What We’re Doing This Summer (aka Three Press Releases, One Blog Post)

August 6-8, 2015 Noon and 1:30pm (no performances August 9)

Running time: 35 minutes

Admission: Free tickets available at the door beginning at 11am on performance days

Location: Sprague Branch, City Library, 2131 S. Highland Drive (downstairs)

RUFF!, created specifically for grades K-3 (but accessible to children of all ages!), is a metaphorical “tail” of two shelter dogs. Axel (a shelter regular played by Tyson Baker) and Buddy (a shelter novice played by Latoya Rhodes). Together they discover what’s possible when dogs and their people learn to see past stereotypes and summon the courage to be the best they can be. Directed by Jerry Rapier. Intermountain Therapy Animals will have therapy dogs present at each performance. The use of therapy dogs, trained to interact with all humans calmly and equally, is to ensure that each human-canine interaction is a positive one.

Read more from playwright Jenifer Nii in the July issue of Catalyst Magazine.

RUFF! will then tour as Plan-B’s Free Elementary School Tour to more than 10,000 elementary students from Weber to Juab County, funded in part by Community Foundation of Utah, Salt Lake City Arts Council and an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Mary Dickson’s EXPOSED receives a Script-In-Hand Series reading in partnership with Utah Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (UCAN)

Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 6pm

Running time: 90 minutes

Admission: Free, click here for tickets

Location: Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W 300 S

EXPOSED places a human face on the nearly 1,000 atomic bombs exploded on our own soil. This free reading reunites the 2007 cast (Kirt Bateman, Teri Cowan, Mark Fossen, Teresa Sanderson and Jason Tatom, who welcome April Fossen) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to remember the Hibakusha (explosion-affected people) of Japan and all those hurt by nuclear weapons.


ROSE EXPOSED: THE DREAMERS PROJECT brings the six resident companies of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center together to raise funds for Art Access.

Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 8pm

Running time: 60 minutes

Admission: $15, click here for tickets

Location: Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W 300 S

The Dream Act legislation – considered by Congress but never enacted – would address the plight of a generation who grew up in the United States but whose future is circumscribed by current immigration laws. Join the Rose Wagner’s six resident companies (Gina Bachauer, Plan-B, PYGmalion, RDT, Ririe-Woodbury and SB Dance) as we each create a piece that day for this one-night-only show. Plan-B’s piece, written by Eric Samuelsen, features Tyson Baker, Anne Brings and Latoya Rhodes, directed by Mark Fossen.

 


A Review of RUFF! by 7-year-old Lydia Riesen

“I just saw RUFF!. My Mom asked me which part I liked. I liked all the parts. I liked the whole thing! I liked the hats they wore for dog ears. I liked how soft one of the dog hats was. I got to feel it. I liked how the mean dog turned into the nice dog at the end.” Free performances of RUFF! continue Friday, August 7 at Noon and 1:30pm and Saturday, August 8 at Noon and 1:30pm downstairs at the Sprague Library (2131 S. Highland Drive). Tickets are free but required – they are available for both shows beginning at 11am each day. Part of the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival.... read more

The Downwinders of Utah

The online launch of this interactive geospatial timeline coincides with the staged reading of Mary Dickson’s EXPOSED this Sunday Beginning in 1951, the era of nuclear weapons testing was a time of tremendous change at both national and local levels. In the name of national security, a variety of thermonuclear weapons were tested in a remote area of the Nevada desert known as the Nevada Test Site. Fallout and radiation from these tests have affected communities across the nation, in many cases resulting in the loss of property, health and life. The Downwinders of Utah project presents an in-depth study of the nuclear detonations, radioactive fallout and events, which resulted in devastating effects for Utah’s Downwinder population. Through the creation of an interactive timeline, detailed information on nuclear detonations from the Nevada Test Site and fallout statistics for all Utah counties are presented through cartographic maps, animated reconstruction models, interactive motion charts and a variety of graphics related to testing methods, cloud heights and dispersal patterns. In addition to these components, this project includes historic photographs of nuclear detonations, archived newspaper articles depicting impacts and government deception imparted to residents as well as anecdotal oral histories of the era from a few of Utah’s surviving Downwinder. Click here to view the project online. For additional information regarding this project, please email Justin Sorensen, GIS Specialist, J. Willard Marriott Library or Caitlyn Tubbs, Data Visualization Specialist, J.Willard Marriott Library. Additional materials and interactive components will be added to this project as they become available. Click here and scroll down to reserve your free tickets to the Script-In-Hand Series staged reading of Mary Dickson’s EXPOSED this Sunday, August... read more

