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Since closing our doors 16 months ago due to the pandemic, our season selection committee has been working fervently behind the scenes to bring you a season that not only aligns with our values and mission statement at An Other Theatre Company, but also showcases stories that are fresh, vibrant, poignant, unapologetic, and deeply human.

We strive to create inclusive and empathetic theatre by, for, and about the “others.” A direct focus on the voices that are often overlooked in this area. Stories celebrating and highlighting the queer community, BIPOC folks, women, and humans of all sizes, ages, and abilities. We hope as the character’s share their stories and their truth, it will in some way speak to you, directly, and connect us with one an-”other.” (:

Entertaining Lesbians

September 17 - October 19

Let me tell you, when reading Entertaining Lesbians by Topher Payne for the first time, I couldn’t contain my gasps and giggles as I went along. It was just instinctual! We are no stranger to Topher Payne’s work at An Other, having produced his comedy, Perfect Arrangement, in 2018. Entertaining Lesbians tackles the very real questions of privilege, political correctness, and modern polite society through the most absurd and hilarious characters I’ve come in contact with in a long time. A boring heterosexual white couple, the Tuttles, are determined to have their daughter enrolled in the extremely prestigious School for Young People. Their plan? Befriend Atlanta’s most influential lesbian power couple by inviting them over for drinks. But, as it turns out, entertaining these lesbians grows increasingly difficult through mistaken identities and little “white” lies. Hysterical and biting at the same time, Entertaining Lesbians offers a profound look at what it means to be “other,” and the insatiable urge to belong--in any way necessary.

Sons of the Prophet

November 12 - December 4

All at once sobering and humorous, Sons of the Prophet, a dark comedy by Stephen Karam, explores the effects of grief and suffering on two Lebanese-American brothers Joseph and Charles Douaihy. Their world’s are turned upside down after their father gets in a car accident caused by a local football star’s prank and then dies from a heart attack two weeks later. Suddenly, Joseph and Charles are forced to take care of one another as well as their aging uncle Bill. Pain, whether physical or emotional, takes its toll on each of the characters. Unexplained chronic pain befalls Joseph, who is trying to keep it together, keep the family together. An aching pain follows Charles as he deals with the deep frustration of never getting his father back. I think one of my favorite lines in the play--a line that made me feel my own aching and sadness--was from Charles. “How can we hurt less?” In the wake of their father’s death, they are left to live with unanswered questions. They learn to endure the unendurable.

Christina and the Girl King

January 28 - February 19

Christina and the Girl King by Michel Marc Bouchard tells the true story of Queen Christina, who ruled Sweden in the 17th century. She broke all the rules and traditions laid before her by the society within which she belonged. In the play’s preface, Bouchard states, “Christina of Sweden is fascinating because she is so modern. An enigmatic queen, flamboyant and unpredictable, a woman eager for knowledge, a tomboy, a feminist before her time, she wreaked havoc throughout northern Europe.” Christina, ultimately determined to control everything, finds herself at a loss when not able to control her own feelings. Feelings for her first lady in waiting, Countess Ebba Sparre. A personal friend and philosopher, Rene Descarte, speaks of free will and encourages Christina to determine her destiny for herself. How does one choose between the common good and personal aspirations? How does one choose between one’s country and oneself? In the end, it is Christina alone that must make that choice--but at what cost?

Fun Home

April 8 - April 30

ALISON: “Caption: My dad and I were exactly alike. Caption: My dad and I were nothing alike.” Fun Home, a musical based on Alison Blechdel’s graphic novel, chronicles Alison’s journey through childhood and young adulthood, as seen through her current, middle-aged self. Time shifts back and forth, showing Alison’s relationship with her father, Bruce, as a young girl as well as when she’s in college. Secrets run rampant in what Bruce tries to make a “happy” home, a secret that seeps into each of the family member’s relationships. As Alison dives deeper into her graphic novel, she comes to terms with her father’s secret homosexuality as well as her own. And uncomfortable connections are made between her coming out and her father’s death. But Alison still searches for her home. A place of peace. A place where she can play airplane with her father. A place without secrets.

