Carleton Bluford’s MAMA

Carleton Bluford is a member of The Lab at Plan-B, a cadre of 10 local playwrights. He has created roles in Plan-B’s WALLACE by Jenifer Nii, THE THIRD CROSSING by Debora Threedy and MARRY CHRISTMAS by Elaine Jarvik; he will also appear in A/VERSION OF EVENTS by Matthew Ivan Bennett later this season. MAMA, winner of the inaugural Plan-B Theatre grant from The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, is his first full-length  production. Way back in the day, when cell phones had a limit on texting, so ancient times, I helped create a ten-minute play festival at Weber State University. The students wrote their own plays and the thought of creating a different world that someone would see excited me. Larry Dooley then offered a playwriting class and from that melting pot of creation came the student-written, one-act play festival. Obviously, since I had written a full length play and a number of one acts by then, I assumed that I was a playwright and had some passionate and crazy things to say to the people. I immediately found the first company I looked up that focused on new plays and submitted everything I had, all the while expecting to be called post haste because of course, once Jerry Rapier at Plan-B noticed my genius, he’d be more than willing to produce my masterpieces. But he didn’t call. What he did do was cast me in a show and then allow me to do a two-year production and marketing internship with Plan-B, along with a two-year playwriting workshop where I sharpened my pen. I learned a lot...

Playwright Carleton Bluford on MAMA (2014/15 Season, Show #3)

Carleton Bluford is a member of The Lab at Plan-B, a cadre of 9 local playwrights. He has created roles in Plan-B’s WALLACE by Jenifer Nii and THE THIRD CROSSING by Debora Threedy; he will also appear in A/VERSION OF EVENTS later this season.. MAMA, winner of the inaugural Plan-B Theatre grant from The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, is his first professional production. There are a couple of poignant things about MAMA that make it what it is. First is my mother Dawn Bluford. MAMA is a sort of homage to motherhood and her.  She is so much of the reason why I am where I am today and the reason why I’ve done what I’ve done. Without her, I couldn’t be the man that I am. So MAMA is really a way to say to my mother and all mothers, “We may not always say it, but we see what you do, and we thank you!”  We celebrate the sacrifices our mamas make for us on a daily basis that raise all of us to our higher potential. Second is David Fetzer.  His influence was a huge motivation for this play. He was a friend of mine and we talked about the kind of theater he wanted to show people and the kinds of experiences we wanted people to have in the theater. MAMA was written with him in mind and I’d like to think he’d get a kick out of it. I’ve been blessed with one of the most talented casts I could hope for and a company that really cares about our work...

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