“The Last Ship” Sails into PTC

Photo+credit%3A+Christopher+Ayers
Back to Article
Back to Article

“The Last Ship” Sails into PTC

Photo credit: Christopher Ayers

Photo credit: Christopher Ayers

Photo credit: Christopher Ayers

Photo credit: Christopher Ayers

By Cate Heiner

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake’s own regional theater company, is bringing a new work to life on the stage. “The Last Ship”, a new musical featuring a score by pop artist Sting, is sailing in to Pioneer this weekend.

Inspired by Sting’s childhood, “The Last Ship” tells the story of Gideon, a young man returning to his home town of Wallsend after years at sea. However, instead of finding the community in which he grew up, he finds the town and its inhabitants entirely changed. No longer is this where hardworking men construct beautiful ships, and Gideon is left with only memories of what he left behind.

Ruthie Stephens plays Meg Dawson in this production. Stephens has experience with a wide variety of musical theater, ranging from “Les Miserables” to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” However, “The Last Ship” is different because it’s so new. “Normally when I do a musical, it’s a musical that’s been done thousands of times before,” she said. “Something like ‘Carousel’ or ‘Oklahoma’. So people know what the story is and who the characters are. But this has only been done once before, on Broadway briefly, so it’s really nice to discover as a group what this show is and what it’s about and who these people are.” This allowed the company the chance to explore. “It’s a lot of artistic freedom, which you don’t usually get,” she said.

Since Stephens hails from England, she shares a different connection to the story than some of her company counterparts. “One thing I have enjoyed is watching my American cast come to Newcastle. I feel like…a lot of this story is familiar to me, and it’s really been fun watching other people discover it too.” She applauds director Karen Azenberg’s ability to draw connections between the story itself and the lives of the characters. “These people are shipbuilders and that’s their identity, and we’re actors, and that’s our identity. So they’re different, but they’re also similar because it’s not just a job. It’s who you are.”

This sense of identity and community echos part of what Stephens hopes audiences take away. “A lot of this show is about fathers and sons, which is always quite moving I think. I hope that they’ll feel that there is hope and optimism in coming together in something you believe in.” Even though it may take place in a different era, Stephens finds ways to relate it back to current events. “You look at the political climate now, it looks pretty hopeless. But every vote makes a difference, every voice can be heard. I hope people will feel empowered by it.”

“The Last Ship” opens Sept. 16 and runs through Oct. 1 at Pioneer Theatre Company. Students can purchase up to two rush tickets an hour before curtain at the box office for five dollars, or buy tickets in advance for half price. Be aware–parking may be hard to find Sept. 23 due to a football game. Consider coming early that day, or utilizing UTA.

For more information, check Pioneer’s website:

http://www.pioneertheatre.org

[email protected]