What We’re Doing This Summer (aka Three Press Releases, One Blog Post)

Jenifer Nii’s RUFF! receives its world premiere with six free public performances as part of the inaugural Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival August 6-8, 2015 Noon and 1:30pm (no performances August 9) Running time: 35 minutes Admission: Free tickets available at the door beginning at 11am on performance days Location: Sprague Branch, City Library, 2131 S. Highland Drive (downstairs) RUFF!, created specifically for grades K-3 (but accessible to children of all ages!), is a metaphorical “tail” of two shelter dogs. Axel (a shelter regular played by Tyson Baker) and Buddy (a shelter novice played by Latoya Rhodes). Together they discover what’s possible when dogs and their people learn to see past stereotypes and summon the courage to be the best they can be. Directed by Jerry Rapier. Intermountain Therapy Animals will have therapy dogs present at each performance. The use of therapy dogs, trained to interact with all humans calmly and equally, is to ensure that each human-canine interaction is a positive one. Read more from playwright Jenifer Nii in the July issue of Catalyst Magazine. RUFF! will then tour as Plan-B’s Free Elementary School Tour to more than 10,000 elementary students from Weber to Juab County, funded in part by Community Foundation of Utah, Salt Lake City Arts Council and an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mary Dickson’s EXPOSED receives a Script-In-Hand Series reading in partnership with Utah Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (UCAN) Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 6pm Running time: 90 minutes Admission: Free, click here for tickets Location: Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W 300 S EXPOSED places a...

Jay Perry and the encore performance of PETER AND THE WOLF at THE ROSE EXPOSED

The Plan-B Theatre Company/Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation collaboration of PETER AND THE WOLF began at THE ROSE EXPOSED last year.  It has since toured to more than 12,000 school children and is returning to THE ROSE EXPOSED for one final performance – FREE! – this Saturday, August 31 at Noon in the Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner.  We thought you may want to revisit what actor Jay Perry had to say about the piece as he prepared to narrate it for the first time a little over a year ago.  Jay Perry has appeared in Plan-B’s TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY, FACING EAST, THE ALIENATION EFFEKT, GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!, SHE WAS MY BROTHER and LADY MACBETH; as well as several SLAMs, the Script-In-Hand Series readings of THE NORMAL HEART, A DOLL HOUSE and 8, and every RADIO HOUR.  Before I was born, my mother used to play classical music in our living room and she would often feel me moving to the music or sometimes being soothed by it.  I have always been moved by music’s power to take me on a journey and there’s something about musical storytelling that has a deeper resonance in my childhood memories than any other kind.  I heard countless nursery rhymes, saw hours and hours of Saturday morning cartoons, read volumes of children’s books and had as many read to me, but their words and images have mostly faded in my memory as have many of my associations with where I was when I encountered them. When I was a year old, mom took me to my first movie theatre to see Disney’s FANTASIA and though I don’t remember seeing it, she later told me I was quiet as a mouse for the entire...

Actor Joe Debevc on revisiting Eric Samuelsen's MIASMA seven years later

Joe Debevc has appeared in Plan-B’s productions of Eric Samuelsen’s MIASMA, Julie Jensen’s SHE WAS MY BROTHER and Aden Ross’ LADY MACBETH, as well as several SLAMs and the Script-In-Hand Series readings of Larry Kramer’s THE NORMAL HEART and Eric Samuelsen’s translation of Henrik Ibsen’s A DOLL HOUSE.  When asked what it was like to revisit MIASMA after seven years, Joe replied: MIASMA (mi AZ’ muh), a noxious atmosphere or influence. 1.  revisit – transitive verb – (.)re-vi-zuht > To visit again; return to <see again through fresh eyes> 2.  revisit – noun > Second or subsequent visit <recapture a wisp of a wonder bolt> SYNONYMS > re-address, re-conceptualize, re-envision, re-imagine, re-think, re-consider RHYMES WITH REVISIT > Exquisite <sigh> Click here to secure your free tickets to the reading of MIASMA and for more information on the other events (1 paid, 2 free) events Plan-B is staging as part of THE ROSE EXPOSED August 30-31,...

