Plays by Matthew Ivan Bennett, Kaaron Briscoe and Catherine Trieschmann will be presented in staged readings in Pioneer Theatre Company’s spring 2023 Play-by-Play Festival of new works in Salt Lake City. This is the ninth season of PTC’s series, created by artistic director Karen Azenberg.
The weekend of June 9-11, 2023, the company will offer Equity staged readings of the following works in progress:
The Dust People by Catherine Trieschmann
Directed by Shelley Butler
Friday, June 9 at 7:30 PM & Sunday, June 11 at 1 PM
“In The Dust People, Johanna is a woman of the land, farming the same plot that’s been in her family for generations. When a young, idealistic couple with big ideas about sustainable energy and wind farms buys the farm next door, she’s convinced they and their ambitious eco-friendly plans won’t last. Their rural community is thrown into chaos by a murder, forcing every resident to reckon with the winds of change.”
How Can I Help You? by Kaaron Briscoe
Directed by Lanise Antoine Shelley
Saturday, June 10 at 2 PM & Sunday, June 11 at 4:30 PM
“When busy, working mom Monica reaches out to her family to help her take care of the household duties, her husband (Greg) instead opts to outsource their contribution. Set in a sci-fi world where corporations touch every part of one’s life, How Can I Help You? explores what it means to be a ‘strong’ Black woman.”
Will It Go Round by Matthew Ivan Bennett
Directed by Alexandra Harbold
Saturday, June 10 at 7:30 PM
“Will It Go Round is a cycle of short stories in civil rights from 1964 to 2020, each a snapshot of people’s lives in Utah. A mixed race couple is sent to the principal’s office. LGBT students fight for an after-school club. Old estranged classmates reunite after the murder of George Floyd and see how far apart — but still close — they are. A tapestry of scenes showing how far we’ve come, how far we haven’t, and why politics are always personal.”
All readings will take place on the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre mainstage. Casting for the readings will be announced at a later date. Get ticket information here.
My play Alabama Story was presented in the inaugural Play-by-Play series in 2014 and was later produced on the Pioneer mainstage in 2015. It was subsequently produced in more than 45 cities (and counting). It’s published a licensed by Dramatists Play Service.
Catherine Trieschmann’s plays include Crooked, How the World Began, Hot Georgia Sunday, The Most Deserving, Holy Laughter, One House Over and The Nativity Variations. They have been produced Off-Broadway at the Women’s Project Theater, in London at the Bush Theater, South Coast Repertory, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Milwaukee Rep, Geva Theater Center and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. She has received commissions from South Coast Repertory, Manhattan Theater Club, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Geva Theater Center. She’s the recipient of the Weissberger Award, the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award from the William Inge Theatre Festival, and a two-time awardee of the Edgerton New Play Prize. Her plays are published by Samuel French and Dramatic Publishing in the U.S .and Methuen in the U.K. She lives in a small town in western Kansas.
Kaaron Briscoe is a Brooklyn based theater artist with an ART/MXAT/IATT at Harvard University. As a playwright, her work has been featured by Classical Theater of Harlem, Project Y, Inviolet Theater and others. Her most recent play, Lost and Found, was performed at the Downtown Live Festival, a collaboration between En Garde Arts, The Tank and the Downtown Alliance of New York. It was translated into Italian last year. Her play Tallahassee was a semifinalist for the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. How Can I Help You? was a semifinalist for the Seven Devils Playwright’s Conference. A native of New Orleans, Briscoe was a 2015 fellow of Target Margin Theater’s Institute. She is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild. She is also a proud member of the 52nd Street Project.
Matthew Ivan Bennett (who I previously interviewed about his work) has been resident playwright of Salt Lake City’s Plan-B Theatre since 2007, where he’s premiered several stage plays and 10 radio plays in collaboration with KUER’s RadioWest. His work usually focuses on the sociopolitical while centering character with elements of humor. His adaptation of “Frankenstein” won the Best Feature Program award from the Utah Broadcasters’ Association. His one-person play Eric(a) won Best Drama at the United Solo Festival in New York. His road trip play, A\Version of Events, is published with Stage Rights. His anti-bullying play Different=Amazing — for grades three to six — is published with Leicester Bay Theatricals. With the O’Neill, he’s been a Finalist (Let Down Your Hair, 2016) and Semifinalist (Art & Class, 2019). He’s won the Best Local Playwright award from PlayUtah and Salt Lake’s City Weekly honored him with an Arty for writing Plan-B’s entire season in 2009. In 2014, he received the Holland New Voices award from Great Plains Theatre Commons and returned in 2019 to workshop his play Art & Class. His short plays have appeared at the Source Festival in DC, Monkeyman in Toronto, and Theatre Out in Santa Ana. His comedy A Night with the Family ran at the Omaha Community Playhouse. His short film “B+A” appeared at Slamdance and his feature-length film “The Whole Lot” was an Official Selection of the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival in 2022. In 2015 and 2016, he was a screenwriting finalist at the Austin Film Festival. In Utah, he’s worked as a playwright with the Salt Lake Acting Company, Pygmalion, Sackerson (devised pieces: A Brief Waltz in a Little Room and The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done) and Wasatch Theatre Company. Matt served 13 years as assistant business manager for Pioneer Theatre Company, as well as serving as a literary reader for their Play-by-Play series. He was a literary manager for The Constructivists in Milwaukee. His poetry has been published with Sugar House Review, Western Humanities, Utah Life, unearthed, and Organic Ink, Volume 5. Bennett earned his Bachelors in Theatre from Southern Utah University, where he also acted for the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s educational tours of The Taming of the Shrew as Grumio and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Puck. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and recently joined Mastodon.