Founded in 1995, Pygmalion Productions is an Ogden and Salt Lake-based theatre company with an explicit goal of producing plays which give voice to female experiences. Every season, Pygmalion presents a variety of works primarily focused on female characters and female-specific issues. Since most mainstream art, including theatre, remains frustratingly male-dominated, the unapologetically feminist mission of Pygmalion is a breath of fresh air. The company has earned a reputation for an incisive and sometimes controversial repertoire which includes both productions of new pieces and popular plays. Pygmalion Productions demonstrates how truly diverse and rich the female experience is. While many of their plays share an examination of gender politics, the playwrights also often examine issues of race, sexuality and class. These plays are also diverse in genre — ranging from lighthearted comedies to heartbreaking dramatic realism. Ultimately, Pygmalion is a reminder that female concerns can make for compelling drama on stage. In the upcoming 2018-2019 season, Pygmalion will continue their tradition of amplifying women’s perspectives. Women wrote all three of the plays that are to be performed this season, and the work will be brought to life by many talented female artists. These plays will certainly continue Pygmalion’s pattern of amplifying female-focused theatre to great artistic and political aims.
“Tigers Be Still,” by Kim Rosenstock is a comedy exploring a wide variety of subject matter, including depression, family, class issues and a tiger escaping from a local zoo. Rosenstock’s protagonist, Sherry Wickman, is a young art therapist struggling with mental illness and unemployment as she tries to jumpstart her career and navigate a dysfunctional relationship with her mother and sister. These disparate elements combine into a unique, powerful play that the New York Times called a “quirk-addicted but heartfelt comedy.” “Tigers Be Still” will run from October 18 through November 11, 2018.
“Wait,” by Julie Jensen details the adventures of Wendy Burger, a young actress exploring her relationship with her family, friends and her art. Over a turbulent summer, Wendy moves away from home, works on theatre projects with an ex-boyfriend and meets new people who leave a lasting impression on her life. Jensen, who has served as the resident playwright of Salt Lake Acting Company, writes a compassionate, funny love letter to the power of theatre as a vehicle of personal expression. Directed by Fran Pruyn, “Wait” will run from February 21 through March 9, 2019.
“Sweetheart Come” by Melissa Leilani Larson will be making its world regional premiere at Pygmalion after it became an O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist in 2016. This drama is based on true events and tells the story of Emma Hauck, a woman trapped in a lonely marriage to an increasingly preoccupied politician. As Emma finds surprising solace in her newfound passion for writing and befriends a servant in her household, she begins a painful but illuminating journey of self-discovery. “Sweetheart Come,” which has previously had a workshop and reading at Pygmalion Productions, will be directed by Mark Fossen. This production will run from May 2 through May 19, 2019.
Pygmalion Productions are performed in the black box theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Season tickets are available for $45. To purchase tickets or learn more information about Pygmalion, visit pygmalionproductions.org.