Utah Repertory Theater Company held a successful champagne brunch preview for its regional premiere production of “Bare,” which artistic director Johnny Hebda called a “phenomenal success.” The event was a fundraiser for OUTreach Resource Centers, which provides services to youth and those affected by homelessness.
The event raised $746 for the Resource Centers and prompted an anonymous donor to up the ante.
“An anonymous donor is buying out one performance of the show to provide free tickets to local youths,” Turner C. Bitton, treasurer of OUTreach Support Centers said. “So we raised over $3,000 at a single event. This is an awesome sum of money.”
“I absolutely love the mission of the Outreach Resource Centers and am excited to make the message of ‘Bare’ one that extends directly into our communities,” said Hebda, who also directed “Bare.” “We look forward to future partnerships with OUTreach and share in their enthusiasm for providing resources for homeless youth within our community. The event was moving and emotional, and I believe that theater has the power to impact and touch people in unique ways. And it’s my hope that through ‘Bare’ that we will be able to share this message with those people that need to hear it the most.”
The reaction to the performance was immediate.
“I want you to tell the folks that performed today that I haven’t been so strongly moved by a production as I was by today’s performances. I barely held back tears,” a note passed to the organizers said.
Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis was a special guest at the donor preview.
“Bare” is a coming-of-age story of a group of high school seniors at a co-ed Catholic boarding school. Each character struggles to define themselves in the face of their relationships, sexuality and religion. As they search to come to terms with who they are — and who the world thinks they should be — they seek answers from their church, their friends and, ultimately, from within themselves. A story of discovery, acceptance and love, the storyline of “Bare” involves a clandestine relationship between two young men who are roommates, along with a few of their close friends. As these characters navigate adolescence, we see the consequences of secrecy unravel though their eyes and those around them.
Bare will show Jan. 16–31, at the company’s resident theater, the newly established Sugar Space Warehouse Theater, 130 S. 800 West in the River District area of Salt Lake City. A special Pay As You May performance will be held Monday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m.
For more information on Utah Rep, visit UtahRep.org. Advance tickets can be purchased at UtahRep.org/tickets.