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BWW Student Center: University of Utah Tackles 'TIS A PITY SHE'S A WHORE

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Justin Tsatsa as Giovanni and Clara Osbeck as Annabella.

“The University of Utah's Production of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore is quite different from any theatre you would expect to see in the area. The story itself is a story not often told-it's like Romeo and Juliet but with incest.” Says actor Justin Tsatsa who plays the lead role of Giovanni.

At the center of the plot is Annabella, the delectably nubile daughter of a nobleman, Florio of Parma. Every eligible bachelor in Italy, it seems, wants to marry her. But her heart belongs to her brother, Giovanni. Full of the idealism of youth, the siblings’ passion is all-consuming, and can only bring about their ruin. With the men of Parma ready to fight and kill for Annabella’s hand, religion, morality and madness all collide as the brother and sister’s secret is revealed.

This tragic Jacobean tale of forbidden love is as controversial and shocking today as it was when it was written nearly 400 years ago. However, it has remained theatrically spellbinding and engaging throughout the centuries and Director Sarah Shippobotham intends to present this difficult story in a unique way. “The combination of movement, language and music makes it different from most of the shows that are put on in this area. Theatre is something you should feel involved and connected with in a personal way, and this particular production requires a sort of forward audience commitment to join the journey.”

Director Sarah Shippobotham giving direction to actor Justing Tsatsa during rehearsal

The students are sure to impress as they navigate the rocky terrain of John Ford’s language and the added use of physical movement to explore the subtext of the rich language that is often considered more difficult than Shakespeare. Tsatsa explains “the theatre has been transformed into a traverse theatre (Set Designer, Irs Salaszar), which means there is audience on both sides of the stage. The set, tied together with the original music, the modern twist on Jacobean dress, and the edgy lighting provide theatergoers with a chance to experience something new and different. It is a play that audiences surely don't want to miss.”

DATES & TIMES: November 9-11 and 15-18, 2012 at 7:30 PM. Matinees on November 17 and 18 at 2:00 PM.

LOCATION: The Babcock Theatre, located at 300 South and University Street (1400 East) in the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, lower level.

TICKETS: Ticket prices are $15 for General Admission and can be obtained by calling 801-581-7100; online at www.kingtix.com; or at the Performing Arts Box Office, located at Kingsbury Hall.

Photos: Spencer Sandstrom.

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