirements of each play.

Shooter tells the unusual story of a man and his gun. Macey says he began writing the play after recognizing similarities between the perpetrators of mass shootings in the United States, himself, and men in general.

Shooter is rated R for violence, strong language, and nudity.

Tickets for the Great Salt Fringe Festival are available at:

Pictures from Shooter rehearsal for the Great Salt Fringe Festival 2018


Mornings with Masters for Youth Theatre students

10 Jul , 2018  

The Department of Theatre is proud to present “Mornings with Masters” a series of workshops led by our Theatre faculty for University of Utah Youth Theatre students.

The YTU summer camps are one of the most affordable quality theatre camps in the country. Students rotate to a variety of theatre classes including dance, drama, and voice taught by qualified instructors, including current U of U Theatre students and alumni. All students perform in a showcase at the end of the last week, featuring a variety of songs, dances, and drama.

This summer, students in the teen sessions will have the opportunity to join a workshop led by Department of Theatre faculty in various areas. The goal of these workshops is for the students to meet theatre professionals and expand their knowledge about theatre careers and opportunities. 

The Youth Theatre program at the University of Utah is dedicated to empowering youth to skillfully participate in the performing arts as a vehicle to explore their creativity, engage in their community, and think critically about the world. For over thirty years, YTU has been providing high quality out-of-school time theatre arts programs for young people along the Wasatch Front.


Theatre students in PTC’s Mamma Mia!

7 May , 2018  

Mikki, Amanda, and Jamie on the set of Mama Mia! after graduation, 2018.

Musical Theatre students and recent grads will appear in Pioneer Theatre Company’s Mamma Mia!

Mikki Reeve who graduated this spring will appear as Ali and Jesse Klick who graduated in the fall will appear as Eddie. Both recently appeared in the US premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Beautiful Game in the Babcock Theatre directed by Denny Berry.

Mikki, John, Jamie, and Amanda being celebrated by PTC after graduation, 2018.

Senior in the MTP, Sky Kawai will appear in the ensemble alongside MTP alumni Jamie Landrum, Mandy McDonell, John Peterson, Megan Shenefelt, and Amanda Wright. Stage Management student Tahra Si’mone Veasley will serve as the 2nd assistant stage manager.

Mamma Mia! closes Pioneer Theatre Company’s 2017-2018 season, running Friday, May 11 through Saturday, May 26, 2018. The greatest pop hits from ABBA who came to define the disco era are part of this cheerful musical about a young woman trying to find out who her real father is on the eve of her wedding on a beautiful Greek island.

Current University of Utah students may take advantage of student discounts through the Arts Pass to attend performances at discounted rates. Visit for more information.


SKY KAWAI (Ensemble) is a pre-med student in the University of Utah Honors College while earning his BFA in musical theatre. Previous roles include Boland in Dogfight (Babcock), Worm in Diary of a Worm… (SLAC), Randall in Bring It On!(Marriott Center for Dance) as well as Ensemble in PTC’s concert productions of Chess and In The Heights.




JESSE KLICK (Eddie) Previous credits include: The Envelope(Toby) and Newsies (Ensemble/Swing) with Pioneer Theatre Company; The Beautiful Game (Choreographer), You Never Can Tell (Valentine), Cats (Rum Tum Tugger/Macavity) and Dogfight (Eddie Birdlace), with U of U; An Evening With Kristin Chenoweth (Backup Vocalist) with BYU; and Twelfth Night(Sebastian) with Salt Lake Shakespeare. Klick holds a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Utah.



JAMIE LANDRUM (Ensemble) had the Mamma Mia!soundtrack memorized by the age of three! PTC credits: The Count of Monte Cristo (Valentine) and The Last Ship (Swing). University of Utah (from which she is a very recent graduate!) credits: Steel Pier (Shelby Stevens) and an all-female Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas). Endless thanks to everyone at PTC for giving students incredible opportunities, and to friends and family for supporting her dreams, and all her love to Noah. @jamiela




MANDY McDONELL (Ensemble) is delighted to be back at PTC! McDonell is a California native who now resides in NYC. Selected credits include: Mary Poppins (Annie) with Utah Shakespeare Festival and Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Oliver! (Charlotte); The Rocky Horror Show (Transylvanian); Fiddler on the Roof (Chava); Chess (Assistant Director); The Will Rogers Follies (Dance Assistant) with Pioneer Theatre Company.  Proud University of Utah graduate!




