Curtain rises on new season at Eccles |

Curtain rises on new season at Eccles

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

The Park City Performing Arts Foundation (PCPAF) has been a little late in announcing its lineup for the upcoming season, but rest assured, the curtain will rise again.

Executive Director Teri Orr explains that difficulties securing sponsorship this year led to delayed bookings. However, the nonprofit has confirmed five performances between now and February, and hopes to secure at least four more, including a New Year’s Eve production, in the coming weeks.

In the face of financial hardships, PCPAF has remained stalwart in its mission to bring promote the arts and bring world-class performances to a small-town stage.

The organization kicks off its 13th season tonight, Saturday, Sept. 26, with Montana Repertory Theatre’s stage adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird" at 7:30 p.m. The performance celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a perennial favorite. "Personally, if I could take five books with me to an island, that would be one of them," Orr says.

The theatrical rendition is just as powerful as the written word, she adds. "It’s brilliant. The story and the lessons contained there are just as timely today as they were 50 years ago." Montana Repertory Theatre has been around for more than 40 years and will be making its debut in Park City.

The second scheduled performance of the season will give viewers a taste of three different but complementary lyrical styles. Joan Osborn (you might remember her hit, "What If God Was One of Us") joins blues band The Holmes Brothers and Mississippi crooner Paul Thorn on stage on Sunday, Oct. 25. "It’s a variety of musical styles that all blend together very well," says Orr. "It’ll be a whole different way to get churched."

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Former computer techie Vienna Tang is the third act to grace the Eccles Center stage on Dec. 12. Orr saw her perform in San Diego and knew she would strike a chord with Park City music lovers. "She’s smart, young and edgy, and not at all what you’d expect from someone who was once a software engineer," she says.

Teng’s performance will be part of the Discovery series, a new program PCPAF is launching to introduce emerging artists and draw in more diverse audiences. Orr says the organization plans to add at least two other performances as part of the mini-series. Ticket prices for these shows will be lower than normal at $30 for the first eight rows and $15 for general admission.

On Feb. 12, the Eccles Center will present L.A. Theatre Works’ latest production, "RFK: The Journey to Justice." The play provides a behind-the-scenes look at the political drama and Robert F. Kennedy’s transformation throughout the Civil Rights Movement. "It examines not only RFK’s lifetime but how his life and death intersected with Martin Luther King, Jr.," says Orr.

This production will also provide several outreach opportunities for students and the community. One of PCPAF’s top priorities is to introduce local youth to the arts through free student workshops, shows and demonstrations. The creative minds behind "RFK: The Journey to Justice" will partake in evening discussions and possibly a radio broadscast during their visit to Park City.

The fifth confirmed production for the season is the Parsons Dance company’s collaboration with East Village Opera Company, entitled "Remember Me," on Feb. 27. Orr says PCPAF has been trying to coordinate a Park City performance with the New York City-based Parsons Dance for years. "They take well-known opera pieces and make them rock opera, and so to have that kind of music behind such a cutting-edge dance company will be a pretty powerful evening," she says.

Ticket prices for performances (except the Discovery Series shows) range from $18 to $65, with discounts for children, students and seniors. Tickets for upcoming shows may be purchased at , by calling (435) 655-3114, or at the box office, located in the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Center for the Performing Arts adjacent to Park City High School. The box office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and opens at noon on the day of a show.

As the Arts Foundation looks at adding more performances to the lineup, Orr notes that sponsorship is still needed for specific shows and for the season overall. The seat campaign will also continue in an effort to garner patrons’ support.

"We are pleased with the response from the community, but there are a whole lot more seats available and we are not near our goal yet of selling 400 seats by Sept. 30," says Orr.

PCPAF plans to open its literacy tutoring center for aspiring geniuses by the end of October. "It’s just taken us longer than we anticipated to get everything together," Orr explains. The space, located at 436 Main Street, will feature a retail outlet for "genius" supplies as well as a youth reading and writing center. The organization is actively seeking volunteers and donations of items needed to complete the space.

For more information about upcoming performances, supporting PCPAF and community outreach programs, call (435) 655-8252 or visit

Upcoming performances:

Montana Repertory Theatre "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Sept. 26, 2009

Joan Osborn, The Holmes Brothers and Paul Thorn

Oct. 25, 2009

Vienna Tang

Dec. 12, 2009

L.A. Theatre Works "RFK: The Journey to Justice"

Feb. 12, 2010

Parsons Dance with East Village Opera Company vocalists "Remember Me"

Feb. 27, 2010