Ten Foods I Like An Awful Lot: Melissa Leilani Larson’s THE EDIBLE COMPLEX opens October 8

Melissa Leilani Larson returns to Plan-B with THE EDIBLE COMPLEX following PILOT PROGRAM in 2015. Other recent productions include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (BYU), MARTYRS’ CROSSING (Edinburgh Fringe), LITTLE HAPPY SECRETS (SLAC’s Fearless Fringe). Current projects: JANE AND EMMA (Clearstone Productions), EAST OF THE SUN (workshop, Nautilus Music Theatre), SWEETHEART COME (2016 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist). Film: FREETOWN (2015 Ghana Movie Award, Best Screenplay). Dramatists Guild ambassador for Utah, MFA from Iowa Playwrights Workshop. THE EDIBLE COMPLEX, created specifically for grades 4-6, opens October 8 with a public performance as part of Repertory Dance Theatre’s RING AROUND THE ROSE Series before touring to more than 40 elementary schools in 6 counties as Plan-B’s 4th annual Free Elementary School Tour (presented in Davis County by Davis Arts Council and in Wayne County by the Entrada Institute). THE EDIBLE COMPLEX  includes ten foods as characters that Mel likes an awful lot. Yes, the Food acts too. She we asked her to tell us why!  1. The Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the first food to make an appearance in THE EDIBLE COMPLEX, and for good reason. It’s one of the first things I learned to cook for myself when I was a kid, and it’s still very much a favorite. So simple to make, and yet incredibly satisfying. And—like the Grilled Cheese in the play says herself—so good with a tall, cold glass of chocolate milk. 2. Sometimes I trick myself into being healthful. Sometimes friends help. A good friend who is a great cook often invites me to join him and his family for dinner. One thing he makes that I never tire of: Turkey Tacos. Supposedly...

Ten things that helped Morag Shepherd write NOT ONE DROP, opening March 23

Playwright Morag Shepherd, originally from Scotland, makes her Plan-B debut with NOT ONE DROP, the current winner of the Plan-B Theatre grant from The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists. She is the resident playwright at Sackerson, where her plays THE WORST THING I’VE EVER DONE (performed in a box by one actor for an audience of one at a time, co-written with Matthew Ivan Bennett and Shawn Francis Saunders), BEFORE THE BEEP (performed in weekly installments via voicemail), BURN and POPPY’S IN THE SAND have premiered, the latter also playing Great Salt Lake Fringe and San Diego International Fringe Festivals. If playwrights Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane had a baby, NOT ONE DROP would be that weird, wacky baby. Morag shared with us the ten things that helped her write the play – enjoy! 1. Björk’s Hyperballad 2. Deconstruction art by toylikeboylike 3. Jacques Derrida’s essay Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences (1966) 4. Björk’s Pagan Poetry 5. Deconstruction art of Todd Mclellan 6. Oscar Bateman-Rapier’s book Jumping Spiders. 7. Roland Barthes essay The Death of the Author (1968) 8. “The theatre, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything – gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness – rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires language to express its manifestations . . .” – Antonin Artaud 9. The documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present 10. Vodka, wine, Diet Coke,...

Announcing the 2016/17 Season

The 2016/17 season explores what it means to speak the truth, featuring world premieres by four Utah playwrights. Subscriptions are $53 and include ONE BIG UNION by Debora Threedy, VIRTUE by Tim Slover and NOT ONE DROP by Morag Shepherd. THE EDIBLE COMPLEX by Melissa Leilani Larson is available as an add-on for $6. Click here to subscribe. ONE BIG UNION | a world premiere by Debora Threedy |  November 10-20, 2016 Joe Hill was executed in 1915 by the state of Utah for a murder he may or may not have committed. Considered a martyr by organized labor, Joe Hill’s songs envisioned gender and racial equality and criticized the gross income disparities of his time. Joe Hill remains an enigmatic folk hero but beyond the mythology lies a larger story of protest through music, more relevant than ever a century after his death. From the author of THE END OF THE HORIZON, WALLACE and THE THIRD CROSSING. A play with music featuring Daniel Beecher, Carleton Bluford, Roger Dunbar, April Fossen, Tracie Merrill and Jay Perry. Musically directed by David Evanoff, choreographed by Stephanie Howell, directed by Jason Bowcutt.   VIRTUE | a world premiere by Tim Slover | February 16-26, 2017 Poet, composer, writer, herbologist, midwife and Christian mystic, Abbess Hildegard would have been a revolutionary now as well as in the Twelfth Century when she lived. Her vigorous, otherworldly life raises profound questions: In a battle between spiritual conviction and institutional rules, which should win? What counts for more: theology or experience? And especially, who may we love? A play with music featuring Jay Perry, Shane Rogers, Emilie Eileen Starr and...

