Provo’s newest live theater venue, The Hive, opened with an original play “The Actors.” The five-person cast tells a funny and heartwarming story about the importance and frustration of family.

By Hailey Bennett

“The Hive” is the “Velour” of theater in Utah County. Just like the iconic space for live music, The Hive is in a cool downtown Provo location with a small setting and creative energy. The live theater opened August 17, and here are five reasons to sit yourself in one of their 87 comfortable leather seats in the coming weeks.

1. Local creativity.

The Hive not only showcases talented actors, but also local writers. One of the goals of the Hive creators is to showcase new plays focusing on what we have in common as humans instead of telling stories of our differences. Producers Dennis Agle and Ken Agle sent out a call for new plays and within three weeks, the Hive had nearly 300 submissions. They narrowed the field to six, had readings of each play, and then selected Ronnie Larsen’s “The Actors” as the script for the grand opening. Let’s hear it for new stories!

2. The vibe.

When you walk into The Hive, the refreshing upstart vibe is the first thing to notice. From exposed wooden ceilings with hanging bistro lights, to a “step-and-repeat” backdrop photo opp, the energy of the place is awesome.

“The Hive Five” is like March Madness for local desserts. The Hive concessions showcases five sugary local treats, and attendees vote by purchasing or by posting about their choices. The top sugar items stay in the concession case for another week, while the least popular items are taken off the menu. We voted with our dollars for the S’mores krispy treat.

3. The actors in “The Actors.”

From start to finish, this five-person play is hypnotising, even in the scenes with no dialogue and a lot of Apple Jacks. The actors have chemistry, and every word is clear and understood. The storyline is surprisingly touching as you go through Ronnie’s (played by Patrick Newman) journey to find a family. Hailey Nebeker (supporting actress playing “Jean”), commands the stage with her motherly presence. She brings balance to the production as the only female. Her optimistic motherly character is complemented with the naive and spiritual father role, played by Geoff Means. Doubling as the main character and the director of the show, Patrick Newman has the hardest task to undertake, and yet he does it with ease. The direction was precise, and his acting is truthful.

4. Sweet treats.

“The Hive Five” is the theater’s tasty quest to find the ultimate desserts in Utah. The night we attended, they had five contenders in the concessions, and attendees can vote for their favorites in two ways. First, they can vote with their dollars by purchasing a treat. Secondly, the playbill encourages attendees to shoot a picture of their chosen dessert and hashtag #hivefive. The desserts with the top votes advance to the next show, and lowest votes get taken out of the concession case. (Psst … Our votes are for the sugar cookie and the S’mores stuffed krispies.)

5. Open seating!

You can choose your view when you get to the theater (which is near the Provo train station), and there’s not a bad view with this intimate setting. Anywhere you sit is close to the action, which creates a similar feeling to Hale Center Theater Orem. The set is carefully detailed. From the Hulk posters, to the Red Vines on top of the fridge, reality meets fiction.

Bonus! The “Love Boat” scene change music is a reminiscent treat for any child of the 1980s. And Ronnie’s shoutout to cruise director “Julie” in the script is a hilarious throwback.

Hailey Bennett graduated from Lone Peak High School in May 2018. An actress herself, Hailey loves both watching and performing in musicals. She will start as a freshman at BYU in the fall. Hailey is currently interning at Bennett Communications.

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