Post #416 is a re-post of the first-ever Plan-B Blog entry: Playwright Mary Dickson on writing EXPOSED

As we look ahead to the free Script-In-Hand Series reading of Mary Dickson’s EXPOSED (Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 6pm – click here for free tickets), we thought we’d digitally dial back 415 posts to the very first on the Plan-B Blog, which happens  to be by Mary, written as EXPOSED was about to receive its world premiere in 2007 (this post was also published in the October issue of Catalyst Magazine). I didn’t intend to write a play. I was writing a book about the human consequences of nuclear testing that blended my personal story as a downwinder with powerful documentation. In the summer of 2005, I was invited to spend a month as a writer-in-residence at the Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes, California to work on the manuscript. One day my book would be included on the bookshelf alongside those of previous residents – Terry Tempest Williams, Gray Brechin, Peter Barnes and so many other environmental writers I admired. I returned home that summer with a 275-page manuscript. Then, I met L.A. actress/activist Mimi Kennedy, who was in Salt Lake to speak at a political fundraiser. I told her about my thyroid cancer and my work on behalf of downwinders. It turned out she had family members in New Jersey with thyroid problems. That’s when I showed her part of my manuscript that documented how widespread fallout from nuclear testing was. I showed her how areas in New Jersey and across the country were hot spots, how thyroid problems including cancer like mine were common among people who had been exposed to fallout as children. Later that... read more

What We’re Doing This Summer (aka Three Press Releases, One Blog Post)

Jenifer Nii’s RUFF! receives its world premiere with six free public performances as part of the inaugural Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival August 6-8, 2015 Noon and 1:30pm (no performances August 9) Running time: 35 minutes Admission: Free tickets available at the door beginning at 11am on performance days Location: Sprague Branch, City Library, 2131 S. Highland Drive (downstairs) RUFF!, created specifically for grades K-3 (but accessible to children of all ages!), is a metaphorical “tail” of two shelter dogs. Axel (a shelter regular played by Tyson Baker) and Buddy (a shelter novice played by Latoya Rhodes). Together they discover what’s possible when dogs and their people learn to see past stereotypes and summon the courage to be the best they can be. Directed by Jerry Rapier. Intermountain Therapy Animals will have therapy dogs present at each performance. The use of therapy dogs, trained to interact with all humans calmly and equally, is to ensure that each human-canine interaction is a positive one. Read more from playwright Jenifer Nii in the July issue of Catalyst Magazine. RUFF! will then tour as Plan-B’s Free Elementary School Tour to more than 10,000 elementary students from Weber to Juab County, funded in part by Community Foundation of Utah, Salt Lake City Arts Council and an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mary Dickson’s EXPOSED receives a Script-In-Hand Series reading in partnership with Utah Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (UCAN) Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 6pm Running time: 90 minutes Admission: Free, click here for tickets Location: Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W 300 S EXPOSED places a... read more

