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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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We Are All Friends in U Theatre’s ‘Town Hall’

“Town Hall” is optimistic at times, hopeless at others.
“Town Hall” (Courtesy University of Utah Department of Theatre)


The University of Utah Department of Theatre is inviting students to a town hall from Oct. 27 through Nov. 5, 2023.

Nestled in an intimate black box theater in the Performing Arts Building just past the campus store, four young actors discuss the joys and hardships of life in Caridad Svich’s one-act full-length play “Town Hall.”

“Town Hall” cast (Courtesy of the University of Utah Department of Theatre)


At first, “Town Hall” seems unusual. The set resembles a pile of junk. There is a torn tarp displayed along the entrance, exit and backdrop of the performance space.

The play begins in silent darkness as the four actors slowly enter the stage. They peer through the dark with flashlights as they slowly gain familiarity with the room around them. Then the “town hall” begins as the actors begin to discuss their grievances, worries, hopes and aspirations with each other.

It’s mentioned that this is a safe space where “We are all friends.” As the play progresses, each scene is either bookended by the apparent leader of the town hall (Avneet Kaur Sandhu), or by static audio mixed with flickering lights that ricochet throughout the space. While the space is unfamiliar and hard to place in time or location, the topics discussed such as sadness, war, sex, dreams and religion are all familiar. There are also some dance breaks.

“Town Hall” cast (Courtesy of the University of Utah Department of Theatre)

Leave Different from When You Entered

“Town Hall” is optimistic at times, and hopeless at others.

The actors bring strong earnestness to their lines. They make the most minuscule things, like how the coffee has gone cold and dramatic. While the play is executed with good intentions and college production, I did find some echoes of SNL‘s “High School Theatre Show” sketches.

“Town Hall” brings up important topics, but I found besides saying a few buzzwords, the subject matter wasn’t analyzed deeply or contributing to the plot of the play. Sure, when actors mention making a difference in the world people can relate to that, but there wasn’t much in the actions of the play, or character development, that made these words make a difference. Words felt like just words. At the end of the play, the characters leave the town hall. This is one of the most impactful parts of the play in terms of story and character development. 

“Town Hall” cast (Courtesy of the University of Utah Department of Theatre)

Overall, “Town Hall” stands out as one of the more unique shows the U has put on recently. The light, sound design, sets and costumes were interesting and brought atmosphere to the play. The four actors did well in the roles and handled the fun, serious and sometimes sad material of the play well.

Check out The University of Utah Department of Theatre’s production of “Town Hall”  at matinee and evening shows till Nov. 5, 2023. Find tickets and more info on the department website.


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