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Pioneer Theatre Company Presents THE MESSENGER Next Month

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Performances will run January 14 - 29, 2022.

Almost two years after its new play reading was interrupted by the pandemic in March 2020, Pioneer Theatre Company presents the world premiere of THE MESSENGER by award-winning playwright Jeff Talbott. The main stage production will open January 14, 2022 and will run through January 29, 2022. Tickets are available at www.pioneertheatre.org or by calling 801-581-6961.

The Messenger tells the story of Therese Stockman, a small-town doctor in Norway in 1882 who has made a shocking discovery about the industry that gives her town its lifeblood. Her friend Kristine, the editor of one of the town newspapers, is about to take the story and run with it, but at what cost? The Messenger is a dramatic roller coaster ride that examines our relationships with the press and the community, challenging when and where to draw the line when public safety and economics clash.

"I have been recently fascinated by classic pieces of theatre containing social and political themes that closely mirror our current climate," says PTC's Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. "Ibsen's whistleblower story, An Enemy of the People, has always been intriguing, and even more so in the last year. When I spoke to Jeff [Talbott] about it, he jumped on the idea of a new adaptation, presenting with me with a first draft less than two months later! Little did I know that the play's other theme, the threat of a viral contagion, would be so incredibly timely!"

i??There also will be a free public event on January 15, 2022 directly after the 2:00 p.m. matinee featuring the playwright on stage with UPHE president/founder DR. BRIAN MOENCH, playwright and activist Mary Dickson, and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Playwright Jeff Talbott has appeared as both an actor and a playwright at PTC. His play /i/ was developed in Pioneer Theatre Company's Play-by-Play new play reading series in 2017 and subsequently produced by PTC in 2018. A Public Education was also read in the series in 2014 and was a finalist for the 2015 O'Neill Playwrights Conference, one of five times he has been a finalist. He also won an Outer Critics Choice Award winner for his play The Submission.

"Henrik Ibsen is my favorite playwright," says Talbott. "And yet... once I sat down to write, I quickly thanked him for inspiration and wrote my own thing. His spectacular play is trapped in its time, and once I freed myself to write something new, something now, this play jumped out of me. And the chance to build it, from page one, with my friend and collaborator Wes Grantom is the kind of gift you just keep pinching yourself for getting. We're so excited to bring our brand-new play to PTC!"


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