Insights

Insights into our productions.

Q&A: Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen, “Straight” Playwrights

Q&A: Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen, “Straight” Playwrights

“’Straight’ originated where I believe most theater should begin—with an idea for a compelling story about unique characters,” says Playwright Drew Fornarola. “We actually began with the ending—that was the spark that inspired us and ignited the rest of the show,” according to his co-author Scott Elmegreen.

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Q&A: JC Carter, director of “Straight”

Q&A: JC Carter, director of “Straight”

How do you hope audiences members’ opinions will change and what most excites you about that potential? “Straight” was an eye-opener to me when it comes to sexuality. I admit that I fell into the trap that Ben describes in the play: that if a guy does something with another guy, he goes over to gay, with everything attached. But that’s not necessarily true. I was forced to re-think my opinions on sexuality, and if the play can make me do that, I hope it might make others do that, too. What significance is there to having direct access to the playwrights as you direct Utah Rep’s...

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Q&A: Dallon D. Thorup, Chris in “Straight”

Q&A: Dallon D. Thorup, Chris in “Straight”

Describe your role in “Straight.” Performing the role of Chris is quite an experience. He’s a very fun and often sarcastic guy, but he has a lot of emotions that don’t really show on the surface until they’re forced out of him. Chris is very similar to me at that age in so many ways. It’s almost bizarre how identical we are compared to that age in life. I think the most enjoyable part of this role is being able to really immerse myself in a character while telling a story that, I believe, is an important one to have, given the conversations it will spark. I’ve lived through what...

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Q&A: Andrea Peterson, Emily in “Straight”

Q&A: Andrea Peterson, Emily in “Straight”

Describe your role in “Straight.” Emily is a spunky scientist which is fun. Although, she is crazy-smart and trying to cure cancer, she still names her mice and is obsessed with Taylor Swift. It great to not play a stereotype, but yet still find aspects of uniqueness in her millennial character. Why is it important for audiences to see “Straight”? I like that the play challenges stereotypes and expectations when it comes to relationships of all kinds—those that are new, old or different. I think as humans and as society, we try and place labels on things, especially on people—who...

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Q&A: John Valdez, Ben in “Straight”

Q&A: John Valdez, Ben in “Straight”

Describe your role in “Straight.” Ben is a guy who has done everything he’s “supposed” to do, yet he is chronically unhappy and he doesn’t know why. He’s both intellectual and socially adept; he can read people’s emotions and deduce their motivations, which is a skill that has come in handy for him. As an actor, I’ve enjoyed playing Ben because he’s a character with a complex thought process, which allows multiple layers to be brought to the table in a grounded and justified way. Why is it important for audiences to see “Straight”? This play explores many themes...

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Q&A With BRIDGES Director Chase Ramsey

Utah Rep Artistic Director Johnny Hebda, Chase Ramsey directs THE BRIDGE OF MADISON COUNTY. For Utah Rep Chase has previously directed “Ordinary Days,” “Love Letters” and “What the Bellhop Saw.” What do you find most intriguing about THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY? I have never done a musical that was crafted so much like a film. The flow of it feels like a movie, in the best way. With that comes an almost ultra realism within a very heightened form of art. The way we approach this show as directors has to be different than most. We can’t use conventions like we’re used to....

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Q&A With BRIDGES Director Johnny Hebda

With Chase Ramsey, Utah Rep Artistic Director Johnny Hebda directs THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Along with executive producing each of the company’s shows, Johnny has directed Utah Rep’s productions of “Bare,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Carrie,” “Heathers” and “Carousel.” How did seeing THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY impact you? BRIDGES was one of the most moving and powerful theater experiences I have ever had. The gorgeous score, the passion from the actors and the message of the show left an impact that I will never forget. You saw the final performance of the...

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Composer Jason Robert Brown Discusses THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY

How would you describe your style as a composer and how does it fluctuate based on the material you’re working on? As a composer, I’m primarily interested in writing for character, so my style adapts for whatever the project is based on whatever the characters are. Having said that, I have certain proclivities as a musician that I like. I’m sort of a jazz/gospel guy at heart, and I think that informs the writing at the time. But for a piece like THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, where that wouldn’t necessarily be germane to these characters’ lives, I had to find a different style that...

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