Welcoming the 2019-20 Season!

21 May , 2019  


Music by Frank Wildhorn
Book and Lyrics by Don Black, Christopher Hampton
Conceived by Des McAnuff, Frank Wildhorn, Christopher Hampton
Original Orchestrations by Koen Schoots
Original Broadway Production by Dodger Theatricals and Joop Van Den Ende in association with Clear Channel Entertainment
Directed and Choreographed by Denny Berry
September 13-22, 2019
The Hayes Christensen Theatre (MCD)

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Wendy Franz
September 27-October 6, 2019
Studio 115

by Homer
Adapted and originally directed by Mary Zimmerman
Adapted from the translation of “The Odyssey” by Robert Fitzgerald
Directed by Alexandra Harbold
November 8-17, 2019
Babcock Theatre

by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Jamie Rocha Allan
January 16-19, 2020
Kingsbury Hall

Book by Tina Landau
Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettel
Additional Lyrics by Tina Landau
Directed and Choreographed by Denny Berry
February 14- March 1, 2020
Babcock Theatre

by Molière
In a translation by Ranjit Bolt
Directed by Robert Scott Smith
March 27-April 5, 2020
Studio 115

Tickets available in July, 2019.


Interdisciplinary research team receives federal grant to investigate value and impact of the arts in medicine

16 May , 2019  

Grant from National Endowment for the Arts fuels research where theatre meets patient communication

A group of interdisciplinary researchers from the arts and medicine at the University of Utah is among a select group to receive federal grant money from the National Endowment for the Arts for their work investigating the value and impact of the arts, either as individual components of the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and with other domains of American life.

“I believe that a public university exists to improve the lives of the community it serves,” says Michael L. Good, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, CEO of University of Utah Health, and Dean of the School of Medicine. “Fostering a campus culture of collaboration between the arts and health is essential to our success. This generous support from the NEA validates and supports our efforts to expand interdisciplinary research, teaching, clinical care, and community engagement on the important role the arts play in healing, recovery, and wellness.”

These researchers, led by Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell, PhD (College of Fine Arts’ Department of Theatre) and Gretchen Case, PhD, MA, (School of Medicine’s Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities), have developed a unique, theatre-based approach to helping health care providers, trainees, and students develop and practice the skills they need to communicate with patients, families, and care teams, especially when approaching difficult conversations, called Coached Rehearsal Techniques for Interpersonal Communication Skills (CRiTICS).

“The value of the arts on culture has been long understood,” said John W. Scheib, PhD, Associate Vice President for the Arts at the University of Utah and Dean of the College of Fine Arts. “And explorations like these are helping us to understand how artistic practices and creative thinking can have powerful benefits outside of galleries and theatres and in ways that profoundly shape our healing.”

CRiTICS uses professional coaches trained in theatre and performance to guide learners through the rehearsal of a difficult conversation scenario, offering individualized, constructive feedback not only on what a learner says, but also on how they communicate nonverbally. And the funds from National Endowment of the Arts will allow the research team to assess its effectiveness using objective measures in a large-scale, randomized controlled trial. Results of this trial will offer insights for improved assessment of communication skills, which are notoriously difficult to measure productively.

“No one wants to hear bad news and no one wants to give it, either, but health care professionals have to do it every day,” said Cheek-O’Donnell.

“Providers at all levels of training deserve innovative support to communicate effectively and compassionately in challenging medical settings,” said Case.

This project was conceived and planned with the support of Jeffrey R. Botkin, MD, MPH and the Utah Center for Excellence in ELSI Research (UCEER), and the enthusiastic backing of the Department of Theatre, College of Fine Arts, Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities, and the Division of General Internal Medicine.

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman, Mary Anne Carter, announced 15 awards totaling $724,000 to support research projects that investigate the value and impact of the arts. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to

Original from the CFA’s Finer Points Blog. 


CJ Greer Workshop with MTP Students

30 Apr , 2019  

On Friday, April 26, seven senior Musical Theatre Program students participated in a vocal workshop taught by Vocal Performer and Instructor CJ Greer.

CJ has been on Broadway and in National Tours for Sister Act, Les Mis, Ragtime, I Love a Piano, The Producers, and The Buddy Holly Story, in addition to her work Off-Broadway and in regional houses. She’s now an Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Nevada, Reno.


//’ A New Play by Ricahrd Chang

25 Apr , 2019  

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre’s 42nd Milestone Season invites you to their 150th Golden Spike Anniversary Celebrations Free Staged Reading Presentations of //’ a new play by Richard Chang, directed by Ernest Abuba and Chongren Fan, May 7-9.

May 7 | 6:30 pm Ogden Union Station
May 8 | 7 pm Noorda Center for the Performing Arts, Orem
May 9 | 7 pm Salt Lake City Public Library
Free Admission. *All performances will be followed by a Q&A with playwright, actors & co-director.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre ( of New York, the largest and oldest Asian American theatre company on the East Coast, is delighted to work with three leading northern Utah institutions to present staged reading presentations of Citizen Wong ( as part of the state’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.

The powerful new play is inspired by the life and times of Wong Chin Foo (王清福, 1847–1898), a celebrity speaker-writer-social rights activist in the American Gilded Age, who mysteriously disappeared from history and is being rediscovered as the First Chinese American and “Asian-American Martin Luther King, Jr.”

