Pioneer Theatre announces 'Play-by-Play' reading series

Theater • 3 new works to receive readings in 2014.
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Pioneer Theatre Company has announced a new play reading series that begins in 2014.

For the series, Pioneer Theatre will fly three playwright to Salt Lake City to work with a director and cast for one week, culminating in three public readings of each play.

The plays include 'True Art' by Jessica Provenz; "A Public Education" by Jeff Talbott; and "Alabama Story" by Kenneth Jones.

The week-long residency will allow the playwrights to experience their plays in rehearsal, to refine and improve their writing in the room, and to hear an audience's response — prompting the writers to further assess the intentions and impact of their work, said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg.

The plays will be seen in an intimate setting, "rather than on our expansive mainstage, where the actors and audience are very close to each other, allowing a focus on, as Hamlet said, the 'words, words, words,' " Azenberg said.

To keep costs down, the readings also will be performed without a set or costumes.

"These are bare-bones developmental presentations allowing the PTC audience a 'first look' at new works in progress," Azenberg explained. "We're certain that this inaugural season of Play-by-Play readings and talkbacks will help lead to better plays that will find a wider stage in American theater and more engaged playgoers here in Salt Lake City."

Tickets for the readings are $5 each for season ticket holders and $10 each for others. A pass for all three reading also is available at the box office, by calling 801-581-6961 or online at —

'Play-by-Play' series

Pioneer Theatre will fly three playwrights to Salt Lake City in 2014 to work with a director and cast for one week, culminating in three public readings of each play. The plays include:

'True Art' by Jessica Provenz • An awestruck art history graduate lands a dream job at a world-class museum. But when she questions the authenticity of a newly discovered masterpiece, she finds herself swimming with sharks.

When • Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, March 1 at 2 and 8 p.m.

Where • Babcock Theatre in the lower level of Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre.

"A Public Education" by Jeff Talbott • Luke Paxton is a high-school math teacher and the new guy in the faculty room. He's ready to teach, but completely unprepared for the other teachers, not to mention the nasty things somebody's been posting on the web.

When • Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, March 15 at 2 and 8 p.m.

Where • in the Babcock Theatre.

"Alabama Story" by Kenneth Jones • In 1959 Alabama, a segregationist state senator wants a controversial children's book purged from the state library, but a fearless librarian refuses, putting both of their worlds at risk in a time of extraordinary social change. Inspired by real events.

When • Friday, April 4 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 5 at 2 and 8 p.m.

Where • Dumke Auditorium of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts