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Stage adaptation of "Sarah, Plain and Tall" will close BYU Pardoe season

Brigham Young University’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts will present Patricia MacLachlan’s Newbery Medal award-winning story, “Sarah, Plain and Tall,” adapted for theatre by Joseph Robbinette and directed by Allison Belnap, May 31-June 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pardoe Theatre.

Dress rehearsal performances will be Wednesday and Thursday, May 31 and June 1, and matinee performances will be June 8, 10, 15 and 17, at 2 p.m. There are no performances June 6-7, no evening performance June 17 and no performances on Sundays or Mondays.

Tickets are $9 or $6 with BYU or student ID. Seats for dress rehearsals and matinee performances are $5. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 422-7664 or by visiting

In conjunction with the production, the Provo City Library at Academy Square has launched its “ProvoReads” program, which will continue through June 17. Kindergarten through 12th-grade students who participate in the program and read the book “Sarah, Plain and Tall” will receive two free tickets to one of the four matinee performances.

The complimentary tickets will be given out as long as they are available, and they may be picked up at the library. For more information about the “ProvoReads” program, visit or contact the library at (801) 852-6650.

A story of loss, renewal, anguish and elation, “Sarah, Plain and Tall” follows a lonely 19th-century widower with two children who advertises for a wife. In response to the ad, Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton answers, “I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall, and tell them I sing.” Upon Sarah’s arrival, the new family comes to understand love as they struggle to create a new life together in the Midwest.

“We all must experience darkness to recognize light, pain to appreciate pleasure and sorrow to expand our joy,” says Belnap. “‘Sarah, Plain and Tall’ is the story of a family who learn to access the pure love that enables them to journey through darkness and pain finally arriving at a source of happiness and light—each other.”

Cast members include Jared Harris, Ali Hill, Noah Autry, Ben Phelan, Genna Gardner, Chelsie Frederickson, Hanna Kennard and Emily Burnworth.

The production team includes scenic designer Jennifer Mortensen, costume designers Erin Bjorn and Susan Jaussi, lighting designer S. Reed Cooper, sound designer Daren Smith, production stage manager Ashley Lane and dramaturgs Shelley Graham and Kayela Seegmiller.

The public is invited to participate in several free talk-back sessions associated with the performances. A “Meet the Company” will be held immediately following the Thursday evening performances June 1, 8 and 15. A “University Roundtable” will take place immediately following the matinee Saturday, June 10. The Theatre and Media Arts Department will also host a forum about “Sarah, Plain and Tall” Thursday, June 15, at 11 a.m. in the Nelke Theatre.

Families can participate in free “Lunch ‘n Learn” workshops before each matinee where they can participate in such activities as watercolor painting and farm chore relays. Participants need to bring their own lunches, but light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Allison Belnap at (801) 371-8762.

Writer: Brian Rust

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