The play dramatically captures the essence of an era when Wong campaigned against calls for an “anti-Chinese wall,” the Chinese Exclusion Act, and federal government efforts to deny birthright citizenship. The fictional drama is based on 15 years of research by veteran Reuters journalist and actor Richard Chang.

Wong (, who was naturalized in 1874, had visited Ogden and probably elsewhere in Utah on his nationwide lecture tours about the Chinese. Californian-born Wong Kim Ark, who won in the landmark 1898 U.S. Supreme Court case on birthright citizenship, is also a character in the play.

The free public presentations celebrate the joining of east-west as symbolized by the transcontinental railroad and interracial romance at the heart of “Citizen Wong,” and described in the U.S. Constitution as our quest for “a more perfect union.”


“We Are Hartland!” Youth Performance

25 Apr , 2019  


For the past few months at the UNP Hartland Partnership Center, four University of Utah Theatre Teaching students lead by Kelby McIntyre-Martinez worked with the Hartland Youth Center to put together a social action theatre piece, “We are Hartland!” The goal of the performance was to share youth hopes and dreams with the broader community.

On Tuesday evenings, we met with the youth at Hartland to teach them theatre skills such as projection (using a loud and clear voice), being in control of their voices and bodies while on stage, facing toward the audience, smiling and always giving 100% effort. We had fun dancing and playing theatre games with the youth while adding a different piece of the performance every week.

In small groups, the youth shared with us the dreams they have for their futures, the dreams they have for their families, and the dreams they have for their world. Some examples were to play professional soccer, to go to college, to buy houses for their moms, to be kind, to give back to the community, and to help others. The youth used Tableaux, which is a frozen picture that represents a story, to express their dreams in the performance. The Youth studied the words of Dr. Martin Luther King in his famous speech “I Have a Dream” and recited phrases from it with movement during the performance.

On the day of the performance you could feel the excitement and jitters in the room as we practiced our piece at the Sorenson Unity Center before the show. Once the youth came out on stage in their bright matching Hartland t-shirts, you could feel the energy and the love as they recited, “We are Hartland bright and fun, watch out world ‘cuz here we come!” The audience participated in our dance routines by clapping with us and even shared their hopes and dreams after the performance! The Hartland Youth had so much fun performing in front of their fellow students and the community. They really shined! Hopefully they will be able to take the skills they learned and use them to shine in all aspects of their life.

Content provided by Carly Taylor, University of Utah Theatre Teaching student.

Story originally published by 


“Let Me Down Easy” a play to benefit The Inn Between

11 Apr , 2019  

The Play is Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy.                                                        

The Location is the Salt Lake Acting Company chapel (168 West, 500 North) at 7 p.m., Monday, April 15.

The Purpose is to raise funds for The Inn Between (1216 East, 1300 South), a hospice for the homeless

The Mission of the Inn Between is to end the tragic history of vulnerable people dying on the streets of our community by providing a supportive and safe haven for individuals who have nowhere else to go in time of medical crisis.

The Mission of the Salt Lake Acting Company is to engage and enrich our community through brave contemporary theatre, to bring about in our audience a deeper understanding of and the issues and ideas of our plays, and a connection of the onstage stories to contemporary life.

The Mission of Anna Deavere Smith is to become “the Voice of America.”  An extremely successful actress in her own right, Smith is the creator of “verbatim theatre,” in which she interviews hundreds of people who have experienced a particular event, or have special knowledge of a particular subject and shapes those interviews into a dramatic and insightful analysis of that subject, embodying the words of the interviewees exactly as they were spoken, verbal tics and all.

The Mission of Let Me Down Easy is simple:  We all have to face death.  Eventually it is our own, but before that we will face it in many forms.  It may be someone or something which we love, or it may be someone or something for which we are responsible in our various roles as religious advisor, medical professional, caretaker, or teacher/historian/philosopher.  We will all meet it differently, as do the people interviewed in Let Me Down Easy, with humor, insight, resignation, bitterness, or denial—but it will be met!  Do not ask for whom the bell tolls.

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it) is to come to the Salt Lake Acting Company at 7 p.m., Monday, April 15, for an evening of memorable theatre—and if you find the quality of that theatre suitable, and the cause for which it has been performed worthy, please make a donation to The Inn Between.

–Richard Scharine, Director of Let Me Down Easy


“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.



“Sweat” at Pioneer Theatre ft. Theatre Faculty

1 Apr , 2019  

Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Sweat starring Actor Training Program Head Chris DuVal is now playing at Pioneer Theatre through Saturday, April 13.

The poignant and powerful play examines race, economics, personal and collective identity, and what it means to be human. Dramaturg and Theatre Studies Professor Alexandra Harbold asks the question, “Is the “American Dream” still alive? And if so, who gets to pursue it?”

Set during divisive economic conditions in a small manufacturing town in Pennsylvania, Sweat takes us on the journey of nine people—friends, co-workers, mothers and sons, former spouses and lovers. —as their lives intersect as they try to hold onto, or reach for, the American Dream in the face of the increasingly precarious and divisive economic conditions of America at the dawn of the new millennium.

SWEAT Now-April 13 | tickets available here.

Contains strong language.