Playwright Eric Samuelsen on creating THE KREUTZER SONATA for the 2015/16 Season

THE KREUTZER SONATA by Eric Samuelsen receives its world premiere in a co-production with NOVA Chamber Music Series October 18-November 9 featuring violinist Kathryn Eberle, pianist Jason Hardink and actor Robert Scott Smith, directed by Jerry Rapier. When Jerry Rapier asked me to read Tolstoy’s novella “The Kreutzer Sonata,” my first reaction to it was a strange one. I thought; what a sad guy. The story’s protagonist and narrator, Pozdnyshev reveals himself as narcissistic, arrogant, sexist and, ultimately, violent. Also, unattractively self-pitying. But he’s also astute (and cynical) in his ruthless deconstruction of the patriarchal culture in which he was raised, and its destructiveness. His marriage is – as he well knows – a hideous farce, lacking the most rudimentary interpersonal connection, or even, most of the time, compassion or kindness. But he’s also capable of mourning, of sorrowful contemplation of the institutional prison in which both he and his wife are incarcerated. He knows himself, and he knows her, well enough to know that they should never have married. What he can’t do is escape. What it reminded me of was August Strindberg’s “Inferno,” a novel written just seven years after Tolstoy wrote Kreutzer. Strindberg’s excoriating account of the horror show of his marriage to Frida Uhl, and his subsequent descent into madness has a similar flaying honesty, though Strindberg’s novel also suggests the possibility of redemption through Swedenborgian spirituality. But Pozdnyshev allows himself no similar escape. His paranoia and the grotesque fantasies with which he indulges and nurtures his neuroses can find no release, no ultimate resolution. What Nora, in Ibsen’s A DOLL HOUSE, calls ‘the greatest...

Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett on creating RADIO HOUR EPISODE 10: OTHERWHERE for the 2015/16 Season

RADIO HOUR EPISODE 10: OTHERWHERE by Matthew Ivan Bennett receives its world premiere in a co-production with KUER’S RadioWest on October 30, 2015 featuring Doug Fabrizio and Jay Perry, with original music by Dave Evanoff, directed by Cheryl Cluff. This is the only thing that will be written about this year’s 10th anniversary episode of RADIO HOUR—we’re hoping for a WAR OF THE WORLDS moment, so we have to tell you somewhere, at least once, that it’s not real. During my undergrad days, a favorite late-night pastime of mine was listening to AM radio talk shows. Particularly, I liked listening to Coast-to-Coast AM, with fringe topics ranging from UFOs to dreams to free energy devices. Actually, the title of my first play came from Coast-to-Coast AM, when host Art Bell asked everyone to “send white light to Terrence.” He meant Terrence McKenna, the psychedelic researcher. I didn’t write a play about him, but I jotted down WHITE LIGHT OF TERRENCE and that sparked the idea for a play about a young man who has visions. The entertainment value of Coast-to-Coast is that, even if you don’t believe a word some guest is saying, it’s obvious that he believes it. And that’s very scary to contemplate sometimes. For instance, one of my all-time favorite shows was when Art Bell opened a line specifically for the Anti-Christ. He got several of them—and some of them sounded…well, convincing. They may have merely been good actors, or people with personality disorders, but they seemed to believe themselves. When Jerry and Cheryl approached me with the idea of writing a fictional guest for Doug Fabrizio’s...

Playwright Rob Tennant on creating BOOKSMART for the 2015/16 Season

BOOKSMART receives its world premiere December 3-13, 2015 in partnership with The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, featuring Tyson Baker, Anne Brings, Joe Crinch, April Fossen and Sarah Young, directed by Jerry Rapier. It took me a lot longer than most people to get a “real” job. Starting in high school, and continuing throughout my 20s into my early 30s, I worked in the service industry. A little retail, but mostly food service. I was a busboy, a waiter, and a restaurant manager. The work was lucrative enough and it fit into my lifestyle of squandering my youth on late nights and a lot of hanging out. It was fun. It was also awful. Customer service is a constant assault on human dignity. I complained about it. A lot. I complained about the hours. I complained about the pay. I complained about what I perceived as a lack of influence on operations of the business itself. I complained about all kinds of things, but I never actually did anything about any of them. At least nothing productive. I didn’t have the resources. I didn’t have any support. I didn’t even know where to start, and all of that frustration was further demoralizing. So now, I’ve been given the chance to finally do something about it: I’m having actors complain for me, on stage, to a paying audience. Progress! Seriously though, these are serious issues. The concept of work in the U.S. is changing, but the need for people to receive just compensation for meaningful work has not changed. The minimum wage has less buying power than ever,...

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