Kickstarter Project a Success!!

Thanks to the generosity of many, our crowdsource fundraising project through Kickstarter has been a great success. We would like to thank all of sponsors for making it possible to bring the best possible production to the stage and for making this dream a reality. We look forward to seeing you all at our premier production of Screwtape adapted for the stage by James Forsyth and based on the novel The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis later this month.

Directed by Michele Rideout

Performing at Midvale Main Street Theatre
7711 S. Main St. (700 W.) Midvale Utah
November 29, 2012 through December 2, 2012

Bryce Morgan, Wesley & Sarah Pack, Carina Kuesterman Dillon, Daniel, Katherine Terban, Jeremy Morgan, Paul Gibbs, Jeremy Worley, and Timothy L. McMahon.

Alexa Rideout, Caitlynn Caldwell,

Hillary Andrus Straga, Ryan Welling, Emily Decker, Russell Warne, and Wendi Gibbs.

Hannah Stott, Amy Dalton, LaRue Roberts, Karen Kast, Cammie Mann, Valerie Pendleton Park, Melanie Appel, Sara Stevens, Staci Duke, Neal, Michael Etzel, Marie Decker, Joe Bartenhagen, Gordon Jones, Megan Pedersen, Janet Mann, Chris Siebeneck, Melissa Jones, and Tracey Sutherland.

Lori Garrett- Feeding Michele Rideout, Joe Lamantia- Feeding TBA, Trevor Andersen- Feeding James Whitmore, Jeffrey L. Owen- Feeding James Whitmore, Beth Bruner- Feeding JayC Stoddard, Jann LeVitre- Feeding Nancy Jensen, Buster Pike- Feeding Cami Rozanas, Brett Davis- Feeding JayC Stoddard, and Jim Gastelum- Feeding Jim Schroeder because “no Jim should be left behin.”Plus Jim kicked in an extra $5 too!) Beqi Gardner also pledged $50 to our cause and took no rewards whatsoever.

Joe Lamantia also donated the tickets that were part of his reward fulfillment to be given away in a random drawing to a US Armed Services Veteran. The winner of the drawing is: Lorrinda Christensen of American Fork, Utah. She has 12 years of service with the Army National Guard. Congratulations, Lorrinda- you’ve got two tickets to see Screwtape!

Dan & Cami Rozanas, John Walker, Dave Mortensen, Annelise Murphy, Doug Baird, and Keith Dowding.

Douglas B. Hill

Chris Skipworth, C.E.O. Kemesa, Inc.

The David and Andrea Flynn Family

April Fossen (Barbara Fordham): “Sometimes We Lie”

My uncle suffered a stroke earlier this week. The prospect isn’t good. He’s currently in the ICU of the same hospital where my pregnant niece is on bed rest because she started having preterm labor at 33 weeks.

I realize that’s kind of personal information. But, it’s my family. These are just two members of this truly massive group of people that are hilarious and ridiculous and smart and infuriating and generous and fierce and I love every one of them so much I feel like my chest is going to burst open. They have seen me at some of my best and worst moments — through childhood and adolescence and marriage and parenting and now the beginning of aging. And I’ve seen them through those things as well. And it’s hard and beautiful to watch. And I have feelings about how some of them have approached different aspects of their lives. And I know they have feelings about my approach to life too.

And I think about our family gatherings compared to the Weston family gathering in “August: Osage County,” and I realize I’m unbelievably lucky. It didn’t happen in a moment or even out loud, but we made a set of agreements as a family that makes it possible for us to be with each other.

We don’t say things purposely to hurt or expose each other. We do what we can to support each other’s decisions, even if we don’t agree with them. We steer away from painful or loaded topics. And sometimes, we lie.
And the little lies and the little omissions keep us together and keep us moving forward and keep us loving each other.
The Westons…are a different story.

The Pavilion- Real World Interviews

Check out our teaser trailer for our upcoming production of The Pavilion by Craig Wright, presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Services, Inc.

