The Salt Lake Tribune, January 28, 2018

Westminster College and Cottonwood High students star in ‘I and You,’ a popular playwright’s move into YA territory

Pygmalion launches a story with YA contemporary style it hopes will find a wider audience.

Like John Green’s best-selling novel “The Fault in Our Stars,” Lauren Gunderson’s play “I and You” captures the real ways kids talk — and actor Tristan Johnson expects his fellow millennials to be drawn to it in the same way.

Johnson plays Anthony, a high-school senior and basketball player who wants help from classmate Caroline (Cora Fossen) on an English assignment. She’s been sick at home for weeks due to a liver condition, and she freaks out at the way Anthony suddenly appears in her room, oddly quoting from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and wanting to talk about pronouns.

“I think in my generation there’s a lot of people stuck on their phones, stuck on Twitter, stuck on Facebook,” Johnson says. “A lot of times in life we miss out on a lot of opportunities for true human connection.”

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I and You @ Rose Wagner Center,138 W. 300 South,801-355-2787, Feb 2-17, days and times vary, $15-$20,


Pygmalion Theater Co. presents I and You, February 2 – 17
“We all like to see shows about ‘us’; this is a story about letting someone in, needing another human,” director Teresa Sanderson said. “A simple story and one we all can relate to.”

Pygmalion Theatre Co.: The Weyward Sisters

Just because Halloween season has ended doesn’t mean you need to leave witchy fun behind.

Throughout the month, Pygmalion Theatre Co. presents The Weyward Sisters, a comedic twist on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth told from the witches’ point of view. Three modern and good actual witches are recruited to perform in “the Scottish play,” and struggle to find their footing in the weird and wild world of theater.

Written by local playwright L.L. West, the show follows the style of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a meta-retelling of Hamlet. However, rather than being minor characters who become aware they’re just characters in a story, these protagonists have a bit more agency, according to production director, Jeremy Chase. “Not only are they helping tell the story, but they’re helping shape the story with their witchy powers,” he says.

In addition to providing a twist on a classic, Weyward Sisters also ties into Pygmalion’s mission of producing plays that give a voice to women playwrights, directors, performers and characters. Rather than depicting the witches as forces of chaotic evil, they’re fleshed out and made into engaging subjects. And while this show is dripping with references to Macbeth, you don’t need to be a huge Shakespeare fan to enjoy it. Chase says the fun in this production comes from the departures they get to make from the source material. “Get ready to laugh through this play,” Chase says. “If anything, it’s a laugh.” (Kylee Ehmann)

The Weyward Sisters @ Rose Wagner Center,138 W. 300 South,801-355-2787,Nov. 3-18, days and times vary, $15-$20,

Sackerson, PYGmalion Productions riff on two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays

There’s plenty of intelligent witty material in L. L. West’s play the Weyward Sisters. First presented two years ago at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, West smartly riffs on Macbeth in a style similar to Tom Stoppard’s classic absurd comedy from the 1960s that elevated Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, to pop culture status. READ MORE

15 BYTES 11/4/17

The Humor Behind Toil and Trouble: Pygmalion’s Weyward Sisters Brings Levity and Wordplay to the Salt Lake City Stage

The Weyward Sisters, by local playwright L. L. West, is a quaint journey through a never-before-seen side of “Macbeth” that is both hilarious and refreshing, with the three leading ladies carrying the story brilliantly through to its conclusion.  The play starts out with a brief introduction – a bit of a “Shakespeare for Dummies,” during which the entirety of “Macbeth” is rapidly summed-up with great wit and a short PowerPoint by Barb Gandy and Natalie Keezer.  Though this rapid-fire retelling may be a bit redundant for those who are most familiar with The Scottish Play, for anybody who has never seen it before, or for whom it has been a while, it is essential to what unfolds — a backstage look at three “good” witches who have been hired to act in a new play by William Shakespeare, whom they know only as The Brad. READ MORE