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Some Photos from GROUNDED

Hello Everyone,

We wanted to share some pics from our upcoming production of GROUNDED. Please come check it out. To order tickets, click here.

 

 

Grounded 1grounded 2

PEOPLE PRODUCTIONS’ NEXT EFFORT IS “GROUNDED”…

AT THE SUGAR SPACE ARTS WAREHOUSE IN APRIL

 

The next staging by People Productions will be George Brant’s Grounded at the Sugar Space Arts Warehouse (132 South, 800 West), Thursdays through Sundays, April 14-24.  Artistic Director Richard Scharine saw the play two years in the 75 seat Gate Theatre, which sits on top of a London pub.  By last spring it was at New York’s Public Theatre, starring Anne Hathaway, as directed by Julie Taymor. Now it’s reached the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.

Grounded is a one actor show about a woman who makes it in a man’s world, as an F-16 fighter pilot.  She is a woman, however, and when she gets pregnant—albeit by the right guy, resulting in a baby girl she loves—her career is seemingly over, but our story is just beginning.  She’s promoted/demoted to the “Chairforce,” flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (AKA “drones”), the new standard of military usefulness.  Brant, who’s Elephant’s Graveyard received a beautiful production at Westminster a couple of years ago, puts his finger on America’s—and the world’s—ambivalence about the use of drones.  On one level it deals with our revulsion toward the endless wars that seem to be so much of our country’s recent experience:  (1) “The threat of death has been removed” for the pilot.  (2) There is no separation between the Home Front and the Battlefield.  (We will learn that this is not as advantageous as it appears.)  Our pilot spends half her day in a Las Vegas suburb home with her husband and daughter, and half in a Quonset hut an hour south into the Nevada desert, watching on a television screen the images generated by the cameras on a Reaper above another desert halfway around the world.  (3) Her targets are not the anonymous residents, military or civilian, of a country with which we happen to be at war, but as her commander explains it:  “You’ll be hunting down the real bad guys, conducting personality strikes.”

Nonetheless, these truths have a less savory underbelly.  At what point does “combat” become jihad?  What is the difference between a “personality strike” and an assassination?  Is there dishonor in killing with a bomb under a car in a marketplace, and honor in killing with a heat-seeking missile from on high?  If “the threat of death has been removed,” what is the difference between a “top gun” and a cold-blooded killer?  Furthermore, if “there is no separation between the Home Front and the Battlefield” on one side of the world, how can there be a separation on the other?

There’s more.  The pilot doesn’t choose her targets anymore.  She has a team—“analysts, advisers, JAGs”—which exists only in her headset, but which makes all the decisions about life and death.  They watch from above with her, but they are the God who decides guilt and innocence.  She is only their tool—a tool without choice, but not without culpability.  And the targets are not the only ones being watched.  She too is being evaluated and judged as dutiful or unreliable, innocent or guilty.

And we are being watched as well.  We don’t need Eric Snowden or Chelsea Manning to tell us this.  All we need look at is the security cameras in Walmart.  We are being watched, and will one day be called to Judgement.  We may call the watcher the NSA (or FBI, CIA, KGB, or GOD), but along with our pilot, we may disappear into a cell without windows, or a gray puff of smoke on a television screen.

Boom!

People Productions presents “The Witness,” February 18-28 at the Sugar Space Arts Warehouse

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. 

PEOPLE PRODUCTIONS HOLD DEC. 5 AUDITIONS FOR THE WITNESS

PEOPLE PRODUCTIONS HOLD DEC. 5 AUDITIONS FOR THE WITNESS

People Productions is holding auditions for Vivienne Franzmann’s The Witness, which will play at the Sugar Space Arts Warehouse (130 South, 800 West) February 18-28.  Tryouts are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, in Room 150 of the University of Utah West Institute (300 South, 1340 East).  Actors are invited to visit the People Productions website (peopleproductions.org) to select an audition time, and will also be welcomed at the door.  Bring a resume and headshot.  If you have questions, call 801-485-2497, and check our website (peopleproductions.org) for updates.

Synopsis of The Witness

A prize winning photograph from the Rwanda genocide shows a crying baby reaching across a pile of bodies toward her dead mother.  The photographer brings the child home to England and raises her as his own. Twenty years later the girl, now a college student, discovers that the original picture was “cropped”.  Something was cut out of it.  Almost simultaneously a young African man arrives at the family doorstep, claiming to be her brother.  Is he there for reunion or revenge?

Cast

Joseph:  An English combat photographer, now in his late middle age, retired.

Alex:  His daughter, adopted as an infant from Rwanda, now a Cambridge dropout.

Simon:  A mysterious young man, recently arrived from Rwanda.

 

If you are interested in auditioning, please click here to register.

Here are the sides for the audition:

THE WITNESS (JOSEPH)

THE WITNESS (SIMON)

THE WITNESS (ALEX)

 

 

Auditions for Two Plays

PEOPLE PRODUCTIONS TO AUDITION FOR TWO 2016 PLAYS

People Productions is holding auditions for Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced (the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner) and George Brant’s Grounded, which recently starred Anne Hathaway in a New York Public Theater production directed by Julie Taymor.  Tryouts are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (NOTE: AUDITIONS FOR "GROUNDED" END AT NOON), Saturday, Nov. 7, in Room 150 of the University of Utah West Institute (300 South, 1340 East).  Actors are invited to visit the People Productions website (peopleproductions.org) to select an audition time, or will be welcomed at the door.  Bring a resume and headshot, and be prepared for cold readings.

Disgraced is a play about ambition, culture, and faith, in which a man’s attempt to hide his ethnic past only enhances his destruction when it is revealed.

