One of the few production companies in Utah dedicated to women, Pygmalion Productions is more than just a theatre company. Nancy Roth and Reb Fleming started Pygmalion Productions in 1995 in order to give “voice to women through a variety of artistic media.” Once based in Ogden, the company moved to the Rose Wagner theatre in 2005 (the same year the company merged with Theatre Works West) and has since grown exponentially, despite its founders’ retirement. Its season now includes three fully mounted productions, as many readings, off-site events, such as those that occur at local schools, and other “special productions” that fulfill “Pyg’s” vision.
Like so many of the organizations that call the Rose Wagner theatre home, Pygmalion Productions owes so much of its current success to the benefits the theatre provides. It is a very small performing arts company, so the services at the Rose are invaluable. As artistic director Fran Pruyn notes, their small company benefits from, “professional facilities run by professional technicians, professional administrators to orchestrate the events, professional ticket sellers to handle selling tickets, and help marketing the season.” These benefits combined with the high production values of the company have led them into sold-out success with shows such as The Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixon, Sordid Lives, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.
Pygmalion Productions is also quick to give credit to its success to the women in the community. The women of Salt Lake provide the inspiration and support for Pyg’s vision. Pyg continues to focus on “the woman’s voice, the woman’s place, the woman’s spirit in contemporary society” by mounting shows that are focused on women’s issues, some of them controversial, including Neal LaBute‘s Fat Pig, Julie Marie Myatt’s Welcome Home Jenny Sutter and the multi-authored work Seven. In addition, Pyg has fostered support of local dramatists, showcasing playwright Julie Jensen’s Cheat and The Last Lists of My Mad Mother. All of these plays, of course, offer Salt Lake City actresses an opportunity for substantial, multi-faceted roles.
To see Pygmalion Productions in action, head over to The Rose Exposed variety event on Friday, August 30th, where they will present a preview of their Sept. 14th “Special Production” of When Pyg’s Fly, a performance showcasing vocalists who are given the opportunity to belt out Broadway tunes from shows they would never be cast in (a soprano singing “Old Man River,” perhaps?), and a monologue from the play Motherhood Out Loud. And on Saturday, August 31st, Pyg is conducting a free workshop for professional tricks to costume and make-up. It’s sure to be a nice practical event, the perfect complement to Pygmalion Productions ideal vision of “providing a solid, inspiring theatrical experience.”