Produced by ThreePenny Theatre Company
Content Warning: This play heavily discusses the topic of suicide, that may not be appropriate for all audiences. If you or someone you know is in need of emergency attention, help is available please call 988 for crisis help.
Set and Lighting:
Isabella is speechless to have this opportunity. This is perhaps one of the grandest acting challenges contemporary theatre has to offer. On top of that, she gets to work alongside a best friend and incredible colleague. Isabella is a classically trained actress and has appeared in several Utah theatre productions. Most recently she has appeared in Duchess of Malfi with Three Penny, Alais in The Lion in Winter (Centerpoint Theatre), Hermione in The Winters Tale and stretched her chops as Macduff in the Scottish Play (New World Shakespeare). She’s previously worked with Utah Shakespeare Festival, On Pitch Performing Arts and Simon Fest. Isabella received her BFA in Classical Acting from Southern Utah University, during which she trained in stage combat with the SAFD, performed in over 10 productions ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary works and taught Shakespeare to youth actors.
Cami is delighted to be working with ThreePenny again, having previously appeared in their productions of John and Indian Radio Days. She is especially grateful for the opportunity to have a dear friend and gifted actor as her partner on this emotional journey of a show.
Cami has been acting on and off in the Salt Lake area for the last 20 years and is fortunate enough to have an incredibly supportive and patient husband, Dan, whom she wishes to thank profusely. She's been lucky enough to work with several theatre companies, including Kallisti, New World Shakespear, Wasatch (WTC), and Silver Summit. This year, she appeared in Kallisti's productions Kill Claudio and David is Getting into Heaven (at GSL Fringe Festival), and in New World Shakespear's productions Macbeth, Winter's Tale, and Antony and Cleopatra. Look for her this coming spring in episodes of The Open Syrup: Season 2, a serial play by Elise Hanson.
Cody O'Hare is the Education and Marketing Director for ThreePenny Theatre Company. He has assistant directed on most every production by ThreePenny since it's founding. This production is his professional debut as a lead director, jumping straight into the deep end of play themes. He's been consistently and heavily involved in theatre since 2014 from acting, to writing, directing, and stage management. Some of his highlights involve sound design and assistant directing for John by Annie Baker and Performance in two different productions of Love and Information by Caryl Churchhill
Merry is excited to be working with ThreePenny again. Recent directing credits include Harvey (The Grand), Letters to My Mom (2021 GSL Fringe), SLFF (2017 GSL Fringe). Merry is a graduate of Westminster College and is a local actor, writer, and director. It means a lot to share this story with you today.
Hannah Orr is an actor, playwright, and costumer with a BFA in Theatre Performance from Westminster University. You may have seen their costume handiwork previously in ThreePenny's production of the Duchess of Malfi.
This show was always going to be a challenge in a number of ways, there's a reason it's produced relatively infrequently despite being a Pulitzer Prize winning play. The show in many ways is steeped in sorrow and misery from the moment it begins, and broadly it only gets worse and more difficult to watch the longer the show goes on. Not to mention the societal feelings and taboo regarding suicide (or unaliving oneself as the new trend on social media calls it).
I have personal experience with suicide, so it was important that we handle this well. For these reasons, we've tried to portray the love between Thelma and Jessie honestly. I hope this will remind people what Thelma is fighting for, and remember that there is always hope. This ends up reminding us that even those who may smile and even laugh could be holding on to hot coals of pain and sorrow inside.
Relating back to personal experience I worked closely with designer Jonah Ericson to create a look we lovingly call, Midwest Gothic, the look we saw in a number of rural homes in Kansas growing up, homes filled with cheap necessities and ancient handmade family heirlooms, where a TV is always on in the corner even if no one is watching it, where people shout around their home to speak.
The ultimate product of the hard work between our production team and the incredible dedicated work of our actors is a show, that for those familiar with the content, feels frighteningly and painfully real.
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