Kim Blackett on his wedding day and "8"

Kim Blackett previously appeared in Plan-B Theatre Company’s Script-In-Hand Series reading of STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS, a fundraiser for Equality Utah on November 7, 2011.  He is part of the cast of the Script-In-Hand Series reading of “8” on August 4-5, 2012, a fundraiser for Plan-B and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.  This posting first appeared on our blog on November 6, 2011. “Does it feel any different?” I’ve been asked that several times since my partner of 25 years and I got married in Washington, D.C. on October 25. The answer is “YES!” and that was something I was not expecting. I went into this, basically just wanting a piece of paper that said we were legally married after all these years. It turned out I got more. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that makes it feel different and I can’t come up with anything in words. As far as the relationship goes, everything was put in place – bugs worked out, differences acknowledged and accepted, toilet paper put on the “proper” way on the dispenser – long before the “I Do’s” were uttered. So what changed? For years I had said that a little piece of paper wouldn’t change anything about my relationship with my partner. After all, it’s just paper. The thought that someone who was given some sort of authority merely mumbling words in front of us would magically change ANYTHING was absurd to me. Surprise! It did change, there IS some sort of magic involved when a government agency acknowledges the love two people have shared...

Jerry Rapier on celebrating his first wedding anniversary with Kirt Bateman on July 24 and how it connects to "8"

Jerry Rapier has been Producing Director of Plan-B Theatre Company since 2000.  He married Kirt Bateman on July 24, 2011 in New York after 15 1/2 years together.  Jerry’s next directing project is Plan-B’s “8” on August 4-5 – Kirt plays the role of Charles Cooper. Homos have a hard time deciding how to determine anniversaries. For us, it’s December 28, 1995. Why? Because that was our first date. Kirt came to see a show I was in at TheatreWorks West (which was in residence at Westminster College). We got off to a rough start because the guy I had been dating was also at the show that night. Kirt waited patiently in the car for me – it was in that moment that I knew what a great guy he was. We then we went for late-night lattes at Firenze (which was where Mo’s Grill is now). We talked for hours. When we finally went back to get my car, we sat in the parking lot, not wanting the night to end. I asked Kirt if I could kiss him. He said yes! We were inseparable for the next week but then I had to head to Arizona for my brother Ryan’s wedding. When I returned to Salt Lake, we were again inseparable. So much so that by the end of the third week Kirt moved in with me. He was 20, I was 24, and it may have been smart to get to know each other a little better before doing that. But we were still together when December 28, 1996 rolled around; the idea of us...

Kevin Emerson & Beatrix (aka Trixi) Sieger on marriage and "8"

Kevin Emerson is a member of Plan-B Theatre Company’s board of trustees.  He and Beatrix (aka Trixi) are also subscribers and donors. Yes we do! We had done it! We found each other and knew we wanted to be together; to create something bigger than our individual selves by sharing our daily experiences with one another for the rest of our lives – we were getting married! For us, the personal commitment we made to each other was the most important. So, when we announced our engagement, we had already had our own two-person “wedding” of sorts. But we also wanted to share our commitment with our community of family and friends through a public and legally-recognized marriage ceremony. Of course, the tax advantages, insurance perks, and other legal privileges were also nice; but to be honest these seemed like “icing on the cake.” For each evening over several months, we worked together to plan all aspects of our wedding. One night – in the midst of wrapping spring bulbs in tulle – we started discussing how this whole “marriage” thing feels kind of wrong, considering that some of our closest friends are unable to freely and legally marry the person closest to their hearts. The very thing we were so immersed in was out of reach for our many of our friends. We grew quiet in our conversation as we thought of what it really meant to be in love and want to legally commit to one another only to have the law tell us “No” based solely on sexual orientation. Boy, is it easy to take things...

Terry Wood on same-sex marriage and "8"

Journalist Terry Wood appeared in Plan-B Theatre Company’s first AND THE BANNED SLAMMED ON.  He lent his voice to the world premiere of EXPOSED and will do so again for “8” on August 4-5. If you have never been to Mendocino, California, let me describe it for you  . . . in one word: idyllic. It is one of the most picturesque coastal villages in North America. A three hour drive north of San Francisco, through the wine country of Anderson Valley, through giant redwoods near the coast and you arrive at a small 19th century redwood logging village that has barely changed in the 21st century. Less than 900 people live in a town that still sports the water towers built more than 130 years ago. A town with no McDonald’s, no Taco Bell, no fast food. But plenty of good food and a slowed-down lifestyle wrings the city stress out of those who spend a few days here. It was in the shadow of one of those water towers behind the historic Packard House where my son, Damien Wood, married Andrew Hindman. March 27, 2007. The sun shone on this Pacific seaside town . . . and the love radiated even more as about 120 people from all over this country and a couple of European countries sipped champagne, listened to the Pacific Boy Choir and got misty-eyed when the minister delivered the sacred vows. I was there with my wife, Susan. Damien’s mother, Cyndee, was there from Ogden with her husband Curt. Andrew’s parents had flown in from the East Coast. Words cannot describe how proud,...

Ben Brown on marriage and "8"

Ben Brown is a member of Plan-B Theatre Company’s board of trustees.  He and Steve Verno are also subscribers and donors. After serving an LDS mission, I met Steve Verno. It was several months after returning home that I realized I couldn’t seem to change. I had always felt “different” but gave little thought to what being “gay” meant and continued my pursuit of eternal happiness. I put everything I could into understanding the history and teachings of the LDS Church. At the age of 12, I began experiencing feelings of same-sex attraction and understood completely the ramifications of any indiscretion. By the age of 17, I knew I wanted to go on a mission, and then continue with a career as an LDS seminary teacher. I studied the theology, the history and supplemental writings from various LDS scholars. I remember flipping through the pages of any book in the “self-help” section of Deseret Book, looking in the index for the words gay, homosexual, same-sex attraction, anything to understand more on the topic. Rarely would I find anything helpful – there was very little to say on the subject. Scripture can sum up the thesis of my religiously based study. In John 8:32, it reads “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I remember reading the book “Miracle of Forgiveness” on the topic of same-sex attraction. I remember feeling so alone and miserable that I decided to “turn to the Lord.” I quietly closed my bedroom door and knelt to pray. I remember making a pact with God that if he would deliver...

Rick Pollock on the sanctity of marriage and "8"

Rick Pollock is a member of Plan-B Theatre Company’s board of trustees.  He and Amy Clements Pollock are donors. Amy and I first met on April 16, 1998 at the Salt Lake International Airport.  She’d won a trip for two to Hawaii and I was the Promotions & Marketing Director at the radio station she’d won it from.  She was one of 20 lucky winners and I was one of 5 lucky staff members going to Honolulu for 5 days/4 nights.  She was taking her cousin Kindra, I was taking my girlfriend of two years. Right away we hit it off, the four of us spent a lot of time together, but soon it was back to Salt Lake and our normal lives.  I didn’t see Amy again until another radio station event in June, this time we exchanged numbers and promised that we all needed to hang out again soon.   Little did Amy know that in those six weeks my girlfriend and I had been having some “issues.”  She was adamant about my converting to her LDS faith and I was not religious, but I told her that maybe I’d look into it.  I’m not sure why I thought stalling would work, finally I just told her that I wasn’t going to convert.  Long story, short: I was single again! Amy and I just clicked.  She’s funny, outgoing, beautiful and one of the smartest women I’ve ever met.  WAAAYYYYY out of my league. I must’ve done something right, because we started dating in late June and by the end of the year we were married. Hmm.  I skipped...

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