New Works Festival tomorrow at Tuacahn

New Works Festival
New Works Festival
New Works Festival

This weekend, theater-lovers can get the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the early phase of some exciting new productions at the Tuacahn New Works Festival.

“The life blood of theater comes from new pieces that need a place to gestate and develop if they are to have a life outside of the program,” says Jeffry Denman, New Works Festival director. “That’s what the New Works Festival is about, to choose pieces we believe can have a life down the road and help the authors attain that goal.”

It’s an exciting prospect for the audience, as well as the playwright and the actors to be able to share in the creation the art during these musical staged readings. No sets, no costumes and actors with scripts in hand, the New Works Festival provides the perfect way to see the creative process of bringing a musical to life.

“It’s such a great opportunity for everyone to be involved in something special and unique,” says Scott Anderson, artistic director at Tuacahn.

This year, two productions will be on view — free of charge — for audiences to enjoy.


Telling the story of the Golden Age of Flight in 1929 with particular attention to the world’s most daring female flyers, Fly features themes of female camaraderie and resilience in overcoming adversity and divisiveness.

Written by Taylor Hatch with music and lyrics by Jordan Kamalu and directed by Jeffry Denman, Fly shines a light on the first ever National Women’s Air Derby — a nine-day cross-country air race from Santa Monica, Calif. to Cleveland, Ohio.  When the colorful roster of pilots learn they are up against protestors, sabotage and a constantly changing course intentionally set up to prove that women can’t fly, hot-shot pilot Louise Thaden must decide whether or not to lay aside personal ambition and work with the other pilots to secure a place for women in the skies forever. 

Fly takes place at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in the Indoor Hafen Theatre at Tuacahn Center for the Arts. Tickets are free but must be reserved. Call 800-746-9882 for more information.

‘The Count of Monte Cristo’

From the Tony Award-nominated composer of The Scarlet Pimpernel and Jekyll & Hyde, comes a musical adventure of vengeance, mercy and the redemptive power of love.

Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas with music by Frank Wildhorn and book and lyrics by Jack Murphy, The Count of Monte Cristo A New Musical comes to life at Tuacahn at the hands of director Scott Anderson and produced in association with Jeff Martin.

It’s a tale of Edmond Dantes, a man falsely accused of colluding with Napoleon Bonaparte in 19th Century France. The punishment for this recently wed seaman is imprisonment in a Mediterranean island prison without a trial.

After many hopeless years of confinement, Dantes’ luck appears to change thanks to a fellow prisoner who helps him escape and bequeaths a substantial fortune on him. With money in hand, Dantes transforms himself into the Count of Monte Cristo and sets out on a quest to avenge the man who stole the heart of his beloved bride. In the process, he discovers the only true path to true freedom comes by embracing love, mercy and forgiveness.

The Count of Monte Cristo: A New Musical takes place at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in the Indoor Hafen Theatre. Tickets are free but must be reserved by calling 800-746-9882.

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.