JOHN PETERSON (Ensemble) is so grateful to be back on the PTC stage right after graduating from the Musical Theatre Program at the U of U! Regional: Newsies, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof (PTC) and Mary Poppins (ASF). U of U: The Beautiful Game (John Kelly), Steel Pier (Johnny Adele), Cats(Skimbleshanks). Endless thanks to Karen, the MTP faculty, J Beall and his amazing, supportive family. @johnnpeterson




MIKKI REEVE (Ali) is beyond grateful to do her first show with PTC! She recently graduated from the University of Utah with a BFA in musical theatre, where she played Rita Racine in Steel Pier, Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Marcy in Dogfight. She thanks her incredible parents for their unwavering support and her friends for inspiring her every day. Enjoy the show!




MEGAN SHENEFELT (Ensemble) is a graduate of the MTP at the University of Utah and was last seen in PTC’s concert version of Chess. Favorite credits include St. Jimmy in American Idiot, Lucy T. Slut in Avenue Q, Pirelli in Sweeney Todd and Jesus Christ in Godspell. Second place winner of Classical Singers International Singers Competition in Boston. Sending love to family and friends.




AMANDA WRIGHT (Ensemble) is so glad to be back at PTC after appearing in this season’s Newsies (Katherine u.s./Ensemble) and last season’s Chess the Concert Production. She has performed with Salt Lake Acting Company in Saturday’s Voyeur 2016 and can be seen in Voyeur again this summer. She has a BFA from the University of Utah’s Musical Theatre Program, where she appeared in Hello, Dolly! (Ernestina) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus). For my family—thank you for the music!


New Plays Workshop Readings April 23-25

18 Apr , 2018  


The New Plays Workshop class taught by Professors Tim Slover and Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell invites you to three nights of free staged readings of new and bold plays.

The plays written and performed by members of the Department of Theatre community will run April 23-25, at 6:00 p.m in PAB 115. Admission to the play readings is free and post-performance discussions will happen each night following the play readings. Light refreshments with be served.

Shooter by Mark Macey (Theatre Studies) April 23

The Value by Nicholas Dunn (Adjunct Faculty, ATP alumnus) April 24

Mapplethorpe by Mary Stringham (Art History Major & Theatre Minor) April 25

*Plays contain adult language and themes

About New Plays Workshop class:

As a class, the plays are developed through discussion and exploratory workshops over the course of the semester. The development process culminates with student-run staged readings where members may serve variously as actors, directors, dramaturgs, stage managers or producers depending upon area of interest and the requirements of each play.

PERFORMING ARTS BUILDING PARKING: Parking is available in the visitor’s lot to the south of the Performing Arts Building, in the Marriott Library lot. Monday-Friday payment for parking is now required until 10:00 p.m. Please make sure to pay at the kiosks in the parking lot. The closest parking kiosk to Performing Arts Building is located outside the University of Utah Credit Union.


Public Presentations for Theatre Chair Candidates

28 Mar , 2018  

Please join us for the Public Presentations of our Theatre Chair Candidates

All presentations will happen in PAB/Studio 115 at 9:00 a.m. the following dates:

Candidate Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell March 29

Candidate Joe Price April 3

Candidate Kate Moncrief April 10

Candidate Harris Smith April 17


KCACTF 2018 National Awards for ECLIPSED

19 Mar , 2018  

Eclipsed directed by Stephanie Weeks received several national awards for our production showcased at the 2018 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival including:

Distinguished Performance and Production Ensemble

Eclipsed by Danai Gurira- University of Utah

Outstanding Performance and Production Ensemble

Eclipsed– University of Utah

Distinguished  Performance by an Actress in a Play

Darby Mest, the Girl, Eclipsed, University of Utah 

We first produced Eclipsed in March of 2017 in Studio 115. Later that year, we were invited to attend the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 8 in Mesa, AZ February 12-16, 2018.

Eclipsed tells the story of five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia near the end of the Second Liberian Civil War. Traveling to AZ to share a tale of survival, hope, humor, and resilience couldn’t have been possible without our cast, crew, creative team, director, and everyone else who joined us on this journey.



ATP Alumnus Justin Tsatsa wins 2017 Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award

22 Feb , 2018  

Department of Theatre Alumnus Justin Tstasa (ATP ’14) won the 2017 Non-Equity Jeff Joseph Award for Supporting Actor in a Play for his role as an autistic 18-year-old named Josh, in the production of Falling at Interrobang Theatre Project. Justin had the opportunity to meet a young man with severe Autism, meet the playwright of Falling, and participate in multiple talk-backs with parents, relatives, and acquaintances of those with Autism who related to the characters and the play.


