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Thursday, April 26, 2012



“What is a family? A family is composed of people you’re related to, by blood or marriage or something else that I just don’t understand.  People who are in your life because.  Just because.  They are the cold hard facts of existence.  The stuff that makes up most of the universe.  Like dark matter.  It doesn’t matter if you like them or don’t like them. It doesn’t matter if you see them every day, or don’t see them for months or years. They’re out there.  Your family. They don’t go away.” Monsterheart

As part of its New Play Sounding Series, Salt Lake Acting Company is thrilled to present a free reading of Monsterheart, a new comic family horror by Kathleen Cahill, on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 7 pm with Actors Cheryl Gaysunas, Jacob Johnson, Deena Marie Manzanares, Amanda Maylett, Nicki Nixon, Nick O'Donnell, Zack Phifer, Barbara Smith, and Director Alexandra Harbold.

It’s Thanksgiving Day in Encino, California, and Poppy has big plans for the holiday.  Insanely bad weather swells around the family’s foreclosed monster house as unexpected guests arrive.  In Monsterheart, the hunger for connection with a missing parent and a hunger for human flesh run in tandem. If you are only an ordinary human being, how do you hold onto the love of someone extraordinary?

When asked about the impulse behind Monsterheart, Playwright Kathleen Cahill said, "I've always been terrified of horror stories. So I decided to try and write one." 
Director Alexandra Harbold says, “Kathleen Cahill blends fairy tales and horror stories into a black comedy with a monster heart.”

Monsterheart’s cast of characters:
POPPY, Daisy and Charley’s daughter, who wears mittens to cover her extra fingers.
DAISY MAYHEM, Poppy’s missing mother whose desiccated bones have just been found in the desert.  Dead or alive she seeps into any happiness. Like a gas leak.
CHARLEY, Poppy’s father who is protecting a secret.
CLEO, Poppy’s stepmother who thinks a table setting can change the world we live in.
IRENE, Cleo’s communist beatnik freewheelin’ mother.  Irene loves men.
NIGEL, Daisy’s spelunking Englishman ex-husband with a penchant for other men’s wives.
LILLY, Daisy and Nigel’s daughter, Poppy’s half-sister, born with an extra set of teeth.  Like her mother, she has a very special smile.

The New Play Sounding Series is a part of SLAC’s outreach programming and supports our mission to enrich the live theatre experience for both our audience and our theatre artists while making significant contribution to our community and to the American theatre.  Through the NPSS we develop relationships with emerging local and national playwrights who are given essential testing ground on which they see their work in progress and receive insightful feedback from the audience in a post-play discussion. The NPSS allows SLAC to investigate works of interest in greater depth. We thank the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and the Dramatists Guild Fund for their support of this vital program.


KATHLEEN CAHILL. Kathleen'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.


SLAC NPSS reading                                      MONSTERHEART

PLAYWRIGHT                                             Kathleen Cahill

DIRECTOR                                                    Alexandra Harbold

CAST                                                              Cheryl Gaysunas, Jacob Johnson, Deena Marie Manzanares, Amanda Maylett, Nicki Nixon, Nick O'Donnell, Zack Phifer, Barbara Smith

DATE AND TIME                                         Monday, April 30, 2012 @ 7 pm

The audience does not need a ticket in advance to attend this reading. The building will open one hour prior to the performance when general admission tickets will be distributed, and the theatre will open half an hour before the performance.
Salt Lake Acting Company is located at 168 W 500 N, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84103.
For more information call 801- 363-7522 or visit www.saltlakeactingcompany.org

COURSE 86B IN THE CATALOGUE        A World Premiere by Kathleen Cahill
DATES                                                           Playing now thru May 6, 2012
TIMES                                                            Thursday–Saturday - 7:30 p.m.
                                                                        Sunday - 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
Tickets for SLAC productions range from $15-$41 depending on performance and applicable discounts.  Discounts available for students, 30 & under, and groups of ten or more. 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 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.

Cynthia Fleming
Executive Producer
Salt Lake Acting Company

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