Salt Lake Acting Company News Release
PRESS CONTACT: CYNTHIA FLEMING. 801 363 7522. CYNTHIA@SALTLAKEACTINGCOMPANY.ORG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. '
SALT LAKE ACTING COMPANY PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF ‘COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE’ BY KATHLEEN CAHILL, DIRECTED BY TRACY CALLAHAN.
“We’re in the creative phase of our evolution. Creativity is unpredictable…You have to be fearless to be creative. Unpredictable, uncertain, and fearless.”
-Course 86B in the Catalogue
-Course 86B in the Catalogue
Salt Lake Acting Company is proud to present the World Premiere of Kathleen Cahill’s COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE opening April 11, 2012 and directed by Tracy Callahan. This marks Ms. Cahill’s third World Premiere production at the Salt Lake Acting Company, after last season’s THE PERSIAN QUARTER, and CHARM in 2010.
COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE is an absurd and charming comedy that tells the story of Stevie Stuart, a Harvard-educated paleontologist, on the run from her philandering husband, and hired to teach a course on “The History of Life on Earth – Course 86B” -- at an obscure community college in the desert. As with many of Ms. Cahill’s plays, the past and the present merge in COURSE 86B: Stevie, who is ever-ready to engage in fieldwork, makes one astonishing discovery after another as she hikes out of town—a 500 million-year-old fossil, which represents a vanished, unique life form; the ancient, petrified bones and teeth of an early hominid, freshly painted ancient cave paintings. Cahill fuses language and the visual image to explore the scientific, the mysterious, and the romantic. As one of the characters says, “maybe evolution is just romance by another name.”
Cahill calls COURSE 86B “a Utah play” and says: “The ancient past is palpable here in Utah. And the recent past walks and talks among us. There are belief systems alive and well here that have died out in other places. It’s a state where you can visit a museum and see a reproduction of a prehistoric landscape showing men and dinosaurs in the same exhibit. Where evolutionary biology is ‘just an opinion’ and the earth is 6,000 years old. It’s an ancient, unique place where you need a sense of humor in your backpack.”
Director Tracy Callahan says: “I am struck by the magical quality of Kathleen’s plays. Whatever world she creates, no matter how unrealistic or nonlinear it is, she’s asking the audience to just believe, ‘Well, this is it. This is where we should be. This is where we are. This is the magic.’ Something that’s very interesting about COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE – and Kathleen’s other plays – is that there’s a mystery involved in them, and it’s an unraveling of that mystery. People think during her plays. Kathleen poses a lot of questions, but she doesn’t give all the answers. She allows the audience to go on the journey with the characters.”
SLAC veteran Colleen Baum plays Stevie Stuart. Baum was seen last season as Marty in CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION and as Hannah Pitt in ANGELS IN AMERICA. Daniel Beecher plays Bill, Stevie’s adulterating husband. Beecher has read in many NPSS readings and played Aston in SLAC’s production of THE CARETAKER. Elise Groves plays Dell, Stevie’s best student, and has been seen in SLAC’s Fearless Fringe Festivals and in the extension of SATURDAY’S VOYEUR 2010. Topher Rasmussen makes his SLAC debut as Sterling, Dell’s primitive boyfriend.
Free Panel Discussion: In conjunction with the play, SLAC will present a free Panel Discussion on April 22 at 4:00 PM called Time! On the Rocks…in which the themes of the play will be discussed: the past & the present, evolution, the relationships between men & women. Panelists include Anya Plutynski – Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah, Kristen Hawkes – Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah, Carolyn Gale Levitt – Paleontology graduate student at the University of Utah, Kathleen Cahill – playwright, and moderated by Terry Gildea – KUER News Director.
SLAC is proud to partner with the new Utah Museum of Natural History during the run of COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE.
New Play Sounding Series: On April 30 at 7:00 PM, SLAC’s New Play Sounding Series will present a free reading of a new play by Kathleen Cahill called MONSTER HEART.
Kathleen Cahill’s awards include the Jane Chambers Playwrighting Award (for her musical, Dakota Sky) a Jane Chambers Honorable Mention (for Charm) two Connecticut
Commission on the Arts Playwrighting Awards, (for The Still Time and Charm) a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Award, a Rockefeller Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts New American Works Grant, two Edgerton Foundation Awards (for Charm, and for The Persian Quarter) and a Drama League Award. Her musicals include for The Navigator, Friendship of the Sea; Dakota Sky, an opera, Clara, two opera/cabarets, Fatal Song, and A Tale of Two Cities: Paris and Berlin in the Twenties.
Her plays include The Still Time (Georgia Rep/ Porchlight Theatre, Chicago) the comedy, Women Who Love Science Too Much (Porchlight Theatre and NPR Radio) Henri Louise and Henry (Cleveland Public, Firehouse Theatre, Massachusetts) Charm ( National New Play Network Festival, Salt Lake Acting Company premiere, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Dallas; Orlando Shakespeare) and The Persian Quarter ( Salt Lake Acting Company, Merrimack Rep.) She wrote the screenplay for the film Downtown Express, which premiered at the 2011 Woodstock Film Festival. She has also written short stories for Cosmopolitan Magazine, worked as a journalist for the Hartford Courant, and co-authored medical papers for JAMA. Ms. Cahill received an MFA in Writing for Music-Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She works as writer/senior editor for Masterpiece on PBS where she writes the Introductions to Downton Abbey, presented by Laura Linney, and the Introductions to Mystery! presented by Alan Cumming.
Tickets available at 801-363-SLAC (7522), at www.saltlakeactingcompany.org, or in person at 168 West 500 North, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
SLAC PRODUCTION COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE
PLAYWRIGHT Kathleen Cahill
DIRECTOR Tracy Callahan
CAST Colleen Baum, Daniel Beecher, Elise Groves, Topher Rasmussen
SET DESIGN Keven Myhre
COSTUME DESIGN K.L. Alberts
LIGHTING DESIGN James M. Craig
SOUND DESIGN Cynthia L. Kehr Rees
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER Janice Jenson
DATES Previews: April 11 & 12, 2012
Opening: April 13, 2012
Closing: May 6, 2012
TIMES Previews: Wednesday & Thursday- 7:30 p.m.
Regular: Wednesday - Saturday- 7:30 p.m.
Sun- 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
SLAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 professional theatre found in 1970 and is dedicated to producing, commissioning and developing new works and to supporting a community of professional artists. SLAC has been nationally recognized by the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Edgerton Foundation, among others. SLAC operates under a STP Actors Equity Association contract. SLAC is a Constituent Member of Theatre Communications Group, a national organization for non-profit professional regional theatres, and the National New Play Network.
Salt Lake Acting Company