Mark Fossen on juggling two wives in PILOT PROGRAM

17057190585_650546d89c_z

16869620320_f3a3c07832_z

16436986263_7021228188_z

IMG_6812

Mark Fossen has previously appeared in Plan-B’s THE ALIENATION EFFEKT, EXPOSED, AMERIGO, THE SCARLET LETTER, CLEARING BOMBS and the Script-In-Hand Series readings of THE NORMAL HEART, 8 and MARRY CHRISTMAS.

I’ve had the chance to play some wonderfully challenging roles in my time with Plan-B: a prizewinning economist, a machiavellian schemer, a genocidist, and more.

Who would think that one of the most challenging characters to inhabit would be a man who lives a few miles from where I do now, is my age, and is married to a woman who looks suspiciously like my real-life wife?

PILOT PROGRAM is about a lot of things: polygamy, loneliness, family. However, the biggest step for me was the question it asks about what you would do for your faith.

I am not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and never have been. I grew up in areas of the country where the Church is not prominent, and the first members of the Church I think I knew were when I met my wife’s family.

Since moving to Utah, I understand the basics, and am familiar with a lot of the terminology, theology, and culture. But, of course, understanding is very different than a lived experience.

My biggest hurdle was in the very basic premise-before-the-premise of PILOT PROGRAM: “What if you were called to serve in the restoration of polygamy?” While “polygamy” is the eye-catcher in that sentence, it was the “called” that was my biggest challenge, the thing I could not understand.

While I can imagine the personal religious revelation that could inspire polygamy, I cannot imagine taking it on because the stake president asked me to. I think I’d need to go up the chain of command a ways … like all the way up … like to the Big Guy himself.

The truth is, I still don’t understand it or even have an understanding of it. But the great thing about acting is I don’t really need to understand it—I just need to do it. Mark doesn’t need to understand it. Jacob understands it, and that’s enough.

Melissa Leilani Larson’s written a very simple man whose dedication to his wife and his church are at the core of his being. I think I initially wanted to dismiss him as a “yes man,” but he’s so much more. He’s a man who has found life’s meaning in service. He’s a man who will do what is asked because he finds his joy in bringing joy to others. He’s a man I’ve come to admire.

There was a great tweet from opening night that said “I’m so on #TeamJacob” … I completely agree.

Melissa Leilani Larson’s PILOT PROGRAM receives its world premiere at Plan-B April 9-19, featuring April Fossen, Mark Fossen and Susanna Florence Risser, directed by Jerry Rapier. Click here for more information and tickets.

Our 25th Anniversary Season
April Fossen on polygamy, monogamy and PILOT PROGRAM

Pin It on Pinterest