Salt Lake Acting Company has announced an abbreviated 2020-21 season that will include several online-only productions and, beginning in the spring, in-person productions — “COVID-19 willing” — that will also have a digital element.
The company also announced the title of its new show designed to succeed longtime staple “Saturday’s Voyeur” — and revealed the identities of the three people who will write it.
“#SLACabaret” will be an “immersive theatrical experience” that will provide “heightened entertainment,” according to SLAC. It will be the successor to “Saturday’s Voyeur,” which won’t return to SLAC after a four-decade run. That annual show has been the company’s most high-profile production, and executive artistic director Cynthia Fleming acknowledged that it “leaves big shoes to fill.”
The three writers who will try to fill those shoes are:
• Martine Kei Green-Rogers, a dramaturg/director and former member of the theater department faculty at the University of Utah who now teaches at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
• Aaron Swenson, whose career includes stints as creative director at Spy Hop Productions and wardrobe crews at Pioneer Theatre Company and the TV series “Andi Mack” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” His acting resume includes appearances in six “Saturday’s Voyeur” productions.
• Amy Wolk, who has won two Manhattan Association of Cabarets Awards for her performances and another for one of her songs. She has also worked as an assistant merchandise manager for more than 40 Broadway shows.
Plans call for the three to start work on the script after the November election. And “#SLACabaret” (July 14-Aug. 15) will be offered both in-person and via livestream.
SLAC had planned to launch its 50th anniversary season this fall, but has “decided to push that by one year to allow such a milestone to be honored appropriately” — and, hopefully, post-pandemic, Fleming said. An abbreviated lineup set to begin in March 2021 is being dubbed the company’s “49 and ¾ season,” with plans for a 50th anniversary celebration tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2021.
“The past six months have strengthened and emboldened our team,” Fleming said. “We are hitting the ground running and are more determined than ever to propel Salt Lake Acting Company into its next 50 years.”
SLAC’s 49-and-¾ season will include:
SLAC Digital Shorts • The 10-part series will include works by SLAC staff members Justin Ivie and Natalie Keezer and seven crowd-sourced scripts (chosen from 150 submissions) by playwrights with Utah ties — Olivia Custodio, Nicholas Dunn, Troy Deutsch, Ava Kostia, Tito Livas, Heather Nowlin and Jerry Straley.
The first video in the series, “Online,” premieres Friday on SLAC’s YouTube channel; the remaining nine will be scheduled throughout the fall.
“American Dreams” (Oct. 14-18) • This online production is about a world in which the only way immigrants can enter the United States is through an online game show — with voting, polling, trivia and more to “explore who and what we choose to believe.” From a script by Leila Buck, it’s a production of New York’s Working Theater in partnership with SLAC and Washington D.C.’s Round House Theatre.
“Climbing with Tigers” (Nov. 30-Dec. 20) • This online presentation is a film of the original SLAC production, presented in 2016. It’s about a little blackbird named Blue who dreams of one day being able to fly, and many of the presentations will include additional educational material designed for Title I school children in kindergarten through second grade.
Title TBA (Feb. 3-14) • SLAC is still negotiating the rights to its first production of 2021. It plans to present the show — to be announced later — online. It will be available to SLAC season-ticket holders and as a pay-what-you-can option for single ticket buyers.
“Four Women Talking About the Man Under the Sheet” (March 24-May 2) • Originally scheduled to premiere in March 2020 — just as the pandemic shut SLAC down — Elaine Jarvik’s play set the day after the death of abolitionist Frederick Douglass is now scheduled to premiere just over a year later.
It will also be offered as a livestreamed event.
“Alabaster” (May 5-June 6) • This “poignant Southern comedy” from playwright Audrey Cefaly centers on a reclusive Alabama folk artist after a tornado strikes her town. It will be performed both in person and via livestream.
“It’s our first foray into in-house short film creation, the first time we’ll be presenting a filmed production from our archives, and the first time we’ll offer a combination of streaming/in-person theater,” Fleming said. “It’s a challenging but thrilling time.”
Season tickets are available by calling the SLAC box office at 801-363-7522. Single performance tickets will be announced at a later date. For more information, go to saltlakeactingcompany.org.