Tribes June 17 - July 9

Tribes by Nina Raine tells the story of Billy, born deaf into a hearing family. His family has morphed into something unrecognizable. A tribe. A fierce group of dysfunctional adults who make little effort to communicate with Billy. Loud, chaotic, mean, and biting. Billy meets Syliva, a hearing woman born to deaf parents who is now slowly going deaf herself, and he begins to learn sign language from her. As their relationship deepens and flourishes, he finds his voice for the first time. A voice that is new and uncharted. And his family starts to unravel at seeing Billy find himself without them. All at once, each member of the family feels in one way or another as the “other.” A stark look at the lines we make in the sand with those we view as different, as other. Once those lines are drawn, can they ever be crossed? Can they ever be erased?

Whoo-eee! We hope you’re as excited for our upcoming season as we are! We hope you feel heard, seen, enlightened, and loved by these stories. We can’t wait to see you in those pews!

Chelsea Hickman

Literary Manager

An Other Theatre Company

You know that feeling you get sometimes when you watch one of those old classic movies, like It’s A Wonderful Life, or The Philadelphia Story, or Bringing Up Baby? Where everything is softly lit, and everyone’s hair looks gorgeous, and your heart has that kind of sweet ache of longing and hope? That’s what I felt last night at Last Train to Nibroc.

It’s a short play, and it’s the oldest story in the world, where a boy and a girl meet by chance and spend the next part of their lives dancing in circles around what they feel for each other. There’s courage, there’s fear, there’s heartbreak and misunderstanding and flirtation and humor. It’s everything you want from a charming romance.

The year is 1940, and charming U.S. soldier Raleigh is on a train, somewhere west of Chicago. He takes an open seat next to May, whose sometimes prickly exterior hides a romantic and compassionate heart. The rest is history. The roles of Raleigh and May are played by An Other Theater Co members Bryce Lloyd Fueston and Laura Elise Chapman, whose recent marriage in real life adds some extra sparkle to their onstage chemistry.

And that’s exactly what I needed last night. Something sparkly. While our own lives don’t have the backdrop of a world war like May and Raleigh’s do, most of us are fighting a few wars of our own. It’s been a truly exhausting year, with a pandemic, an earthquake, a windstorm, an ongoing fight for racial justice, and an election that has a Supreme Court justice hanging in the balance. And the things that normally bring us comfort—time with loved ones, theatre, movies—have some intense restrictions.

While our own lives don’t have the backdrop of a world war like May and Raleigh’s do, most of us are fighting a few wars of our own.

At An Other Theater Company, we knew that producing theatre in the “usual” ways would endanger our entire community. We also strongly believe that COVID-19 precautions are a racial issue, an LGBTQ issue, and an issue of income equality. Members of marginalized groups may not receive the kind of adequate medical care they need if they become infected.

Theatre is not safe unless there is adequate distance and/or mask use for EVERYONE, actors and technicians included. But we also strongly believe that the arts are a vital part of being human. Live theatre can be a healing and strengthening force in challenging times. We couldn’t offer that in our usual home in the Provo Towne Centre Mall. So we moved into the parking lot. We cast two actors who live in the same household, grabbed our masks, and spent weeks figuring out how to get the sound of their voices into car radios and headsets. We rehearsed outdoors and over Zoom and found a new way to tell an old story.

And it worked. Good heavens, it worked.

Watching May and Raleigh's "will they won't they" story unfold under the open sky made my hopelessly romantic heart sing. I was transported to all of those magical romantic moments that so many of us either long for or treasure. I was 19 and walking with a boy under a starry sky on a warm night. I was smiling at that girl at summer camp, certain that she was holding my gaze just a few seconds longer than necessary. I was filled with butterflies and fireworks and longing, and watching Last Train to Nibroc, I felt, for just a little while, a respite from the chaos of 2020. I drove away from the Provo Towne Centre Mall parking lot feeling a little bit lighter, a little bit more whole.

