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...

Betsy Ross remembers her son David Fetzer

Please click here to read Betsy Ross’ cover article in the December 11, 2013 edition of Salt Lake City Weekly about her son David Fetzer. Please join us at the Kick-Off Event for the David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists (aka The Davey Foundation) on December 17 at the Tower Theatre – click here for more information and to purchase tickets (only $10!) to that event as well as information on Plan-B’s open call for scripts for playwrights ages 35 and younger (deadline January 31,...

Actor Lauren Byington-Noll remembers working with David Fetzer

Lauren Byington-Noll appeared with our dear, departed friend David Fetzer in Plan-B’s world premiere of Jenifer Nii’s THE SCARLET LETTER in 2012. David Fetzer let me wipe my snot on his shoulder every night.  That is the embarrassing truth.  Since any sort of heightened emotional life turns my nose into a faucet, I should have taken a closer look when deciding to become an actor.  Usually when I’m in a show that demands that of me (most of them), I’m planted with a handkerchief (as a result of the humiliating conversation that everyone has to have about how we should handle my snot situation).  In THE SCARLET LETTER, David’s shirt was it.  There was a moment I had to take every night when we embraced after the “big scene” and I took the upstage side with my head and he let me do it.  This is the generosity of David Fetzer as a scene partner.  He was generous with more than his sleeve on stage.  I trusted David Fetzer, one hundred percent, no questions asked.  I knew every time I met him in that black box, he would give me everything he had, and he would offer me a safe place to give what I could.  We didn’t have to talk about the scenes later, hash out our backstory with each other, or discuss where we were getting stuck.  We just did our work in the space, and then we could talk about dinosaurs and snot because I knew he was going to be there when we got back to the stage.  I miss him and that amazing, goofy...

Directors Cheryl Ann Cluff and Kay Shean reflect on working with actor David Fetzer

David Fetzer created the role of Everett Ruess in Debora Threedy’s THE END OF THE HORIZON in 2008, directed by Kay Shean and the role of Arthur Dimmesdale in Jenifer Nii’s adaption of THE SCARLET LETTER in 2012, his final stage role, directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff.  David passed away in December of 2012.  His family has established the David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, aka The Davey Foundation, to ensure that David’s love of music, film and theatre lives on. Kay Shean, Director, THE END OF THE HORIZON:  David Fetzer was the kind of actor every director dreams of finding. He was special. He was unique and amazingly talented. Genuine to the core, it showed in every move he made and every word he spoke both on and off the stage. Before we started rehearsals for “The End of the Horizon,” some of the cast members, the playwright, Debora Threedy and I took a road trip to the red rock area of Southern Utah to experience places Everett Ruess loved and where he disappeared. I held my breath as David leapt from ledge to ledge, scampered up close to sheer cliffs and stood statue-still, soaking in the reality of the place, letting it fuse into the Everett he was going to create. In rehearsal, he brought all of that and much more. In performance, he was magic. At one point during rehearsals, a cast member told me when you were in a scene with David, he was so there, it pulled everything to another level. I watched this happen time and time again. That was David. His...

Playwright Jenifer Nii reflects on working with actor David Fetzer

David Fetzer created the role of Arthur Dimmesdale in Jenifer Nii’s adaption of THE SCARLET LETTER in 2012, his final stage role.  David passed away in December of 2012.  His family has established the David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, aka The Davey Foundation, to ensure that David’s love of music, film and theatre lives on. Watching David Fetzer work . . . no matter the medium or genre, you knew you were witnessing something special. Unique. The product not only of remarkable talent, but something . . . more. David had the extra “something” I think we all wish we had – that mystical quality that strikes to the very core, that gives heart and hands to words and ideas. In my play THE SCARLET LETTER, David added depth, grace, and humor to a character he admitted he didn’t see eye-to-eye with (if ever there was an opposite of the weak-willed Dimmesdale, it was David). He made what I’d written better. He made me want to do that writing thing better. More importantly, he did what true artists do: he made me think harder. Ask more. Dare. David made me better. Young playwrights: David Fetzer was the real deal. Turn in your very best work. Plan-B Theatre Company, in partnership with the David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists aka The Davey Foundation, seeks new plays from playwrights 35 years old and younger who reside in Utah, are Utah natives, or who otherwise have a substantial Utah connection.  Click here for guidelines – submissions are now being accepted with a deadline January 31, 2014.  The winning submission...

What's up at Plan-B between April and August

The sold-out, world premiere of Jenifer Nii’s THE SCARLET LETTER closes this Sunday.  Click here for information on stand-by tickets. But fret not – we at Plan-B have quite a bit goin’ on between now and the first weekend in August! So here’s the skinny on a trio of must-see events!     9th ANNUAL SLAM Saturday, May 12 SLAM is this crazy thing we do where we spend 23 highly caffeinated hours slamming out five world premiere short plays by Utah playwrights. You spend the 24th hour with us to see the results! SLAM also features a cash bar with finger food by Cali’s Natural Foods…and the announcement of our 2012/13 season. Playwrights:  Matthew Ivan Bennett, Elaine Jarvik, Julie Jensen, Jenifer Nii and Eric Samuelsen. Directors:  John Graham, Alexandra Harbold, Kyle Lewis, Kay Shean and Christy Summerhays. Actors:  Kirt Bateman, Carleton Bluford, Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, April Fossen, Mark Fossen, Colleen Lewis, Stephanie Howell, Deena Marie Manzanares, Tracie Merrill, Lauren Noll, Topher Rasmussen, Latoya Rhodes, Jason Tatom, Kalyn West and Claire Wilson.   HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH June 8-17 Sex, drag and rock ‘n’ roll. The anatomically in-correct, glam-rock musical returns to Zion. Plan-B’s award-winning production gets a 10th anniversary re-boot courtesy of the fine folks at Park City’s Egyptian Theatre. Transsexual East German rocker Hedwig Schmidt, victim of a botched sex-change operation, finds herself living in a trailer park in Kansas. So…she forms a band (The Angry Inch), sharing her life story on her cross-country tour stalking her rock-star ex-boyfriend Tommy Gnosis – a quest for her other half. And it’s a helluva lot of fun. Hedwig: Aaron Swenson Yitzhak:  Latoya Rhodes...

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