A gathering of theatre artists of color in SLC

  If this is you, please join us on Monday, June 12 at 6pm in the Studio Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center for what hope will be the first of many gatherings of Theatre Artists of Color in Salt Lake City. How to RSVP: join the Facebook event or email Jerry Rapier, Artistic Director. The first goal is to get to know each other and create a stronger network. The second goal is to provide a space to discuss the challenges of working as theatre artists of color in and around Salt Lake City. The third and ultimate goal is to dig deep to see what stories we are able to authentically explore onstage in future seasons and how we can diversify who writes them, who tells them onstage and who designs them. Please help us spread the word. See you at the...

(in)divisible is coming June 8-18 and it’s free!

(in)divisible is our response to the response to the election. But it’s not about Trump. Or Clinton. Or Sanders. Or Obama. Or any other political figure. As the project took shape, we followed two ground rules: (1) none of the above could be mentioned or even alluded to because when they are mentioned, listening ceases; and (2) everything had to be rooted in real-life experience. (in)divisible is about our country. (in)divisible is about its citizens. (in)divisible is about us. Twelve local playwrights have each created two five-minute pieces: one liberal and one conservative. Scroll down to see who they are and their thoughts on the pieces they’ve created – stories from some people you’ll agree with, some people you’ll disagree with, all who just happen to be just like you. (in(divisible is a reminder of what it means to listen. Click here to reserve your free tickets and see who’s in the cast. We ask that in lieu of a ticket purchase you make a contribution to The Children’s Center at the theatre.   Click here to reserve your free tickets...

Shauna Brock on Building Families

Shauna Brock shared her story of building a family through an LGBTQIA (and allies) lens in a 4-week writing workshop led by Eric Samuelsen at Art Access. She and her fellow writers were then mentored by a playwright from The Lab at Plan-B. Eric then wove their stories together into an evening of theatre, which will be performed as INTERSECTIONS II: FORGING FAMILY FROM MORE THAN DNA on April 28-29 as part of Plan-B’s Script-In-Hand Series at Art Access. Click here for details and tickets ($10 general admission, $5 students). It’s funny when you think about it, and when you overthink it, that the theme of intersections and found family can be applied as much to a writing workshop as to the families we find and create – especially for the queer community. Strangers come together in a room and over time they work together, they bond. Stories, the histories that bind us together, are shared. It’s scary to enter a workshop, to know that you are putting your experiences out there and know they will be judged by everyone at the table. How they are received, how they are welcomed and discussed sets the entire tone and either creates trust or destroys inspiration. Again, how similar to our family structures. Going into this INTERSECTIONS workshop, I had no idea what story I wanted to tell. Surrounded by Mormons expressing the passion of coming out stories and tales of family ties in homeless bonds, I sat there thinking of my own family, my own bonds – because my biological ones are as tight as those I have chosen to create as family. How do I...

Job Posting: Half-Time Education Coordinator

Plan-B Theatre Company seeks a half-time Education Coordinator to begin work as close to May 1, 2017 as possible. The Education Coordinator is a Theatre Specialist that reports to the Artistic Director and is responsible for leading and advancing the Free Elementary School Tour within, but not limited to, the “Education at Plan-B” statement below, as well as some Fundraising. The Education Coordinator will be Plan-B’s liaison with all K-6 schools and FEST producing partners. The Education Coordinator is also responsible for developing and maintaining a proactive working relationship with the Utah State Office of Education’s (USOE) Professional Outreach Program in the Schools (POPS). The Education Coordinator is fully responsible for the annual Free Elementary School Tour which alternates between grades K-3 and 4-6. Duties include (but are not limited to): – creating and maintaining annual touring schedule. – assisting in the development of each year’s production. – creating and circulating study guide. – acting as company manager/stage manager on tour, which may include overnight travel. – acting as liaison with all schools in Utah. – traveling to schools in Utah separate from the tour as needed. – coordinating as needed with producing partners. Fundraising – Assist Artistic Director with education-specific grant research and writing – Assist Managing Director with education-specific grant reporting and management – Assist Artistic Director with Love Utah Give Utah and #GivingTuesday Other duties as assigned. Qualifications Candidates must have: – a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre (or equivalent experience). – practical experience with Theatre for Young Audiences. – practical experience in theatre education, preferably K-6 classroom experience. – the ability to work in a self-directed...

A big Love Utah Give Utah thank you!

Our official Love Utah Give Utah total: $18,150 in online donations $  3,401 in offline donations $  1,500 for placing 3rd in our category $23,051 Thank you to all 230 donors who made this possible! We now have the full, first-year salary for a half-time Education Coordinator in hand. We’re pretty damn excited because today we expected to have half of the salary. So now we get to post the job notice next week – stay...

