Theatre-lovers are invited to the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’s production of The Murder at Haversham Manor, via the Broadway and London hit comedy, THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG. It opens at PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY (PTC) on December 6, 2019 and through December 21, 2019. Tickets for this production can be purchased by calling 801-581-6961 or visiting pioneertheatre.org.

The New York Times called it the “Best Comedy Pick of the Season.” The Play That Goes Wrong also won the prestigious Olivier Award in London for Best New Comedy. 

“I survey our audience members every season asking what plays they want to see,” said Artistic Director Karen Azenberg, who also directs this production. “Last year, over 90% of our responders requested this hilarious, fast-paced comedy. That is unheard of! We are fortunate to be one of the only theatres in the country granted the first rights to produce this piece.”

“Regional theatres like PTC heavily compete for the rights to productions like these,” said Managing Director Chris Massimine. “One of the reasons I joined this team is Karen Azenberg’s reputation for excellence in producing premieres that assure Salt Lake audiences will get a chance to see these productions here, first. It’s an important part of the community building work for which PTC is committed.”

WILLIAM CONNELL portrays Chris, the director and leading star of the The Murder at Haversham Manor, the play within-a-play of The Play That Goes Wrong. CONNELL was in last season’s The Lion in Winter, as well as 2014’s One Man, Two Guvnors. He has also appeared on Broadway in Ink, A View From the Bridge, and The Coast of Utopia.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong includes several actors returning to PTC. GREG BALLA, BRANDON CONTRERAS, and ERIC SANTAGATA play cast members Robert, Jonathan, and Dennis, respectively. BALLA was in last season’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. CONTRERAS returns after last season’s La Cage aux Folles and 2016’s The Count of Monte Cristo. SANTAGATA appeared in PTC’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, It Happened One Christmas, The Rocky Horror Show, and Rent. His Broadway credits include Falsettos, The Scottsboro Boys, Prince of Broadway, Bullets Over Broadway, Chaplin, and The Apple Tree.

JORDAN SOBEL is cast-member Max, while RUTH PFERDEHIRT is Sandra. SOBEL has performed Off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse and Bridge Production Group, as well as on-screen in “The Village” and Paradise, FL. PFERDEHIRT has appeared in the Broadway National Tours of Elf and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.

ARCHELAUS CRISANTO and KIRSTEN WYATT round out the production staff of The Murder at Haversham Manor. CRISANTO, a Utah native, has appeared in Evermore Park, an interactive fantasy-themed park, and recently in The Odd Couple. WYATT performed in PTC’s productions of Peter Pan, Les Misérables, and A Comedy of Tenors. She has nine Broadway credits including A Christmas Story: The Musical, Elf, Shrek, High Fidelity, and The Pajama Game.

University of Utah Actor Training Program students HARRISON J. LIND, MORGAN WERDER, and JESSICA WEYMAN perform as members of the Cornley Polytechnic Stage Crew.

PTC Artistic Director KAREN AZENBERG directs this production, and is joined by PTC Resident Fight Choreographer CHRISTOPHER DUVAL as Associate Director. AZENBERG recently directed this season’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, as well as last year’s productions of Oslo, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Grease. DUVAL is the head of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah, and has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a stage combat skills teacher, actor, and fight director for 18 years.

The rest of the creative team includes scenic designer JAMES KRONZER,who designed last year’s Mamma Mia! as well as standup specials for Comedy Central, Showtime, Netflix, and Epix. Costume design is by K. L. ALBERTS, who has designed for Pioneer Theatre Company for 32 years, including costumes for both Les Misérables, last season’s Sweat, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. KIRK BOOKMAN designs lighting, returning to PTC after designing Once, Twelfth Night, Newsies, Oliver!, and The Glass Menagerie.


Sound design is by resident ALLAN BRANSON. Dialect coach SARAH SHIPPOBOTHAM returns from last season’s Once, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Sweeney Todd, Oslo, and many others. Former PTC resident hair and make-up designer AMANDA FRENCH returns to design for this production.

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY (PTC): Now celebrating its 58th season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s Premiere Professional Theatre and a leading arts organization of the West. Led by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and Managing Director Christopher Massimine, PTC promotes community-building and education though presenting world-class productions; developing new socially resonant and universal work; hosting talks, lectures, and workshops that engage a versatile and inclusive demographic, while celebrating diversity in culture and society; and serving as the connecting bridge between art and scholarship as an affiliate of the University of Utah.

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