Cast:     

Two American men of South Asian ancestry                                                                                                                   

One Caucasian man                                                                                                                                                                   One Caucasian woman                                                                                                                                                                                    

One African-American woman

Production Dates:  February 18-28

Grounded is a one-woman play about a military drone pilot trying to come to terms with the consequences of her actions.

Cast:  A woman physically and emotionally capable of an 80-minute monologue.

Production Dates:  April 14-24

 

If you are interested in auditioning, please click here to register!

For further information, call 801-485-2497.

Talkback for “The Exonerated”

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!

 

Exonerated Talk Back - Oct 2015

“The Exonerated” Info and Cast Members

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:

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."

Sean Svenney (Man #1)Sean Svenney

 Rodney O'Neil Lewis (David Keaton)

Rodney ONeil Lewis as David Keaton

Paul Boruff (Gary Gauger) and Nan Weber (Sue Gauger)

Paul Boruff and Nan Weber as Gary and Sue Gauger

Jan Peterson (Sunny Jacobs)

Jan Peterson as Sonny

Heather Maughan (Sandra Cook)

 

Heather

 

McKenna Jensen (Georgia Hayes) and Calbert Beck (Robert Early Hayes)

McKenna Jensen Calbert Beck as Georgia and Robert Earl Hayes

Earl Burnett (Delbert Tibbs)

Earl

Curley Green (David/Robert)

Curley Green

Bill Gillane (Man #2), Ward Chapman (Kerry Max Cook), and Sean Svenney (Man #1)

 

Bill Gillane as officer Ward Chapman as Kerry Max Cook and Sean Svenney as officer

The Cast of “The Exonerated” and Other Info

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:

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."

Sean Svenney (Man #1)Sean Svenney

 Rodney O'Neil Lewis (David Keaton)

Rodney ONeil Lewis as David Keaton

Paul Boruff (Gary Gauger) and Nan Weber (Sue Gauger)

Paul Boruff and Nan Weber as Gary and Sue Gauger

Jan Peterson (Sunny Jacobs)

Jan Peterson as Sonny

Heather Maughan (Sandra Cook)

 

Heather

 

McKenna Jensen (Georgia Hayes) and Calbert Beck (Robert Early Hayes)

McKenna Jensen Calbert Beck as Georgia and Robert Earl Hayes

Earl Burnett (Delbert Tibbs)

Earl

Curley Green (David/Robert)

Curley Green

Bill Gillane (Man #2), Ward Chapman (Kerry Max Cook), and Sean Svenney (Man #1)

 

Bill Gillane as officer Ward Chapman as Kerry Max Cook and Sean Svenney as officer

The Exonerated

THE EXONERATED—A FUNDRAISER FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN INNOCENCE CENTER

People Productions opens the 2015-16 performance season with a production of The Exonerated for the purpose of raising 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.  Through interviews, letters, court transcripts, and case files, The Exonerated paints a vivid picture of an American criminal justice system gone horribly wrong.  The system’s victims include Delbert Tibbs, a poet whose only crime was hitchhiking while black; Gary Geiger, an organic farmer convicted of murdering his parents; David Keaton, a frightened 18-year old who lost his faith; Kerry Max Cook, who witnessed over a hundred of his fellow inmates go to their death; Robert Earl Hayes, guilty of dating a white girl in Mississippi; and Sunny Jacobs, kept on Death Row 13 years after the actual perpetrator confessed to the crime.  Moving from first-person monologues to courtroom confrontations, The Exonerated weaves together griping tales of systemic failure and human resilience.

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:

Tickets can reserved in advance at the People Productions website (www.peopleproductions.org), or purchased at the door.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

Friday, October 16 (7:30p.m.)                                                                                                                                                    

S.J. Quinney College of Law (Moot Courtroom, 6th floor)                                                                                                   Located on the Northeast corner of 400 South (South Campus Drive) and University Street (1340 East) Parking for the performance is free in the Rice Eccles Stadium Lot

Saturday, October 17 (7:30 p.m.)                                                                                                                                                Salt Lake Community College, South Campus, Black Box Theatre                                                                                             1575 South State Street                                                                                                                                                                                   

Free performance sponsored by Now Playing in Utah.  A Q&A will be held after the performance.

Sunday, October 18 (2 p.m.)                                                                                                                                                                 

S.J. Quinney College of Law (Moot Courtroom, 6th floor).                                                                                                  Located on the Northeast corner of 400 South (South Campus Drive) and University Street (1340 East) Parking for the performance is free in the Rice Eccles Stadium Lot

Friday, October 23 (7:30 p.m.)                                                                                                                                                    

University of Utah Social Work Building Auditorium (room 134)                                                                                                   395 South, 1500 East

Q&A on October 23 following the show!

Saturday, October 24 (7:30 p.m.)                                                                                                                                                University of Utah Social Work Building Auditorium (room 134)                                                                                                  395 South, 1500 East

Sunday, October 25 (2:00 p.m.)                                                                                                                                          University of Utah Social Work Building Auditorium (room 134)                                                                                         

395 South, 1500 East

 

For more information about the performances, please contact Richard Scharine at 801-485-2497.

For more information about the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center and their work, please visit their website (www.rminnocence.org), or contact RMIC Executive Director Marla Kennedy at 801-355-1888.

Performance of “Krapp’s Last Tape”

In case you wanted to know. Dr. Richard Scharine's performance in "Krapp's Last Tape" at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival was a success! Here are some photos to mark the occasion (including some of the cast from "Sunset Baby" who came out to support).

 

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