Hassiem Muhammad (Chris), Christopher DuVal (Stan) and Callum Adams (Jason) | Courtesy of Pioneer Theatre Company



New Department of Theatre fabrication tool takes role in upcoming “The Rivals” production

14 Mar , 2019  

by guest bloggers Michaela Funtanilla amd April Goddard 

Imagination is the only limitation for Department of Theatre set and prop design students, thanks to the department’s acquisition of a state-of-the-art Shopbot CNC machine. It was purchased by an anonymous donor in summer 2018.

“Our production capabilities have in the past been greatly limited in time and budget. By having CNC technology available in our small shop, we can now think and create with fewer constraints,” said Department of Theatre’s Technical Director, Kyle Becker.

Similar to a 3D printer, the Shopbot CNC uses computer drawings (CAD) to operate. But instead of additive manufacturing, the Shopbot cuts out shapes from materials like wood, plastic, foam soft metal, and composites.

The machine can print up to an 8×4 ft sheet of material—larger 3D designs require cutting out multiple pieces to then assemble into a sculpture. Prior to owning this CNC tool, limited projects were outsourced, but this was too expensive to do regularly.

Now that the Department of Theatre owns its own CNC tool, the possibilities are endless, and projects that took days to build can be completed in minutes.

“We can ask the machine to 3D carve and 2D cut without these tasks consuming time and money that can go to other areas like assembly and painting,” said Becker.

CNC machines are standard technology in the performance art design industry. Students can receive training on the CNC tool though the department’s Computer Modeling and Design course, and become more competitive for set design jobs in theatre, film, and theme parks. Becker said he would eventually like to partner with local high school theatre programs to increase CNC machine education.

The Rivals opens 4/5 and will be the first set to highlight the Shopbot’s capabilities as the set requires intricate architectural facades. Buy your tickets at


Original article by The Finer Points Blog


WOMANSPLAINING? by “Men on Boats” Director Sarah Shippobotham

26 Feb , 2019  


by Director Sarah Shippobotham

When asked to direct this show I initially didn’t see what all the fuss was about. So what that ten men were being played by ten women? We’ve turned male roles into female ones many times before—we did a female-forward Julius Caesar last semester—because we have always had such strong women in our program, often outnumbering the men, and we have tried hard to give them the opportunities they deserve. I have always been aware of the gender disparity in theatre and I have always decried it; and yet I still didn’t think the gender make up of this play was anything noteworthy. How wrong I was!

Being in a rehearsal room with fourteen young minds, including ten actors, three stage managers and one assistant director/movement director—of whom only two are male identifying—has actually been an eye-opening experience for me. I have learned so much about myself and what it is to be true to my own strength as a woman; about how privileged I was to have a mostly single-sex education; about how fearless many of these young women in the show are in their exploration of their roles in this world; about how we can listen to a lone male voice without it coming off as mansplaining (even though I was worried it may), and about how much work there still is to be done to give women the space they deserve as a matter of course without needing to talk about it because it is still an issue.

Jacklyn Backhaus said that she wrote this play because she wanted to write an adventure play. While writing it she realized she couldn’t be in it, as it was an all-male adventure. To change that, she wrote it for women to play the roles of John Wesley Powell and his crew. She has been asked why she didn’t write a story about women and did she discover women’s stories as she wrote it. She wanted to tell the Powell story. And she did encounter females’ stories along the way, but they had to be looked for as most of our historical documentation puts men’s—and mostly white men’s—stories on show, hiding or overlooking those of the “others” who helped to shape the world.

I love seeing the women of our theatre department taking up male-sized spaces, having fun with each other as they embark on Powell’s epic journey. And I hope you too will value the experience of seeing so many women on stage together at one time.

MARCH 1-10 in Studio 115

Tickets: 801-581-7100


The 10th Annual Edward Lewis Festival, Feb. 10 at the SLC Library

5 Feb , 2019  

The Edward Lewis Legacy

When Edward Lewis was a student at San Jose State University, he discovered that their theatre department had never done a black play. In 1971 he created People Productions, a theatre company designed to bring together underserved youth with community artists which donated all of it’s profits to the Glaucoma Foundation, to fight a disease from which both his mother and his grandmother suffered.

He later revived People Productions in Los Angeles, where he directed and acted in plays by Eugene O’Neill, Lonne Elder (of the original Raisin in the Sun cast), and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Gordone. After his son Edward Lewis Jr. graduated from the University of Utah, Edward Sr. moved to Salt Lake City. By that time Department of Theatre Professor Dr. Richard Scharine had been teaching African-American theatre at the U for nearly 20 years, and a former student of his, Karen Alexander (who graduated from the Department of Theatre in the late 80’s) connected the two.

Together, Lewis and Scharine revived People Productions in the summer of 2000 with James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner, performed in the Department of Theatre’s Studio 115. People Productions continued creating diverse theatrical experiences for the next 17 years, ending in April 2017 with August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. During that time Edward played leading roles in such plays as Lonne Elder’s Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play, August Wilson’s Jitney, Richard Wesley’s The Mighty Gents for People Productions, and Rita Dove’s The Darker Face of the Earth.

