Tim Slover on his play VIRTUE

Playwright Tim Slover makes his Plan-B debut with VIRTUE, about Hildegard of Bingen, which has journeyed through development at Penn State School of Theatre (which commissioned the play), Salt Lake Acting Company, the Bush Theatre in London, the Fulton Theatre in Pennsylvania and the graduate theatre program at the University of Georgia before premiering February 16-26 at Plan-B. Below are some of his thoughts about the play, which also appears in the February issue of QSaltLake. Over the last couple of decades, the LGBT community, led by visionary and courageous individuals, has realized many gains in legal, societal and artistic status. As a theist, I am particularly interested in the intersection of the LGBT community and spiritual and religious experience. Particularly, is there room in religions—mainstream and otherwise—for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people? Is there a place in the LGBT community for believers, even Christian believers? Or given the lamentable and well-rutted history of scriptural (mis)interpretation of sexuality by many Christian communities and the antipathy towards Christian believers by many in the LGBT community, must these two streams of human experience forever be divided? Enter Abbess Hildegard of Bingen. If you lived in Twelfth Century Europe, even if you were a lay person without benefit of reading, you would probably have heard of Hildegard. She was a leader of Benedictine sisters on the banks of the Rhine River in a mixed-gender monastery, a not unimportant fact since it signals that this was a time before many of the rules, codes and strictures of devotional religious life were set in stone. Hildegard wrote books of midwifery and herbal medicine; she composed music so remarkable and distinctive...

What is HealthyHildegard.com?

The folks at HealthyHildegard.com heard about Tim Slover’s play VIRTUE about Hildegard of Bingen, premiering February 16-26 at Plan-B (click here for more information and tickets) and published a feature about the play on their website. So we turned the tables on them! Tell us a little about yourselves. We are friends and family: brother, sister, cousin, and friend. We all spent much of our younger years on paths of corporate pursuits in finance and investment, law, marketing, and philanthropy. At some point in our late 30’s we started making course corrections to adjust our life trajectories. Through individual processes of creating change, taking new risks, and attempting to honor our truer selves, we came together to build the Healthy Hildegard project. Janice, Josh, and Gary live in Denver, Colorado. Jan lives in Berlin, Germany. When not working on Healthy Hildegard, we all have other pursuits, our “day jobs”.  Janice is the president of a Denver-based non-profit foundation, Josh runs a financial consulting firm, Jan manages artistic event space in repurposed buildings, and Gary is a writer and occasional business advisor. You each clearly feel a strong connection to Hildegard. What about her speaks to you the most? We have all come to find our own personal connections with Hildegard of Bingen and her work. Ultimately, Hildegard’s creative power binds us in our Healthy Hildegard project. Not just the process of creative expression, which is indeed a big part of her story, but how giving-in to that natural, generative potential within us (our viriditas) can transform and empower us to become something more, to live a better life. When Hildegard decided to...

Ten things playwright Tim Slover wants you to know about Hildegard of Bingen before VIRTUE opens February 16

Tim Slover makes his Plan-B debut with VIRTUE. His writing includes the play JOYFUL NOISE (Samuel French), the novel THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES (Random House), the non-fiction work MESSIAH: THE LITTLE-KNOW STORY OF HANDEL’S BELOVED ORATORIO (Silverleaf Press) and the screenplay A MORE PERFECT UNION (PBS). His plays have been produced off-Broadway and in regional theatres in the U.S., Canada and the UK. His writing awards include the Hopwood Award for Drama, the Christopher Brian Wolk Award for Playwriting Excellence and the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge George Washington Honor Medal. He has been a writer-in-residence at Lamb’s Players Theatre, Cornell College, Penn State University and the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House at Franklin & Marshall College. Tim heads the University of Utah Department of Theatre’s playwriting program and is currently under commission for Oregon Shakepeare Festival’s PLAY ON! Shakespeare Project.  VIRTUE celebrates the life and music of Hildegard of Bingen. So we asked Tim to share ten things he wants you to know about her before you see the play. 1. Hildegard was born in 1098 and died in 1179. At the age of 8 she was given to the Benedictine monastery of St. Disibod as a tithe—the tenth of ten children. At that time she was “enclosed,” that is, lived in a cell at the back of the nave of the church, with a young anchoress called Jutta. As a grown woman Hildegard wrote against the practice of sending children to monasteries against their will and disapproved of asceticism. 2. Hildegard’s first vision came when she was even younger: “I was only in my third year when I saw a...

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...

Pin It on Pinterest