Alexander Utz

Alexander Utz

Alexander Utz is a Chicago-based playwright and actor, as well as a co-founder and Artistic Director of Avalanche Theatre. His plays have been performed with The Plagiarists, Bower Theatre Ensemble, Three Brothers Theatre, the International Museum of Surgical Science, Otherworld Theatre, Benchmark Theatre, the Community Co-Op, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, Three Cat Productions, and 5th Wall Productions. His...
Alexander Utz is a Chicago-based playwright and actor, as well as a co-founder and Artistic Director of Avalanche Theatre. His plays have been performed with The Plagiarists, Bower Theatre Ensemble, Three Brothers Theatre, the International Museum of Surgical Science, Otherworld Theatre, Benchmark Theatre, the Community Co-Op, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, Three Cat Productions, and 5th Wall Productions. His plays Generation Red, Outpost, and Sunflowers are published through Next Stage Press. He was a Resident Playwright with Three Brothers Theatre from 2018-2020. He received his BFA in Theatre Performance from Niagara University.

Plays

  • Work In Progress
    FULL LENGTH: Judy, an illustrator, arrives at an artist residency in the middle of a beautiful state park. It's her very first residency and she's hoping to make the most of it. She wants to work on her art, to make connections with the people she meets, to feel like she's actually an artist. But something's holding her back - whether that be the podcast about creativity she's...
    FULL LENGTH: Judy, an illustrator, arrives at an artist residency in the middle of a beautiful state park. It's her very first residency and she's hoping to make the most of it. She wants to work on her art, to make connections with the people she meets, to feel like she's actually an artist. But something's holding her back - whether that be the podcast about creativity she's constantly listening to, the strangely aloof park director, or a simmering tragedy she's avoiding back at home. A play about artistry, imposter syndrome, and healing that explores how we can be better to ourselves and each other.

    *This play is in development.
  • Arabia, Arabia! (or; How to be Forgotten)
    FULL LENGTH: It's 1761. Five researchers have been selected by the Danish government to travel to the Arabian peninsula, to "Happy Arabia." But the journey isn't as happy as its destination. The doctor is incompetent, the botanist is elitist, and the linguist has enough arsenic to kill them all. And that's hardly the worst of it. When the Narrator appears and tries to save the...
    FULL LENGTH: It's 1761. Five researchers have been selected by the Danish government to travel to the Arabian peninsula, to "Happy Arabia." But the journey isn't as happy as its destination. The doctor is incompetent, the botanist is elitist, and the linguist has enough arsenic to kill them all. And that's hardly the worst of it. When the Narrator appears and tries to save the expedition from certain failure, the researchers begin to realize that their story may not belong to them anymore.
  • Gut
    FULL LENGTH: It's 1822. A fur trader named Alexis St Martin gets shot (on accident) and ends up with an open wound in his chest, opening directly to his stomach. His doctor, William Beaumont, uses him and his wound to conduct studies on digestion for the next 11 years. And yes, this really happened. Plus, there’s a framing device of a bunch of other fur traders telling each other this story and acting it...
    FULL LENGTH: It's 1822. A fur trader named Alexis St Martin gets shot (on accident) and ends up with an open wound in his chest, opening directly to his stomach. His doctor, William Beaumont, uses him and his wound to conduct studies on digestion for the next 11 years. And yes, this really happened. Plus, there’s a framing device of a bunch of other fur traders telling each other this story and acting it out while they travel. It’s a ride.
  • Where the Air Meets the Water
    FULL LENGTH: A pair of intersecting outdoor walking plays for one actor and one audience member.

    It's the third anniversary of the night AJ and Cara met. But they haven't spoken in weeks. AJ has a mysterious gift bag that Cara gave them on the night they met, unopened. It's time to give it back. In separate monologues each performed for one audience member, AJ and Cara walk around...
    FULL LENGTH: A pair of intersecting outdoor walking plays for one actor and one audience member.

