Artistic Resolve 

Utah’s artistic community offers its resolutions for 2007.

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You have a hard enough time staying focused on the discipline required to lose those five pounds you’ve been telling yourself you’ll shed since the turn of the century. Now imagine that you’re an artist, and that holding fast to your New Year’s resolution could be the difference between creating something that will inspire generations to come, and sitting at home in your pajamas watching daytime television.

We asked a handful of Utah’s brightest artistic talents to answer this question: “What is your artistic New Year’s resolution for 2007? It can be something you’d like to create yourself, or something you’d like to read, see or experience for inspiration.” If even a few of them come to pass, it could be quite a year to be a local lover of the arts.

Julie Jensen (playwright-in-residence, Salt Lake Acting Company): My favorite theatres for bizarre artistic fixes are the Wooster Group in New York and Rude Mechanicals in Santa Fe. You have to be lucky to hit town when they’re on. But hope springs eternal. I have a workshop production opening in Idaho in February of a one-person play starring Patty Duke and a big puppet head of George W. Bush. I can’t wait to see them both on stage together. Otherwise, my resolutions are to make plays in the new year that are more physical, less linear, less realistic and more fun.

Jerry Rapier (Producing Director, Plan-B Theatre Company): I am thrilled about Plan-B’s current focus on developing new plays by Utah writers. I hope that what we created locally with Facing East will translate to a wider audience when it opens off-Broadway May 25. And I am honored to be shepherding two plays'Exposed by Mary Dickson (about Utah’s troubled relationship with nuclear testing) and The End of the Horizon by Debora Threedy (about Everett Ruess’ disappearance in southern Utah in 1934)'into full production in the coming year. My goal is to honor the work of these extraordinary women with rich, world-premiere productions!

Richard Dutcher (filmmaker, God’s Army): In 2007, I am going to write the most powerful, the most beautiful screenplay I’ve ever written. In 2008, I’ll direct it.

Ruth Lubbers (executive director, Art Access Gallery): As an arts administrator, I’d have to say [my resolution would be] to see that Utah’s talented artists receive the recognition and respect that they deserve. This doesn’t seem like it should be difficult, but it sometimes seems like a “hit the head against the brick wall” battle. Thank goodness there are many folks out there along with me who won’t mind the inevitable concussion and will keep plugging away.

Betsy Burton (owner, King’s English Bookshop): My New Year’s resolution for 2007 is quite simply to spend more time writing. As to what I hope to accomplish should I actually manage to carve out time, I’d like to edit the mystery I’ve been working on for most of my adult life and (at long last) send it out the door. I’m also thinking of writing a book about books (what a surprise). My only other resolution is to lose 10 pounds, but that’s not exactly creative, and is clearly (it’s an annual resolution) just wishful thinking, anyway.

Keith Stubbs (comedian/owner of Wiseguys Comedy Café): My personal comedy resolution [is] to continue to perform comedy for the love of it … to speak from the heart. My comedy wish is for comedy poseurs to get out of the business, and for comics to stop embarrassing the art form with stunts'for example, Michael Richards’ out-of-control rant, Pauly Shore’s staged heckler fight and Dustin Diamond’s fraudulent career. Truth be told'I booked Pauly and Dustin at Wiseguys and resolve never to do that again.

Stephen Brown (artistic director, SB Dance): Well, I hope to see no more dances about Sept. 11. I don’t know why people want to try to metabolize recent events so quickly. I guess there’s money to be made. But it makes for really s'tty art. I do want to see Ballet West choose a good artistic director. It’d be cool if they chose a woman'a short, fat New Yorker, chain smoker, who always carried a poodle, appreciated a variety of body types and didn’t give a f'k about anything except great dancing. Oh yeah: I want to see a pas de trois featuring Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. GW would do all the heavy lifting because he’s younger and closer to Jesus. White and green tutus, blue light, pastoral backdrop, contemporary flute orchestration by Kurt Bestor. They’d weave between one another on tiptoe, gently touching hands and shoulders, until they rested in a dreamy portrait of doe-eyed beauty. Then, they’d be beat to a pulp by a bunch of war vets who fought in Iraq.

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