Kate Middleton and Jeff Talbott in "Oslo." courtesy Pioneer Theatre Company

The University of Utah is home to exceptional art, including captivating theater performances. Pioneer Theatre Company has shown musicals and plays since it first opened in the 1960s. The PTC’s 2018–2019 seven-play season begins on Sept. 14 with an award-winning play opening the lineup.

“Oslo” is a tale of the real-life Norwegian academic who brought Palestinian and Israeli diplomats together to negotiate the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. The play explores how humans can transcend the invisible divides between us to discuss problems with those of opposing views. Playwright J.T. Rogers refused to leave any factual detail behind, resulting in a play lasting approximately three hours. Despite the seemingly dense content, the production is refreshingly diverting.

“One of the (many) things I love about this play is how undaunting it is. You hear ‘history play, peace in the Middle East’ and immediately think ‘Uh-oh, here comes hard work.’ But not this play,” said Jeff Talbott, “Oslo” actor, to the Broadway World news desk. “It’s wildly entertaining from the first moment. That it happens to also be moving and aspirational in a time when we can really use it is a great bonus.”

Since its premiere in 2016, “Oslo” has won countless honors and awards. Not only did it win the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play, but also the NY Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Obie Award, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama League Award. “Oslo” was also nominated for the Olivier and Evening Standards Awards. It’s safe to say that the play has taken the theater community by storm.

Artistic Director Karen Azenberg directs this production as part of her seventh season with PTC. It will be interesting to see the direction taken on the outstanding drama, as well as the costumes, sounds and overall appearances of the cast. The production includes Talbott, Kate Middleton, Susanna Florence, Ian Bedford and many other astounding actors. Meet the crew onstage when “Oslo” begins this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“Oslo” runs from Sept. 14 to Sept. 29 at Simmons Pioneer Theatre in Salt Lake City. Tickets are discounted for students. Call the box office at 801-335-4565 or head PTC’s website to purchase the limited tickets. Be advised, “Oslo” contains some strong language which might not be suitable for everyone. In addition, children under the age of five will not be admitted to view the play.

a.whitten@dailyutahchronicle.com

@adelinaydg

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