Eric Samuelsen on MIASMA, being read as part of THE ROSE EXPOSED

In 2004, Eric Samuelsen wrote a 10-minute play called THE BUTCHER, THE BEGGAR AND THE BEDTIME BUDDY for our very first SLAM.  In 2006, Plan-B Theatre Company produced the world premiere of the full length version of that play, retitled MIASMA.

 As we begin our 2013/14 Season, aka The Season of Eric, we invite you to join us for a free reading of the play that started it all as part of THE ROSE EXPOSED on August 30-31, 2013.  [Program notes from the 2006 production.]  I wish I could claim that MIASMA is the play I’ve always wanted to write, that the impulse to write it haunted me for years. In fact, however, this play’s origins lie in happenstance and accident far more than design. Ten years ago, I was invited to be part of Plan-B Theatre’s first SLAM, a 24 hour theatre festival wherein playwrights were given the title and cast list for a ten-minute play we were then to write overnight. The title I was given was THE BUTCHER, THE BEGGAR AND THE BEDTIME BUDDY. I live in Provo, and as I drove home pondering what was, to me, a distinctly uncongenial title, I vaguely remembered a book I’d read a few months before, Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation. Although I had no time to research, I thought I could remember enough of Schlosser’s accounts of feedlots and slaughterhouses to create a play around an old rancher-turned-beef producer, and his daughter who returns home periodically to beg money from him on behalf of her siblings. I survived that first night of SLAM, and the Plan-B crew seemed...

Jerry Rapier on selecting The Season of Eric.

Jerry Rapier has been Producing Director of Plan-B Theatre Company since 2000.  Plan-B, his son Oscar and his husband Kirt are the joys of his life. I have had two of the most rewarding experiences of my creative life directing Eric Samuelsen’s AMERIGO (2010) and BORDERLANDS (2011) for Plan-B.  Eric writes with an enviable ease about Big Ideas – he can be Truthful with a Capital T and Intellectual with a Capital I, yet still guide his audience to a soulful place, a place of passion, a place where a true marriage of truth and intellect is possible – a place where you have no choice but to take pause, reexamine and choose how best to move forward. He has an uncanny ability to identify the gaps in the recorded history of historical figures and address the “What if?” without resorting to straightforward biography. Simply put, he makes the historical personal. So when it came time to select the 2013/14 season, I did what I had been considering for quite some time – I invited Eric to be a resident playwright. And then I did something else I had been considering for quite some time – I asked if Plan-B could stage an entire season of his work. I wanted to celebrate his range as a playwright and let some of that been-under-a-bushel-far-too-long work see the light of day. From there, I asked him what mattered most to him of the dozen or so plays/ideas he had in various stages of completion. Together, we settled on (click on each title for details): NOTHING PERSONAL, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 8: FAIRYANA,...

Hiatus.

Thank you to the 1,000 people who attended THE ROSE EXPOSED on September 1!  It was an awesome day filled with incredible art from our friends at Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Pygmalion Theatre Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and SB Dance. A special shout out to those involved in Plan-B’s offerings: actors Topher Rasmussen, Latoya Rhodes, Sarah Young and playwright Matthew Greene for their work on the staged reading of #MORMON IN CHIEF; actor Jay Perry, director Christy Summerhays and pianist Kary Billings (from Gina Bachauer) for their work on PETER AND THE WOLF, which ended up being the most-attended free event of the day!; and actor Teresa Sanderson and playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett for their work on the excerpt of ERIC(A) that was part of the VARIETY SHOW.  And, as always, stage manager extraordinaire Jennifer Freed. This fancy blog will be taking a hiatus until after Thanksgiving when we’ll be ramping up for the world premiere of RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE on December 18 in partnership with KUER’s RadioWest.  Adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by our resident playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett, it’s a holiday whodunnit for the entire family, performed as radio drama, with you as the live studio audience! Please visit planbtheatre.org for details on our entire 2012/13 season, featuring five world premieres.  Subscribe today for only $93 – a savings of 15 percent. Another option is to check out the 6 PACK, a partnership with our friends at the Rose Wagner – 6 shows from 6 companies for $66 – a savings of 60 percent! See you back...

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