Thursday, June 4, 2009


I was wasting time on Facebook this morning and came across a link to St. George Musical Theater. Upon reading the history I was instantly transported back to my childhood. If you read the history section it talks about Mark Ogden, SGMT's originator.
I was probably 6 or 7 when my sister, Keri, introduced me to Mark. Keri (and my Mom actually) were in his first major show "It's My Life." Mark gave me my first chance to perform on stage and instigated my lifelong love/obsession with musical theater. When I was in elementary school I did a show Mark wrote and directed called "It's Up to Me." We performed the show at various elementary schools and The Cotton Mill and also travelled to SLC to perform on a real stage. My brother Jared and I drove with Mark as Mom was going to grad school and working 2 jobs at the time. On the long drive Mark and Jared and I wrote a song called "The Road Kill Restaurant," due to the huge amounts of road kill we passed on the highway. We laughed our heads off and somehow the tune has always stuck with me.
When I was in middle school Mark died of AIDS. We went to see him just before he died. I will never get the image of him out of my head. Mark, who was always so vibrantly alive and energetic lay on a bed barely able to move, his body literally wasted away to nothing but skin and bones. SGMT was never the same without him. I am glad it has found a solid footing in St. George but I can't help but wish he was here to enjoy the success.


Jewels said...

{{{{{{ Erin }}}}}} May all of your friends who have passed live on in your fond memories of them. Sending you hugs and love always, Jewels.

WhiteEyebrows said...

"Solid" is always a relative term when it comes to theatres, of course.

I never knew Mark, but was only involved with SGMT when it was re-started by the Kenworthy family.

From what I can gather, SGMT has really struggled in leadership and direction for the last several years, and I never really thought they ever were running on all cylinders or really utilizing all the talent in the community.

In fact, there has been a slightly odd trend of the "stars" being the ones who run the theatre, and the ones who run the theatre being the "stars". They would really benefit from someone who could just focus on running it w/o having to be the star.

International Tease said...

My mom also had a musical friend who died of AIDS. I sang with him a few times at some of my mom's friends' parties. He was also such a vibrant and alive person, and it was such a shock to see him at the hospital, so weak and such a shadow of himself. I'm sad for everyone who died of AIDS before we could effectively treat it, and I'm so grateful there's treatment for those unfortunate enough to contract HIV.