Updated: Oct 24, 2019
As a new theatre in a busy community of active artists (theatre and otherwise) you might be interested to know more about us. Of course that’s a big question for any artist, but one every actor eventually learns that they have to be able to answer. The problem we always have when we try to define who we are, is it can be difficult to distinguish who we are as a group, from who we are as a company, and even that from who we hope to be as a community. So let’s explore who we are together.
Threepenny was started by a small group of three recent graduates from Kansas State University that, like many starry eyed youths, wanted to make good theater and change the world. Of course while in school we developed our own interests and skills, from writing and directing to dramaturgy and design. One of us even went to New York to do marketing for broadway and work for Disney. Similarly our tastes in theater differ, but with one through line, we think theatre should be interesting! So don’t expect us to do the same three musicals every year, or a yearly performance of Oklahoma.
Now you may be asking yourself, why would a few rapscallion artists choose to come to Utah to start their theatre? And I’m glad you asked, because there were a lot of reasons! (not the least of which was that we had a couch to sleep on here until we found work) But the Salt Lake Valley is an exploding center for the two things we care about most, great art and homelessness.
The Salt Lake art scene has always been a bit of a well kept secret in the theater space. When you get here, however it’s so obvious the love and support local communities give to their theaters, from small community theatres to it’s goliath professional theaters. While there are definitely a lot of artistic neighbors as we move in here, we feel at home surrounded by people who we know are driven to create, and dedicated to the arts of all kinds. That of course isn’t even to mention the brilliant film scene in Utah as well.
But despite all the great things happening in the arts here, there are still socio-economic problems that afflict this city. While it’s true that Salt Lake doesn’t have as large of a homeless population as many other major US cities, it’s also true that the support systems for individuals in this city aren’t as comprehensive as those cities. So we thought this would be a place that the arts can step in, and show how it can make a difference in the world.
Our plan is to create a theater community comprised of, and for those who are most in need of help, and with the help of people like you we can help raise people back up on solid ground. While we plan to start small, remember that every revolution started with a few good people willing to take a stand and lend a hand to those in need. We hope you’ll be a part of that small group of revolutionaries.
So by now you can probably tell what I meant by hard to distinguish what we are from what we want to be. As an idea, Threepenny Theatre is the idea that we all deserve a chance to be happy and healthy, and if you can help give someone that chance you should.
Cody O'Hare is one of the Co-Board Members and the Development Director of ThreePenny Theatre Company. He's written multiple short plays, other works of fiction, and designs training courses for digital marketing, and dreams of creating and introducing exciting new theatre, that can help inspire social change.