Monday, September 30, 2019

Cool Classes: Stage Makeup

Reagan Sieger (left) and Patrick Smith begin transforming themselves into old men.

- Stage Makeup -

Reagan Sieger and Patrick Smith aren’t grumpy old men, but at least they look that way thanks to a little stage makeup.

Sieger is only 18, in his first semester at Salt Lake Community College, dreaming of someday becoming a stage actor in New York. Sieger and Smith, 24, with aspirations of acting in film, are taking Jon Clark’s stage makeup class.

Theatre 1223, as it’s known in the SLCC catalog, didn’t draw a single taker when it was first offered in 2006. But timing is often everything. In 2011 special-effects makeup artists began competing with each other on a show called Face Off on the Syfy network. SLCC offered the class again in 2012. “We were just overwhelmed,” said Clark. “Most people who signed up were interested because of the show. There were only a few theatre majors.”

Students look on as Jon Clark (right) demonstrates a makeup technique.

It was a cool class then – and it still is. But nowadays most of the students are theatre majors, required to take Clark’s class, which is fully transferrable to bachelor degree programs in theatre throughout Utah. He teaches students how to appear three dimensional under stage lights. On a September morning in the Green Room near the Black Box Theatre on SLCC’s South City Campus, they’re learning how to make themselves look old.

“I’m hating this with all my might,” laughs Jaycee Chenoweth, 18, as she applies a thick purple goop to her otherwise spectacular eyebrows. “I hate anything on my eyebrows.” But the Alta High School grad loves film acting, has been in a few commercials and knows the value of being able to do your own makeup – and it’s one less person to hire, she notes. “It’s a good skill to have,” she says.

Chenoweth chats her way through class while applying her “old lady” makeup in the mirror with new friend Payton Wright, 19, a graduate of Taylorsville High School who loves theatre and plans to make it her career path. “I think a life you don’t live doing what you really love and makes you happy is boring,” Wright says. “That’s my biggest fear – being bored.”

Payton Wright (left) and Jaycee Chenoweth show off their "old lady" makeup.

Clark’s class is anything but boring. By the second day of class, he had students applying fake wounds to their skin. They’ll transform themselves into “fantasy” characters of their own design later in the semester.

“I love this class,” says Sieger, who grew up with seven sisters. “I just like makeup. I have always had an interest in doing makeup.” His goal with theatre is to help audience members feel something they’ve never felt, maybe even change a life the way seeing theatre performances as child did for him.

Smith, Sieger’s buddy in the mirror, wants to portray characters on screen who tell important stories that help people understand the world and themselves a bit better. At the end of class, looking more like old men than young actors, the two ham it up in the mirror and adlib their way through some funny dialogue. “I really like the idea that I can just make myself into whatever,” Smith says. “It just takes a little bit of time.”

Reagan Sieger (left) and Patrick Smith get into character at the end of class.

Jon Clark (right) admires the transformation of student Kiersten Knighton.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Grand Theatre Presents Musical Comedy 'Curtains!'

The Grand Theatre, sponsored by Salt Lake Community College, is proud to present the Tony Award Winning musical, Curtains! Running October 3 – 26, 2019.

A musical comedy, murder mystery, by the creators of Cabaret and Chicago, it’s the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is host to the opening night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage the entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical theatre fan.

“Curtains is a hilarious show that is brilliantly written, it’s been one of my favorites for years.  With so many funny characters, our cast is having a blast playing all the different stereotypical, over the top theatre personalities in the show,” said Artistic and Executive Director of the Grand Theatre, Seth Miller. “It’s also full of huge dance numbers that The Grand’s audience loves.  October is a great time of year for a murder mystery, and it’s even better when the show is also a musical comedy.”

Curtains is directed by David Hanson, with music direction by Michael Leavitt. Performances will take place Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 2pm. Tickets range from $17 - $23 and can be purchased at 801-957-3322 or As always, junior high and high school students receive 1 free ticket with their school ID.

Curtains is rated PG-13 for adult themes and strong language.

Meet Our Faculty: Dennis O'Reilly

Dennis O'Reilly

Assistant Professor, Club Advisor
Applied Technology and Technical Specialties
Automotive Department

What he teaches:
Automatic Transmissions, Manual Transmissions and Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning, other Automotive courses as assigned and Leadership (through my Student Life and Leadership Advisor engagement)

Number of years teaching at SLCC:

Undergraduate degree:
Utah Technical College (SLCC)

Why working at SLCC matters:
It affords me the opportunity to give back to the college that has given me so much and to honor the memory of Robert S. Nielson and John E. Cameron Sr. They were two of the great men who helped teach me about integrity.

Greatest professional challenge:
Living up to my expectations and not getting stuck in the ruts.

Greatest professional accomplishment:
Receiving tenure at the greatest community college and earning the respect of my colleagues.

Advice for students or others:
Challenge yourself to do more than you believe you are capable of.

Future plans:
To complete a bachelor’s degree and/or become a full professor.

I am married to Terri who is my soul mate, and I have two children, Douglas, who is in the Navy and was formerly stationed on an aircraft carrier and is now enlisted stateside, and Danielle, who works in retail sales.

Automotive racing, classic automobile restoration, cycling, research projects, football.