Directed by Michele Rideout and Amy Allred

Stage Management by Jamie S’ua

Incidental Sound Design and Graphic Artwork by Mikal Troy Klee

Lighting Design by Austin Stephenson

Dramaturgy by Brian Powell


Cami Rozanas as “Kari”

Allen Smith as “Peter”

Julie Mylan Simonich and Brian Pilling as “The Narrators”

33 Variations, The Reviews

We got a bit behind on our website updating and maintenance, but we’re catching our breath, and catching up now. Our very successful run of 33 Variations by Moises Kaufman in November enjoyed good reviews, and was well received by audiences. We heard the following from patrons in the lobby after seeing the show:

“That was truly beautiful. And funny! I don’t think there is another play I’ve liked this much in a long time.”

“This cast has great chemistry. I was completely absorbed in the story.”

“The set and the projected effects were really cool.”

“The mother/daughter relationship was genuine, sincere, and completely believable. If you told me they were mother and daughter in real life, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

“I had the privilege last night to see dress of “33 Variations”. GO! Even if you hate classical music this is a fabulous piece of Utah theater you will NOT want to miss. Jesse Peery and Anne Puzey should be justly proud. Anne Cullimore Decker is true and subtle and strong and wonderful. Michele Case Rideout is touching and funny. And the ‘supporting’ performances of Kit Anderton, Aaron Buckner, Allen Smith and Betsy West would be starring roles in any other production. They deserve to sell out, and I am thrilled to be seeing it again Saturday.” — Beth Bruner

“Thanks & congratulations for 33 Variations! Wit, courage, & muscle.” — Andra Zoe Harbold

“Beautiful and moving. It was like watching our story unfold again. The lead actress really nailed what it’s like to be a person with ALS.” — Robert Rees

“Enjoyed it thoroughly…so many thoughts provoked by the play.” — Andrea Du Clos

“Amazing! So glad I got to see it.” — Robin Wilkes-Dunn

Congratulations, Cast of COMPANY!

We’d like to congratulate the cast of COMPANY and thank everyone who came out to audition. Show runs in November. Show info will be posted at a later date, but the run is November 7th through the 23rd and tickets will go on sale in late September.

Dog Sees God Review – Front Row Reviewers Utah

“Funny. We’re warned from the beginning it’s adult language. That’s true. And we will see adult situations. That’s true, too. But In Dog Sees God, these are kids onstage. Well, adult actors playing kids. To all of us who’ve grown into adulthood ourselves, wasn’t our first cruelty at their hands? Dog Sees God is a riff on the beloved Peanuts cartoon strip. Seeing how the characters turned out as teenagers (in this version) squeezes the heart a little. Yes, there are many laugh out loud moments, but the poignancy comes right up behind.” – Joel Applegate

Kate Rufener on directing COMPANY

We asked the very busy, Kate Rufener, director of COMPANY a Musical Comedy, a few questions about her experience directing.

Kate, tell us about the story of COMPANY and how it’s being told through your vision?

The story of COMPANY is really the story of anyone who’s ever been single, felt like the third wheel, or worried they aren’t ‘doing enough’ to get into a relationship. The character Bobby, who is single, represents anyone who has ever felt that way. He struggles to understand his place in his group of friends and in his own life.

What is the key thing for you in telling the story?

We, as a cast, are drawing out several elements and highlighting some sticky relationship issues – things like competition between spouses, fear of really committing, and facing failure in relationships. We have some subtle staging elements we’re playing up to ensure the story is told in the most humorous and engaging way possible.

Anything special you want the world to know about this show/cast/story?

Sondheim (music) and Furth (book) make it easy to play many levels. The key thing about this piece is that if you’re a fan of Sondheim, you’ll love the depth of this particular show. And if you’re not a fan, and maybe you’ve never heard of Sondheim, this is still a funny, wonderful, and thought-provoking piece that’ll entertain you.

What’s your favorite thing about this project?

Wow, only one favorite? I could rave about the talent of the cast for hours, surely they’re the favorite. Or I could go on and on about our Music Director (Anne Puzey), who makes it look easy to teach Sondheim music. Surely, it’s her? Or maybe it’s the incredibly-performed moment at the end of the show with the song, ‘Being Alive’, which has long been one of my favorites. I can’t pick one – come see the show and pick one for me?