Producing Director Jerry Rapier on creating the Free Elementary School Tour

Jerry Rapier has been Plan-B’s Producing Director since 2000. His son Oscar is now two and has changed how he sees everything. Since the market crash of 2008, myriad arts faculty positions at elementary, middle and high schools in Utah have been cut back to half-time and, in some cases, the programs either relegated to after-school activities or cut altogether. Funding for buses for field trips has also become so limited that the once-common arts field trip is quickly becoming a thing of the past. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah boasted the largest average class size but still managed to rank 12th nationwide in per-pupil spending in 1996. By 2012 (the most recent comprehensive data available), Utah still boasted the largest average class size but had dropped to 50th in per-pupil spending ($6,193 or 70% below the national average of $10,608). In response, Plan-B launched its Free Elementary School Tour, the first-ever educational tour from a professional theatre company in Utah focused on new work created specifically for elementary students. Envisioned as a six-year project featuring five commissions (the first year of the tour was PETER AND THE WOLF, a rare Plan-B production of an existing title), the goal is to provide free, professional, in-school performance at Title I schools while adding five new plays to the canon of theatre for young audiences (two for 4-6, three for K-3). During last year’s tour of DIFFERENT=AMAZING by Matthew Ivan Bennett (an anti-bullying piece drawn from the real-life experiences of Utah elementary students), I was energized by how well we were connecting with 4-6 graders. A few schools opted to... read more

Help fund Plan-B's Free Elementary School Tour as part of #GivingTuesday on December 2

  Last year we at Plan-B decided that rather than conduct the standard, year-end “Holiday Ask” campaign last December, we at Plan-B Theatre joined more than 10,000 non-profit organizations worldwide for the 24-hour global fundraiser #Giving Tuesday. It turns out that we were the second most successful theatre company in the world . . . .so we’ve decided to participate again this December. #GivingTuesday is Tuesday, December 2 from 12:01am to 11:59pm (EST), which is really from 10:01pm on December 1 to 9:59pm on December 2 here in Zion. Please help fund our Free Elementary School Tour! Get familiar with how to make your gift that day. Plan-B Theatre Company, via the Free Elementary School Tour, is the only professional theatre company in Utah creating new work specifically for elementary students. Envisioned as a six-year project featuring five commissions, the goal is to provide free, professional, in-school performance at Title I schools while adding five new plays to the canon of theatre for young audiences. The Free Elementary School Tour launched with Sergei Prokofiev’s PETER AND THE WOLF, an interactive journey through the classic story of the hungry wolf, the ill-fated duck, the fortunate cat, the fearless little bird, and the brave and cunning Peter. PETER AND THE WOLF was seen at no charge by more than 10,000 K-3 students between September of 2012 and January of 2014. Performing Arts Coalition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Davis Arts Council and Salt Lake Symphony partnered at different stages of the tour. The second Free Elementary School Tour, the world premiere Matthew Ivan Bennett’s DIFFERENT=AMAZING, was drawn from real-life bullying experiences of elementary students,... read more

Playwright Jenifer Nii on RUFF! (2014/15 Season, Add-On #2)

Jenifer Nii’s plays WALLACE (co-written with Debora Threedy), THE SCARLET LETTER and SUFFRAGE have premiered at Plan-B, the latter two garnering back-to-back nominations for the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York. She spent a decade as a newspaper reporter after her university aspirations to be a concert pianist were thwarted by a pinky finger that snapped three times during a single Schumann sonata. She now trains dogs and writes plays, proudly calling Plan-B her creative home. When Jerry Rapier commissioned me as one of the five playwrights to create work for Plan-B’s Free Elementary School Tour, I wondered what kind of nuttiness had possessed him. I am childless, terrified of children, and I believe equally terrifying to them. I’m the dog lady! What story could I possibly tell that would be of interest to tiny humans? “Dogs, silly,” said Jerry. “You’re a playwright who’s obsessed with dogs. So write. Tell a story. Say it with dogs.” It turns out that writing plays and training dogs are similar processes. They both require discipline, openness, patience and perseverance. They both require me to face fear, do my homework, step out into the unknown, and believe. Training dogs requires creativity, to be able to look at a situation and see possibility, and then make the possibility a reality. In so many ways that’s exactly what writing is for me: overcoming doubt, allowing myself the freedom to act on an idea, and then willing myself to keep trying. I have seen firsthand the special connection between animals and children. I see it again and again, almost... read more

