Artist of the Month
THIS PRODUCTION IS POSTPONED. STAY TUNED FOR NEWS ON THE RESCHEDULED DATES.
In the 1994 Rwanda Genocide at least 800,000 people were slaughtered in a 100 day period. A famous photograph from that period shows a crying baby reaching across a pile of bodies toward her dead mother.
Vivienne Franzmann's The Witness takes place nearly 20 years later in a middle class living room in a London suburb, where the photographer brought the baby to be raised as his own daughter. As a freshman at Cambridge an incident happens which causes the girl to question her past. She finds the negative of the famous photograph and discovers it be have been cropped. Something was cut out of the original picture. At the same time a young man appears at the door, claiming to be her brother and raising certain questions: (1) Is he her brother? (2) Why is he here? (3) What was cut out of the original picture? (4) Why? (5) What does the photographer–now the girl's father–know about it?
The Witness is directed for People Productions by Richard Scharine. Featured in the cast are Bill Gillane, Michaela Johanson, and Calbert Beck.
We have a talkback scheduled for our currently running production of The Exonerated.
It will occur October 23, 2015 after the 7:30pm performance (will begin around 9:00pm).
It will be held at the Social Work Auditorium (SW 134)
University of Utah College of Social Work
395 South 1500 East, SLC
Please join us!
We wanted to give you a quick update on the progress of our most recent production, "The Exonerated." The purpose of this production is to raise funds in support of the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center (RMIC), a local nonprofit that works to correct and prevent the wrongful conviction of innocent people in Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming.
"The Exonerated" is a docudrama written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen about five men and a woman who spent from two to 22 years on Death Row for crimes they didn’t commit.
In the last 30 years over 150 death row inmates, as well as over 1,500 other wrongfully convicted men and women, have been exonerated in the United States. The RMIC is just one of the organizations paving the road to justice.
Tickets can reserved in advance at the People Productions website (www.peopleproductions.org), or purchased at the door.
Here are the members of the cast of "The Exonerated."
Rodney O'Neil Lewis (David Keaton)
Paul Boruff (Gary Gauger) and Nan Weber (Sue Gauger)
Jan Peterson (Sunny Jacobs)
Heather Maughan (Sandra Cook)
McKenna Jensen (Georgia Hayes) and Calbert Beck (Robert Early Hayes)
Earl Burnett (Delbert Tibbs)
Curley Green (David/Robert)
Bill Gillane (Man #2), Ward Chapman (Kerry Max Cook), and Sean Svenney (Man #1)
In preparation for our next show, Sunset Baby, we wanted to preview some of the amazing talent featured in the show.
William Ferrer (Kenyatta Shakur) has lived in the Salt Lake City area for about 15 years. He has spent much of that time teaching in the city's schools. Ferrer has also performed as a storyteller in the region. After years away from acting, he returned to theater in 2002 and has performed with Salt Lake Acting Company and Pygmalion Productions while, of course, doing the bulk of his work with People Productions. William has also appeared in a number of feature and independent films shot in the area. He plans to continue acting and directing in both the theater and film mediums while helping to facilitate the growth and rising profile of People Productions in Utah.
Michaela Johansen (Nina) This is Michaela's first production with People Productions. She is a budding new actress born and raised in Utah. Before she set her sights on acting, she has been working as a Graphic Designer. Michaela has always enjoyed writing and is currently working with local directors and producers to get a new web series up and rolling.
Aside from being on stage, Michaela is testing the waters in front of the camera as well. She has participated in the recent independent short film Futurum, a commercial for a local App company, as well as work as an extra. She is very excited to be a part of this innovative production, as well as working with a fantastic director and cast mates.
Calbert Beck (Damon) grew up in Salt Lake City, and teaches first grade in a local school district. Cal's recent stage experience was with the Murray City Arts Council's musical "Down In the Dumps", as Mr. Pinkle. He would like to thank his family for letting him take the wonderful opportunity to work with People's Production, and the cast.
For more information about our production of Sunset Baby, please click here.
“Where are YOU really from?” A good question asked by a student character in the play “Yellow Face.” I like to think of myself as from a hot, dry, place next to a chain of gorgeous mountains. But the question is begging to know, who do I live with, what spiritual places do I go, what kind of food do I eat and music do I listen to.
The deeper question should be; “What about you do I recognize?” In this play we do recognize all things that link us as humans – Love, death, fear, community and just knowing that each morning we wake up we may be lucky enough to see a familiar face. Perhaps the face that we should be presenting each day, night, during love or in the midst of war is one of compassion and recognition.
That I, like you… are only looking for and hoping to find connection.
Please enjoy this insightful work performed for you by talented and committed artists. And after the play we would love to know you appreciated our hard work. It can come in the form of a handshake, compliment or in this day and age “tweet, blog or post.” My favorite is in person from you.
At People Productions, we always like to take a few moments to shine a light on the "unsung" heros of the theatre. Often, these are artists whose work is seen, but THEY are not seen. Today, we are focusing on the director of Yellow Face, Kerry Lee.
Kerry has directed productions for Youth Theater companies in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Los Gatos and other theater companies in the San Francisco Bay Area . In Salt Lake City, she was the Assistant Director for the production "Breaking the Silence" (2013), a theatrical amalgamation of the true stories, writings and art created by Japanese Internees of U.S. Internment camps from WWII and produced by the Japanese American Citizens League of Salt Lake to commemorate the tragic internment of Japanese Americans by Executive Order 9066.
She has performed in Amy Tan's West Coast Premiere of "Joy Luck Club" the play. And toured on the West Coast and in France in another Amy Tan theater piece called "Immortal Heart" the basis of her novel "The Bonesetter's Daughter." Kerry has been in Shakespeare productions and new plays in California. She has a BFA in Modern Dance and an Youth Theater MFA from the University of Utah and an MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University. At Naropa she was in a Butoh piece "Luminous Emptiness," a multi-media stage adaptation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Her experience also includes studying in the Actor's Studio Drama program in New York City.
Yolanda is no stranger to the stage. Ms. Wood has performed with several theater companies across the Wasatch valley that have included, Utah Contemporary Theater, Salt Lake Acting Company, Plan B, Hale Theater and People Productions. She is a member of Equity and SAG. Yolanda’s film and television work include, “High School Musical”, “Darling Companion”, “Everwood” and a most recent re-occurring role on the “Young and the Restless”. Yolanda has also directed with Wasatch Theater Company and is excited to be directing People’s Production’s premier adaptation of “An Urban Carol” this winter. Yolanda is currently represented by Talent Management Group.