SALT LAKE CITY — If variety is your thing, “Rose Exposed” has you covered.
Since 2012, the six professional companies that call the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center home have come together for a one-night-only event that showcases each troupe.
It’s an evening that’s tied together by a common theme — this year, breaking news — and each company’s performance runs about 10 minutes, making the entire event about an hour long.
“If you have a short attention span, this is for you,” said Stephen Brown, SB Dance director.
Although the family friendly night offers just a sampling of each of the companies, he continued, the common theme makes it a cohesive program.
“Some performances are more literal, some are more abstract. Some use the language of dance, some the language of theater (and) some both,” he explained.
Joining SB Dance for the Aug. 25 event are Plan-B Theatre, PYGmalion Theatre Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and Repertory Dance Theatre. The evening will also include live performances from pianist Koji Attwood, representing the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation.
“It’s sort of a creative explosion,” said Fran Pruyn, Pygmalion Theatre Company’s artistic director. “It’s wonderful to work on a single theme in a series of very different disciplines. ‘Rose Exposed’ has been playful for us, but it does take an enormous amount of thought to make the evening expansive for everybody.”
Certainly, it’s a sampler, she added. “For the most part, once these pieces are gone, they’re gone,” she said.
The six performing groups meet in the spring to pick the theme but don’t really know how it will all come together until the day of.
“This is the only time you’ll be able to see all six of these resident companies share the stage,” Brown said. “We don’t know how it fits together until the dress rehearsal that day. It’s a pretty exciting way to make things and to be able to contribute to something bigger than yourself.”
Pruyn said the performers look forward to the opportunity to share the stage with talent they would never get to rub shoulders with otherwise.
“Just to see their work and thought process and watch their discipline is so incredible and fun,” she said. “I love the rehearsal process and watching it evolve.”
Brown said that people in the arts tend to work in their own silos.
“It’s hard trying to put something excellent onstage, fighting the headwinds of finances and cultural changes. You work in your own little world,” he said. “So it’s really great to break out of that silo and work together as artists, being able to develop each of our businesses by sharing a common stage and also points of view. That’s what makes us a community and not just a bunch of individual companies.”
The groups chose the breaking news theme because it was fun and provocative and because it could be interpreted in a variety of ways.
“A lot of the takes on the theme will be humorous, some will be poignant and some will be both, but it all will be hugely entertaining,” Brown said. “Audiences are usually super-enthusiastic about ‘Rose Exposed.’ Some are old hands who have seen it every year, some have only seen one or two companies, but we’ve always had a very enthusiastic reception.”
Another benefit of the event is to expose the Rose Wagner building itself, he said.Comment on this story
“Rose Wagner is one of the most heavily used performance centers in the United States,” said Brown, who moved to Salt Lake City 20 years ago because of the center. “It’s an incredible jewel — most towns don’t have anything like it — and we’re trying to shine a little light on it.”
Pruyn said they’re hopeful the evening markets each individual company and the explosion of arts that happens at Rose Wagner.
“People who usually come to see classical music will see modern dance that night, and they might like it,” she said. “Maybe they’ll want to come see more.”
If you go …
What: “Rose Exposed — Breaking News”
When: August 25, 8 p.m.
Where: Rose Wagner Center Performing Arts Center, 138 Broadway