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JULY 7, 2020



Originally scheduled for its world premiere at Pioneer Theatre Company in March 2020, the ELLEN SIMON play ASS was named this week to the noted KILROY LIST 2020. The production was postponed due to the Covid crisis, and was rescheduled to March 2021. This is playwright Simon’s first time gracing the industry-rattling list.

Each year since 2014, The Kilroys have published a list of unproduced and underproduced plays by women, trans and non-binary writers who, historically, face more discrimination than other groups and difficulty in seeing their plays produced. Kilroy List 2020 similarly reflects this group of underrepresented artists but specifically lists titles for which productions were canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent theatrical shutdown. Every play on the 2020 list was about to receive its first or second professional production and was canceled or postponed due to COVID-19.

This year’s list also differs in its sources for selection. In past years, The Kilroys used survey responses from industry leaders, but for 2020, the list was informed in part by The Dramatist Guild, Theatre Communications Group, and National New Play Network.

“The time for women, trans, and non-binary playwrights has been too long in coming and the work that these writers have done is nothing less than extraordinary,” said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg. “We are tremendously honored that Ass is recognized as a part of this year’s list. The very name “Kilroys” references the WWII soldiers’ graffiti tag “Kilroy was here” – it means making your presence known: I am excited to be making our presence known in the world of new play development. I look forward to next spring when Ass will receive the full production it deserves.”

Ass is the story of a brilliant sculptor in failing health who is forced to deal with his ninth wife, and with his son. He confronts his own mortality and the claims of family versus art in a witty and engaging look at complicated relationships, and at a family who sometimes behaves badly.

“I am honored that my play was recognized by this visionary collective because they are inspiring playwrights to dare to be bold,” said playwright Ellen Simon. “Each of my characters in Ass feels that they desperately need something from another in order to survive. They point fingers at each other insisting that the other must lessen their pain, amplify their self-worth, or they will otherwise pretty much curl up and die. All this is submerged in a funny/sad, silly/angry dramatic moment where their mutual desperation comes to a head and leaks out mightily onto one another. The “ass” in the play is all of them and each of us who point fingers outward saying YOU! YOU! YOU!”

Ass will run March 26 – April 10, 2021 as part of a shortened, three-play season that also includes Something Rotten! and Legally Blonde. Season tickets are currently available at pioneertheatre.org.

THE KILROYS is a gang of playwrights, directors and producers in LA and NYC who are done talking about gender parity and are taking action. The Kilroys mobilize others in their field and leverage their own power to support one another. Founded in 2013, The Kilroys are named after the iconic graffiti tag “Kilroy Was Here” that was first left by WWII soldiers in unexpected places, a playfully subversive way of making their presence known.
PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY (PTC): Now celebrating its 58th season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s premiere professional theatre company and a leading arts organization of the West. Led by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and Managing Director Christopher Massimine, PTC promotes community-building and education through presenting world-class productions; developing new socially resonant and universal work; hosting talks, lectures, and workshops that engage a versatile and inclusive demographic, while celebrating diversity in culture and society; and serving as the connecting bridge between art and scholarship as an affiliate of the University of Utah.