About Us.

Where Artistry Takes Center Stage.

Who We Are

Pioneer Theatre Company’s mission is to create a theatrical experience of the highest professional standards, producing an eclectic mix of classic, contemporary, and world premiere theatre that challenges, educates, and entertains.

 

Salt Lake’s only major regional theatre is located at the top of Broadway (300 South) and 1400 East. A fully professional theatre in-residence at the University of Utah, Pioneer Theatre Company produces a seven-show season, running from September through May. Each season includes a mixture of classics, large-scale musicals and contemporary dramas and comedies. Over the past ten years, PTC has developed a reputation for Broadway-quality productions and has mounted numerous Utah premieres and regional theatre premieres.

Notably, Pioneer Theatre Company was the first regional theatre in the country to be granted the rights to produce Les Misérables, the closing musical of the 2006-2007 season. Running for a record 82 sold-out performances, Les Misérables cemented PTC’s reputation as a theatre capable of producing large-scale productions.

In fall 2022, Pioneer Theatre Company produced the Broadway-bound musical, Shucked. The world premiere was directed by three time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien and written by the Grammy and Tony Award-winning team of Robert Horn, Shane McAnally, and Brandy Clark. Opening in April 2023, Shucked went on to receive nine Tony Award nominations. This marks the first time (ever) that a Utah-based theatre served as an out-of-town tryout for a Broadway musical.

> Learn more about Our History.

World Class Performances

Previously, Pioneer Theatre Company has performed major musicals such as The Producers42nd StreetMy Fair LadyChicagoInto the WoodsCabaret and Ragtime, as well as classics and adaptations like Romeo and JulietOthelloPride and PrejudiceThe Three MusketeersA Tale of Two Cities and The Grapes of Wrath. The theatre has also been the first in Utah to produce important works by contemporary playwrights such as August Wilson’s Fences, Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, David Auburn’s Proof, Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, and David Hare’s The Vertical Hour. Recent world premieres include /i/ by Jeff Talbot, Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones, Ass by Ellen Simon, and A Distinct Society by Kareem Fahmy.

PTC's Artistic Director

Karen Azenberg, Artistic Director of Pioneer Theatre Company

On July 1, 2012, Karen Azenberg succeeded Charles Morey, who stepped down at the end of the 2011-2012 season after a 28-year tenure as PTC’s artistic director.

Azenberg began her career in New York as a freelance director and choreographer. Her work there includes Lyrics and Lyricists (92nd St. Y), Blocks (a collaboration with Jonathan Larson), Prom Queens Unchained and choreography for Richard Greenberg’s The Dazzle (Roundabout Theatre Co.).

Prior to becoming artistic director, Karen directed and/or choreographed a number of shows at PTC, including Next to Normal, Rent, Miss Saigon and the musical staging for Les Miserables. Since 2012, she has continued to direct and choreograph over 20 PTC productions, most recently the regional premiere of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Newsies and the world premiere of i, while also collaborating with guest artists and working with the theatre’s managing director to bring varied, entertaining and thought-provoking professional productions to Utah audiences.

In the national theatre circle at large, Karen is well-known for her efforts as a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the national union for professional directors and choreographers, and as a current Board member of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, a preeminent launching pad for new musicals. She is also a voter for the Tony Awards, and has directed over 70 musicals and plays at theatres across the country.

Our Staff

Karen Azenberg_
Diane Parisi
Heidi Bruce
Eric Jackson Headshot
Joshua Black
Jen Christiansen
Cathy Arnold
Do Ault
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Nikki Baum
Lisa Edwards Headshot
James O
Phil Lowe
Ross Terrill
Sophie White Headshot
Nikolas Wulfe

Board of Trustees

Executive Committee

Michele Mattsson, Chair
Chief Appellate Mediator, Utah Court of Appeals

Lamont Richardson, Vice Chair
Shareholder, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless

Karen Azenberg
Artistic Director, Pioneer Theatre Company

Jeff Paris, Marketing & Visibility
Executive Creative Director, MasterControl

Diane L. Parisi
Interim Managing Director, Pioneer Theatre Company

Michael J. Tonkin, Development
SVP of Director of Supply Chain Management, Zions Bankcorp

Scott H. Verhaaren, Budget & Finance
Partner, The Boyer Company

John W. Scheib, PhD
Dean & AVP for the Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of Utah

Stan VanderToolen, Nominating
Tax Partner, PwC

Amy Wadsworth, Outreach & Community Relations
Principal and CAO (retired), Salt Lake Arts Academy

Trustees

Heather Benson
Guild President

Sandi Behnken
Civic Leader and Volunteer

Drew Browning
Civic Leader and Volunteer

Dhiraj Chand
Sr. Director, Leadership and Principal Gifts, University of Utah Advancement

John A. Dahlstrom, Jr.
EVP & General Counsel, Wasatch Commercial Management

Chris DuVal
Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre, University of Utah

Andrea Golding
Trustee, Andrea Golding Legacy Foundation

Sandra Hollins
Representative, Utah House of Representatives

Theresa A. Martinez
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Utah

Angelica Matinkhah
Board of Governors, University of Utah Alumni Association

Mitzi Montoya, PhD
Provost and SVP of Academic AffairsUniversity of Utah

Margaret Sargent
Trustee, Patterson Family Memorial Foundation

Catherine W. Stringham
Civic Leader and Volunteer

Heidi DeWitt Woodbury
VP for Institutional Advancement, University of Utah

Mindy Young
AVP of Giving, Huntsman Mental Health Foundation

Emeritus

A. Scott Anderson
President & CEO, Zions Bank

Edward F. Bates
Director of Tax Services (retired), Stayner Bates Jensen

William H. Child
Chairman, R.C. Willey Fine Furnishings

Paul M. Durham
Partner, Durham Jones & Pinegar

Spencer F. Eccles
Chair, George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation

David E. Gee
Senior Partner, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless

Kathie Horman
Civic Leader and Volunteer, Sandy, Utah

Dan Lofgren
President and CEO, Cowboy Partners and Cowboy Properties

Kevin R. Murray
Partner, Holland & Hart

David R. Peterson
Managing Partner, Haynie & Company

Harris H. Simmons
Chairman and CEO, Zions Bancorporation

J. Douglas Whisenant
President and CEO (retired), Williams, Gas Pipeline Division

Employment

Working at PTC

To maintain our high artistic standards, we are always looking for quality personnel. Backstage help is needed for all our shows. If you want to see what life is like backstage and be paid for it, consider working on our Costume, Deck or Wig Crews. All positions are paid and hiring for crew work generally begins about four weeks before each opening, and lasts for about four weeks. For more information on backstage support contact Stage Management at Info@PioneerTheatre.org.

Concessions Workers are frequently needed (for serving, among other things, coffee) but we are currently fully-staffed. This position features flexible scheduling, a fun work environment and free theatre tickets. For more information, contact Nikki Baum.

General inquiries may be directed to Info@PioneerTheatre.org.

All full-time production and administrative positions in Pioneer Theatre Company are posted and recruited via the University of Utah. Any applicant to be considered for these positions must also submit their application through the University.

Available Positions

There are no positions currently available. Please continue to check back for future opportunities or submit your resume and cover letter for future consideration via the email address provided below.

General Inquiries

Please send your resume to Info@PioneerTheatre.org for future employment consideration.

Volunteer

Pioneer Theatre Guild

Looking to extend your support of PTC beyond attending our productions? Consider becoming an active supporter of Pioneer Theatre Company by joining the Pioneer Theatre Guild, where you will help assure that this artistically compelling professional theatre continues to reach ever-expanding audiences.

Here is your opportunity to become involved in social events, service projects and fundraising activities to benefit the theatre. Find out how you can become a part of the Guild today. Please contact PTC Guild President Heather Benson for more information.