COMPANY a Musical Comedy with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth is licensed through Music Theatre International, and will be performed at the new Sugar Space Arts Warehouse in Downtown Salt Lake City Utah.

Michele Rideout (Ivy Weston): “The play feels awful familiar”

I first read “August: Osage County” two years ago, and I immediately wanted to do it. It feels very much like a classic, a slice of literary Americana, if you will. A part of me wants to say that my own family is nowhere near as dysfunctional as this one, but that wouldn’t be true. The truth is, the play feels awful familiar, even if not on so grand a scale, and that draw to the story is there. I think Utah audiences are ready for this story, with all its beautifully, tragic, broken bits of the unfulfilled promise that is the American Dream.

Ivy Weston is the middle daughter of Beverly and Violet, neither of which will be winning Parent-of-the-Year anytime soon. At 44 years old, this quiet, college-educated woman remains unmarried, and as far as the world knows, unattached. She has been left with the sole responsibility of caring for her father, a quiet alcoholic, and her mother, addicted to a variety of pills, and with a tongue that could flay open even the toughest of skin.

Ivy’s sisters, Barbara — a few years older, married with a teenage daughter — and Karen — younger and less grounded — have both long ago moved away from small-town Pawhuska to pursue bigger and better things in Anywhere But These GD Plains, USA. Ivy struggles with not begrudging them their freedom, their escape, but it’s been very hard on her to be left as the sole care-giver to their toxic parents. I don’t think Ivy’s reasons for staying close to home rather than leaving are all that complex; I think like a lot of us, she’s simply allowed herself to unwittingly fall into the trap of familial loyalty — not so much a loyalty to each other as family members who love one another, but a loyalty to the roles that life casts us in; and her case, it’s as the long-suffering daughter in a highly dysfunctional family.

Ivy has long played this part of the devoted daughter, managing to ever and always exude a calm and patient exterior, but this exterior, is a facade that perfectly conceals her true nature: a very passionate woman who longs for something more; a woman with a secret. Some very key, and life-changing things happen to Ivy in the two years prior to when the action in this play begins, and she’s begun to grow cynical, but remains ever hopeful. A seemingly strange combination on the surface, but I can really relate to that aspect of Ivy on a personal level. It’s difficult, but she tries very hard to fight feeling bitterness over he lot in life. At being “stuck.”

The dynamics of the relationship Violet and Ivy share are also very interesting to me. On the surface they seem so different. For example Violet cares very much about appearances; Ivy however, not so much. Violet is verbose, and loudly opinionated; Ivy is the exact opposite. But when we dig deeper, and go below the surface of the soil this relationship is planted in, we find striking similarities.

At one point, Ivy tells her sisters that their relationship is a matter of genetic circumstance, and that the idea of “family” is a myth — nothing more. But when you look at certain traits, shared by Ivy and Violet, when you look at the moments where love and compassion is clearly present, you get the sense that playwright Tracy Letts is trying to tell us something very pointed about familial bonds.

Violet says at the end of the play that Ivy is not strong like herself, and Barbara, but again as we look at Ivy and her actions, we see that is wrong. She is strong in a way very much like Violet. Even the character names, Violet and Ivy, are a hint at a deeper connection between this mother/daughter duo.

Even before her father’s passing, Ivy’s begun to consider that life could be different, but with her father, Beverly, hiring a woman to care for Violet and the home before his suicide, it seems like a kind of subconscious permission slip, and she begins to truly believe that a different life is actually possible for her; that she can escape her miserable existence, and in a different place she can be a different person, with the man she loves by her side. She’s fighting for that. A different life.

Michele has appeared locally in “Six Degrees of Separation,” “33 Variations,” and “Steel Magnolias.” She has been actively involved in local theater for over a decade and has worked in several capacities, including not only acting, designing, and directing, but she also served as the executive producer for a local community theater before stepping down to found Silver Summit Theatre Company. She is the artistic director and acting chair for SSTC. Other interests include film, writing, LOLCats, finger painting, and wasting time on the Internet.