Pioneer Theatre Company to Present ALABAMA STORY Staged Reading, 4/4-5

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Pioneer Theatre Company to Present ALABAMA STORY Staged Reading, 4/4-5

Pioneer Theatre Company presents Alabama Story, the third installment of PTC's new play reading series, called Play-By-Play. Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones runs April 4 and 5, 2014. PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg directs the production.

In 1959 Alabama, a segregationist state senator wants a controversial children's book purged from the state library, but a fearless librarian refuses, putting both of their worlds at risk in a time of extraordinary social change. Inspired by real events, Alabama Story is a highly theatrical new play about tests of character in the Deep South of the Imagination.

Playwright KENNETH JONES is based in New York City and is also a lyricist and librettist. His works for the stage include the play Alabama Story (seen in a 2013 Southern Writers' Project reading directed by Karen Azenberg at Alabama Shakespeare Festival); book and lyrics for the musicals Voice of the City (music by Elaine Chelton) and Naughty/Nice (music by Gerald Stockstill); as well as songs with composers Roger Anderson, Marek Norman, Brad Ross and more. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, BMI and the advanced BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. His work as a journalist includes 15 years as a writer, associate editor and managing editor at Playbill.com and 10 years as a theatre reporter and critic for The Detroit News.

PTC Artistic Director KAREN AZENBERG, who created the Play-By-Play series, directs the reading. Originally from New York, her work there includes Lyrics and Lyricists (92nd St. Y), Blocks (a collaboration with Jonathan Larson), Prom Queens Unchained, and choreography for Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle (Roundabout). Other credits include national tours of Carousel and Brigadoon, Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Regional Theatre Premiere at Geva), West Side Story (over 15 productions; Drama-Logue Award for Outstanding Choreography), A Christmas Memory (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Same Time Next Year (Indiana Repertory Theatre). This is her second season as PTC Artistic Director.

COLLEEN BAUM plays Emily Wheelock Reed, the librarian who refuses to bow to the segregationist senator. Baum was last seen at PTC in Much Ado About Nothing, Our Town, The Heiress, Lost in Yonkers and You Can't Take It With You. Other theatre credits include Course 86B in the Catalogue, Circle Mirror Transformation, End Days, Rabbit Hole, and Kimberly Akimbo among others at Salt Lake Acting Company, plus The Laramie Project, Animal Farm, War of the Worlds, and Tragedy: A Tragedy at Plan-B Theatre Company; Blithe Spirit, Always Patsy Cline, The Mousetrap, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) and Blood Brothers at the Old Lyric Repertory Company.

MAX ROBINSON plays the role of Senator E.W. Higgins. Last seen at PTC in Much Ado About Nothing, Robinson has also appeared in A Few Good Men, Noises Off, My Fair Lady, LES MISERABLES (Thénardier), The Importance of Being Earnest and nearly 100 other productions at PTC. Max played Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde at The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., which earned him a Helen Hayes Award nomination. He has also appeared the last four seasons at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, at Salt Lake Acting Company, the Grand Theatre, and regional theatres from Seattle to New York. Film and TV credits include Other People's Money, All My Children, One Life to Live, Touched by an Angel, Woody Allen's Shadows and Fog and Disney's Pixel Perfect.

MICHAEL JOHNSON plays Thomas Kincaid, assistant and researcher for Ms. Reed. Johnson is a junior in the Actor Training Program at the University of the Utah where he has appeared in Romeo and Juliet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Spring Awakening, Geography Club and Hair. Also an intern for Plan-B Theatre Company, he has been involved in their last six productions, including Eric(a) and Nothing Personal. He appeared with Pioneer Theatre Company in the 2012 production of Laughing Stock.

CHRISTOPHER DUVAL plays the role of Garth Williams, the author of the book in danger of being banned. His work has been seen throughout the country at such theatres as South Coast Repertory, Shakespeare Orange County, Sacramento Theatre Company, Idaho Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage and thirteen seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he worked on over 25 productions including Othello, Comedy of Errors, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Henry VI, Hamlet, The Winter's Tale, and many others. DuVal is an Assistant Professor in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah, where he teaches acting, voice and stage combat. He will be a company member for his fifth season at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in the summer of 2014.

CARLETON BLUFORD plays the role of Joshua Moore, a young man personally affected by segregation in Alabama. Bluford has been acting in theater and film since he was ten years old. He has worked at Plan-B twice in Wallace and The Third Crossing, SLAC in The Overwhelming, The Egyptian in Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, and at Hale Centre Theatre in Civil War with Merrill Osmond. He returns to Pioneer Theatre Company after appearing in last season's staged reading of A Raisin in the Sun, and on the Mainstage in In the Heights.

EMILIA STAWICKI plays Lily Whitfield, a young former friend of Joshua's. A senior in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah, Stawicki has appeared in Metamorphoses (Babcock Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Salt Lake Shakespeare), Matthew Romriell's Schism (SLAC), Tis Pity She's a Whore (Babcock Theatre), Stop Kiss (Studio 115) and Hair (Babcock Theatre). In the summer of 2011, she trained with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. This is her PTC debut.

Current PTC season ticket holders may purchase tickets for $5.00 per ticket. Non-season ticket holders may purchase tickets for $10.00. All tickets are general admission.

Individual tickets may be purchased through the PTC Box Office by calling 801-581-6961 or online at https://tickets.pioneertheatre.org.

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