Stage directions from theater pros David and Brittni Smith

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David and Brittni Smith strike a pose at Hale Center Theater during David’s performance in “She Loves Me.” (Photo courtesy of David Smith)

For actors David and Brittni Smith, rehearsing a love scene comes naturally.

“Before we were married, David and I were paired as each other’s love interest in quite a few shows,” Brittni said. “We started dating because we figured we should test our off-stage chemistry too.”

David and Brittni have been married for five years. Even when they aren’t acting, they still keep close ties with the theater community. Brittni teaches drama at Mountain Ridge Junior High and David does accounting for Hale Center Theater in Orem. Their love for theater even shows up in their family life — their one-year-old daughter, Tessie, is named after Tess in “Crazy for You.”

Brittni has acted in 51 shows and David has been in 35. Add in all the shows they have produced or directed, and it’s clear these two rarely leave the stage.

So what’s daily life like as a parent, protagonist and producer? In a word: busy.

Brittni and David don’t work the typical 9-to-5 schedule. Brittni leaves for her teaching job at 7 a.m., while David punches the clock at the business office of Hale Center Theater in Orem. Brittni’s full day of teaching doesn’t end when the bell rings. Instead, she goes directly to the Hale Center where she directs youth theater programs — often with David at her side. And when David or Brittni have dress and tech rehearsals, it’s normal for them to return home well after midnight.

When they are cast in community shows, David and Brittni rehearse nightly and on Saturday afternoons. Juggling the baby’s schedule can get tricky, but thanks to devoted grandparents and accommodating stage crews, they never miss a cue.

“Since we are both in the business we have to look ahead and try to determine the projects we want to work on,” Brittni said. “At this point, whoever isn’t in the show watches the baby, and sometimes she comes with us. She is definitely getting accustomed to the theater world.”

But it doesn’t stop there. Even when they aren’t at the theater, David and Brittni are prepping for their next big gig. They spread the word about the upcoming shows by doing photo shoots and interviews. They sit for costume fittings, makeup and hairstyling. And don’t forget the memorization. They spend countless hours drilling each other about the lyrics to songs, choreography and dialogue.

“This life keeps us busy,” David said. “But theater work is often feast or famine. So you take what you can get when you get it.”

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Kylee Norton studied English literature at Utah State University. While completing her master's degree, she taught freshmen and sophomore English courses. Since graduating, she has worked as an editorial intern in Los Angeles, a copy writer, and an associate editor for Bennett Communications. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or making adventurous travel plans. She currently lives in Riverton with her husband and daughter.

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