Karl Hugh, Utah Shakespearean Festival
Marcella Rose Sciotto and Timothy Pyles in "The Tempest."<BR>

With more than 80 theaters and theater companies in the state, there's a lot going on and quite a bit to keep track of. Here are a few of Utah's theater happenings:

Playwrights' laboratory: If you've ever thought, "I could write a play," now's your chance to give it a try. Plan-B Theatre Company has teamed up with Meat & Potato Theatre to sponsor a new writing program.

Led by Tobin Atkinson, the purpose of the lab is to create a nurturing environment where local writers are encouraged to develop their theatrical voice through hands-on exercises. Those exercises, which will alternate between outside and in-class projects, will help playwrights discover new and better ways to tell stories, grow characters and break writer's block.

Eight playwrights will be chosen to join the group after submitting sample work. The group will meet one Sunday a month for three hours at the Rose Wagner Center. At the end of 10 months, a recital of scenes and monologues created by the writers will be presented before an audience.

The deadline for submitting writing samples is Friday. For more information, log on to www.planbtheatre.org/lab.

Speaking of sharing: Rodgers Memorial Theatre's Academy of Learning is having its sharing festival. Kids who have been attending the summer classes will share what they've learned on Saturday, 2-4 p.m. Performances will be at the theater, 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville. Tickets are $5. Proceeds will be donated to assist children throughout the world in need of wheelchairs, immunizations and safe drinking water (801-298-1302 or rodgersmemorial.com).

Bravo Borg and Burgess! Two Salt Lake natives have been nominated for New York Innovative Theatre Awards — which honor the best of off-off-Broadway.

Christopher Borg, a University of Utah alum, is nominated for outstanding ensemble for "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" — where the cast performs 30 plays in 60 minutes.

And Britney Burgess is nominated for outstanding actress in a featured role for her work in "Professional Skepticism," a dark and funny look at office politics.

The awards will be presented Sept. 22 in New York.

Love is in the air: With a season full of love stories, the Utah Shakespearean Festival is pleased that love is happening off stage, too. Festival actors Marcella Rose Sciotto, 26, and Timothy Pyles, 27, have announced their engagement.

The two met at the festival last fall when they played young lovers in "The Tempest," but they didn't start dating until the end of the season. Both working actors, they live a good portion of the year in different cities and were delighted to both end up in Cedar City for the summer. "We are so excited to have the opportunity to get sick of each other," joked Sciotto.

Pyles is planning to get a doctorate in theater and teach at a university. "We both hope to continue pursuing acting careers, but a teaching job will give us some security so we can support our family," Sciotto said. "We both come from large families, and we want to have a lot of kids."

They plan to get married April 6 at the Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas in Nevada. This season, the pair can be seen in the three outdoor plays: "Cyrano de Bergerac," "Othello" and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona."

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