Hailee Olenberger (Joan) and Mary-Helen Pitman from "Fun Home" Photo courtesy of:dav.d daniels of dav.d photography.

Salt Lake Acting Company is going to present the Utah premiere of the five-time Tony Award-winning production “Fun Home.” The play is based on the graphic novel written by Alison Bechdel. “Fun Home” is a memoir that tells an anything-but-ordinary coming of age story. The book addresses many topics that are prevalent in our society today, such as gender roles, suicide, sexual orientation and family problems. The play captures three stages of life in which a woman tries to discover if her family is really as perfect as it seems. It is also the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist. As a show that is described as “heart gripping” this is not one to miss — especially because it has roots in Utah. 

“Fun Home” was originally workshopped and developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab in 2012. Local actors Fynn White and Nathan Ginsberg were part of the workshop playing the roles of Christian and John. Seeing the production come back to Utah, Ginsberg, who was 9 years old when he participated in the staged reading of “Fun Home,’ said, “’Fun Home’ helped me understand the importance of being myself and accepting others for who they are.” There is a crucial need for representation in media, especially for young kids, and that’s why works like “Fun Home” are important.

In 2016, Michael Cerveris — who played the role of Bruce Bechdel in the Broadway production of “Fun Home” and subsequently won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical — visited the Salt Lake Acting Company while shooting a film here. On coming to the Salt Lake Acting Company he said, “In the midst of Salt Lake, there is an adventurous, thoughtful and progressive theater company that respects its audience, acknowledges its neighbors, yet works to embrace everyone in its community and hopes to bring stories of compassion and different points of view to its curious, passionate and informed audiences. Their work isn’t always easy or comfortable, but it struck me as sincere, serious, and community centered. Their choice of “Fun Home” couldn’t be more appropriate.”

Salt Lake Acting Company’s mission is to “engage and enrich the community through brave contemporary theatre,” and with the production of “Fun Home,” they are doing exactly that. The play is a reminder that life is messy and complicated, and more often than not, it takes a while to figure out exactly who you are.

Salt Lake Acting Company is proud to be a partner alongside the Utah Pride Center throughout the running of “Fun Home.” Catch the show from April 4 to May 13. Performances will be Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Salt Lake Acting Company. Single tickets range from $15-$42. There are student discounts available if you present your student I.D. upon purchase. https://www.saltlakeactingcompany.org/

p.jayswal@ustudentmedia.com

@palak_jayswal

Palak Jayswal is a Senior Writer for the Arts and Entertainment Desk. She is majoring in Communications and minoring in Creative Writing. She is currently a Junior.

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