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This is Chris Redgrave for Zions Bank Speaking on Business.

Here's something you're not even going to believe. A recent Hale Centre Theatre production, "Pirates of Penzance," involved using 60,000 gallons of water and floated two boats right on stage. In this state-of-the-art theatre, they have technicians who are some of the best in the business and happen to be extremely creative.

When I was standing on the stage, I looked up and saw a bi-plane that will actually fly 10 people off the stage. After meeting with Sally Dietlein and gaining insight into the contribution of the Hale family, it was easy to see their long-standing passion and commitment to live theater in Utah.

Sally is the Hale Centre Theatre executive producer and is married to the third generation Hale producer, Mark Dietlein. She said, "Arts cannot be elitist; it's a treasure for all."

The Hale Centre Theatre — beginning in Glendale, California — is the longest continuously-running live theatre in the U.S. It started in 1934 when Bishop Norm Bangerter asked the founders, Nathan and Ruth Hale, if they would head up a theater/acting troupe. Hale Theater opened its doors in Salt Lake in 1985.

To give you an idea of just how much people in Utah enjoy live theater in the round, Hale runs around 99 percent capacity. They now serve 250,000 patrons a year with 21,000 season ticket holders.

The Hale family feels the importance of giving back so they have an active Arts Education Program. Currently, the theatre has 5,000 children who attend for free and teachers dovetail the live acting experience with the reading material supplied by HCT.

The Hales have made this treasure a non-profit so ticket prices are reasonable. There's not a bad seat in the house. They average around 400 shows a year in the seven-play schedule. Some of the plays in the 2011 lineup: "The Tale of Two Cities," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "My Fair Lady" and "A Christmas Carol."

For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.


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