Edward Lewis died of pancreatic cancer in 2009, and that winter (with several plays featuring black actors being performed) Jerry Rapier had the idea of marketing them all under the title “The Edward Lewis Black Theatre Festival.” The Festival has continued yearly in the month of February, usually in the Salt Lake City Public Library auditorium, with several different local theaters contributing short plays or scenes from their current productions.

The 10th Annual Edward Lewis Theatre Festival Performances include:

University of Utah Adjunct Assistant Professor Dr. Lynn DeBoeck’s The Lynchpin Life which brings together Civil Rights pioneer Ida B. Wells with a Black Rights Matter woman of today.

GUISE by Chris Curlett and DoLs by Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin (Plan-B Theatre) · Script-In-Hand readings of two short plays-in-progress from Plan-B’s Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop.

Me Too Monologues (Wasatch Theatre Company)

Let Me Down Easy (Canary Down the Mine) · Written by Anna Deavere Smith, founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University.

The 10th Annual Edward Lewis Theatre Festival
Sunday, February 10
2 to 5 p.m.
Salt Lake City Public Library
FREE admission


“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


Youth Theatre Director Penny Caywood attends Latinx Festival

22 Jan , 2019  

From L to R, top to bottom: Niños Que Fueron Grandes, Tomás and the Library Lady, Cenicienta, Epic Tales from the Land of Melanin, Coatlicue 2.0 “La Diosa Que Vino del Aire” Picture from

Penny Caywood was invited to attend the 2019 Latinx Theatre Commons Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Sin Fronteras Festival and Convening. Caywood has been the Artistic Director of the University of Utah’s Youth Theatre Program for twelve years. As the program has grown, Caywood’s involvement in the community has as well. She’s presented at several art integration and teaching training workshops throughout the state and has been involved in dozens of local productions.

This year’s festival will take place at the University of Texas from Jan. 24-26. Caywood will be among the artists, scholars, and educators across the Americas to experience theatre with youths. Five plays will be featured during the Festival, while the Convening focuses on workshops, panels, discussions, and artmaking.

“I am excited to be a part of HowlRound’s Latinx Theatre Commons where I will have a chance to celebrate my cultural identity and my stories and have time to think about how that can apply to our community in Utah.”

Caywood’s upcoming play is a reimagined Alice, based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The play’s cast are the young actors of the Youth Theatre program. It will be showing in Kingsbury Hall this April.



The Lynchpin Life

10 Jan , 2019  

Ada, played by Michelle Love-Day (left), checks messages while Ida B. Wells, played by Robin Renee, reads part of an editorial on lynching.

A question I continue to ask myself as a theatre practitioner and scholar is, why is live performance not a part of our teaching? To teach the art form I love, I should be using live performance to do it. This impulse drove me to apply for a teaching grant which has funded my project to bring liveness into the classroom, supporting students’ learning experience.

Initially, the project only included theatre classes. When Dr. Mangun approached me to work with her in the spring of 2018, I was very excited at the prospect. Dr. Mangun asked me to arrange a performance in her class about Ida B. Wells, a remarkable journalist in the late 1800’s who investigated reasons why Black men were being lynched. She published three long pamphlets with her findings and observations between 1892 and 1900. Since I did not have access to a play about her, I wrote my own. As a white woman, this posed a significant challenge as I did not wish the voices I was bringing to the fore to be disingenuous. My feminist approach to making theatre is to bring other, more knowledgeable people and resources into my process, which is what I did.

The result was “The Lynchpin Life,” a conversation across time between Ida and a contemporary woman (Ada) dealing with both the history of lynching in this country and a current scourge of our culture, the shooting of unarmed black men by law enforcement. I had hoped the story might engage the students to remember what they might never have been taught, but also to see more clearly what they think they already know. I am now looking forward to this piece having a future (a possible performance at the Edward Lewis Festival this February) as well as making more partnerships in other departments to bring scenes to their students and help them connect with the humanity that lies at the heart of the knowledge we aim to disseminate. To use one of Ida’s lines in the play, “if people grow too comfortable in their ignorance, you have to jangle to get their attention!” I hope this play continues to toll and reverberate through the students and faculty who experience it.

by guest writer Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre Lynn Deboeck

Lynn Deboeck, a professor in the theatre department, has been working for the past 18 months on a project to enhance curriculum through performance — bringing topics to life, so to speak. Part of this project took place on October 29, 2018 when two actors performed a play she wrote for my mass communication history class (COMM 5630). The play, “The Lynchpin Life,” juxtaposes the true story of anti-lynching activist Ida Wells with a fictional character who becomes an activist in Black Lives Matter. The goal is to help students gain a different appreciation for Wells while also seeing how history influences current events. Deboeck is using this experience as part of a pilot project funded by a University Teaching Grant called “Teaching Theatre with Liveness.” She has given several performers opportunities to learn their craft by participating in live theater, performing for theatre classes and receiving compensation for doing so; Deboeck also seeks to engage in other cross-disciplinary collaborations with faculty to help enrich the education of U students–“The Lynchpin Life” is the first such engagement.


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.


Love in The Arena by “Big Love” Director Robert Scott Smith

6 Nov , 2018  


My first adventure with Big Love started with a trip to the emergency room, because someone accidentally scratched my cornea during callbacks. Maybe the director just took pity on me after the accident and wanted to make a peace offering, but I was cast in the role of Nikos. And now, fourteen years later, I have the privilege of revisiting this wonderfully wild and fiercely relevant work. I thought I had a good sense of the production and the story I wanted to tell, but that was before I started looking more closely through the magnifying glass of the #MeToo Movement.

