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Ellen Fagg Weist

Reviewer, Arts, entertainment and culture

801-257-8803, ellenf@sltrib.com


  • (Courtesy photo)   Frank Mack Utah Shakespeare Company hires new executive producer
    Frank Mack, who teaches arts administration at the University of Connecticut and previously led Shakespeare theater companies in California and New Je...
    Updated May 24 2017 10:40 am   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Sylvia Torti’s second novel, ’Cages’, is about the scientists at a university like the University of Utah conducting birdsong research. Torti, the dean of the U’s Honors College, is a PHd-trained biologist who draws upon her love of science to write fiction. She was photographed at Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Tuesday May 16, 2017. Why the caged bird sings is the question of a new Salt Lake-based novel
    In a University of Utah biology lab, writer Sylvia Torti unlatches a soundproof cooler to reveal the zebra finch hopping around inside the cage, weari...
    Updated May 22 2017 10:42 am   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Utah Shakespeare Festival co-artistic directors David Ivers and Brian Vaughn go over the house rules before the opening performance of ’Henry V’ in the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, Cedar City, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Theater: Utah’s David Ivers to head Arizona company
    David Ivers is heading to Arizona Theatre Company, taking over July 1 as artistic director. For seven years, Ivers has shared artistic duties co-direc...
    Updated May 23 2017 11:24 am   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy  Paisley Rekdal, op-ed mug. Meet the poet laureate who plans to map the diversity of Utah’s writers, journals, presses
    Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed University of Utah English professor Paisley Rekdal as the state’s poet laureate. In that voluntary position, Rekdal p...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:38 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Author Laura McBride poses for a portrait at Kings English Bookshop Wednesday May 6, 2015. Las Vegas writer gambles on stories of contemporary mothers
    Some 25 years ago, Laura McBride saw a photo of an Asian woman on the cover of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, her local newspaper. The diminutive woman...
    Updated May 12 2017 05:15 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Betsy Ross, the founder of The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for emerging artists, outside the Tower Theate in Salt Lake City Wednesday May 10, 2017. Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  Meet the Salt Lake City mother who filmed her way through grief
    The only song David Fetzer ever wrote for his mother has a lyric that underscores Betsy Ross’ artistic journey: Tag. You’re it, Mama. That chorus rin...
    Updated May 16 2017 03:26 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy   Stills from the short film ’Drivers and Demagogues.’ Meet filmmakers telling next-gen stories at annual Davey Foundation showcase
    Since Curtis Whitear moved to New York City over a year ago, the Utah-trained filmmaker says he was continually intrigued by the conversations about t...
    Updated May 15 2017 09:20 am   |     |   Share

  • Actor David M. Lutken plays folk hero Will Rogers in Pioneer Theatre Company’s production of ’The Will Rogers Follies.’ Todd Keith  |  Pioneer Theatre Company Spinning the folk wisdom of Will Rogers at Pioneer Theatre
    Will Rogers may have served as the honorary mayor of Beverly Hills, even launched a fake news campaign for president in 1928, but the iconic American ...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:33 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Tony Weller, co-owner of Weller Book Works at Trolley Square, plans to pass along his ’Bone Garb’ spray-painted artistic stenciled expression onto customers who want something imprinted as part of Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Visit four Utah stores during Saturday’s first-ever book crawl
    A book crawl linking four Wasatch Front independent bookstores is the new local page-turner to mark Saturday’s Indie Bookstore Day. The third annual e...
    Updated Apr 27 2017 06:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Writer Sandra Cisneros gets a warm reception as she visits Mountain View Elementary School on Wed. April 26, 2017, where she spoke with 40 fifth graders who have have read her book, ’The House on Mango Street,’ in both english and spanish as part of their dual immersion program. Meet author Sandra Cisneros, as she advises Salt Lake students to dream big — starting now
    Sandra Cisneros — who, as a girl, was so shy that in class pictures she tried to fold her body inward to make herself smaller — was in fifth grade whe...
    Updated Apr 27 2017 09:50 am   |     |   Share

