Several productions with Wasatch Front connections are being recognized nationally, and one local theater has raised more than $10,000 for a Haitian charity.
• SALT LAKE ACTING COMPANY has been notified that last season's "Sexsting," by Doris Baizley and Susan Raffanti, has been nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association's Steinberg Award for the best play produced outside of New York City.
"Sexsting" had its world premiere at SLAC in January, was directed by Anne Stewart Mark and featured Paul Kiernan as an alleged internet sex predator. The drama was based on hundreds of pages of courtroom and investigation transcripts.
Six finalists will be chosen in January, and three ATCA/Steinberg New Play winners will be announced in early April at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky.
In other recent SLAC news, two more productions of T.J. Rogers' "Madagascar," which premiered at SLAC during the 2004-05 season, have been scheduled in February at the Fusion theatre Company in Albuquerque, N.M., and July at the North Coast Rep in Solana Beach, Calif. The play was winner of the ATCA's Osborn Award as best play by an up-and-coming playwright in 2005.
Another of Rogers' plays, "The Overwhelming," which was developed at SLAC while he was a playwright-in-residence during 2005, continues its run at the prestigious Roundabout Theatre in New York City.
Local playwright Julie Jensen's "Dust Eaters" was recently produced at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and was spotlighted in this month's American Theatre Magazine. Her "Two-Headed" has also been produced recently in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and in New Jersey. Both plays premiered at SLAC.
• HALE CENTRE THEATRE, which uses its next-to-last show each season as a fund-raiser, presented a check for $10,615 to Healing Hands for Haiti, a Salt Lake-based charity that provides clinical treatment, rehab education and disability prevention to children in Haiti. The funds were raised during the recent run of "Once on This Island," a Broadway musical set in Haiti.
The theater's yearly fund-raisers are usually based around themes connected to each production such as "Operation Possible Dream," which collected school supplies for Iraqi children during HCT's production of "Man of La Mancha" ... toys and gifts for "Annie's Toy Box" during "Annie" ... a "Read-a-Lot" book drive during "Camelot" and nearly 8,000 pounds of food (amounting to 101 "talents," as in biblical weights) for the Utah Food Bank during "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat."
• WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY'S production of "Musical of Musical: The Musicals," produced earlier this month in the Browning Center's Eccles Black Box Theatre, has been selected to compete at the 2008 American College Theater Festival's Regional Festival Feb. 11-16 in Los Angeles.
The musical comedy, which spoofs five different Broadway genres, will have two additional performances on Jan. 25-26 to raise funds to help send the production to Los Angeles.WSU musical-theater studies instructor Jim Christian's original production of "The Pirated Penzance" was a finalist during the festival's 1994 competition, among those being showcased that spring at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Two other Utah productions the U. of U.'s "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and BYU's "Prisoner" were also finalists that same year.)
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