Volunteer Front of House Staff

Pioneer Theatre Company is currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 season! If we don’t contact you this season, we will still keep your information on file for our waitlist as well as substitute positions.

Front of House Volunteers are responsible for assisting patrons before, during and following performances with ticketing, seating, concessions, coat check, and donor receptions. Responsibilities vary by position.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

(All volunteer positions require a full season commitment)

Volunteer Usher
One night per production commitment (seven total nights)—opportunity to watch performances while volunteering.

Volunteer Coat Check Attendant
One night per production commitment (seven total nights)—opportunity to watch performances while volunteering.

Volunteer Ticket Taker
One night per production commitment (seven total nights)—opportunity to watch performances while volunteering.

Volunteer Concessions Assistant
Minimum three performances per production commitment (minimum 21 performances)—receives two complimentary tickets per production to return and watch with a guest.

Student Matinee Series Volunteer
Minimum commitment of one Wednesday afternoon performance per production—opportunity to watch the performance while volunteering. Student Matinee Volunteers may be asked to usher or check tickets.

Sign up to volunteer or log in as an existing volunteer here!

If you have questions regarding the volunteer program or applications, please email House Manager/Volunteer Coordinator Nikki Baum.

Community

PTC’s FirstStage Program

PTC’s FirstStage program is a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake City, made possible through the generous support of Salt Lake County’s Tourism, Recreation, Culture & Convention (TRCC) Funds. With the commitment of providing introductory theatrical experiences to Salt Lake’s youth and teens, PTC offers on-site, hands-on workshops as well as free tickets and experiential engagement at each of our productions. To date, PTC has conducted over 60 separate workshops since the program’s inception in 2018.  During the 2022-2023 season alone, over 400 youth and teens explored workshops highlighting theatrical disciplines used in the collaborative art form of theatre.

Internship Program

As part of the University of Utah, PTC is in a unique position to serve as a bridge between art and scholarship. Through our Student Internship Program, PTC proudly provides select seniors of the University of Utah acting and musical theatre departments valuable professional experience working alongside PTC staff and guest artists. The result is a fully immersed and hands-on understanding of what makes a regional theatre run—both onstage and off.

Community Partnerships

Pioneer Theatre Company recognizes the exceptional potential available when institutions work toward a common goal, especially when it is to give back to our local community.  

Each year, PTC hosts annual community initiatives such as public donation drives for The Salvation Army, Utah Food Bank, Toys for Tots, and the Granite Education Foundation Book Drive.

PTC also honors our ongoing relationships with the following local organizations as we help support our community:

  • ArtsBridge America
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Utah
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake City
  • Domino Foundation
  • University of Utah Crimson Club
  • Utah Amplified Mentoring Program
  • Utah Foster Care

 

We are always open to considering future partnership ideas and suggestions.  Please contact Eric Jackson to discuss how your organization and PTC might help serve each other: Eric.Jackson@PTC.Utah.edu

Auditions

Click here to subscribe to Pioneer Theatre Company's Audition Notification List:

Pioneer Theatre Company is a fully professional theatre company in residence, acting under a LORT-B contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Working for PTC is a full-time commitment, and auditioners must be available all day, everyday for the rehearsal and production periods of a show. The production run includes two matinee performances per week. Rehearsal times are decided on the first day of most rehearsal periods, but usually run from 7 to 9 hours, including a meal break.

For more information on AEA, go here. For more information on the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), go here.

If you have questions, email Info@PioneerTheatre.org

Please note that phone calls or emails sent to the artistic director will not be returned.

Current Audition Opportunities

There are currently no auditions posted. Please make sure to sign-up for our audition email notifications via the button above for future audition announcements.

 

Meldrum House - Artist Housing

Curious about PTC guest artist housing? Check out our gallery:

Play Development

Play-by-Play is Pioneer Theatre Company’s annual new play reading series. Since 2014, the series has provided developmental rehearsal periods for several new plays each season. The playwright works alongside a professional director and cast for a weeklong residency, culminating in public readings of each play available to theatre goers at a very modest cost. The readings occur on our mainstage or other select locations around the University of Utah campus.

