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Review: THE MESSENGER at Pioneer Theatre Company is a Timely, Elegant World Premiere

THE MESSENGER plays through January 29, 2022.

Review: THE MESSENGER at Pioneer Theatre Company is a Timely, Elegant World Premiere

The world premiere of the new play THE MESSENGER at Pioneer Theatre Company is an incredibly timely, elegantly written intellectual and emotional reflection of the state of our world.

THE MESSENGER by Jeff Talbott is inspired by Henrik Ibsen's classic drama AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. When Therese Stockman learns of a viral contagion that is infecting her town, she feels a moral imperative to warn the citizens, even if it endangers their livelihoods and wreaks havoc on her relationships.

First conceived by Talbott and director Wes Grantom in 2019, THE MESSENGER received a workshop at Pioneer Theatre Company that was interrupted the week of March 9-14, 2020. The parallels to the pandemic era we currently live in are astounding given that the details were already inherent in the play.

THE MESSENGER is a tightly scripted, intensely interesting treatise on our individual and collective responsibilities in society and as fellow human beings. Cerebral but filled to the brim with tenderness, it blurs the lines between fiction and fact, between a foreign land in a bygone era and America of today.

Ora Jones as Therese Stockman is regal and passionate - both filled with compassion and indignation. Her presence fills the theatre.

Meredith Holzman as Kristine Hovstad and Turna Mete as Petra Stockman are also powerful women who match her in strength and care.

Mark H. Dold as Peter Stockman, Grayson DeJesus as Einar Billing, and Barzin Akhavan as Henrik Abelman stand their ground through obstinate argument and petition.

The scenic and costume design by Yoon Bae are complimentary to one another and distinctly denote the time and place of Norway in 1882. The ornate set shifts throughout the show to a starker visage as the outlook becomes bleaker. The evocative transitions, including lighting by Brian Tovar and original music by Will Van Dyke, provide a visceral reaction to the fragmented emotional state of the characters and audience.

THE MESSENGER plays through January 29, 2022. For tickets, call the box office at 801-581-6961 or visit www.pioneertheatre.org.

Photo Credit: Cast of THE MESSENGER. Courtesy of Pioneer Theatre Company.

Regional Awards


From This Author - Tyler Hinton

Tyler Hinton has been a contributing editor at BroadwayWorld since January 2012. He has a BA from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor i... (read more about this author)


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