The story I wanted to tell evolved. One line kept reverberating in my mind, one spoken passionately by Thyona: “there can be no love because there can be no love that is not freely offered and it cannot be free unless every person has equal standing.” What would happen to the power dynamic if women actually had equal standing? And if women do not have equal standing, can we ever have justice?

I jumped at Chuck Mee’s invitation to “pillage the plays as I have pillaged the structures and contents of the plays of Euripides and Brecht and stuff out of ‘Soap Opera Digest’ and the evening news and the internet.” I updated references to bring us to 2018, added text from other works by Chuck, and changed almost all the music he suggested—which had been exclusively male—and found music composed, written or performed by women. This production is an equal collaboration amongst the actors, designers, and stage management team, and I couldn’t have fulfilled my vision without their incredible work.

So, welcome to our boxing ring. Chuck Mee says: “I like plays that are not too neat, too finished, too presentable. My plays are broken, jagged, filled with sharp edges, filled with things that make sudden turns, careen into each other, smash up, veer off in sickening turns, that feels good to me. It feels like my life. It feels like the world.” We hope you feel the same!

—Robert Scott Smith, Director

We will have a post-performance discussion immediately following the 7:30 p.m. performance on November 16, to talk about the impact the #MeToo movement has had on Big Love. 

Big Love | November 9-18 | Babcock Theatre
Tickets available at



BIG LOVE more timely than ever Nov 9-18 in the Babcock Theatre

31 Oct , 2018  

The University of Utah’s Department of Theatre ends the fall season with Charles L. Mee’s Big Love, an elaborate, updated retelling of one of the oldest plays in Western history, The Danaids by Aeschylus. Directed by Robert Scott Smith, the production runs Nov. 9-18 in the Babcock Theatre in the lower level of the Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South and University Street.

Big Love, which has nothing to do with polygamy or the late cable TV series, tells the story of 50 brides who flee their 50 grooms and seek refuge in an Italian villa. Mayhem ensues, complete with grooms in flight suits, women throwing themselves to the ground, occasional pop songs, romantic dances, and even a bride falling in love.

Written originally for the Humana Festival, Louisville, in 2000, this play is topically relevant by tackling the issue of sexual misconduct that prompted the #MeToo movement, and challenging the many misconceptions of gender and sexuality that still exist today. In a 2003 interview with Open Stages newsletter, Mee explained, “…it’s all about refugees and gender wars and men and women trying to find what will get them through the rubble of dysfunctional relationships, and anger and rage and heartache.”

Big Love is timely, important, and a spectacular theatre piece the audience won’t forget.

General $18
UofU Fac/Staff $15
Seniors (60+)/Military $15
Free for UofU students with valid student ID, must show Ucard in person to request a ticket
Student $8.50


Audio Tour: “Great Ascents” by Emily Nash

16 Oct , 2018  

So, I made a thing.

A year ago I was beginning to write the grant for this project. I had seen Remote Mitte by Rimini Protokoll earlier that year in Berlin, and I was really interested in audio tours as an immersive, theatrical experiment. I wrote about re-contextualizing locales, sharing stories dismissed by ageism, engaging people with my city, and, with the help of Robert Scott Smith, I got the grant.

In December of 2017, I sent out flyers to every assisted living facility in Salt Lake, calling for storytelling volunteers. I got one reply. This tour is a collection of his stories. Along the way, equipment broke, feelings got hurt, and publishing platforms disappeared into the ether after being acquired by massive speaker companies (I’M LOOKING AT YOU BOSE). But my friends and faculty were always there to work through the hiccups, and that was pretty flipp’n awesome. Special thanks to Benjamin Young and Alexander Woods.

This tour isn’t perfect. But it’s personal, political. And it’s probably not like any other audio tour you’ll be listening to in the near future. So go out there and get to know my city.

by Emily Nash, student in the Actor Training Program

Great Ascents

By Emily Nash
Available on VoiceMap Audio Tour
Oct. 6-Nov. 6, 2018

Audio Tour: Great Ascents was made possible by a University of Utah Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) grant. UROP provides undergraduate students and mentors the opportunity to work together on research or creative projects. To find out more about how to apply for a UROP grant, visit:


About Emily Nash

She is a senior in the ATP. Currently she’s the assistant director of  Julius Caesar in Studio 115 at the University of Utah. She is also finishing her massage therapy certification, and lurking, “whoops I mean interning,” at Pioneer Theatre Company. Favorite roles include Maria in Up: The Man in the Flying Chair (Studio 115), Player in Shockheaded Peter (Sackerson), and Carmen in This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Arizona State University). Next up you’ll see her in The Rivals in the Babcock Theatre. Lots of love to her friends and family for supporting her shenanigans.



UNVEILED, a one-woman show, by Rohina Malik October 19-20 at the Post Theatre

10 Oct , 2018  

Racism. Hate crimes. Love. Islam. Culture. Language. Life.
Five Muslim women in a post-9/11 world serve tea and uncover what lies beneath the veil in this critically acclaimed one-woman show.

