"When you pick seasons, you're very sensitive to the temperature of what's happening, and who we are as people, what are we craving, what will help open us up, what will help bring awareness," Fleming says, which is why the theater's season is packed with smart, dark, edgy comedies.
SLAC plans to launch its season with Chisa Hutchinson's "Surely Goodness and Mercy" (rights are still pending, Fleming says), a story set at a New Jersey elementary school where a brilliant 12-year-old outcast forms a relationship with a crotchety lunch lady.
Next up will be Steve Yockey's "Mercury," a "pitch black" horror comedy that will feature oceans of blood a very different story than the playwright's "Blackberry Winter," a play about a woman coming to deal with her mother's gradual descent into dementia, which the company produced in October 2015. Fleming praised the playwright's humor, calling "Mercury," which received a staged reading in the company's New Play Sounding Series, the closest thing to a Halloween play the company has produced. "There's going to be some blood and horror in this comedy," she says. "We're excited about that."
In February, SLAC will produce Taylor Mac's "Hir" (pronounced "Her"), a subversive "gender-bending" comedy about a veteran who returns home to find a household in revolt, led by his mother and his trans sister, while his once-oppressive father wears a clown costume and sleeps.
The season will also include the company's annual holiday season children's play, this year a story told from the point of view of the Big Bad Wolf, "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!" to be directed and choreographed by Penny Caywood; and a 40th-birthday edition of the annual local musical satire, Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht's "Saturday's Voyeur."
Dark comedies at SLAC
P The contemporary theater company offers a season of new works.
"Surely Goodness and Mercy" • By Chisa Hutchinson; Sept. 6-Oct. 15
"Mercury" • By Steve Yockey; Oct. 11-Nov. 12
"Fun Home" • Book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, with music by Jeanine Tesori, adapted from the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel; April 4-May 6
"The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!" • By Paul Gilvary, Robert Kauzlaric and Williams Rush, adapted from the book by John Scieszka and Lane Smith; Dec. 1-29
"Saturday's Voyeur" • By Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht; June 20-Aug. 26
Tickets • Season tickets are $123-$195; children's show add-on tickets $25 ($15 children); single tickets ranging from $24-$43, with student and 30-and-under discounts; "Voyeur" tickets from $44-$55
Available • 801-363-7522, or at saltlakeactingcompany.org or at the theater, 168 W. 500 North, Salt Lake City