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A world premiere by Melissa Leilani Larson
Public performance Saturday, October 8 at 11am as part of RDT’s Ring Around the Rose. Fourth annual Free Elementary School Tour October 10-November 18. Tickets will be available at the door.

Purchase Tickets

Created for grades 4-6 (but truly accessible to children of any age), THE EDIBLE COMPLEX is a comedy about ten-year-old Anna, who dreams of being a chef. She is also becoming aware of how her body is different from others at school. So, one day she decides to stop eating, but it’s hard to ignore your Food when it starts talking to you!

Featuring Anne Louise Brings and Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, designed by Aaron Swenson, directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff.

From the author of PILOT PROGRAM. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Check out our free Script-In-Hand Series!

Photos | Who's Who

WHO’S WHO

Melissa Leilani Larson (Playwright) returns to Plan-B, where her play PILOT PROGRAM premiered in 2015. Other recent productions include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (BYU), MARTYRS’ CROSSING (Edinburgh Fringe), LITTLE HAPPY SECRETS (SLAC’s Fearless Fringe). Current projects: JANE AND EMMA (Clearstone Productions), EAST OF THE SUN (workshop, Nautilus Music Theatre), SWEETHEART COME (2016 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist). Film: FREETOWN (2015 Ghana Movie Award, Best Screenplay). Dramatists Guild ambassador for Utah, MFA from Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Anne Louise Brings (Anna) spent most of her adolescence as a nanny and nursery school assistant trying to get children to eat their veggies. She is familiar with the range of body and food insecurities children experience, many of which she has experienced herself. THE EDIBLE COMPLEX is her second world premiere with Plan-B following BOOKSMART last season. Since graduating from Westminster College with a BFA in Theatre Performance two years ago, she has worked non-stop as an actor.

Cheryl Cluff (Director) co-founded Plan-B in 1991 and has served as Managing Director since 1995. She has also provided sound design for nearly every Plan-B production since 2001. Cheryl has directed every episode of RADIO HOUR since 2005 as well as MESA VERDE, THE SCARLET LETTER, SUFFRAGE, 3, CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS and BASED ON A TRUE STORY for Plan-B.

Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin (Mom/Food) kept a drawer full of food when she worked as an elementary teacher to ensure each of her students had at least one good meal a day. Now an educational coach, she trains K-12 teachers on effective classroom management strategies, focusing on an understanding of the Trivium and specializing in Direct Instruction Pedagogy. THE EDIBLE COMPLEX is her fourth world premiere with Plan-B, following THE THIRD CROSSING, NOTHING PERSONAL and MAMA. When not training teachers or acting, she performs her cabaret show TO BILLIE & ELLA WITH LOVE.

Aaron Swenson (Costumes) has previously designed the second revival of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH and BOOKSMART for Plan-B Theatre. Other credits include THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and TWO DOLLAR BILL (PTC, where he was Head of Wardrobe and Crafts for the past 8 seasons), GEOGRAPHY CLUB and AVENUE Q (University of Utah), ASSASSINS, tick…tick…BOOM!, and THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL (Dark Horse); TWELFTH NIGHT and YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Salt Lake Shakespeare).

Study Guide & Resources | Press

STUDY GUIDE & RESOURCES

Click here to download the study guide.

Suggested reading: “The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About Their Bodies in Pictures” by Wendy Ewald.

Suggested reading: Teaching Tolerance (a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center)

PRESS

A review from 9-year-old Presley Josephine Caywood (review)  |  Catalyst Magazine  |  Gephardt Daily (review)  |  Salt Lake Magazine  |  The Salt Lake Tribune  |  The Utah Review  |  The Utah Review (review)  |  UtahTheatreBloggers

Educator Comments

“Jackson upper grade kids got to see the production of THE EDIBLE COMPLEX. They loved it – it was engaging and so developmentally appropriate!”
Michelle Grutter, Vice Principal, Jackson Elementary

“The students and faculty loved the performance. Our administration loved the message.”
Lily Hye SoonDixon, Teacher, Park City Day School

“This was a wonderful, tight performance that accomplished the beautiful balance of entertainment and sending a subtle, but important message about body image. Our students loved it! The younger students for the entertainment; the older students for both!”
Amy Wadsworth, Principal, Salt Lake Arts Academy

“I had the privilege to sit and experience this performance with the students and teachers this morning. It was a fabulous show with such an incredibly important message. I was happy to witness an audience that was fully engaged during the entire performance. Thank you for bringing this show to our school.”
Deborah Candler, Principal, Wasatch Elementary

“The students and staff loved the assembly. Thank you for allowing our school to be a part of this production.”
Liz Gonzalez, Principal, Escalante Elementary

“I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed THE EDIBLE COMPLEX that was performed at my school today. The actors were great. The costumes were wonderful. The story was perfect. The students really paid attention, their comments at the end were very thoughtful and on target. Thanks so much for putting together such a great experience for our students.”
Denice Maedgen, Teacher, Crestview Elementary


9-year-old Presley Josephine Caywood reviews THE EDIBLE COMPLEX

Presley Josephine Caywood is a fourth grader at Wasatch Elementary. She attended a dress rehearsal of THE EDIBLE COMPLEX by Melissa Leilani Larson this week – below is her review. So, my mom told me that we were going to go see show called THE EDIBLE COMPLEX. She told me what the show was about and I was really excited. We were recently talking about food and the food groups. I was comparing myself to some other kids in school. Was I skinny enough? Was I healthy enough? Seeing THE EDIBLE COMPLEX made me feel a lot better about myself. I was expecting the actors in the show to talk about the food groups and what you are supposed to eat, but it was totally different because it talked about not comparing yourself to others. The play also talked about foods like cheese burgers and tacos. I also noticed that being happy is healthy. When the main character did unhealthy things (like not eat) she wasn’t very happy with herself or her life. The director [Cheryl Cluff] did a fine job. I like that they decided to use a small space for the stage. The staging looked very realistic but you could also tell when Anna (the main character [Anne Louise Brings]) was changing environments by how she moved around the set. The costumes [designed by Aaron Swenson] were really cool. I also liked the diversity in the actors. Inserted Mom comment: “I raised my eyebrows at her when I read that last sentence. Presley responded quickly with a sassy, ‘What? You didn’t think I would notice that?'” The actor...

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