Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
3rd-generation Hale takes stage in 'Saigon'
Deseret News 21Nov99 A2
By Ivan M. Lincoln: Deseret News theater editor
Swenson will fly to Seattle for rehearsals with the production's
touring company before his December 20 appearance at the Paramount
Theater. Swenson is a multi-talented performer who has just finished
directing the Hale Centre Theatre's 15th annual production of, "A
Will's grandparents, Ruth and the late Nathan Hale, are legends in the
world of family theater. Their landmark Glendale Centre Theatre, in
Glendale, California has been operating for more than 50 years. Ruth
and Nathan co-wrote more than 80 plays. Will's mother, Sally Hale
Swenson, is a co-producer at the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley
"All of us kids went through a rebellious stage," Will said speaking
of his 27 years of experience. "I wanted to be a football player, then
I wanted to go into advertising, but the more I stayed away from
theatre, the more it was impossible to stay away from it."
He met his wife, Amy Westerby, while they were both in one of Ruth
Hale's family comedies, "Hopsville Holiday." "I was 15 and she was l4,
and we both lived in Salt Lake at the time." When Will returned home
from a mission in Ecuador for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, he returned to school. "Then things got serious when we were
both going to BYU," he said.
Amy will be leaving her job as a Utah County reporter for KSL-TV to
assist her husband. "I don't even have time to pack; Amy's doing my
packing for me," he said. While living in Florida, Amy worked for the
CBS affiliate. "I auditioned for Disney when I was at BYU and they
offered me a spot there in the spring of 1996," Will said.
Peter Lawrence, a casting director for Johnson-Liff, who hired Will
"is floored by the quality of talent in Utah," Will said. Swenson is
excited about this new phase of his theater career. "It's just what I
love. I love the stage, and my career is going in the right direction.
It still doesn't seem real. When they called (to confirm the role), I
was ecstatic. Then I called Amy and she cried, she was so happy for