Photo by Sadaf Syed.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre and Adjunct Instructor of Gender Studies, Lynn Deboeck has helped in the coordination to bring Rohina Malik, a Chicago-based playwright and solo-performer to the University of Utah campus to perform her piece, Unveiled at the Post Theatre on Friday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m and Saturday, October 20 at 1:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Unveiled, has been presented at theaters in the United States, Canada and in the summer of 2016 in South Africa. Rohina has performed the play at the 16th Street Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, Next Theater, Brava Theater, Crossroads Theater, Muslim Fest in Canada, Theater project, Baltimore, Voyage Theater Company NYC and Silk Road Rising.  
Unveiled has also been presented at Princeton University, Yale University, NYU, University of Chicago, Stanford University, DePaul University, Loyola University, College of the Atlantic, Bates College, St. Mary’s College, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, Oklahoma State University,  University of Wyoming,  Brigham Young University, College of New Jersey, Washington University, Fordham University, UW Osh Kosh, Concordia University, La Verne University, and many more.  
Rohina has been invited to perform Unveiled at Universities, Churches,  Mosques, Synagogues and Theaters. She was awarded the Y award with the Evanston YWCA for her work to end racism.  

Praise for Unveiled
“Rohina Malik, the hugely talented writer-actress at the center of the Victory Gardens solo show “Unveiled,” is a remarkable new theatrical voice in Chicago. In her rich, upbeat and very enjoyable 70-minute collection of five character studies of Muslim women in modern-day America, Malik gives voice to characters from whom we hear far too little in the theater.”  
–Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune.

A “terrific show… intellectually engrossing work of theater”
— Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune

“Unveiled offers a provocative, insightful and uplifting theater experience.”
Tom Witom, Pioneer Press

“Powerful solo show… five riveting tales of Muslim women”
— Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader

“A compelling 70-minute piece rich with illuminating surprises, drawing the audience into worlds that are both unique and truly universal. It is terrifically entertaining.
— Catey Sullivan, Chicago Examiner

“Rohina’s little masterpiece will further open our eyes”
Alan Bresloff, Steadstyle Chicago

“The stories are important, to be sure, but the cumulative effect is weighty.”
Web Behrens, Chicago Free Press.

“She creates five characters on stage…..I shed a tear or two….Works like this do their bit to bring about peace and harmony and counter hate.  I wish this could visit every school, every church, every mosque, every temple in the country.”  Moira de Swardt

One of the most awaited performances of the 2016 National Arts Festival was Unveiled, written by internationally-acclaimed playwright and actress Rohina Malik.​… Unveiled was written in response to the 9/11 attacks in America and is one of the bravest
and uplifting experiences I have ever had.”
 Khinali Bagwandeen

“Unveiled is a provocative piece of theatre, rich with enlightening surprises that draw the audience into a unique but yet universal world.”  –  Carol Kagezi


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


Workshop with Fight Master, David Boushey

9 Oct , 2018  

David Boushey, right, the founder of the International Stunt School, throws a fake punch at longtime ISS instructor Daniel Ford Beavis. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

The Department of Theatre at the University of Utah is honored to be hosting Fight Master David Boushey on October 19, 2018 for a master workshop with faculty and students from the Actor Training Program, 9:40-11:35 a.m. in the Performing Arts Building.

Master Boushey is an American stuntman, stunt coordinator, stage fight director and stunt trainer. He is the founder of International Stunt School in Seattle, WA, which is considered the foremost stunt training facility in the film industry. He is also the founder of the United Stuntmen’s Association and the Society of American Fight Directors. He was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame in 1992. Fight Master Boushey is one of fourteen First Masters in North America and the recipient of the Los Angeles Critics Award for Best Fight Choreography in 1981, 1985, and 1991.

During his career 40-year professional career as a stunt coordinator and stunt instructor throughout North America and Europe, he has Coordinated Stunts and Action for 8 Academy Award-Winning actors including Chris Cooper, Brad Dourif, William Hurt, Tommy Lee Jones, Marsha Mason, Jon Voight, Christopher Walken, and Denzel Washington. Other actors he’s trained include Drew Barrymore, Barry Corbin, Anna Faris, Danny Glover, James Earl Jones, Heather Locklear, Mary Tyler Moore, Meg Ryan, Keifer Sutherland, and Elijah Wood.


From The Director’s Desk: The Joys of a High-Stakes Match Well Played

5 Sep , 2018  

Championship chess is a thrilling world, filled with larger than life personalities, intrigues, and fast paced action. Who knew that watching hyper-intelligent people think could be so interesting? Mix chess with the dynamics of take-no-prisoners international diplomacy, crossed with complicated interpersonal entanglements, and you have the basis of a compelling story. The story of these various attempts at manipulation come together compellingly in Tim Rice, Benny Anderson, and Bjorn Ulvaeus’s musical Chess.

Why this play? This play has been tried in different forms between the West End and Broadway. It has been pretty commonly understood in the industry that neither form worked perfectly. Tim Rice, whose idea this play was, invites a director to continue the work of shaping the telling of this story, its character development, and the interplay of those different worlds. That alone was a compelling reason to work on this material.  ABBA’s score is well known and well loved, and Tim Rice’s lyrics give fuel to the world. It was an exciting prospect for me to dissect this wonderful story, script, and score, and to reimagine the intersections of the characters in order to make their journey touch us across the footlights.

