Share your story! Are you an alum with a story to share? We want to hear about it! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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 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 www.filmquestfest.com/tickets-all-films-events-2018/. 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.
IMAGES FROM THE FILM:
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.
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; www.dunesartsfoundation.org
Philip Potempa is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
Original article from the Chicago Tribune
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).
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: www.greatsaltlakefringe.org/tickets
Pictures from Shooter rehearsal for the Great Salt Fringe Festival 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.
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.
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.
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. jesseklick.weebly.com
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! mandymcdonell.com
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 playbill.com 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.”
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. ArtTix.org 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.
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.