Pioneer Theatre Company

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Coordinates: 40°45′46.12″N 111°51′4.28″W / 40.7628111°N 111.8511889°W / 40.7628111; -111.8511889

TypeTheatre group
PurposeDrama, musical, comedy

The Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) is one of four fully professional theatre companies in Utah, formed in 1962 and performing at the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City.[1] The non-profit company produces seven plays each season, running from September to May, including classics, musicals, dramas, and comedies.[2] The company creates its own productions on site, including costumes and scenery, while sometimes using actors and directors from out-of-state.[3] Among a number of premieres, the company produced the nation's first regional premiere of Les Misérables in 2007, giving 82 sold out performances.[2]


Though the PTC performs on the University of Utah campus, the company operates independently and receives no direct funding from the university. The company is a non-profit organization, with 35% of its budget coming from donors, sponsors, and government support.[4][5] As of 2015, the company is run by managing director Chris Lino and its first female artistic director Karen Azenberg, director of over 60 productions.[6] The company operates on a League of Resident Theatres contract with the Actors' Equity Association.[7]

Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre[edit]

The Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre

Pioneer Theatre Company performs at the Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the west side of the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, Utah.[7] Roy W. Simmons, for whom the theatre is named, attended the University of Utah from 1934 to 1937 and was the CEO of Zions Bancorp from 1964 to 1990.[8] The Lees Main Stage of the theatre is a 932-seat proscenium theatre.[9] The Loge Art Gallery, located on the second floor of the building, is open to the public. Art is selected from local painters, photographers, and sculptors to go with each play of the season.[10][11]


The PTC was the first regional theatre company to earn the rights to produce Les Misérables. Though most PTC productions have a run of 19 performances, Les Mis was extended multiple times for a total of 82 sold out performances in 2007, a record for the company.[2][12]

The company has been responsible for world premieres of revised versions of Paint Your Wagon and The Producers.[13][14] State premieres include the plays An American Daughter, Arcadia, Doubt, Fences, Proof, and The Vertical Hour. The company has produced major musicals including Chicago, Into the Woods, Cabaret, and Ragtime, and classics and adaptations including Othello, Pride and Prejudice, The Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Grapes of Wrath.[2][15] The company's first play in 1962 was Hamlet.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Season Archives". Pioneer Theatre Company. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  2. ^ a b c d "About Pioneer Theatre Company". Pioneer Theatre Company. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  3. ^ Lincoln, Ivan M. (December 10, 2004). "Pioneer Theatre creates its shows from ground up". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  4. ^ "Play a Part in the Success of Pioneer Theatre Company". Pioneer Theatre Company. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about donating to PTC". Pioneer Theatre Company. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  6. ^ "Leadership". Pioneer Theatre Company. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  7. ^ a b "Cultural Venues". In Fact. University of Utah. Archived from the original on 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2009-05-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ obituary "Roy W. Simmons" Check |url= value (help). Deseret Morning News. May 11, 2006. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  9. ^ "Seating Charts". Pioneer Theatre Company. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  10. ^ Isom, Patricia (December 1, 2008). "Pioneer Theatre Company pairs plays with Utah artists". Globe Link. Salt Lake Community College. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  11. ^ "Fine Arts for a Fine Audience". Pioneer Theatre Company. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  12. ^ Jones, Kenneth (May 20, 2007). "One Week More! Utah's Pioneer Adds Performances to Hit Les Miz — Again". Playbill. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth (September 28, 2007). "With a Fresh Coat of Creativity, Paint Your Wagon Opens in UT on Route to Wider Life". Playbill. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  14. ^ Jones, Kenneth (April 30, 2007). "Utah's Pioneer Theatre Will Stage Its Own Producers in 2008". Playbill. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  15. ^ Hetrick, Adam (October 16, 2007). "Doubt Will Fill the Stage of Utah's Pioneer Theatre Company in November". Playbill. Retrieved May 30, 2009.

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