    It's the third anniversary of the night AJ and Cara met. But they haven't spoken in weeks. AJ has a mysterious gift bag that Cara gave them on the night they met, unopened. It's time to give it back. In separate monologues each performed for one audience member, AJ and Cara walk around Chicago and reveal more about themselves and their relationship. Finally, they meet at Lake Michigan, at a fork in the road for their future.
  • Generation Red
    FULL LENGTH: Erica, Alan, Denver, and Trish are the first four people to be born on Mars. They are waiting to find out if they've passed "The Test," which would allow them to go outside for the first time in their lives. To pass the time, they play a game creating scenes that imagine what life on Earth would be like. As control of the game jumps from person to person, questions are raised about...
    FULL LENGTH: Erica, Alan, Denver, and Trish are the first four people to be born on Mars. They are waiting to find out if they've passed "The Test," which would allow them to go outside for the first time in their lives. To pass the time, they play a game creating scenes that imagine what life on Earth would be like. As control of the game jumps from person to person, questions are raised about the truths and fictions in their own lives on Mars. Before long, it becomes apparent that the outside world isn't as simple as they've imagined.
  • Outpost
    FULL LENGTH: It’s the day before the Test for young Martian colony residents Aris, Liam, and Jo. They decide to take their mind off the big day by hanging out in an old, abandoned part of the compound — a space filled with history and ghost stories. When the compound’s AI system, MARVIN, starts giving the presentation again, Aris, Liam, and Jo find they can’t turn it off. So they decide to have some fun and...
    FULL LENGTH: It’s the day before the Test for young Martian colony residents Aris, Liam, and Jo. They decide to take their mind off the big day by hanging out in an old, abandoned part of the compound — a space filled with history and ghost stories. When the compound’s AI system, MARVIN, starts giving the presentation again, Aris, Liam, and Jo find they can’t turn it off. So they decide to have some fun and play along with it, half making fun of the history, half reliving their childhoods seeing the presentation. But strange things start occurring, and the three are forced to confront their own conceptions and emotions about the past. Can they deal with the history of their planet and move forward into a new future?
  • The Creators
    FULL LENGTH: Deirdre, Piper, and Will work for a mysterious artistic prodigy named Gene, creating all the works of art he claims as his own. Also, they're not really ever allowed to leave the office. So when the new employee, Jess, starts trying to change the way things are done, it looks like their lives are about to finally improve. But it soon becomes clear that enacting change isn't always easy to do.
  • Socks & Co.
    FULL LENGTH: When a security guard goes missing inside the back room of a luxury sock store, new hire Casey decides to lead the rescue effort. And if dealing with entitled customers and ambivalent managers weren't obstacles enough, Casey is soon facing off with an owner who refuses to show his face and a doorway that seems to lead to alternate dimensions. When none of the other employees are much help,...
    FULL LENGTH: When a security guard goes missing inside the back room of a luxury sock store, new hire Casey decides to lead the rescue effort. And if dealing with entitled customers and ambivalent managers weren't obstacles enough, Casey is soon facing off with an owner who refuses to show his face and a doorway that seems to lead to alternate dimensions. When none of the other employees are much help, Casey alone will have to navigate the mundanity of retail to save a man from the paranormal.
  • Frances Makes History
    FULL LENGTH: Frances Howe, high school senior, isn't doing anything with her life. Her grades are getting dangerously low, her friends are preparing to move on to college life, and everyone keeps asking about her nonexistent plans post-graduation. So when her mom mysteriously breaks up with her history teacher, Frances hatches a plan to get back at him and boost her grades at the same time. But things don...
    FULL LENGTH: Frances Howe, high school senior, isn't doing anything with her life. Her grades are getting dangerously low, her friends are preparing to move on to college life, and everyone keeps asking about her nonexistent plans post-graduation. So when her mom mysteriously breaks up with her history teacher, Frances hatches a plan to get back at him and boost her grades at the same time. But things don't go exactly as she expects, and before she knows it she's sitting in the guidance counselor's office, dressed as a presidential assassin. Somehow she'll have to live up to everyone else's expectations, get her life back on track, and stay happy.
  • mixed up in sky
    Someone has suddenly found themselves to be invisible. Someone else is falling from the sky. Some people are watching. They are all trying to connect. They all need saving.

    An experimental poem-play about what it means to need saving, and what it means to be saved. The experiment: none of the dialogue is assigned to specific characters, so the director and actors are permitted to tell any story...
    Someone has suddenly found themselves to be invisible. Someone else is falling from the sky. Some people are watching. They are all trying to connect. They all need saving.

    An experimental poem-play about what it means to need saving, and what it means to be saved. The experiment: none of the dialogue is assigned to specific characters, so the director and actors are permitted to tell any story that the script suggests to them. The script deals with the ideas of invisibility, heroism, belief, friendship, mortality, communication, and letting go.

    This play may be performed with one actor, or one hundred actors, or anywhere in between.
  • Sunflowers
    FULL LENGTH: Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin share a tumultuous nine weeks living together in the south of France, culminating in van Gogh cutting off his own ear. Meanwhile, the spirits of Jack the Ripper's victims are looking for a way to express their anger and confusion at their fate. When these women's spirits begin to intertwine with the artists' lives, violence and art collide.
  • Frankenstein
    FULL LENGTH: An adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic, in which the story of Frankenstein is interwoven with elements of Shelley's own life and the origin of the Frankenstein legend. Perhaps the monsters we conjure are not always as inhuman as they seem.

    Written for Bower Theatre Ensemble's inaugural season.