Actor/Director Jason Bowcutt on creating LGBTQ work with Plan-B

Jason Bowcutt has appeared in Plan-B’s THE END OF THE HORIZON and the Script-In-Hand Series readings of 8 and GHOSTS. He also directed ADAM & STEVE AND THE EMTPY SEA and will direct MARRY CHRISTMAS as part of the 2014/15 Season.  He shares his thoughts on Plan-B’s LGBTQ work as part of Give OUT Day. When I moved back to Salt Lake City from New York I had some big concerns. I knew it was the right move at the right time but…where would I find a good slice at any time? How could I leave the comfort of this super liberal society? Who would engage in conversation with me and say things like “Yes! Absolutely! Everyone has the right to healthcare! Homos should marry!?” How would I develop new friendships? How would I break into the theatre scene? And where would I find some good gay art!? As luck would have it one of the first people to randomly reach out to me was Jerry Rapier and, except for the pizza, he quickly got me on the path to resolve all of my Utah fears. From our first conversation I knew Jerry and Plan-B were something special in Utah and in theatre. I had been spending most of my time in the grubby, wonderful world of Off-Off-Broadway where innovation flourished. OOB was the birthplace of theatre that explored LGBTQ issues; I understood well the political and societal impact that this genre had in helping to shape the world in which this gay boy lived. Theatre that displayed my experience, which gave voice to my joys and fears —personal...

Eric Samuelsen bids farewell to the #SeasonOfEric

Eric Samuelsen has written for Plan-B Theatre Company for a decade where, in addition to the #SeasonOfEric, his plays MIASMA, AMERIGO and BORDERLANDS also received their world premieres. It’s very rare for a fully professional American theatre company to devote time and resources to new work by local playwrights. It’s exponentially rarer for companies to do entire seasons devoted to the work of a single playwright. I expect, rarest of all, would be for companies to market that season using the playwright’s first name. So: the Season of Eric. And I’m Eric; apparently sufficiently known (or at least notorious) to warrant not just a season of my work, but a marketing campaign based on my first name. It’s immensely flattering and a tremendous honor. Obviously, the greatest five events in my life were when I married Annette, and when each of our four children were born. I’m not kidding when I say this: The Season of Eric comes sixth. We started off with GHOSTS. My PhD dissertation was on Henrik Ibsen, most of my scholarly publications were on Ibsen; I’m an Ibsen guy. And I can say this unequivocally; I love GHOSTS. And of course the ending of the play is powerfully and movingly tragic. But I’ve seen GHOSTS in production many times, and I’ve always felt there was something essential missing. Humor. Dour old Ibsen, the stuffy Victorian moralist. As I translated the play, I kept cracking up; I loved Ibsen’s subversive satirical wit. In our Script-In-Hand Series production, we only had a few days to rehearse, but it was so thrilling to hear laughs in the house....

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,...

Ghosts

By Henrik Ibsen Translated from the Norwegian and directed by Eric Samuelsen Sunday, August 25, 4pm Jeanne Wagner Theatre, Rose Wagner Reserve your free tickets here (required) Presented as a staged reading as part of our Script-In-Hand Series.  Mrs. Alving has spent her life meticulously creating the fantasy of a happy home and family and marriage, which explodes in revelations of sexually transmitted diseases, suicide and insanity. Quite possibly the most radical play in history. PRESS Catalyst Magazine  |  Mormon Iconoclast (Eric’s Blog)  |  The Salt Lake Tribune Produced in partnership with Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.        WHO’S WHO Henrik Ibsen (Playwright) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright. His major works include BRAND, PEER GYNT, AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, A DOLL’S HOUSE, HEDDA GABBLER, GHOSTS, THE WILD DUCK, ROSMERSHOLM and THE MASTER BUILDER.  He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare and A DOLL’S HOUSE became the world’s most performed play by the early 20th century.  Several of his plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was required to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen’s work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. It utilized a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. Eric Samuelsen (Translator & Director) was the head of the playwriting program at Brigham Young University from 1999-2011.  He has had twenty-three plays professionally produced across the country and is a noted translator of Henrik Ibsen’s works – his translation of A DOLL’S HOUSE (literal translation: A DOLL HOUSE) has been read as part...

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