Matthew Ivan Bennett, Stephanie Howell, David Holmes, Jerry Rapier, Lori Rees & Aaron Swenson on the meaning of "home" in preparation for ROSE EXPOSED this Saturday

This Saturday, August 23, is the third annual Rose Exposed. We’ve changed it up this year: the six resident companies at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center will be creating work that day about “home” – we gotta figure it out by 8pm when the show begins! – and 100% of ticket sales benefit The Road Home. The folks creating Plan-B’s piece are Matthew Ivan Bennett, Stephanie Howell, David Holmes, Jerry Rapier, Lori Rees and Aaron Swenson. Below are their thoughts on “home.” Join us Saturday night to see how these thoughts translate to the stage!  And if you listened to “Little Boxes” by Pete Seeger, “Happiness” from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, “Neverland” from Peter Pan, “One Way Ticket” by The Mamas and The Papas and “Come Home” by OneRepublic, it couldn’t hurt. Click here or call 801.355.ARTS or visit the Rose Wagner box office to purchase tickets. Matthew Ivan Bennett (Playwright):  To my childhood self, home isn’t so much the house I came up in, but the little wild places around our neighborhood that are mostly gone now—the two huge thrumming cottonwoods in the Smith’s alfalfa that’s now a subdivision; the box-elder-bound junkyard where my best friend Brent and I fought off a mad stray dog with a piece of rebar; the ditches and grasses hiding silver-eyed garter snakes that are now buried by a Mormon church parking lot. These dangerous green places were sanctuaries where I could pretend magic was real, and each time one was paved over, or made into a strip mall, I mourned and felt less like a kid. My adult self still finds home... read more

Rose Exposed – 2013

GET UP AGAIN as part of the VARIETY SHOW Jeanne Wagner Theatre Friday, August 30  |  7pm Click here for tickets ($15) Our contribution to this year’s Variety Show is GET UP AGAIN, a comic monologue about bullies and what happens when a weakling stands up.  It will tour elementary schools in Salt Lake and Davis Counties as part of DIFFERENT=AMAZING in the spring of 2014.  Featuring Matthew Ivan Bennett (also the playwright) and Stephanie Howell, directed by Kirt Bateman. PETER AND THE WOLF by Sergei Prokofiev In partnership with Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation Jeanne Wagner Theatre Saturday, August 31, noon Click here for tickets (free but required – only one free ticket needed for all free events) PETER AND THE WOLF by Sergei Prokofiev is an interactive journey through the classic story of the hungry wolf, the ill-fated duck, the fortunate cat, the fearless little bird, and the brave and cunning Peter.  PETER AND THE WOLF originated at THE ROSE EXPOSED last year and has since toured to 29 elementary schools and more than 12,000 students in Salt Lake and Davis Counties.  The 45-minute program also features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s SONATA IN C MAJOR (featuring a special appearance by Stephen Brown, Jenny Larsen & Nathan Shaw of SB DANCE) and Aaron Copland’s “Hoe-Down” from his ballet RODEO. Narrated by Jay Perry with Kary Billings on piano, directed by Christy Summerhays. MIASMA by Eric Samuelsen Script-In-Hand Series reading Black Box Theatre Saturday, August 31, 1pm Click here for tickets (free but required – only one free ticket needed for all free events) MIASMA is the smell of fear, the smell of a fractured and unhealthy family, the... read more

Rose Exposed – 2012

Click here for details on all the free events staged by Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Plan-B Theatre Company, Pygmalion Theatre Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and SB Dance at THE ROSE EXPOSED from 9am-5pm on Saturday, September 1.  And don’t miss the VARIETY SHOW at 7pm and 9pm for only $10, featuring a sneak-peak at each of our 2012/13 seasons!  And plan now to purchase your 6 PACK! PRESS Gavin’s Underground  |  The Salt Lake... read more
Post #416 is a re-post of the first-ever Plan-B Blog entry: Playwright Mary Dickson on writing EXPOSED
Our 25th Anniversary Season

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