- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

PROVO, Utah (AP) - J. Scott Bronson is a storyteller. It is his joy and his passion.

At 57, Bronson, who is from Orem, has shared a lot of stories, and he has written, directed and acted in them too - mostly on stages in Utah County.

“I can turn a little event into a story,” Bronson said. “And it can put people off sometimes. There is a story behind everything.”

For the past several years, Bronson has told the story of Georg Friedrich Händel, in the stage production “Joyful Noise,” written by Tim Slover. It has been a Christmas tradition for Bronson.

The play takes a detailed look at Handel and his life just prior to his creating one of the most noted oratorios in the history of music, “Messiah”.

Bronson warns that it is not what people would expect.

He said that Handel was known to be quick with the pen and putting ideas to paper, so pounding out Messiah in three-and-a-half weeks would not be that surprising or miraculous.

“There were some miraculous things personally for him,” Bronson said. “The real story behind the piece was the lives of the people behind it (‘Messiah’). The mechanics behind it mean nothing.”

“Joyful Noise” has been the Christmas production at the Covey Center for the Arts for the past several years. But Bronson was notified the Covey Center has decided to go in a different direction next Christmas - it could be Bronson’s last curtain call for “Joyful Noise.”

Bronson’s wife, Lynne Davis Bronson, said in a Facebook post, “This piece of theater has been such a highlight of my Christmas season. It has brought me closer to knowing my Savior and understanding his children.”

Lynne Bronson has been by Scott’s side for most of his writing and acting career, and she has performed with him many times as well.

“Joyful Noise,” like many other stories, has become a part of the Bronson family. And through a variety of venues Bronson’s stories have become a part of Utah County.

“I started telling stories when my parents were out of the house and I’d answer the door and pretend people on the other side of the door would blast me,” Bronson said. “I’d fly back on to the couch and die.”

Bronson admits he is rather dramatic and has been all of his life.

His first one-act play was part of a seventh grade English assignment. He basically plagiarized a story from his favorite Walter Farley Black Stallion books, with a twist added here and there.

What he didn’t know was the ninth-grade drama class was preparing the piece for performance.

“Four scripts were chosen from my class,” Bronson said. “They were video-taping this and I was to receive an award. They brought me on stage and they pummeled me over the head with brooms (play props) because It was the worst play they had ever done. That was my introduction to play writing.”

The first real play Bronson wrote was a contemporary drama while attending Brigham Young University. From there he has written, directed and acted in several shows.

He has a resume of written works that includes “Stones”, “Brothers”, “Dial Tones, “City of Peace” and a piece called “Heartlight,” that had a metamorphosis into the title “Polyfhony.”

Bronson has also enjoyed a number of acting roles productions including a number of local Shakespearean productions.

His first look at “Joyful Noise” was at BYU in the small Margetts Theater. The next year it was in the DeJong Concert Hall, the largest stage on campus.

A few years later in 2002, Bronson and some associates opened the Center Street Theater in Orem. They did “Joyful Noise” for the Christmas show. It was directed by Chris Clark, a professor of the theater at Utah Valley University.

In 2007 the show made its first appearance in the black box theater at the Covey center and has been there since.

Meanwhile, Bronson worked at an Orem nursing facility for 25 years, where he said there were many stories to write about. He is now a substitute teacher and actually blogs about substituting.

Bronson also has fought non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer four times. His last radiation treatment was Aug. 3, 2004. He was taking radiation treatments while he continued writing and directing.

“Any day is a good day when you wake up,” he said.

One of Bronson’s best stories was convincing a boss that he should attend another one of Slover’s plays, “Hancock County” he was in. His boss surprised him and, although hesitant at first, said he really liked the show because it made him think, laugh and cry.

“That’s what these are for,” Bronson said. “You’re taking the journey with them and it makes you better prepared for life. The mind loves putting the story together. We crave that and we don’t know we do that. “

Even though Bronson has theater experience that doesn’t spread much further than Utah Valley, he did direct a show at the College of Eastern Utah. He also was very active with the Actors Repertory Theater that performed at the castle behind the Utah State Hospital.

Bronson even does some freelance writing, but has not been trained to do much more than acting and directing.

He said his greatest desire, and one that continues his storytelling dreams, came to fruition this December when he published his first novel, “The Agitated Heart.” It can be purchased on www.amazon.com.

Referring to his acting and directing Bronson said, “This all started because I thought I’d be a fiction writer. Now I am.”

Bronson and his wife are the parents of five children.


Information from: The Daily Herald, https://www.heraldextra.com



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