After many months of uncertainty and disappointment, live theater is returning to some kind of normal. Broadway is expected to reopen next month, and, here in Utah, theaters are preparing for an in-person 2021-22 season. In the past year, some theaters have stayed open (with audiences required to wear face masks,) others have experimented with virtual productions and some were entirely closed for more than a year. Many theaters have publicly committed to increased diversity and representation after many in the industry reckoned with racism in American theater. After all this turmoil, the theater won’t look exactly the same as it did pre-pandemic, but local companies are hoping that audiences, hungry for live performances, will return to support Utah artists.
Here are the announced 2021-22 seasons of some major Utah theaters:
Salt Lake Acting Company has gone through a lot of changes recently. While pivoting to a virtual 2020-21 season, they launched the Amberlee Fund, an initiative to make their 130-year-old theater more accessible. Their 2021-22 50th Anniversary season will welcome audiences back to their newly renovated theater. The season’s first play, Four Women Talking About the Man Under the Sheet, was set to open in March 2020, and we all know how that turned out. SLAC continues their tradition of children’s productions with Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” The season also includes the Utah premiere of Egress, a new thriller. I’m most excited about SLAC’s production of Passing Strange. The avant-garde musical about a young Black man’s coming of age made it to Broadway (against all odds) back in 2008. The short-lived Broadway production was immortalized with a documentary directed by Spike Lee, but this is the first time audiences can see the musical on a Utah stage.
SLAC is going through one more big change: the end of Saturday’s Voyeur, a yearly sendup of Utah and Mormon culture that ran at the theater for four decades. The current season is closing with the debut of #SLACabaret, a new variety show that also pokes fun at life in the Beehive State. Tickets are on sale for both in-person and virtual performances.
Four Women Talking About the Man Under the Sheet: Sept. 29-Oct. 31, 2021
Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”: Dec. 3-30, 2021
Egress: Feb. 2-March 6, 2022
Passing Strange: April 6 – May 15, 2022
#SLACabaret 2022: July 13 – August 21, 2022
168 W. 500 North, SLC, 801-363-7522
Pioneer Theatre Company lost an entire season to the pandemic, but the Salt Lake theater is ready to bring audiences back together. Their 2021-22 season includes two world premiers—Ass and The Messenger—along with the jazz-filled musical Ain’t Misbehavin, the Christmas comedy Elf, the goofy musical parody Something Rotten!, the romantic play Fireflies and the Golden Age classic Hello Dolly! After more than a year without live performances, PTC is embracing the fun—“this year, well, we all just want to feel good,” said Artistic Director Karen Azenberg in a statement.
Ain’t Misbehavin: Sept 10-25, 2021
Ass: Oct 22-Nov 6, 2021
Elf: Dec 3-18, 2021
The Messenger: Jan. 14-29, 2022
Something Rotten!: Feb. 25-March 12, 2022
Fireflies: April 1-16, 2022
Hello Dolly!: May 13-28, 2022
300 S. 1400 East, SLC, 801-581-6961
Plan-B is an all-local, all-the-time theater company that exclusively performs new works from Utah playwrights. Their 2020-21 season produced audio dramas to stream at home, but their upcoming 2021-22 Subscription Series returns in-person to the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. The season premiers three plays by Carleton Blufor, Iris Salazar and Melissa Leilani Larson, all artists of color, which Plan-B says is a first for Utah.
The Clean-Up Project: Feb. 17-27, 2022
Aftershock: April 7-17, 2022
Mestiza, or Mixed: June 9-19, 2022
138 W. 300 South, SLC, 801-297-4200
Yes, Hamilton is coming back. If you couldn’t get tickets in the frenzy last time the Broadway sensation came to town, now is your second chance. Hamilton’s return is part of a jam-packed season with touring productions from some of the most popular Broadway productions from the past several years. The two most recent Tony Award winners for Best Musical—The Band’s Visit and Hadestown—are coming, along with Aaron Sorkin’s smash-hit To Kill a Mockingbird, movie adaptations Mean Girls and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar and the family-friendly musicals Frozen and Anastasia, which are rescheduled from the 2019-20 season.
Frozen: Oct. 28-Nov. 14, 2021
Mean Girls: Nov. 30-Dec. 5, 2021
Hamilton: Dec. 28, 2021-Jan. 23, 2022
Anastasia: Feb. 15-20, 2022
The Band’s Visit: Mar. 15-20, 2022
Jesus Christ Superstar: May 10-15, 2022
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: June 14-19, 2022
Hadestown: Aug. 2-7, 2022
To Kill a Mockingbird: Sep. 6-11, 2022
Box Office: 610 E. South Temple #20, SLC, 801-355-5502
Eccles Theater: 131 S. Main St., SLC, 385-468-1010
Though HCT was one of the earliest theaters to reopen for in-person performances, their 2022 season still feels like a turning point as more audiences venture back to live theater. The two high-tech stages at their location in Sandy, which opened in 2017, are designed for putting on big spectacles usually seen at Vegas shows or big-budget pop concerts. Hale has a reputation for keeping it PG, and the season includes classic musicals, family-friendly plays, A Christmas Carol (a yearly tradition) and—it’s Utah after all—some Disney. You can still buy tickets for the remainder of their 2021 season, which includes Always…Patsy Cline, Guys & Dolls, The Secret Garden, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and A Christmas Carol.
One for the Pot: Jan. 10-April 2, 2022
Treasure Island: Jan. 29-March 19, 2022
TBA: April 4-May 28, 2022
The Light in the Piazza: April 18-June 18, 2022
Singin’ in the Rain: June 15-Aug. 13, 2022
Silent Sky: June 27-Aug. 27, 2022
The Unsinkable Molly Brown: Aug. 29-Oct. 29, 2022
Lucky Stiff: Sept. 12-Nov. 19, 2022
The Little Mermaid: Nov. 14, 2022-Jan. 14, 2023
A Christmas Carol: Nov. 30-Dec. 27, 2022
9900 Monroe St., Sandy, 801-984-9000
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