Seeing promotional pictures for a new play titled “The Secret Lives of Clowns” with a “for mature audiences” disclaimer is instantly intriguing. I wanted to know more about the play, the theatre company producing it, and who is behind the company.
The Hive Theatre was founded five years ago by married couple Jared and Tiffany Greathouse. Their hope was to “introduce unique theatrical experiences to the SLC artscape.” Over the past five years they’ve produced quite a few world premiers such as “Who are you”, and numerous regional premiers like “At Home at the Zoo”, and “Cock”.
A Utah native, Jared tells me he was literally brought up and raised in the theatre. “I actually spent a vast majority of my childhood surrounded by the art form. I remember my mother picking me up from school every day and taking me straight to work with her. I would hang out in the lobby and dream up all sorts of crazy stories while she tended to her box office duties. My father would arrive later in the evening for rehearsals and performances.” Jared counts himself extremely lucky to have been surrounded by so much talent at an early age. He went on to cut his teeth on various church and community productions. A self-proclaimed theatre brat, he tells me it wasn’t until his junior year of high school he realized he had any sort of real knack for it.
Jared Greathouse photo by Scott Newtown of Double Vision Photography
“I was taken under the wing of a great teacher, mentor, and friend, Tamara Adams. Like most kids, my teenage years were a bit of a struggle. I found myself in a deep depression which left me bitter, angry, and about to be kicked out of school for truancy. That’s when I got a call from Tamara. She wanted me to audition for the lead in the school play. She saw something in me, she believed in me. And that’s something I really needed at that point in my life.” This was also the time he met his now wife, Tiffany. Married for eleven years, he calls Tiffany not only his high school sweetheart, but also his muse.
Their dream of starting their own theatre company took some time to become a reality. Jared found himself frustrated with the parts, projects, and theatre classes he was participating in while in his early twenties. Feeling like there weren’t a lot of options around town for young actors at that time, he turned to music. “Enlisting Tiffany on drums, myself on bass and vocals, and a carousel of local guest musicians, we formed the psychedelic rock band Dacho. After a few years of playing on the local dive bar scene, I realized my song writing style was drifting more and more toward the likes of storyteller.” Theatre was beckoning again, so Jared and his band sold most of their gear to raise funds to start The Hive Theatre Company.
"Bupkis: A Play About Nothing" Photo by Scott Newton of Double Vision Photography, courtesy of The Hive Theatre Company
Starting a theatre company from the ground up was tough. Especially as a team of two. “When we’re not a meetings, rehearsals, or performances, you can usually find us writing, blocking, designing, painting, sewing, promoting, whatever we need to do to bring the story to life.” With money forever an obstacle, The Hive has operated on a shoestring budget since it’s conception. Jared says, “It seems as though we spend more time raising funds than creating, which can be a little daunting, to say the least. But it looks like we may turn a profit within the next few years or so. That’s not why we do this though. Not really, anyway. We’re here to create, tell stories, to entertain. If we happen to make a profit, great! In the meantime, we’ll just be right over here doing our thing the best we known how. Which, in itself, is actually quite liberating.”
"Who are you?" Photo by Scott Newton of Double Vision Photography, courtesy of The Hive Theatre Company
As far as spouses working so closely goes, Jared says it can be difficult to balance personal life with business. “We don’t see each other as much as we’d like. It’s constant give and take, but we seem to make it work. We try to play to each other’s strengths.
Teamwork is the key at The Hive. “This is collaborative art. If someone isn’t wiling to work as a team, I really have no desire to involve them in a Hive production. That being said, I think we’ve scored the perfect production team for “The Secret Lives of Clowns.” I love them all, I really do. You don’t want to miss out on this show!”
Jared Greathouse Photo by Scott Newton of Double Vision Photography, courtesy of The Hive Theatre Company
“The Secret Lives of Clowns”, playing now through October 17th, is a dramedy written by Jared. “At first glance it would seem successful theatre critic Johnny Harris leads a happy, healthy, normal life. With a great job, and a loving wife and family, how could one not be happy? But when Johnny receives news about the brutal murder of an old clown college chum, dark secrets from Johnny’s past begin to surface, including Mr. Wiggles; a Punk-Fu Party Clown with a wild imagination and a hedonistic appetite.”
"The Secret Lives of Clowns" Photo by Scott Newton of Double Vision Photography, courtesy of The Hive Theatre Company
“The relationship between the artist and critic has always fascinated me”, says Jared. “A real love-hate thing. This wave of thought was fresh in my mind when I sat down to write the script, a dark comedy, which it turns out, isn’t actually about clowns at all. In the script, the clown serves as a metaphor for something much bigger, the soul of an artist. It’s about being true to yourself, both as an artist and human being. But most of all, it’s about enjoying every aspect of life. “All of the pain, the laughter, the sorrow, the joy, the paralyzing fear, the crippling self-doubt”-Mr. Wiggles. It’s what makes us who we are. It’s what makes life worth living. You can’t have happiness without suffering. You can’t have joy without sorrow.”
The Secret Lives of Clowns (for mature audiences)
October 9th – 17th 8 pm, Matinees Oct 10th & 17th 2 pm
Sorenson Unity Center 1382 S 900 W
Tickets $15 www.HiveTheatre.com
By Deena Marie