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Show information

Pleasant Grove Rock Opera

Music and Lyrics written and performed by

Bay of Pigs

Directed by

Bryan Hall and Jack Donaldson

Production team


Bryan Hall
Jack Donaldson
Leo Brunnick

Creative Director/Musical Director

Bryan Hall and Jack Donaldson

Stage Director

Kacey Spadafora


Amelia Rose Moore

Lighting Design

Jack Donaldson

Art Director

Bryan Hall

Sound mixing / Additional art and colorist

Zachary Hall


Stage Director

Kacey Spotafora

Kacey Spadafora (he/him) was raised in Utah County and graduated from Utah Valley University with a BA in Theatre Arts. He is the co-founder of An Other Theater Company and served as Co-Artistic Director through 2020, and Executive Director through 2022. He directed over fifteen productions for the company and performed as an actor in a handful of others. His most notable directing projects at AOTC include The Normal Heart, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Perfect Arrangement, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Most recently he directed Cabaret for Daydreamer Theatre and performed as Paul in Dirty Birdy Theatre’s production of Stephen King’s Misery. Kacey is an associate member of SDC.


Amelia Rose Moore

Amelia is a local talent on stage and in the director's chair. She has been instrumental in the previous productions of Pleasant Grove as choreographer, director, and esteemed cast member. Look for Amelia in local productions all along the Wasatch Front.


In 1971, the small conservative town of Pleasant Grove, Utah was rocked bythe suicide of 16-year-old Alden Barrett, a prominent Doctor’s son. His suicide set in motion an almost unbelievable sequence of events that are as shocking as they are tragic. The profound and far-reaching repercussions create a backdrop for an intensely emotional and poignant story about love, family, mental illness, fear and judgment, extremism and ultimately, forgiveness and healing.

The production is a work two decades in the making. First drafted in 1997 as “A Place in the Sun,” the show played several times in Utah County to sold out audiences. The performance built bridges for a family long torn apart. Twenty years later, the original creative team has returned to Alden’s story with a matured perspective on family, change, and community. 

Now "Pleasant Grove” is as beautiful and gentle as it is raw and explosive. The show is a journey from heartbreak to healing, and moves audiences to re-examine their own perspectives, inspiring them to a deeper compassion.

The production could not be more timely, with a national conversation emerging around bullying, mental health, diversity, and the rising forces of disinformation and polarization. In addition, the manipulation of the Barrett’s family tragedy is again under scrutiny in the recently published book, “Unmasking Alice”, by Rick Emerson. “Unmasking Alice” is a scrupulously researched work that digs deep into the published works of “Dr.” Beatrice Sparks, that, through exaggeration and fabrication, triggered the very problems it sought to shame.



Laura Wright as

Marcella Barrett

Laura Wright is an award-winning recording artist who performs on the Las Vegas Strip.  From elite nightclubs to national musical theater tours, Bat Out of Hell The Musical, and world premiere productions for artists such as Barry Manilow, Arnel Pineda (Lead singer of Journey), Lani Misalucha, Heart, Guns n Roses, Jubilee, Post Modern Jukebox, Fantasy, Moonshiners, Vegas The Show, and The Terry Bradshaw Show… to name a few.

Laura was a semi finalist on American Idol season 5 at the age of 16, before going on to earn her BFA in musical theatre. She is also a successful recording artist with solo albums released across digital platforms including iTunes and Amazon.

Laura has graced the stage in: The world premiere of Bull Durham, Grease, Hairspray, 9 to 5, and the national tour of The D* Word, which also had a 3 month residency at the LVH in Las Vegas.For the past several years, she has also traveled the world with several major cruise lines with her own headlining show.She can currently be seen singing at Delilah's at the Wynn, performing in "Vegas The Show" at Planet Hollywood, and singing with the Moonshiners at "Lost Spirits Distillery," to mention a few.