Details regarding PTC’s 2024 iteration of Play-by-Play will be announced in Spring 2024.

Previous Play-by-Play readings that have received full PTC productions include Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones in 2015, “I” by Jeff Talbott in 2018, Ass by Ellen Simon in 2020, and The Messenger in 2022. Macbitches by Sophie Macintosh was featured in Play-by-Play 2022 and received its Off-Broadway premiere shortly thereafter. Please see our season archives for more examples of plays we’ve produced and developed.

For the residency, to-and-from travel costs are covered by the theatre, in addition to a stipend. Playwrights reside at the Meldrum House, PTC’s guest-artist apartment building two blocks away from the theatre.

Submission Instructions

  • New plays for the June 2024 festival may be submitted for consideration beginning August 15, 2023.
  • Please direct questions and submissions to Associate Artistic & Outreach Director, Eric Jackson.
  • We accept submissions either by agent or with a letter of recommendation. A letter you already have on file is acceptable. (Repeat submitters do not need a letter of
    recommendation.)
  • Include a sentence or two about the play’s developmental history, if any. Plays that have received a full production are not eligible.
  • Lengthy synopses are not necessary: a one-liner is fine for submission.
  • Separate files with character breakdowns are not necessary, though a character page inside the script is required.
  • Please send whole scripts in PDF or Word, no samples.

Seeking:

  • Big family dramas, comedies, and political pieces that put character before issue.
  • While open to genre pieces, we prefer thrillers, mysteries, and simple futurist pieces over experimental forms.
  • Pieces that are unproduced and still need development (plays at the early or middle-draft stage).
  • In particular, pieces that play well in a large house and are not “intimate” in setting, tone, or visual experience.
  • Casts up to ten, in most circumstances.
  • No musicals, one-person plays, or two-handers.

 

Response time can be six months.

Arts Education

“There is no greater gift that a person can be given than to be put in touch with his creativity. Theatre transformed my life.”

– Director Declan Donnellan, on discovering theatre as a lonely 16-year-old

Pioneer Theatre Company supports children, young adults, and college students in experiencing the wonder, stimulation and creativity of watching a compelling story unfold in front of them. Good theatre opens the mind and enriches the soul.

Several programs are available for students and student groups away from the theatre:

Student Matinees

The Wednesday afternoon Student Matinee Program includes a special showing for private and public school groups, serving grades 6 through 12.

Student Discounts

Discount pricing is available for students or student groups on Monday through Thursday evenings.

College Students

Students at the University of Utah receive special $5 student rush tickets, free access to final previews, and half of advance reserved seating. Learn more about the University of Utah Arts Pass here.

Students at other colleges and universities in Utah may also receive special student discounts.

Affiliations

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) is a national independent labor union representing members throughout the United States and abroad. SDC has jurisdiction over the employment of Directors and Choreographers working in Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theatre and more.

Actors’ Equity Association (“AEA” or “Equity”)

Actors’ Equity Association (“AEA” or “Equity”), founded in 1913, is the labor union that represents more than 48,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for its members. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.

United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829

United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, is a labor union and professional association of Designers, Artists and Craftspeople, many who are world famous, organized to protect craft standards, working conditions and wages for the entertainment and decorative arts industries. The members of Local USA 829 are Artists and Designers working in film, theatre, opera, ballet, television, industrial shows, commercials and exhibitions. The current active membership totals over 3,300.

Contact

Mailing Address

Pioneer Theatre Company
University of Utah
300 South 1400 East
SPMT Room 325
Salt Lake City, UT 84122-0660

Phone

Box Office 801.581.6961 Administration 801.581.6356
Fax 801.581.5472
Volunteer Info 801.581.6961
Costume Rental 801.585.5851
Group Sales 801.581.6270

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