Why now? Current Russian–American sparring cannot help but remind us of the deadly diplomatic tensions of the Cold War. How do we relate to each other as nations and as individuals? How do we know what the other side really wants, really means? How we really function productively?

We in the Chess company have a tremendous respect and admiration for the amazing minds that compete in chess at the championship level. We’ve come to understand the dominance of Russia in the game and the support they have given their most skilled players. The obsession and focus required to participate at this level attracts minds that just don’t turn off. Unfortunately, minds that ignore other aspects of life are easily mis-used. We hope that you will love these characters and their story in this rarified world as much as we have loved creating it all for you.

The collaborative nature of theatre requires that artistry and co-operation from many specialists come together. Our team has been especially brilliant. We have an amazingly talented cast. Musical Director Alex Marshall’s orchestration underscores the drama with passion. Halee Rasmussen’s tilted, raked chess board is a constant tweak to the predicatable. Cole Adams’s inspired lighting keeps us on edge and guessing at what will happen next. Adam Day masterfully brings the voices front while still letting us feel the band in the room. Brenda Van der Wiel created our edgy, surprising costumes. Amanda French wig’s and make-up have added to the off kilter nature of the characters. Amber Lewandowski and her skilled stage management team have kept us focused and on schedule. The Musical Theatre Ensemble supports and broadens the score allowing us to expand the sound.

We have been so blessed with a team that has bonded, and who serve the show with definitive focus and unique sensitivity and talent.

We hope you enjoy the show!

–Denny Berry
Director and Choreographer of Chess The Musical

Musical Theatre Program Head


“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.





It’s time to party like a rock star at Arts Bash

20 Aug , 2018  


On Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 11A – 2P, the arts at the University of Utah are taking over the Marriott Library Plaza. We’re talking live performances on a massive stage, interactive art, free food, free T-shirts, free swag, and all the info you could ever want on the different ways to experience the arts on campus.

Hold on,  you know about Arts Pass, right? It’s the one-of-a-kind program that makes it so you can use your UCard to get free or deeply discounted tickets to literally hundreds of arts experiences on campus each year. So you can attend dance performances, concerts, plays, exhibitions, film screenings, and more on the super cheap — and it even includes special student access to the Utah Museum of Fine ArtsUtahPresents and Pioneer Theatre Company.

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Why? Because more and more research is showing the positive impacts of the arts on education. The findings are significant: exposure to the arts is linked with better critical thinking skills, greater social tolerance, a greater likelihood of seeking out art and culture in the future and better workforce opportunities. (Maybe that’s why we issue tens of thousands of tickets to students every year.)

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But, back to the Bash: First things first, pick up a passport from any of the booths, visit other booths to collect stamps, and when your passport is full, visit the Info booth to redeem it for a super soft mint green Arts Pass t-shirt that you can take to get your choice of design screen printed on it right in front of your eyes. Then you’ll grab some food and catch a couple acts on stage.


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We’re so excited to have all five academic units in the College of Fine Arts there to let you know what non-major classes you can take to spice up your class load, how to major in the arts, and give you the scoop-diddy-whoop about what experiences they’re providing throughout the year for all U students, faculty, and staff.


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Plus, we’ll have all three professional arts organizations (UMFA, UtahPresents and Pioneer Theatre Company) there along with our friends from ArtsForceArts Teaching, the Marriott Library’s Creative & Innovation ServicesASUULassonde Entrepreneur Institute, and the Union Programming Council.

And we’re stoked to welcome to the main stage:
• A proper bash kick-off from the U’s new Associate Vice President for the Arts and Dean of the College of Fine Arts, John Scheib
• The Department of Theatre’s musical theatre program will perform numbers from their season opener “CHESS” directed and choreographed by Denny Berry
• Ballet grad student James Wallace will take the stage for a stunning performance
• The School of Music’s Percussion Ensemble will host a not-to-be-missed drum circle
• And the modern dance freshman class will do its famous improv jam on the plaza (fan favorite every year!)

Not to mention, we have a couple surprises up our sleeves…

So, come. Experience. And start thinking differently.

Original post from The Finer Points Blog


“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


Introducing the 2018-19 Season

6 Jul , 2018  

We are excited to open our season by returning for the fourth year to the Hayes Christensen Theatre at the Marriott Center for Dance for Chess The Musical, a politically-driven, Cold-War–era musical about a chess tournament where players, lovers, politicians, and spies collide through manipulation. Then, David Carey from Oregon Shakespeare Festival joins us in October to direct Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. November brings Charles L. Mee’s Big Love, an elaborate, updated retelling of one of the oldest plays in Western history, The Danaids by Aeschylus.

In the spring, we present Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical comedy Company, directed by Ryan Emmons, followed by the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, Men On Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus in March. We close with Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s first play, The Rivals, a comedy of manners set in 18th-century Bath, England.

We strive to maximize the access, interest, and impact of theatre for our diverse audiences. Our productions will ignite exciting dialogue through talkbacks, panels discussions, and other artist-interface opportunities.