‘Eclipsed’ To Be Performed at Regional Festival

23 Jan , 2018  

University of Utah Theatre Department’s Eclipsed Will Be Performed at Regional Festival The University of Utah Theater Department’s production of Eclipsed from last season was chosen by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival to perform at Festivention from February 14 to 17 at Mesa Community College, Arizona. This is one of only six productions that has been chosen to perform from our region, comprised of schools from Utah, Southern Nevada, Southern California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Guam.

Eclipsed is a powerful production based on real life stories of the women and girls who helped bring peace to the African nation of Liberia during its second civil war. It became the first play with an all-black and female cast and creative team to premiere on Broadway in 2015. The U of U’s production followed this example by casting an all-black cast and hiring Stephanie Weeks, New York resident, as artistic director. Of their performance, Utah Theater Blogger stated, “The five women on stage of this production took on material that has the ability to bring empathy, understanding, and advocacy that is desperately needed.”

U of U Theatre professor Bob Nelson currently serves on the board of KCACTF, and has been serving there for 10 years. In fact, this year he was honored with a Gold Medallion for his years of dedicated service with the organization. Nelson said this year there were over 70 eligible applicants, and the U was one of 6 selected.

Some of KCACTF’s goals are “to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the finest and most diverse work produced in university and college theater programs, to provide opportunities for participants to develop their theater skills and insight . . . [and] to encourage colleges and universities to give distinguished productions of new plays.” Professor Nelson said of the festival, “I particularly appreciate working with KCACTF because this organization, more than many, focuses on the students’ experience. It gives students an excellent opportunity to interact and work with other individuals and institutions at the festival.”

Participating in the festival is no small undertaking. The entire company will be returning for their three performances at the festival, including recently graduated students. The company will also transport their entire set and costumes to the venue. While at the festival, they will get the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars on such topics as dramaturgy, theatre criticism, playwriting, auditioning, voice, movement, stage combat, theater for children, scene painting, and scenery construction.

Speaking of Eclipsed, Artistic Director Stephanie Weeks was quoted in the Daily Utah Chronicle saying as, “Often when we talk of prisoners of war we talk about the soldiers who have been captured, tortured, and killed. Rarely do we talk about the women and children who are also in the trenches and are, in fact, prisoners of war themselves . . . trapped by their circumstances. So how and why do we imprison the women who gave us life and nurtured us?” Audiences who attended this production last year were deeply moved, and the University of Utah is proud to be able to send our talented cast and production team to this festival to share this important story.

By Adam Griffiths, CFA




Alumna Ashley Bryant in Broadway’s “The Play That Goes Wrong”

19 Sep , 2017  

ATP alumna Ashley Bryant joins the Broadway production of Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong as Annie. The Tony Award-winning production is the longest-running play on Broadway—beginning September 19.

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, The Play that Goes Wrong is a classic murder mystery chock-full of mishaps and more madcap mania than a Monty Python marathon! Welcome to opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), it’s bedlam beyond Broadway’s wildest nightmare and “A riotous explosion of comedy!” (The Daily Beast).

Bryant graduated from the University of Utah’s Actor Training program in 2005 and went on to receive her MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Bryant’s New York credits include the Broadway production of A Free Man of Color along with productions of Learning to Swim (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Cornbury: The Queen’s Governor (Theatre Askew); Obama Drama (Creative Destruction) In the Cypher (Cypher Productions).  Regionally, she has performed Proof (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), Mouth Wide Open(American Repertory Theater); Emotional Creature (Signature Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre); Ruined (Florida Studio Theatre); Sheila’s Day (Hartford Stage, Crossroads Theatre, The Market Theatre in South Africa); and King John (Shakespeare and Company). TV/Film Credits: Youth, Blue Bloods, Gossip Girl, The Knick, Elementary, Nurse Jackie, Show Me a Hero.

Original article from below:

A new company joins the Broadway production of Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong—currently the longest-running play on Broadway—beginning September 19.

The original Olivier Award-winning West End cast played their final performances at the Lyceum Theatre September 17.

The new company comprises of Ashley Bryant (Emotional Creature) as Annie, Clifton Duncan (City Center Encores! Assassins) as Robert, Mark Evans (Paper Mill Playhouse’s Mary Poppins) as Chris, Alex Mandell (Hand to God) as Max, Harrison Unger (Broadway debut) as Dennis, and Akron Watson (The Color Purple) as Trevor.

Current Broadway cast members Jonathan Fielding and Amelia McClain assume the roles of Jonathan and Sandra, respectively. The cast also features Preston Truman Boyd (Sunset Boulevard), Ned Noyes (You Can’t Take It With You), Ashley Reyes (Broadway debut), and Katie Sexton (Broadway debut).

