Jenifer Nii’s THE WEIRD PLAY premieres March 1-11

Playwright Jenifer Nii on THE WEIRD PLAY (one of 10 recipients nationwide of the inaugural Writers Alliance Grant from the Dramatists Guild Foundation and her 6th world premiere with Plan-B), premiering March 1-11 in a co-pro with Sackerson. Click here for tickets. I have no business being in theatre. When I first met Jerry Rapier at Plan-B nearly a decade ago, I had written all of one “play.” I’d seen a handful of shows in my youth (including a particularly alarming Idahoan-interpreted MAN OF LA MANCHA). I’d never read a play just for fun. But life is a wild ride. Mine had just steamed through most of a music degree at university, then swerved toward journalism after a Schumann etude ate my finger. Then, through some loopty-loops I still can’t really follow, I landed in the back row of a campus production of Marsha Norman’s play GETTING OUT that cracked my heart and I saw, for the first time, how theatre can transport, and open up and shake. I saw that show every night of its run. The night it closed, I went home and wrote a play. It was not a good play. But somehow it got passed around and then my phone rang and it was this man Jerry who wanted to talk. Even then, knowing nothing about the way theatre works, I knew something nearly-miraculous was happening. Jerry was willing to read draft after draft of what was surely amateur, ignorant writing, and then help to identify strengths and shave away the muck. Through The Lab at Plan-B, I have been given me the opportunity to hear...

Our upcoming co-productions with Sackerson (THE WEIRD PLAY) and Flying Bobcat (JUMP)

Last December, as I was finalizing our 2017/18 season, I started thinking about the unique needs and opportunities of Jenifer Nii’s THE WEIRD PLAY and Austin Archer’s JUMP. And then I started thinking about the exciting work I was seeing from Sackerson and Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory. And then I started thinking how rewarding it has been for us over the years to co-produce work with KUER, Art Access and NOVA Chamber Music Series. And then I started thinking about how rewarding these co-productions have been because they were focused on artistry and audience development rather than sharing production costs. And then I talked to Dave/Alex/Morag of Sackerson and Scott/Andra of Flying Bobcat: “The productions are funded. What we want is your points-of-view. How would you like to come play with us?” And two co-productions were born. [Well, you might even say three, since Sackerson and Flying Bobcat have since co-produced Morag Shepherd’s HOW LONG CAN YOU STAND ON THE TRAIN TRACKS: A GAME FOR TWO SISTERS, which was read in Plan-B’s Lab early in 2017]. Jenifer Nii’s THE WEIRD PLAY (March 1-11) asks: Whom do you love? What do you love? And why? The play lives in the space between romance and devotion and is funded in part by a national grant that we can’t make public until early in the new year but we can tell you only ten plays nationwide have been so honored. Austin Archer’s JUMP  (April 5-15) asks: How will you die? Will you see it coming? What if you’re given a second chance? The play explores the impact of survival on those we love and is funded in...

Today is the global day of giving known as #GivingTuesday

HOW TO GIVE! ***Exciting update: we have already raised $5,655 toward our $6,683 goal – will you help us raise the additional $1,028?*** Funds donated through Facebook today, beginning at 6am MST, will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And Facebook is waiving all fees! Click here to give (and please share it on your Facebook page when given the option at the end of the transaction – you will also have the option to directly share it with your friends)! If you are not a Facebooker you may click here to give. WHY GIVE TO PLAN-B? Since 1991, we have developed and produced unique and socially conscious theatre created by Utah playwrights. We are the only professional theatre company in the United States producing full seasons of new work by local playwrights. We have produced nearly 100 world premieres, including Utah’s first by an African American playwright and first by an Asian American playwright. Locally, our work with local playwrights has garnered Governor’s Leadership in the Arts Award and Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s Artist Award. Nationally, five of our world premieres have been nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York, four have enjoyed extended lives in New York and two have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Internationally, we have been recognized the past two seasons with the International Centre for Women Playwrights 50/50 Applause Award for our commitment to gender parity. We are the only professional theatre company in Utah creating new work each season specifically for elementary students. We are also the only professional theatre company in Utah creating new...

Announcing the 2017/18 Script-In-Hand Series!

As the only professional theatre company in the United States producing full seasons of new work by local playwrights, we invite you to join us for three public readings of plays-in-progress. Announcing the 2017/18 Script-In-Hand Series sponsored by Lee & Audrey Hollaar (click here to reserve your free-but-required tickets)! THE PRIESTHOOD November 15 by Carleton Bluford author of MAMA (2015) I was thinking about growing up in a place that is predominately occupied by the Mormon religion.“The Church” has always been in the news politically, all of my friends have been affected by it in some way or another, and there really is no escaping it if you choose to live in the Beehive State. Most of my friends are very liberal and have ended up turning their backs to the Church. However I grew up with many Mormon friends who are still Mormon who were kind to me, nice to me, loved and didn’t judge me, and stood up for me on many occasions. Sometimes even saving my life, literally. They have families and jobs and they seem very happy. Whether they are or not is not for me to decide, as there are two sides to every story. So in writing THE PRIESTHOOD, I wanted to discuss a very controversial event in the Church’s history examining those two sides. I also wanted to make it deeply human because, in the end, talking about spirituality and the soul is very personal. The Church’s 1978 decision to allow blacks to hold the priesthood is called a revelation from God. Some people say the Church just bent from heat of...

Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett’s Sweet 17 at Rose Exposed

Plan-B Theatre has premiered 16 ten-minute plays by Matthew Ivan Bennett; the 17th premieres this Saturday as part of ROSE EXPOSED…THE SKY IS FALLING! Matt has also premiered seven episodes of RADIO HOUR and his full-length plays BLOCK 8, DI ESPERIENZA, MESA VERDE, ERIC(A), DIFFERENT=AMAZING and A/VERSION OF EVENTS at Plan-B. RADIO HOUR EPISODE 4: FRANKENSTEIN received a Utah Broadcasters Association Gold Award; MESA VERDE was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Assocation/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York; and ERIC(A) toured coast-to-coast and was named Best Drama at the United Solo Theatre Festival. THE CAUSE was read at the Great Plains Theatre Conference and his play A NIGHT WITH THE FAMILY was read at Salt Lake Acting Company, received its world premiere at Omaha Community Playhouse and was produced by PYGmalion Theatre Company.  So this is my (sweet) seventeenth 10-minute play produced by Plan-B at the Rose Wagner. If we watched all of them back-to-back, it would take about two and a half hours and would need a cast of at least 12 actors with each actor appearing in multiple roles. Or around 40 actors if each one played one role. Each play took me at least ten hours to write, or theoretically a week of my life without stopping to sleep or eat but just type. Some of these plays are oddball comedy, like “Smells Like Bacon,” in which a philosophy professor falls for a stripper and gets advice from a psychic named Pig. Some of them seeded many months of work, like the 10-minute play “Adaptation” that became the full-length historical drama called...

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