Two new theater companies both somewhat nomadic at this point - have been formed recently in Salt Lake City.
One is Children's Voices, which is currently offering a touring production of "Three Billy Goats Gruff," and the other is an absurdist troupe known as the Vote for Jerry Brown Theatre of Unreality (formerly called the Waiting for Godot Volunteer Fire Department).- CHILDREN'S VOICES is housed in a former laundry on the second floor of the Episcopal Urban Development Center at 625 S. State.
Artistic director Kenneth Harper reports the company's touring production of "Three Billy Goats Gruff" is geared to children from pre-kindergarten age through third grade.
Harper said he hopes eventually to have a permanent space for regular Saturday matinee performances and some evening shows. For now, the troupe charges $150 to stage the show in other halls and auditoriums. Harper is also considering taking the production to schools and libraries.
For information regarding possible performances or to schedule a date, call 328-0550.
Harper also anticipates that the company will eventually offer several activities, including a program for adolescents writing and staging their own adaptations, a troupe of adults to present plays especially for children, and possibly a program to produce classic theater for high school students.
Harper's background includes majoring in acting at Brigham Young University, receiving a bachelor degree in fine arts from the University of Utah and working with Xan Johnson in his children's theater program at the U.He has also taught at Northwestern University's National High School Institute. His specialty is directing and education.
- THE VOTE FOR JERRY BROWN THEATRE OF UNREALITY is (as if you couldn't guess) a company specializing in absurdist comedy.
"We change names almost every week," one of the ensemble's three key players, L. Flint Esquerra, said, which explained why a news release about a program planned this coming week listed them as the Waiting for Godot Volunteer Fire Department. (For details on the Thursday evening program, sponsored by City Art, see the list of this week's theater events elsewhere on this page).
Others involved in the company are Katie Scrivner-Wayment and Ryan Wayment.
Esquerra works at the Salt Lake Media Center, which recently screened his first independent feature-length film. A graduate of Brigham Young University, he has also been involved in the production of such films as "When Harry Met Sally" and "Raising Arizona."
Ryan Wayment edits and produces the Salt Lake Comic News. The Wayments have also presented musical benefits for the homeless.