Press Room

2016/2017 Play-by-Play Reading Series

October 13, 2016

Media Contact: Sasha Patane

Pioneer Theatre Company Announces

2016/2017 Play-by-Play Reading Series

Titles Announced for Three New Works to Receive Readings in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City – Pioneer Theatre Company announces the titles for the fourth 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.

Play-by-Play was launched by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg in 2014. Attendance at the readings has grown every year, and six of nine readings sold out last season. In addition, Alabama Story, one of the plays read in the inaugural 2014 season, has gone on to Equity productions in Florida, Wisconsin and Massachusetts since its world premiere at PTC in 2015.

“Play-by-Play has always had two goals,” commented Azenberg, “to help new plays on their way to full productions and an ongoing life in the American theatre, and to develop a taste in our audience for the excitement of seeing new work in an intimate, low-risk and very affordable environment. I’m delighted that in only four years we have achieved both objectives, and I’m very excited about all three plays. The playwrights whose plays we’re reading come from all over the map-one’s from New York, one’s from Tennessee and one’s from right here in Utah-and their plays are likewise all over the artistic map in terms of their subject matter and themes.”

The three plays for the 2016-17 readings will be:

A Requiem for August Moon by Elyzabeth Wilder (November 11-12, 2016) in which a Ph.D. candidate is attempting to create a mathematical algorithm that can predict hit songs, raising fascinating questions about the intersection between art and science.

i by Jeff Talbott (January 27-28, 2017), a mysterious love story in which a young woman is tentatively opening herself to the possibility of romance, set a couple of days after tomorrow.

The Ice Front (April 14-15, 2017) by Eric Samuelsen, set during the German occupation of Norway at the height of World War II, in which the actors of the Norwegian National Theatre find themselves confronted by a moral dilemma during the rehearsals for a new play.


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 the Bireley Endowment, Lee and Audrey Hollaar and Dr. Linda Leckman.


New play reading series

November 11-12, 2016 A Requiem for August Moon by Elyzabeth Wilder
January 27-28, 2017 i by Jeff Talbott
April 14-15, 2017 The Ice Front by Eric Samuelsen

All readings will be held on Fridays at 7:30 pm
Saturdays at 2:00 and 7:30 pm.

Readings will be held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA, on the University of Utah Campus) in the Dumke Auditorium.

University of Utah
Marcia & John Price Museum Building
410 Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0350

$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.


ELYZABETH GREGORY WILDER‘s (Playwright, A Requiem for August Moon) plays include Gee’s Bend, Fresh Kills, Provenance, The Flagmaker of Market Street, The Furniture of Home, White Lightning and Everything That’s Beautiful. Her plays have been produced at the Royal Court (London), Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, Cleveland Play House, KC Rep, Northlight, the Arden, B Street Theatre, and Hartford Stage, among others. She was the recipient of the Osborn Award given by the American Theatre Critics Association. She recently completed a short play commission from Baltimore Center Stage as part of their acclaimed My America, Too project. Her play, Everything That’s Beautiful will premiere at the New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco in the spring of 2017. She is a proud alumnus of Youngblood at the Ensemble Studio Theatre and a graduate of New York University. Most recently Elyzabeth was the Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at Sewanee: The University of the South.

JEFF TALBOT (Playwright, i) is thrilled to be back at Pioneer, where his play A Public Education was part of the Play-By-Play Festival in 2014. His play The Submission was the inaugural recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Award in 2011 and was produced off-Broadway by MCC Theater; it went on to receive the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for New American Play in 2012. It was also a semi-finalist for the 2010 O’Neill Playwrights Conference. His play The Gravedigger’s Lullaby will receive a world-premiere production in March 2017 off-Broadway by TACT at Theatre Row in NYC. Three Rules for the Dragon was a finalist for the 2016 O’Neill Conference and received a workshop in June 2016 at Premiere Stages at Kean University in New Jersey. Other plays include: A Public Education (finalist for the 2015 O’Neill Playwrights Conference; workshops at Pioneer Theatre Company and TACT), How to Build a City (workshops at TACT and Route 66), Elliot (readings – Crowded Outlet, MCC Theater), and All the Stars in the Midnight Sky (workshops/readings – MCC, TACT). He writes musicals with composer Will Van Dyke. Their musical Imagine Harry was presented in the 2015 NAMT Festival of New Musicals, and was a semi-finalist for the 2015 O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference as well as a finalist for the 2014 Rheinbeck Writers Retreat. They released an EP of their work in September of 2015 called A View of the River (available on iTunes or wherever digital music is sold). They recently were part of the Goodspeed’s 2016 Jonny Mercer Writers Colony finishing a draft of their latest musical, Wintersong. Jeff graduated with honors from the Yale School of Drama, and as an actor has been seen in theatres all over the country (including Doubt, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Odd Couple at PTC) and in film and television. www.jefftalbott.com

ERIC SAMUELSEN (Playwright, Ice Front) A playwright, director, critic and blogger, Samuelsen is a former college professor, now freelancing. He has had 31 plays professionally produced, most of them in Utah, but with productions in New York, Louisiana, Idaho and California. Seven plays were produced by Plan B Theatre Company, in Salt Lake City, including their 2013/14 season wholly dedicated to his work. He is a three-time recipient of the Association for Mormon Letters award for best play, and won the Smith-Petit award for lifetime achievement as a Mormon artist. He is also an Ibsen translator, with productions of his Ibsen translations in Utah, California and elsewhere. Also a critic and stage director, Samuelsen blogs at Mormoniconoclast.com.