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Six Utah actors, six questions, so many connections

Utah theater » Six local actors, familiar and unfamiliar to one another, take six questions on Utah’s collective stage.



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What does Utah theater need now more than ever? » More courage to travel toward uncomfortable places and try new things. Let’s be willing to jump off cliffs and see where we land. Sometimes I think Utah theater is a little too satisfied with doing the same things.

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JAY PERRY

What inspired you to start acting? » I was always performing little skits in the living room for my parents. Then someone suggested I audition for a part at Murray’s Vine Street Theatre. I got further into it at Judge Memorial High School. I played Émile de Becque in "South Pacific" my senior year. After everyone congratulated the cast, I went back to the auditorium alone, stared at the lights and realized acting was what I wanted to do with my life.

First role? » In preschool, I was a munchkin in the Lollipop Guild for "The Wizard of Oz." My mother probably has a photo of me in the cast, but no one else will ever find it.

How many Utah productions in all have you acted in? » Twenty-five, maybe 30 or more.

Favorite role or performance? » A tie between Marcus in Plan-B Theatre Company’s 2006-07 production of "Facing East" and Bud in "Gutenberg! The Musical!" Marcus was a perfect role during an almost perfect time in my life. He was the lover of a man who’d just killed himself because he wasn’t accepted by his family … a role almost bigger than the play. Bud, by contrast, is more fun every time you play him.

Role you’d most like to play but haven’t? » I’d love to try my hand at Iago, Hamlet, Laertes—the big Shakespeare roles. Those characters are right now in the front of my mind. I’m definitely craving some Shakespeare.

What does Utah theater need now more than ever? » We have a wealth of talent here, with a lot of fresh ideas and perspectives. We need a way for companies to work more closely together in a way that suits everyone.


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TERESA SANDERSON

What inspired you to start acting? » If you asked my mom, she’d say I’ve always been an actor. I carried a tune before I could talk, I was dancing at age 3 and started acting at age 7 in community and church productions. I’ve just always been drawn to it.

First role? » Snow White in first grade, because I was the only one who’d dare let a boy kiss me.

How many Utah productions in all have you acted in? » I have no idea. From youth to the college years, I was in about five or nine productions per year. As a young mother I did about one production per year. I’m between three and five productions per year right now — as many as they’ll hire me for. It’s up to at least 100 by now, I’m sure.

Favorite role or performance? » Always the one I’m currently working on, if you know what I mean. I feel honored and privileged to play almost any role.

Role you’d most like to play but haven’t? » Golde in "Fiddler on the Roof." Also, Martha in "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" There’s a million, but those are the two biggies.

What does Utah theater need now more than ever? » Hard to say. Theater in Utah is very impressive. My friends in L.A. are astounded at the amount of work I get here. I think there are ways we could build more bonds between companies so that we’re not all staging four different versions of the same production around the same time. We don’t really need more of anything, unless of course it’s money.

bfulton@sltrib.com

Twitter: @Artsalt

Facebook.com/fulton.ben



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