Play-by-Play: The Anatomy of Love

Pioneer Theatre Company

Pioneer Theatre Company begins its eighth season of the Play-by-Play New Play Reading Series with a reading of The Anatomy of Love a play in development by New York-based playwright Ted Malawer. The readings will take place at the Dumke Auditorium of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will be a talkback directly after the 2:00 p.m. matinee. 

The Anatomy of Love starts with the typical modern couple: Laura is a dedicated, hard-working lawyer while Danny, an underemployed actor, is a stay-at-home dad. Their marriage has shifted into auto-pilot as both of them strive for the American dream. But all of that is brought to a dead, frightening stop when their seven-year-old daughter’s teacher suggests that the child is most likely transgender. What follows is a fierce and sometimes hostile battle between Danny and Ms. Spencer advocating acceptance and pre-emptive reassignment, and Laura adamantly refusing either action. 

This timely, contemporary issue is the battleground for an emotional and heartbreaking story of love and loss.  “I’m thrilled to continue the development of The Anatomy of Love at PTC,” says playwright Ted Malawer. “The theatre is a place for us to all come together, no matter our differences, and synchronize our heartbeats. I’m excited and honored that Karen has embraced this play and chosen it to open the new Play-by-Play season.”

“When I read this play last summer, I loved it, and knew I wanted to bring it into our new play reading series,” said Artistic Director Karen Azenberg, who will also direct this reading. “The conversation it opens is one that families all over the country, openly or reluctantly, are having, as we embrace a new future that doesn’t see gender as binary, as we always have.”

Playwright TED MALAWER is a recent graduate of the Juilliard Playwriting Program. He has received Lincoln Center’s Lecomte du Nouy Prize and The Kennedy Center’s Blanche and Irving Laurie Award. His theatrical work has been developed and commissioned by T Magazine/The New York Times, The Public, NYTW, Atlantic Theater Company, MCC, and others. TV writer-producer credits include shows for Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, NBC, Freeform and Disney+, where he developed an original pilot. Malawer has also written several novels, including the Mystic City series for Penguin Random House. A former opera singer, Malawer is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a graduate of The Juilliard School-Columbia University Exchange Program, and received his master’s from Fordham University. He is currently adapting the novel Red, White & Royal Blue into a film for Amazon, and writing an original musical with Kate Nash and Andy Blankenbuehler.

Pioneer Theatre Company Artistic Director KAREN AZENBERG will direct this reading. She is in the eighth year of her tenure, and began the Play-by-Play series in 2013 in order to nurture new voices and new work, ensuring the long term viability of American theatre as an art form. Play-by-Play has presented 18 readings in the past 6 years, leading to seven world premieres. 

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY (PTC): Now celebrating its 58th season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s premiere professional theatre company 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 through 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.

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.