  • The cast of ’Intersections II: Forging Family Through More Than DNA,’ a staged reading April 28-29 that is a co-production of Art Access and Plan-B Theatre playing at Art Access in Salt Lake City. Courtesy of Rick Pollock Meet some of Utah’s unconventional families in a dramatic event
    For Jim Martin, a theater-writing workshop focused on the subject of families offered him the chance to bring together his passions. In his day job, M...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:14 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Courtesy photo)     Actor Hannah Minshew in Pygmalion Productions ’Silent Sky.’ Salt Lake theater company unveils ‘Silent Sky,’ another ‘Hidden Figures’ story
    Lauren Gunderson’s play “Silent Sky,” opening this week in a regional premiere at Pygmalion Productions, seems grounded in the cultural zeitgeist as i...
    Updated May 22 2017 02:47 pm   |     |   Share

  • Writer Sandra Cisneros. Alan Goldfarb  |  Courtesy A new home, same universal questions, author Sandra Cisneros to read in Salt Lake City
    After Sandra Cisneros returned from a trip to Bosnia earlier this month, she was reeling. The memories of the trip to the war-ravaged country where sh...
    Updated Apr 24 2017 02:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy  |  Terry Tempest Williams  Terry Tempest Williams Utah’s Terry Tempest Williams to teach at Harvard
    Utah writer Terry Tempest Williams has been appointed writer-in-residence at the Harvard Divinity School. “Humbled by the support, honored to be able ...
    Updated Apr 19 2017 11:06 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Courtesy Photo)    Jenessa Bowen performing in Hale Centre Theatre’s 2011 production of ’A Christmas Carol.’ Remembering Utah actor Jenessa Bowen, who lit up the stage with her talent
    Jenessa L’e Bowen first took the stage at age 4 in the cast of Hale Centre Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.” The 26-year-old Utah actor, who died unexpec...
    Updated Apr 17 2017 09:13 am   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    William Ferrer,  Robin Smith and director Richard Scharine, in ’Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ an August Wilson play set in 1927.  Scharine, has produced plays in running People Productions for 17 years. Saturday, April 8, 2017.   Director’s ‘epic’ journey introducing African-American plays to Utah audiences coming to an end
    After 17 years of introducing ambitious African-American works to Utah audiences, Richard Scharine says he plans to retire the brand of the People Pro...
    Updated Apr 21 2017 11:35 am   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Riley O’Toole and Tyrone the puppet rehearse a scene from ’Hand To God’ at the Salt Lake Acing Company in Salt Lake City Tuesday April 4, 2017. Not your typical puppet show — the wicked humor and rowdy comedy of ‘Hand to God’
    Growing up in suburban Texas, Robert Askins recalls a few brushes with puppets. There was a particular therapy puppet, a dolphin named Duso, that a c...
    Updated Apr 10 2017 09:22 am   |     |   Share

  • Utah playwright’s Nazi occupation resistance drama gets a staged reading
    Utah playwright Eric Samuelsen’s “The Ice Front,” set at Oslo’s National Theatre during the Nazi occupation, will receive a staged reading April 14-15...
    Updated Apr 07 2017 08:58 pm   |     |   Share

  •   Dominic Zappala (Palamon), Kali Scott (Jailer’s Daughter) in the University of Utah’s production of ’Two Noble Kinsmen.’ Todd Collins  |  Courtesy U. of Utah offers contemporary translation on overlooked Shakespeare dark comedy
    So, here’s a marriage plot twist not yet explored on a season of “The Bachelorette”: Imagine what might happen after two soldiers, in the deprivation ...
    Updated Apr 03 2017 09:50 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Madison Kisst pops up in the middle of students as Utah Shakespeare Festival’s educational tour performs ’A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ recently at Farmington Jr. High. Federal arts funds help Utah Shakespeare Festival hit the road
    Before each performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Utah Shakespeare Festival actors thread through audiences carrying felt pens. A bit anachronis...
    Updated Apr 03 2017 10:11 am   |     |   Share

  • Nate Edwards  |  BYU Photo  Peter Lambert plays Eric Liddell in BYU’s new production of ’Chariots of Fire.’ Running for stage glory at BYU Running for stage glory as BYU stages ‘Chariots of Fire’
    A track seemed necessary for actors to portray runners in Brigham Young University’s national premiere of “Chariots of Fire,” a stage adaptation of th...
    Updated Apr 03 2017 09:47 am   |     |   Share

  • Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa with the ensemble of ’The Lion King.’ (Courtesy Matthew Murphy) Review: Ambitious ‘Lion King’ tour keeps ‘Circle of Life’ rolling in Salt Lake City
    Forget about being a 2-decades-old entertainment headline: “The Lion King,” now playing a four-week return run in Salt Lake City, offers its trademark...
    Updated Mar 30 2017 02:33 pm   |     |   Share