theater

Courtesy Salt Lake Acting Company

Bekah Brunstetter's play is about a conservative baker who has to decide if she can bake a cake for her friend’s lesbian daughter.  Really, it's about whether we can find a way to talk to each other.

Courtesy Plan-B Theatre Company

Playwright Matthew Greene's Good Standing is about a gay man facing a Mormon church disciplinary council for getting married. It’s a one-man show - one actor playing one man facing 15 others.

Oslo

Sep 25, 2018
Pioneer Theatre Company

Playwright JT Rogers joins us to talk about his award-winning Oslo. It's about the 1993 negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Rogers says theater, like diplomacy, works when it’s personal.

The Ice Front

Oct 23, 2017
Guillaume Speurt, CC via Flickr, http://bit.ly/2yY699N

Monday, we’re telling a thrilling story from World War II: a troupe of Norwegian actors resisting the Nazi occupation and risking their lives to keep a vile, anti-Semitic play from being staged. The Nazis were using it as a propaganda tool and forcing the National Theater to perform it – at gun point. Utah playwright Eric Samuelsen has dramatized the story of the actors who had to decide if they should take a stand. It’s called The Ice Front, and it’s the latest production of Plan-B Theatre Company.

Courtesy Photo

Thursday, we’re talking about one of the great classics of American theater, A Streetcar Named Desire. It was 70 years ago when Marlon Brando first played Stanley Kowalski on Broadway, but the themes of sexual violence, homophobia, addiction, and family strife still resonate today. A new production at Salt Lake City’s Grand Theatre opens this week, so we’re exploring Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece and how it’s become, as one guest puts it, enshrined in America’s psyche.

Courtesy Plan-B Theatre Company

Hildegard of Bingen was a 12th century abbess, composer, healer, and visionary. Everyone from the Pope to the lowliest novitiate believed she was in direct communication with God. But mid-life, Hildegard's visions changed, and some historians believe it was because she fell in love with another woman. The story is the basis of Utah playwright Tim Slover’s latest work, and Friday, we’re talking about this fascinating woman, and the search for balance between spirituality and the gift of love.

Wednesday, we’re talking about August Wilson, one of the great American playwrights … period. That doesn’t need the qualifier that he was a black playwright. But his plays were about the black experience in this country, and one of his masterpieces was Fences. Denzel Washington’s film version is now in theaters, and the stage version has just opened at Pioneer Theatre Company. We’re taking the opportunity to talk about the heart breaking beauty of August Wilson’s work.

The Last Ship

Sep 22, 2016
Photo by Brent Uberty. Courtesy Pioneer Theatre Company

The musician Sting says writer’s block led him back to the hometown he had worked so hard to escape. Wallsend was a shipbuilding center in Northern England, but he was never interested in being a shipwright. The stories of the men and women there called to him though, and they became the basis for his musical The Last Ship. Pioneer Theatre Company opened its production last week, and Thursday, director Karen Azenberg and others join us to talk about the themes of work, identity, and coming home.

Henry V

Aug 25, 2016
Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016.

Thursday, we’re live at the Utah Shakespeare Festival with a look at the bard’s great history  Henry V. Director Brian Vaughn says the play represents a battle of conscience. Through two earlier works, Shakespeare’s audience knows Prince Hal as a wild and irresponsible young man. But now he has the crown, and must weigh right and wrong to grow into the role of king. We’ll talk about the character, how he’s been portrayed over time, and what the play has to say about leadership and authority.