Press Room

PTC Announces Titles for 2015 Play By Play

November 12, 2014
Media Contact: Heather Nowlin


Pioneer Theatre Company Announces

 2015 Play-By-Play Reading Series Titles

Three New Works to Receive 2015 Readings in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City – Pioneer Theatre Company announces the titles in the second season of its reading series, “Play-By-Play.” Play-By-Play provides developmental rehearsal periods for three new plays each season, with the playwright working alongside a professional director and cast for a week-long residency, culminating in three public readings of each play available to theatregoers at a very modest cost. The plays will take place at smaller venues on the University of Utah campus.

The three plays announced for upcoming readings are:

Speculator Spirits
by Josh Tobiessen
Directed by Wes Grantom
February 20 and 21, 2015

When a young woman brings her fiancé to her estranged father’s haunted liquor store, she’s hoping for a quick visit. But she finds that the past, and old boyfriends, have a way of catching up with you.

Slow Food
by Wendy MacLeod
Directed by Julie Kramer
March 6 and 7, 2015

A vacationing couple celebrates their anniversary at a Greek restaurant in Palm Springs, but will the marriage survive an intrusive waiter who insinuates his way into their meal and their lives?

Mr. Wheeler’s
by Rob Zellers
Director TBA
March 27 and 28, 2015

Life is a challenge when you work at a moribund fast food restaurant in a decaying inner city. But don’t underestimate the resilience of the scruffy band of young people who work the breakfast shift at Mr. Wheeler’s.

PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg said of the program, “Last year was the first year of our Play-By-Play series, and I was pleased with the work we were able to do on these new plays and with the response from our audience. In a week-long residency, the playwrights have the opportunity to work with a director and actors to refine and improve their script in rehearsal, and then to hear an audience’s response—prompting further assessment of the intentions and impact of the play. It was fun to share this kind of work with an audience specifically interested in and enthusiastic about storytelling. One of the plays from last year, Alabama Story, is receiving a full production on Pioneer Theatre Company’s main stage this year. This season’s selections will again offer, in an intimate setting, a first look at three fresh new plays.”

Current PTC season ticket holders may purchase tickets to the readings for $5.00 per ticket. Non-season ticket holders may purchase tickets to individual readings for $10.00 or may purchase a pass for all three readings in advance at the same time for $25.00. All tickets are general admission.

Individual tickets may be purchased through the PTC Box Office by calling 801-581-6961 or online at https://tickets.pioneertheatre.org.

Sponsors of Play-By-Play include Sandi Behnken, Lee and Audrey Hollaar, Mike and Jan Pazzi, The University of Utah Department of Theatre, and The Utah Museum of Fine Arts.


# # #

New play reading series
Speculator Spirits by Josh Tobiessen, February 20 and 21, 2015
Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod, March 6 and 7, 2015
Mr. Wheeler’s by Rob Zellers, March 27 and 28, 2015
Fridays at 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Speculator Spirits and Slow Food readings will be held in the Babcock Theatre, located in the lower level of Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Mr. Wheeler’s reading will be held in the Dumke Auditorium of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, at 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84112


  • $5 each for current PTC Season Ticket Holders
  • $10 each for general public, or all 3 for $25
Box Office 801-581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Mon.–Fri.



JOSH TOBIESSEN (Playwright, Speculator Spirits) Originally from Schenectady, NY, playwright Josh Tobiessen used his undergraduate degree in philosophy and training from the Improv Olympic in Chicago to start writing plays in Ireland with a theatre company he co-founded called “Catastrophe.” After having several plays–many of them site-specific productions–performed at such venues as the Galway Arts Festival and the Dublin Fringe Festival, he returned to the States to get a playwriting MFA at the University of California, San Diego. His recent plays include Election Day, Red State Blue Grass, Spoon Lake Blues and Crashing the Party and have been produced or developed at such places as The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta; Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis; The O’Neill New Play Conference, Connecticut; Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland; Second Stage Theatre, New York; The Zach Scott Theatre, Austin; and AiShangChu Theatre, Hong Kong. Election Day is published by Samuel French and in the Smith and Kraus anthology, New Playwrights, Best Plays of 2008www.joshtobiessen.com.

WENDY MACLEOD (Playwright, Slow Food) MacLeod’s play The House of Yes became an award-winning Miramax film starring Parker Posey. Her play Find and Sign premiered at Pioneer Theatre Company in 2012. Her other plays include Sin (The Goodman, Second Stage), Schoolgirl Figure (The Goodman Theatre), The Water Children and Juvenilia (Playwrights Horizons), and Things Being What They Are (Seattle Repertory Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre). Her play This Flight Tonight was included inStanding on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, which premiered in L.A., and was seen across the country and in New York at the Minetta Lane. She was the first playwright chosen for The Writers’ Room residency at The Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, where she wrote Women in Jeopardy! which will premiere this season at GEVA Theater. Her play Drop a Dime appeared in the World’s Fair Plays this summer at Queens Theater and The Ballad of Bonnie Prince Chucky, a co-commission between A.C.T. and His Majesty’s Theater in Aberdeen, Scotland, premiered at A.C.T’s Youth Conservatory in San Francisco this fall. Her prose has appeared in The New York Times, POETRY, Salon, The Rumpus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and All Things Considered. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, she is the James E. M ichael Playwright-in-Residence at Kenyon College and the Artistic Director of the Kenyon Playwrights Conference.

ROB ZELLERS (Playwright, Mr. Wheeler’s) Rob Zellers has had plays developed at Pittsburgh Public Theater, PlayPenn, the New Harmony Project, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, The Lark, Carnegie Mellon and Wake Forest Universities. He is co-author of The Chief, the most successful play in Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 40-year history, published by University of Pittsburgh Press and made into a feature film. Other plays: Harry’s Friendly Service, premiered Pittsburgh Public Theater 2009, Edgerton Award; and Safekeeping, O’Neill Theatre Conference semi-finalist, Pen is a Mighty Sword Award, and recently received a staged reading at Boston’s Accessible Theatre Company. Plays in development: The Red Cat, The Happiness They Seek, and Smokey Hollow. Rob has been the Education Director at Pittsburgh Public Theater for 26 years.