Ian Webb as

Alden Barrett

Ian (he/him) is a recent, and thrilled, graduate from UVU’s theater program with a BFA in acting. Despite considering himself a non-singer, he recently played Ladahlord in James & the Giant Peach (UVU), Judas in Godspell (UVU), and has originated a leading role in another workshop of an exciting new musical. He also just finished played Felix Turner in the straight play The Normal Heart (AOTC). Although he loves acting in any capacity, his favorite projects have been acting for the camera in TV, film, and commercials. When he’s not performing, Ian can be found taking his dog, Puck, on long walks, and watching as much TV as possible. Ian is represented by the incredible team at McCarty Talent Agency. 

PERSONAL STATEMENT: It’s beyond exciting to be a part of a show that has its roots so close to home. At one point in our lives we’ve all felt like Alden; an outsider, misunderstood, unheard, voiceless, and alone. In the early 1970’s mental health was largely an un-researched new frontier, and the teenage demographic even less so. But, since then there’s been a huge step forward. This show is a cautionary tale that demands to be heard. The 2019 Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System showed that 18.8% of high schoolers seriously considered attempting suicide and 8.9% took their own lives. Deaths like Alden’s are completely preventable. Know the signs by visiting and encourage your loved ones to call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll free number 1-800-273-TALK for confidential support.

Taylor Morris as

Doyle Barrett

Taylor's credits include: Film - Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God: The Concert Film, HCT - Daddy Long Legs, An American in Paris, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Little Mermaid, HCTO - Blink, Damn Yankees, and BYU - The Count of Monte Cristo and Young Ambassadors. Taylor has a BFA in Music Dance Theatre and a Master's in Public Administration from BYU where he currently works as an Artist Manager in Performing Arts Management.


Lana Kanen

Lana Kanen is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts, with a degree in theatre. She has been working with the band to develop the female vocal themes of Pleasant Grove Rock Opera long before it came to the stage and is delighted to be a part of this cinematic theater performance showcase.

Caleb Tucker

After appearing in a high school production of Bells are Ringing (Jeffrey Moss), Caleb is excited to be returning to the stage for his first theater appearance in 26 years! Caleb is an avid member of church, community, and competition choirs, most notably the Saltaires Show Chorus which ranks among the top 10 barbershop choirs in the world. He is honored to be a part of this special production of The Pleasant Grove Rock Opera.

Abram Yarbro

Abram is an actor based in Los Angeles and thrilled to be back in Utah for this showcase. Previous stage credits include Tale of Two Cities (Ens.) Bright Star (Stanford), Phantom (Inspector Ledoux), The Scarlet Pimpernel (St. Cyr), and Joseph…Dreamcoat (Issachar) at Hale Centre Theatre, as well as HCTO’s Newsies (Davey) and Peter and the Starcatcher (Peter), and An Other Theater Company’s Next Fall (Luke).
Abram has a degree in Theatre Arts from BYU with an emphasis in dramaturgy. At BYU, he helped develop scripts and is excited to be a part of a new work once again. “Bringing new works to stage is such a fulfilling experience and I feel very fortunate to be a part of Pleasant Grove, The Rock Opera with this amazing creative team and wonderful cast!”

Michael Howell

Michael has been consistently performing in the Salt Lake valley and beyond for the last 10+ years. Recent stage credits include Cliff Bradshaw in Cabaret, Aaron in First Date, Britney Spears in We Will Rock You and Will in American Idiot. When not performing Michael is a father, husband (to the beautiful Ashlee Howell with whom he’s sharing the stage tonight!), guitarist/songwriter (@leaveluna) and podcaster (@mmstpodcast). “Thank you for supporting local artists telling this amazing and important story. Enjoy the show!”

Zack Elzey

Zack is a local actor who has performed all over Utah Valley and Salt Lake. He is the owner of the Utah Valley Players Theatre Company and is currently the director of The Utah Valley Mental Health Theatre Festival playing  August 11-19, 2023. (Tickets are online at He has performed at Hale Center Theatre, Sundance, UVU and more! Enjoy the Show!