Music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Based on an idea by Tim Rice
Directed and Choreographed by Denny Berry
September 14-23, 2018
The Hayes Christensen Theatre at the Marriott Center for Dance

By William Shakespeare
Directed by David Carey
October 26-November 4, 2018
Studio 115

By Charles L. Mee
Directed by Robert Scott Smith
November 9-18, 2018
Babcock Theatre

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Originally Produced and Directed on Broadway by Harold Prince
Orchestration by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Ryan Emmons
February 15- March 3, 2019
Babcock Theatre

By Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Sarah Shippobotham
March 1-10, 2019
Studio 115

By Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Directed by Alexandra Harbold
April 5-14, 2019
Babcock Theatre

Tickets are now available at


Quarterstaff SAFD Skills Test Workshop July 23-30

25 Jun , 2018  

Professor Chris DuVal is hosting a Quarterstaff SAFD Skills Test Workshop at the University of Utah July 23-30, 2018.

This workshop will include training and testing in Quarterstaff, one of the primary weapon disciplines offered by the SAFD and DAI. Over 30 contact hours with the weapon will be offered, in addition to opportunities to study other weapon styles (TBD).

Reserve your space by contacting Professor Chris DuVal at

Dates: July 23 – July 30
Cost: $450
Instructor: DC Wright

About D.C. Wright

D.C. Wright has been teaching, performing, and directing staged violence since 1994. D.C. became a Certified Teacher of Stage Combat with the Society of American Fight Directors in 1998 and was recognized as a Full Instructor by Dueling Arts International the same year. 

D.C. is very active in teaching at national, regional, and local stage combat workshops all over the country with the SAFD and DAI. He currently coordinates the Central Illinois Stage Combat Workshop, and is the coordinator in charge of the Associate Instructor Program for the Winter Wonderland Workshop, the largest stage combat workshop in the country. D.C. has been teaching every year at the DAI Stage Combat Teacher Training Workshop, which has been hosted at his school for the last six years.

D.C. is also busy as a Fight Director around the country, having directed the violence for Syracuse Stage’s production of The Three Musketeers and Noises Off. He has directed violence for Arkansas Rep’s productions of Spamalot, Peter and the Starcatcher, Wait Until Dark, The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare: Abridged, Treasure Island, Death of a Salesman, To Kill a Mockingbird, Henry V, Hamlet, both Les Miserables, Moonlight and Magnolias, Of Mice and Men, and Romeo and Juliet. He has directed fights for Peter and the Starcatcher, One Man, Two Guv’nors and Hamlet at Theatre Squared in Fayetteville. Romeo and Juliet, Winters Tale, Titus Andronicus, Taming of the Shrew, The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Abridged, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Henry VIII and others for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, as well as the Off-Broadway production of The Blowin of Baile Gall.

D.C. has worked on several commercials and film projects, most notably…And They Fight, a 23-hour six volume stage combat instructional series produced by Dueling Arts International covering all major weapon styles, in which D.C. is a primary demonstrator.

D.C. Wright is recognized as a Certified Teacher of Stage Combat and a Theatrical Firearms Safety Instructor by the Society of American Fight Directors, and as a Master Instructor by Dueling Arts International., D.C. teaches Movement and Stage Combat at Western Illinois University.


MAGNIFYING, No. 13: Josiane Dubois

19 Jun , 2018  

For this episode of MAGNIFYING we spoke with Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Department of Theatre, Josiane Dubois. Our creative community here at the College of Fine Arts is diverse and wide spread. With the goal of gaining a deeper knowledge and awareness of the people within our community, we bring you MAGNIFYING, a series dedicated to showcasing the talent of our students, faculty, and staff.

Tell us about yourself: Name, where you are from, what you do and how you got into in your field of work.
My name is Josiane Dubois. I was born in Lima, Peru, and moved to Salt Lake at the age of 9. I’m the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Department of Theatre. I started working in the Department when I was studying Strategic Communication as an undergrad. This summer I’m finishing a Master’s degree in Health Promotion and Education at the U. Through my research in nutritional label literacy, I’m redesigning Front-of-Package Symbols (FOPs) to make nutrition information quicker and easier to notice, understand, and use in low-health-literacy populations. In the future, I hope to work with health programs that utilize art to promote wellness.

What has surprised you the most in your life?
The need to go back to my roots. The older I get, the more interested I am in Latin American writers, poets, musicians, and other artists. As a child, I dreaded listening to the music my grandparents played at family parties, but now those are the same songs I play to feel connected to my family abroad and to my memories of Peru. I never thought that I would play “La Flor de la Canela” by Chabuca Granda on my Spotify at work, or that I would be humming “En Barranquilla Me Quedo” while walking my dog.
For a long time, I neglected reading or listening to music in Spanish because I wanted to assimilate into the neighborhood where I grew up. I’m really thankful that during my time at University I was encouraged to embrace the different cultures I had lived in. TV series like “Jane the Virgin,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” and “One Day at a Time” similarly portray my experience of growing up around multi-generational Latinx people who speak Spanish, English, and other languages interchangeably. I love working in a community of storytellers who create bridges through art.

What do you wish you had known/been told?
I wish I had learned earlier the power of speaking for myself. In a Conflict and Resolution class during my undergrad, I learned about using “I” statements. Ever since, I feel as if I have been able to communicate more effectively with others.

Originally Published by: The Finer Points