Playwright Elaine Jarvik on MARRY CHRISTMAS (2014/15 Season, Add-On #1)

Elaine Jarvik has previously written for Plan-B’s SLAM and Script-In-Hand Series. Her play MARRY CHRISTMAS runs December 20-23 as a fundraiser for Restore Our Humanity.  This blog post also appears in the current issue of QSaltLake. MARRY CHRISTMAS is a simple boy-meets-boy (and girl-meets-girl) story. You know the kind: Two people fall in love and get married and then the Attorney General asks the Supreme Court to intervene. As conceived by Plan-B’s Jerry Rapier, the play is a look back at the 17 days last winter when gay marriage was legal in Utah. Because I used to be a newspaper reporter and am now a playwright, Jerry asked me to interview couples who got married during those two and a half weeks and then to write a play based on those stories, from the giddy beginnings on December 20 to the cliff-hanger ending that still hasn’t been resolved. I’ve loved talking to these couples. Take, for example, Shelly Eyre and Cheryl Haws, who’ve been together for nine years, got a marriage license in Provo on December 26, and suddenly discovered that a picture of them kissing was on the national news. “Most of our friends have never seen us kissing,” says Shelly. “We look like Relief Society ladies. What I always say is, I don’t know why people are so upset about our lifestyle; my life doesn’t even have a style. My lifestyle is more like yours.” MARRY CHRISTMAS could have a cast of thousands, because every one of the couples that married last winter has a story worth telling. We hope the ones we’ve picked will give the...

Playwright Julie Jensen on CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS (2014/15 Season, Show #2)

Julie Jensen is Utah’s most produced playwright nationwide. We at Plan-B are thrilled to offer her new play, CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS, its world premiere December 11-21 as Show #2 of the 2014/15 season. We previously produced her play SHE WAS MY BROTHER during our 2010/11 season. Christmas bothers me; it always has.  I never fit well in the groups it’s meant for.  And so I have for a number of years, been haunted by other people who just don’t fit in either, who don’t take to the world of Christmas excess. I feel embarrassed for them, for myself, I guess. And so CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS is just that: spending Christmas with a bunch of people who don’t fit that Dickens, Santa, and Coca Cola stereotype. In the process, we might come to a larger understanding of the world and just maybe this holiday that makes me so uncomfortable. CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS is four short darkly comic plays, performed by three very funny folks – Kirt Bateman, Colleen Baum and Jeanette Puhich, and directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff. THE GIRL AND THE ELF.  A seven-year-old girl knows she’s found the only real, true elf in the Macy’s Christmas window.  So she brings him home. HIM AND HER ON CHRISTMAS EVE.  An adolescent boy and an adolescent girl, both gay and both geeks, give each other sex for Christmas.  Could you say they were underwhelmed by the experience? THE BABY JESUS COLLECTION.  What’s man to do who has one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine examples of the infant Jesus, all stuck to a board?  He joins the ladies selling crafts at the...

Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett on RADIO HOUR EPISODE 9: GRIMM (2014/15 Season, Show #1)

Matthew Ivan Bennett has been Plan-B’s resident playwright since 2007, when he wrote his first radio play, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 3: LAVENDER & EXILE.  Since then RADIO HOUR EPISODE 4: FRANKENSTEIN, BLOCK 8, DI ESPERIENZA, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 5: ALICE, MESA VERDE, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE, ERIC(A) and DIFFERENT=AMAZING have premiered at Plan-B, along with a plethora of short plays including TERMS OF USE.  His plays RADIO HOUR EPISOD 9: GRIMM and A/VERSION OF EVENTS receive their world premieres as part of the 2014/15 season as shows #1 and 4, respectively. Not all fairies are very nice. That’s a lesson you learn from reading the older editions of the Grimm Brothers’ stories. Fairies will toss your beloved out of a window and drown your ass. Parents will put themselves first. Beauty is a virtue. Disobedient children die. Good children die (but are sometimes resurrected). If you distance yourself from these stories that are so popular in our culture you begin to question whether they’re moral tales at all, or simply stories about horrible things happening with a little faith or magic for flavor. As I wrote, I couldn’t stop from seeing that the old folk tales are unfortunately modern. As Hansel and Gretel’s parents conspire to abandon (and therefore kill) their children in the woods, Susan Smith rolled her car, with her two children locked inside, into a lake. Many of the stories are straight-up horror, like FITCHER’S BIRD. Others are clearly Christian allegories. Really, the collection is too varied to make blanket statements about it, but it’s fair to say that we still...

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