BWW Interviews: Utah Rep Inaugurates 2nd Stage Series with LOVE LETTERS

BWW Interviews: Utah Rep Inaugurates 2nd Stage Series with LOVE LETTERS

"We don't like seeing a dark theater" is how Utah Rep Artistic Director Johnny Hebda introduces the company's 2nd Stage series of productions.

"We saw a need for an alternative to full-scale productions in the company's season," Hebda says. "2nd Stage allows directors and actors to explore limited runs of theater pieces in a black-box staging on the set of an existing production on evenings when the theater would not be in use."

The first production in this exciting new series is playwright A.R. Gurney's heartfelt "Love Letters," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The readers' theater drama stars two highly acclaimed Utah performers: Mark and April Fossen, under the direction of Chase Ramsey.

"The beauty of 'Love Letters' is in its simplicity," says Ramsey. "We have two actors reading letters with uniquely touching dialog and filled with personal experience. The playwright asks for the piece to be void of any 'typical theatrical experience.' His goal was to simply allow the actors and the words to speak for themselves."

To introduce the actors in this production, Ramsey says, "Mark and April Fossen have cultivated a lifetime of artistic genius. They are truly among the elite in the local theater community."

There will be three performances only on Tuesday, Aug. 26, Wednesday, Aug. 27, and Thursday, Aug. 28, at 7:30 p.m. on the "August: Osage County" set at the Sugar Space Theater River District.

Admission is free to Utah Rep season-tickets subscribers, and tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door for general audiences. Tickets can be purchased at UtahRep.org/tickets.

In the words of the author, "'Love Letters' needs no lengthy rehearsal, no special set, no memorization of lines, and no commitment from its two actors beyond the night of performance." What follows is a poignant look at love, life, and friendship.

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Blair Howell Blair Howell's career is in the professional publishing arena (for more years than he cares to remember), with a longstanding interest in theater. He found it to be great fun to live in New Canaan, Connecticut, with easy access to the Great White Way. But now, Blair lives in Salt Lake City (a long, not interesting story). The much-lamented move has allowed him to be more active in regional theater. He now covers theater and the arts for the Deseret News, Utah's oldest, continuously-published metro daily newspaper, and has written for various theater-related national magazines and websites.


 
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