There isn’t anything particularly challenging in Last Train to Nibroc. Raleigh says something that hurts May's feelings. May misunderstands Raleigh. Letters are exchanged, festivals are attended, porches are sat on. The play isn’t sharply political or a work of deep social commentary. But it is important. It is a simple reminder that in times of uncertainty and grief, to love is a defiant act of hope.

If you'd like to purchase tickets to see Last Train to Nibroc, or learn more about our COVID guidelines, click here.

Leadership and Policy Changes at AOTC

Since our initial statement expressing support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have remained largely silent. During this time we have been reflecting on An Other Theater Company as an organization and community and taking note of the areas we must make improvements in order to truly move towards fulfilling our mission of inclusivity.

Though much of the state is currently working towards a full reopening of all economic, social, and artistic activity, we must recognize that because COVID-19 affects BIPOC individuals at a much higher rate than white individuals, this pandemic is not only a health issue, it's a racial issue. BIPOC individuals are statistically less likely to have affordable access to healthcare or the luxury of social distancing due to their current employment. Because of this, An Other Theater Company has no plans to reopen until we can be certain that all members of the community, not only those in positions of privilege, can enter our doors without endangering the lives of themselves or those they love. We have no specific timeline on this, but currently suspect it will last through the year.

We look forward to continuing the conversation of racial justice and how we intend to do our part in our community theater here in Provo.

Though we have always strived towards inclusivity regarding women's issues, sexual identity, and gender expression, these experiences are not and never have been exclusive to white, non-disabled, hearing, neurotypical individuals. BIPOC, disabled, deaf, and neurodivergent people have long been excluded from the theatrical narrative and we must recognize that our feminism and queer-positivity is hollow unless it is intersectional.

Today we are announcing the artistic and administrative changes we are making.

Firstly, it is with great excitement that we are announcing that Shelby Noelle Gist will be stepping into the role of Co-Artistic Director of An Other Theater Company!

Shelby Noelle Gist is a proud Black graduate of Utah Valley University’s theater program and was awarded “Outstanding Student” of the graduating class of 2019. She has directed many productions in Utah and upstate New York, produced shows with UVU's theater club TAG, and consulted with multiple high schools and other productions. Along with her talent in directing, she has also led different Race and Diversity trainings, was Vice President of UVU's Black Student Union, and was a cofounder of ‘PROJECT BLACK GIRL’. She is incredibly excited to join this company and to roll up her sleeves and do the work.

Shelby is a passionate, brilliant, and talented artist and leader and we couldn't be prouder or more excited to welcome her into her leadership role at AOTC. We are certain that with her leadership, our company will be on a positive path towards more fully achieving its mission.

Kacey Spadafora, who has held the position since the company first opened three years ago, will be stepping down from this role. Taylor Jack Nelson will be remaining as Co-Artistic Director with Shelby and together they will be guiding the company forward towards its artistic goals. Artistic Directors are responsible for season selection, hiring directors and designers for productions, guiding the company's community outreach and messaging, and much more.

Kacey will be remaining in his role of Co-Executive Director along with Taylor where the two of them will continue to oversee the day-to-day administrative operations of the theater.

Along with this leadership change we are also incorporating the following policies:

  1. In addition to our current mandates involving LGBTQ representation and works by and about women, season selection guidelines will now include a requirement to have at minimum one show per season written by a person of color.

  2. The Artistic and Executive Directors will work together to develop and incorporate a diversity outreach policy for the company to ensure BIPOC, disabled, deaf, and neurodivergent artists are given opportunities beyond what is strictly required by the scripts chosen for the season.

  3. AOTC's company members will undergo an annual race and diversity sensitivity training led by an outside expert in the field.

  4. Unless explicitly necessary for the plot of a script, all roles will be proactively open to actors of any race or ethnicity.

  5. Only actors of color will be cast in roles written for or have a legacy of being played by actors of color.

  6. Race and diversity sensitivity guidelines will be incorporated into the onboarding of all members of every production.

  7. An Other Theater Company will add at least one person of color to its board of directors which oversees AOTC's actions as a non-profit organization.

These are all first steps. They are not comprehensive solutions. We will strive to continue to improve through constant and consistent work.

- An Other Theater Company

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