An announcement from Pickleville Playhouse this month caught my eye. The northern Utah theater announced that for the month of March you can watch an entire performance of Who Shot Juanito Bandito? When our reviewer saw the play last month, she wrote, “My husband was in tears for the majority of the production; I had to instruct him to breathe.” That’s a pretty robust endorsement for a live show. Through March 31 you can watch the show here.
Another Utah production that many audience members could enjoy from their homes was the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was broadcast live on BYUtv in August (and rebroadcast in December). The production was a joy in person and to be able to see it again in my home was a superb encore. I felt like the only thing missing was the summer breeze that passes through the Festival’s Adams Memorial Theatre. You can’t see the production right now, but you can watch the entertaining behind the scenes documentary of the production and the documentary about the Festival’s 50th anniversary that played during intermission of the live broadcast.
Speaking of Shakespeare, did you know that you can watch a Utah production of The Tempest on Youtube? This 2006 production at Utah Valley University, directed by Christopher Clark, was well received locally and was even invited to the regional meeting of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival that year. You can watch the entire production on YouTube.
Is there a trend going on in Utah theatre? I don’t know if three shows qualifies as a trend, but it’s something. Copyright restrictions probably prevent most Utah productions from ever being recorded and disseminated (and union contracts represent an additional hurdle for professional theaters). But I think that these productions show the wider world the richness and quality of Utah productions. These recordings can also let potential audiences members know the quality of work that is produced at a theater and (hopefully) get them to attend a future production in person. When possible, I encourage other theaters to post recordings of their plays online, even if (like Juanito Bandito) it’s temporary.
What do you think? Have I missed any full-length recordings of other plays online? Let me know in the comments below.