3-play festival begins January 25 with Kimi Handa Brown’s DADDY ISSUES.

By: Jan. 19, 2021
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Salt Lake Acting Company has announced its first-ever New Play Sounding Series Festival. The virtual festival, comprised of three new works, will be presented free to the public in January, February, and March, respectively. Details for the February and March readings will be announced at a later date.

Building on its support of Black Lives Matter and commitment to making meaningful and lasting change at SLAC and the American theatre as a whole, Salt Lake Acting Company specially sought new plays written, and to be directed by, BIPOC artists. A focus on diversity has also been made in casting for the festival.

"For nearly 30 years, SLAC has presented cutting-edge works by burgeoning playwrights through its New Play Sounding Series. But for too long, the voices of so many in our BIPOC communities have been silenced by systemic oppression in the American theatre," said Executive Artistic Director Cynthia Fleming. "SLAC is committed to playing its part in implementing meaningful and lasting change. It is in this spirit that we present our first ever NPSS Festival. Each of these three plays is written and directed by some of the most promising voices the American theatre has to offer."

"Nearly a year into this pandemic, we're continuing to learn more about ourselves and community. We've been forced to face a temporary reality where live theatre is not a part of our lives. I'm proud of the work we've put into creating digital entertainment, yet I'm even more humbled by our supportive audiences who continue to adapt with us," continued Fleming. "We've been encouraged by the response to our digital offerings (CLIMBING WITH TIGERS, AMERICAN DREAMS)-so much so, that we've decided to bring the community three new digital works over the next few months, instead of the previously-announced single. This allows us to uphold what SLAC has always done best: develop new works for our adventurous audiences."

Founded in 1994, Salt Lake Acting Company's New Play Sounding Series (NPSS) is the longest-running reading series of its kind in Utah. Past works that have been workshopped in the NPSS to later receive full productions at SLAC (and elsewhere) include SILENT DANCER and HARBUR GATE by Kathleen Cahill, MERCURY by Steve Yockey, STAG'S LEAP by Sharon Olds, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF Steve Jobs by Mike Daisey, A SLIGHT DISCOMFORT by Jeff Metcalf, and THE RECEPTIONIST by Adam Bock.

Kicking off the NPSS Festival is DADDY ISSUES by Kimi Handa Brown. In addition to appearing in last year's SLAC DIGTIAL SHORTS series, Brown is a recent graduate of the University of Utah, where the play had a digital student production last year. The NPSS Festival production will be directed by Summer L. Williams, who serves as Associate Artistic Director at Company One Theatre in Boston. The play is described as follows:

DADDY ISSUES is a new play focused on four college girls and how their experiences with the men in their lives affect them on a day-to-day basis. We follow them throughout their days as they bond with each other, make mistakes, and try to learn to grow during a time when it seems that everyone else's opinion matters more than your own.

"This whole experience is a dream come true. Salt Lake Acting Company has provided me with the best environment to learn and grow. This also feels like a second chance for Daddy Issues, which will be nurtured in a professional setting with wonderful working artists," said Brown. "I have loved being able to work on this play in its many iterations, especially during a time when theater is scarce."

Appearing in DADDY ISSUES are Brynn Duncan (Daphne), Helena Goei (Jade), Eva Merrill (Bridget), Nadia Sine (Laney), and Matthew Rudolph (Jackson). Francisca Da Silveira serves as dramaturg, Sammee Jackman will read stage directions, and Jennie Sant is stage manager.

The virtual reading of DADDY ISSUES is free to the public. Attendees can register here.


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