The Play That Goes Wrong began performances March 9 and officially opened on Broadway April 2; the production went on to win a 2017 Tony Award for Best Sceneic Design of a Play.

Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong introduces The Cornley University Drama Society, who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, “but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong…does, as the accident prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call.”


Spread the Good Word, Jaron Barney is coming back!

20 Jul , 2017  

Jaron Barney is coming back to Salt Lake City for the Broadway traveling tour of The Book of Mormon, August 1-20, 2017 at the Eccles Theater. Jaron was a student in the Musical Theatre Program until 2014. During his time at the U, he performed in several productions including Spring Awakening, Hair, She Loves Me (Babcock Theatre); Something’s Afoot, Elf: The Musical, and A Christmas Carol (Pioneer Theatre). After his time at the U, he moved to New York City to pursue his passion for performing, and with much tenacity and talent he is now part of The Book of Mormon national tour. Congrats Jaron, we can’t wait to see you in SLC.

THE BOOK OF MORMON returns to Salt Lake City by popular demand with three weeks of performances August 1 – 20, 2017 at the brand-new Eccles Theater. is the official ticketing source for the Eccles Theater and the Broadway at the Eccles series.

The New York Times calls it “the best musical of the century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” And Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show calls it “Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal.” It’s THE BOOK OF MORMON, the nine-time Tony Award®-winning Best Musical.

This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Now with standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, THE BOOK OF MORMON has truly become an international sensation. Contains explicit language.

Captioned performance for this show is Saturday, August 12th at 2:00PM. Patrons who are interested in the captioned performance should select seats located Orchestra Right on the Main floor.


Alum Spotlight: Alex Vermillion

22 May , 2017  

 By Guest Writer and Emerging Leaders Ambassador, Ashley Chin-Mark. Photos courtesy of Alex Vermillion.

Arguably, one of the major concerns of contemporary society is that the Millennial Generation is becoming increasingly removed from the human experience and losing the ability to form meaningful interactions.  However, the progressive work of University of Utah English and Theater alumnus, Alex Vermillion, is shattering that perception by engaging the community and captivating new audiences through bold actions and meaningful language.

An advocate for gender free roles, Vermillion (ze/zir/zirs) has made it zer mission to advocate for free gender roles and a transgender individual, Vermillion is addressed with Ze/Zir/Zirs.  Ze has made it zer mission to “represent less recognized communities” and “portray voices that are less heard,” through zir roles as a freelance Dramaturg, a Drag Queen, as the Communication Coordinator for the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), and as the Editorial Intern/Writer/Contributor for the SLUG Magazine.

An accomplished educator and editor, Vermillion returned to the university last year to inspire students as the 2015 Humanities Department Convocation Speaker and, most recently, as the Dramaturg for the Theatre Department’s modern adaptation of “The Two Noble Kinsmen.”  Ze explains zir interest in Shakespeare, “He really captures what humans are comprised of…[the nature of his work asks] ‘Are you connecting with the audience?,’ ‘Are you playing the role?,’ ‘Are you having fun?’”  For Vermillion, the fun is found in the bard’s clever use of satire, which ze believes is “the best way to understand and relate to contemporary issues,” and the major focus of zir work in “The Two Noble Kinsmen.”  Ze credits zir project mentor, Martine Kei-Green Rogers, in assisting zir research in the background of plays and forming an intimacy with the text.

Vermillion divulged that ze “loves working with magic in plays,” a staple in all of Shakespeare’s works, and, as a self-proclaimed Marvel superhero nerd, ze derived additional inspiration from the comic book and gaming technology industries.  Similar to theatrical production aspects, ze considers the technological aspects, mentioned in comics and used in games and films, a great avenue for mixing logic, creativity, and imagination.” Alex Vermillion is accomplishing super feats.  Through zir advising with “Out Loud,” an artistic platform for youth voices in the LGBTQIA+ community at the UMOCA (created by Elly Baldwin, UMOCA’s Curator of Public Engagement), ze develops inclusive programs for teens that help “students build positive social connections and share their experiences with others.”

Recently admitted into the Yale School of Drama’s Dramatic Criticism Masters Program, Vermillion plans to finish five years of intensive studies before opening an interactive, Queer Shakespeare Theatre complete with an underground Drag Show and Bar and a Homeless Center for Queer Youth with art education programs and performance opportunities. Of less represented populations, like the LGBTQ community, ze says, “We have to go to them, invite them in, and create a more inclusive environment by asking them, ‘How can we accurately represent you?’” Vermillion will continue to use this power in a positive light to frame live performances, artistic projects, and journalism compositions as “community–oriented activities” that encourage individuality and self-expression.


Original article can be found at The Finer Points.