How To Love Utah Give Utah March 1-30

All Love Utah Give Utah gifts made between now and 11:59pm on March 30 count toward our total! Thank you to everyone whose gifts combined to match a $5,000 gift from Vickie Venne between March 1-28. We’re now working toward matching a $2,500 gift from Jane & Tami Marquardt through their Peace & Possibility Project). Please help us by giving as little as $10 by 11:59pm on Thursday, March 30! This means $15,000 (Vickie’s gift + Jane & Tami’s gift + matching funds from you!) will provide 3/4 of the first year’s salary for a new half-time Education Coordinator, who will manage our Free Elementary School Tour and assist the Artistic and Managing Directors to look to the future in a bolder way regarding diversity and gender parity. In its first year, our Free Elementary School Tour served 7,500 students at 20 elementary schools in 3 counties. Just three years later, it now serves 15,000 students at 40 schools in 7 counties. Our goal is to expand statewide by 2020. Working with Title I schools (including several primarily minority-majority schools) has helped us see what our future can be in terms of a more diverse talent pool, audience and donor base. We must think several generations ahead in order to accurately reflect, speak to and represent our evolving community.

Four of the first six plays commissioned for the Free Elementary School Tour are by female playwrights and the casts of each are intentionally diverse. Sharing more plays by women featuring gender-balanced and multi-ethnic casts allows more elementary students to see stories onstage that are performed by people who look and sound like them. If we authentically make the...

Rob Tennant on his play QUARTER HORSE

Rob Tennant is a member of The Lab at Plan-B, where his play BOOKSMART enjoyed a sold-out run last season. Rob’s play QUARTER HORSE is the next offering of our 2016/17 Script-In-Hand Series this coming Wednesday, March 29, directed by Robert Scott Smith, stage managed by Joe Killian, with Emma Scotson as the Reader and featuring a cast of Olivia Custodio, Sky Kawaiw, Shawn Francis Saunders and Matthew Sincell. The reading is free and at capacity – click here for details. The hardest I’ve ever laughed was on day four of an ill-advised weeklong outdoor adventure. I was one of eight young men camping beside an ankle-deep “river” in the middle of the most remote piece of desert in the USA, days behind schedule with limited food and silt-clogged water filters. Bone-tired from a 12-hour day of slogging through mud with a small boat in which I was supposed to be riding, someone broke the settled quiet gloom with a simple statement. “We’re all going to die out here,” he said. We all laughed until we cried, our guffaws returning to us off of redrock canyon walls for minutes on end. There’s room for comedy in any situation – gallows humor is a powerful thing. A world in which we have run out of oil and are forced to ride bicycles everywhere isn’t necessarily a dystopia for me. To each their own. What terrifies me is the prospect of a future where we’ve done everything wrong and it’s all for naught because we haven’t learned from our mistakes. A world where individual interest continues to be prioritized above communal good. A world where...

Morag Shepherd on her play NOT ONE DROP

Playwright Morag Shepherd makes her Plan-B debut with NOT ONE DROP, receiving its world premiere March 23-April 2. Originally from Scotland, she is the resident playwright at Sackerson, where her plays THE WORST THING I’VE EVER DONE (co-written with Matthew Ivan Bennett and Shawn Francis Saunders), BEFORE THE BEEP, BURN and POPPY’S IN THE SAND have premiered, the latter playing Great Salt Lake and San Diego International Fringe Festivals. I moved around a fair amount as a child. I was born in Scotland, lived in a few different places in England, Scotland again, England again, the east coast of the States, and now here in Salt Lake City. I’m a citizen of the United Kingdom, but now feel more American. Moving around so much as a child, it was hard for me to keep an identity straight. I felt more like I was a mix and melded into the places and people I were around, to the point that I would adopt the accent of whoever I was talking to. Something I still do, because I’m cool like that. I was a member of the LDS faith, believed in god, went on a mission – the whole shebang – and now I’m not sure what I believe. And my point in saying all of that? If there is one thing that I kind of know, that I maybe believe in, it is that people change, places change, ideas and spaces alter, and it all weaves together like a spider web. Consequently, lines and boundaries that are liquid, elusive, and adoptive, are some of the foremost issues I play with in...

Jenny Kokai on her play THE ART OF FLOATING

Jennifer A. Kokai is a member of The Lab at Plan-B and teaches at Weber State University. Jenny’s play THE ART OF FLOATING is the next offering of our 2016/17 Script-In-Hand Series this coming Wednesday, February 22. The reading is free and at capacity – click here to wait list. In THE ART OF FLOATING, Marian spends her days hanging out at the senior center and drinking wine with her best friend Fran. One day her estranged granddaughter MacKinzie calls up and asks to live with her. Her dog has died, and this has occasioned a crisis of faith about what happens to pets after death. Marian and Mackinzie don’t know each other, they don’t know much about each other, and they have very different points of view on the world. And then a dirigible crashes in Marian’s backyard. Generally, I am not one for autobiographical plays. But this play is basically an attempt for me to sort out some things I’ve been trying to understand since I moved to Utah five and a half years ago. Death and the LDS church. While I have obviously had experience with death before, since moving to Utah my family has had three grandmas, one college roommate, and four pets die. Off the top of my head. One grandma, in particular, left a huge gaping hole in me that even now, three years later, just hangs out. I know where the hole is and how to avoid it most of the time. But it’s still there. She was my most favorite person on earth, the person I called to talk to all the time, and I’m still...

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...

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