Ashlee Howell

Born and raised in the valley, Ashlee grew up singing, dancing and touring the country with her dance academy. Her love of performing and being on stage grew to include acting and theatre, and she feels grateful to still be doing what she loves as a wife and momma to 2 beautiful little boys. She’s happy to be a part of telling the story of Pleasant Grove Rock Opera with this very talented cast and crew. Her recent show credits include Fräulein Kost in Cabaret, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Oz in We Will Rock You and Whatsername in American Idiot.

Brianna Meikle

Brianna is thrilled to be a part of this production! She received her BFA in Musical Theater from UVU and loves to perform and teach. Brianna has enjoyed performing in the valley with Hale Center Theater Sandy, Hale Center Theater Orem, Pygmalion, and others! She has also toured as a vocalist with Changing Lanes Entertainment Group. Favorite roles include Sally Bowles (Cabaret) Kathy (The Last Five Years), Margo (Bright Star), Jo (Little Women), Desdemona (Tragedy Averted).

Meet The Band

Guitars / Vocals

Bryan Hall

Bryan is a multi-talented artist and musician who has dedicated his craft to bringing Pleasant Grove Rock Opera to life. Motivated by the importance of such adeep and moving story, Bryan has followed his artistic guidance to create this cinematic theater experience. Originally moved to write "A Place in the Sun" as a classic rock opera in the late 90s, Bryan began redeveloping this work in 2017 and has embraced this labor of love as a commission to truth through art. Bryan lives with his wife and children in Orem, UT, where he is an active part of his faith community and a quirky, eccentric, and delightful neighbor.

Bass / Vocals

Jack Donaldson

Jack is vocalist, and bass player for Bay of Pigs and was one of the original creators of the rock opera, “A Place In The Sun,” in the mid-1990s. He is one of the producers and creators of Pleasant Grove Rock Opera. Jack founded Peak Media & Consulting, managing projects for clients in Europe, Canada and throughout the US. He has co-directed and produced award-winning feature-length documentary films. He currently lives at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah with his wife and youngest son. He spends free time with family and chasing adventures as a backcountry skier, biker, runner, and naturalist.

Keyboard / Vocals

Winston Lee

Winston was a member of Grain, the first iteration of the current Bay of Pigs.  He performed in the original versions of Pleasant Grove Rock Opera back in the 1990's.  Winston is a classically trained pianist who has the heart of a rock and roller.  He owned and operated Lee Music in Heber City for over twenty years.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: This show is important to me because it demonstrates many problems that exist in our present society in regards to acceptance, mental illness, gossip, and propaganda.  It's also important that the truth of Alden Barrett be told after so many years of false beliefs about his life and suicide.


Jaime Jespersen

Jaime Jespersen grew up in Sandy Utah and has played and taught drums professionally for 25 years. He is a multi-faceted drummer with an extensive history of success in the world of music, such as winning Utah’s Best Drummer in the 2001 Bashers Brawl all the way up to creating and receiving a patent for his invention Guru Drumsticks. He has performed with many different artists throughout the years, including Jon Batiste, Sophia Dion, and the Stay Human band at the Sundance Film Festival. Jaime continues to strive for musical excellence as he joined the Pleasant Grove Rock Opera in May of 2021. He is excited showcase his abilities as a member the Bay of Pigs and hopes to bring comfort to those who may be struggling by telling the true story of Alden Barrett through the beauty of music and theater.

Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is struggling, please know you are not alone.  There are local and national organizations that are ready to help.

If you need support:
- Dial 988 and it will route you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
- Contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Check in on those who are struggling so they know they are not alone.

Special thanks

The Producers wish to thank:

- Our inspiring cast who bring this music to life

- Our dedicated and inventive production crew

- Kacey Spadafora and Amelia Rose Moore for your artistic eye and practical leadership

- Brad & Melissa Johnson and Daryll Tucker for their dedication to the revival of the Rivoli Theater

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