Press Room

PTC presents World Premiere of /i/ by Jeff Talbott

Jan. 5, 2018
For: IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Madeleine Gail Rex
madeleine.rex@ptc.utah.edu
801-581-7222

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF

i

by Jeff Talbott

Salt Lake City – Pioneer Theatre Company presents the World Premiere of i by Jeff Talbott. The new play was featured in our 2016-2017 Play-by-Play new play reading season and will take the main stage Friday, Feb. 16 through Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Sarah has had a rough time, but things are looking up. She has a new doctor and she’s met a nice guy named Jake – but is Jake a nice guy? And what did that doctor do?

i is a mysterious love story about the threads that bind us together, set a few days after tomorrow.

“Having the opportunity to produce the World Premiere of a new play is one of the most exciting things we do at Pioneer Theatre,” said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. “By supporting not only the development of new American plays, but giving those plays a full production, we are part of the future of theatre in America. It is a tremendous honor, a tremendous challenge, and a responsibility we take very seriously.”

“When I read i, I knew instantly that it was a play I wanted to bring to our stage and share with our audiences.”

Equity actors COLLEEN BAUM, TODD GEARHART, KATHLEEN McELFRESH and NAFEESA MONROE comprise the cast.

KATHLEEN McELFRESH plays Sarah Cooper in her PTC premiere. In New York, she has appeared on Broadway in Present Laughter and Off-Broadway in productions of Taking Care of Baby, Greek Holiday, The Frugal Repast and Jester’s Dead. She has also performed regionally for theatres like Studio Theatre, Hartford Stage and The Old Globe, and in television and film.

TODD GEARHART returns to PTC to play Jake Bellamy after reading the part last year and playing C.K. Dexter Haven in the 2013 main stage production of The Philadelphia Story. Based in New York, he has performed on Broadway in Bye, Bye Birdie and at other New York theatres such as Lincoln Center Theater, Cherry Lane and Manhattan Theatre Club. He has also worked regionally and in television and film.

COLLEEN BAUM plays Virginia Cooper and returns after reading the part last year. Baum has appeared in numerous PTC productions, including last season’s Oliver!, as well as Much Ado About Nothing, Our Town, The Heiress, Lost in Yonkers and You Can’t Take It With You. Other Salt Lake credits include work with The Sting & Honey Company, Caine Lyric Repertory Company, Plan-B Theatre Company and Salt Lake Acting Company.

NAFEESA MONROE makes her PTC debut as Beth Denton and others. Elsewhere in the country, she has appeared in Romeo and Juliet, The Wedding Gift, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Mother Courage and Love’s Labour’s Lost. She is also a poet and has been seen on HBO’s “Def Poetry.”

Playwright JEFF TALBOTT has worked with PTC as an actor and playwright. Previous to last season’s reading of i, his play A Public Education was read as part of the 2013-2014 Play-by-Play season and he appeared on stage in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Odd Couple and Doubt. As a playwright, his plays have been produced off-Broadway at theatres like MCC Theater and TACT and have been workshopped with theatres across the country. He writes musicals with composer Will Van Dyke, and they are currently working on a musical commissioned by Grove Entertainment and Barbara Whitman Productions called The Circle.

Pioneer Theatre Company Artistic Director KAREN AZENBERG directs this production. Azenberg is in her sixth year as Artistic Director and directed the regional premiere of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to open the 2017-2018 season. Last season, she directed Sting’s The Last Ship, Oliver!, Women in Jeopardy! and Chess. Originally from New York, Azenberg’s 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).

PAUL TATE DEPOO III returns as scenic designer after designing One Man, Two Guvnors. His other credits include Sweeney Todd, Lady Day, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Bengal Tiger, Follies and Anything Goes as a Broadway associate designer, as well as numerous regional credits. He is a member of Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab and United Scenic Artists, and was titled Live Design Magazine’s “Designer to Watch.”

GREGORY GALE designed costumes for PTC productions of The Last Ship and Cowgirls. His work has received multiple Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations, and his credits include Cyrano de Bergerac, Rock of Ages, Urinetown and La Rondine. Upcoming, he will design for the film Blinded by Ed and the World Premiere of An American Soldier.

JAX MESSENGER is the production’s lighting designer and has lit for numerous companies, including The Philadelphia Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Bard Summerscape, The Washington Ballet and The San Francisco Opera.

WILL VAN DYKE composes original music for i. Currently the music supervisor for Pretty Woman: The Musical on Broadway, Van Dyke recently served as the music director of Kinky Boots. He has worked with Talbott on a number of projects, including Imagine Henry, Wintersong, Seven Broken Hearts and the upcoming The Circle.

Hair and makeup design is by PTC Resident Hair and Makeup Designer AMANDA FRENCH; sound design is by PTC Resident Sound Designer KATE WECKER.

* * *

PUBLICITY PHOTO SHOOT: There will be an on-stage publicity photo shoot on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, time TBA. Please call Madeleine Rex at 801-581-7222 to RSVP.

MEDIA PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to http://www.pioneertheatre.org/press-room/media-photos/ to view the photos.

Photos from our early photo-shoot can be found online. For hi-res versions, click here.

TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during preview or opening night performances for press use can be arranged. Call 801-581-7222.

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast, playwright and artistic staff are available. Call 801-581-7222.

WHO:
Pioneer Theatre Company

WHAT:
The World Premiere of i
by Jeff Talbott

WHEN:
February 16 – March 3, 2018

TIMES:
Mondays – Thursdays, 7:00 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City

PRICES:
$25 – $44 in advance, and $5 more when purchased on the day of the show
Kids in grades K-12 are half-price on Mondays and Tuesdays

MORE INFO:
Box Office: 801-581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon. – Fri.
www.pioneertheatre.org

* * *

CAST:

COLLEEN BAUM*……………………………………… Virginia Cooper
TODD GEARHART*……………………………………. Jake Bellamy
KATHLEEN McELFRESH*………………………………. Sarah Cooper
NAFEESA MONROE*…………………………………… Beth Denton and others

ARTISTIC TEAM:

Director………………………………………………………………. Karen Azenberg
Scenic Designer………………………………………………………. Paul Tate dePoo
Costume Designer……………………………………………………. Gregory Gale
Lighting Designer…………………………………………………….. Jax Messenger
Original Music………………………………………………………… Will Van Dyke
Sound Designer……………………………………………………….. Kate Wecker
Hair and Makeup Designer……………………………………………. Amanda French
Production Stage Manager……………………………………………. Becky Lynn Dawson*
Stage Manager………………………………………………………… Mary P. Costello*
Assistant Stage Manager……………………………………………… Emily Nacrissa Griffith

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Pioneer Theatre Company operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s only fully professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.