Actor Laurel Byington-Noll on Plan-B's LGBTQ Work

Lauren Byington-Noll appeared in the world premieres of Plan-B’s Script-In-Hand Series reading of A DOLL HOUSE, SLAM and the world premieres of LADY MACBETH and THE SCARLET LETTER. ¬†She shares her thoughts on Plan-B’s LGBTQ work as part of Give OUT Day. There isn’t a more LGBT-supportive, home-grown theatre company in Utah than Plan-B Theatre. This is one of the many reasons I loved working for them when I counted myself among the residents of Utah. While I didn’t actually play LGBT roles for Plan-B Theatre (save for one performance of Jenifer Nii’s 10-minute play as part of 2012’s SLAM), I always felt supported as an LGBT artist. My favorite thing about Plan-B Theatre Company (aside from the fact that it only produces new plays by local playwrights) is that they make theatre matter beyond the scope of the experience between the audience and the actors. The playwright’s words will carry some message forth into the senses of those who experience them. There will be some grand theme in the story that one hopes will inspire the audience to look at the human condition and, more specifically, inside themselves to inspire change at a grassroots level. This is the power of theatre, and it’s why it matters in the first place. Plan-B Theatre goes a step beyond and aligns the “message” of each play with a particular organization or cause in a partnership that expands the conversation beyond the four walls of the black box theatre. For instance, when I played Nora in Eric Samuelsen’s translation of Ibsen’s A DOLL HOUSE, our script-in-hand production partnered with the ACLU of...

Eric Samuelsen: welcome to A DOLL HOUSE

Eric Samuelsen’s plays MIASMA, AMERIGO and BORDERLANDS have received their world premieres at Plan-B. His translation of Henrik Ibsen’s A DOLL HOUSE kicks off Plan-B’s 2011/12 Script-In-Hand Series on Sunday, August 28 in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. A DOLL HOUSE examines gender roles, social constraints and the power of secrets through the seemingly happy marriage of Nora and Torvald Helmer. People frequently ask me what’s involved in translating a play. Well, the goal is to render as closely as possible a text in one language into another language. But that’s trickier than it sounds. An example: In the play, Nora admits to her friends that sometimes she wants to say ‘fy fanden’ to Torvald. In Norwegian, ‘fanden’ means ‘the devil.’ So what she’s saying is ‘I want to say to him ‘go to the devil.’ Except that isn’t really something insulting we say in English. What she’s really saying is ‘I want to swear at him, I want to insult him, I want to shock him.’ English is rich in words of invective – we have lots more swear words than they have. Norwegians really just have ‘fanden.’ So to translate the sense of what Nora is saying, I have to come up with something equally shocking and inappropriate in English. But this is also Nora we’re talking about. Which word would she use? What I came up with is ‘Torvald, you’re an asshole.’ That seems to me about right. I call the play A DOLL HOUSE instead of the traditional A DOLL’S HOUSE. It’s a more...

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