Mexican playwright Iris Salazar on creating “American Pride” for …OF COLOR

Playwright Iris Salazar was born in Gomez, Palacios, Durango, Mexico. She has lived in Salt Lake City since she was eight months old and became a citizen in 2000. A member of Plan-B’s Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop, she makes her playwriting debut this season with a very, very dark comedy about making America great again: “American Pride” is one of four short plays that comprise …OF COLOR, premiering in March of 2019. I knew when I signed up for the Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop that I wanted to write a piece that reflected my political thoughts. I am not a politician, and I have never been able to articulate or debate politics in any way. I went through a torrent of emotions as I watched Donald Trump attack groups of people and brag about his sexual predatory behavior during his campaign but I naively believed that we would never allow this man to preside over our country. My disappointment, anger, and sadness were far too large to measure and simply get over as some would suggest. I found myself posting everything anti-Trump that I could post on social media. In the process, I discovered that people who I knew, went to church with and even admired were supportive and defensive of this individual. One day I saw a picture of an acquaintance on social media standing next to Mike Pence. She is an educated, well-to-do and respected Christian Lady. She studied politics, is in-the-know when it comes to political policies and she is persuasive. That picture was the beginning of my short play. As a person of color, I didn’t think I could write...

Persian/Japanese playwright Bijan Hosseini on creating “The Frailest Thing” for …OF COLOR

Persian/Japanese playwright Bijan Hosseini has previously appeared in Plan-B’s (IN)DIVISIBLE. A member of Plan-B’s Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop, he makes his playwriting debut this season with a drama about the difference between wanting to live and not wanting to die: “The Frailest Thing” is one of four short plays that comprise …OF COLOR, premiering in March of 2019. I have no idea what I’m doing. Several people much smarter than me who do have all told me that this is okay. I [almost] believe them, intellectually. Emotionally … not so much. – Not yet anyway. This experience has been a thing, like a gun to my head that graciously forced me to do the thing I want to do but haven’t often done – write. And in writing I’ve been led through a process that bled me open and made me look at other processes inside: What’s in my control and what’s not? What do I want to hang on to, and what do I need? What can I let go of, and what can’t I? What do I have to let go of, and how long do I have to be dragged before I finally let go? I still don’t know. I don’t have any answers. – Not yet anyway. The play, for me; roots this universal existential angst about which one can become mired in intellectualization and puts it into a painful present with very little, if any, control – it puts the gun to the head and forces the reality not of thoughts, but feeling. Thank you Jerry for holding the gun, Julie for loading it, Plan-B et...

Latina playwright Olivia Custodio on creating “Drivers License, Please” for …OF COLOR

Latina playwright Olivia Custodio is a member of Plan-B’s Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop. She makes her playwriting debut this season with a dark comedy about bagels, rental cars and rednecks: “Drivers License, Please” is one of four short plays that comprise …OF COLOR, premiering in March of 2019. Writing a play is weird. Seriously weird. As an actor, I usually feel pretty confident when I walk out onto a stage and give a performance. But watching my play onstage?! Welcome to Insecurityville, population: me! It is a very strange thing to write words from your heart and know that people are going to hear them. It’s as though someone else gets to read your diary to a crowd and you have zero power to control how it goes. Personally, I think writing a play is far scarier than being an actor. I still can’t even use the word ‘playwright’ to describe myself. Writing “Drivers License, Please” has taught me a lot about myself, which isn’t something that I necessarily thought would happen during the process of creating a one-act play. It has taught me that yes, I do actually know what I’m doing and I have to trust it. I have to be okay with the fact that it will never be perfect and sometimes, as Julie Jensen says, you need to “just write the damn thing!” That other opinions matter, but ultimately I get to tell my story the way I want to. Sure, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but neither was the awkward and crunchy afro that I sported freshman year of college, and hey, I survived...

African American playwright Darryl Stamp on creating “Roar” for …OF COLOR

African American playwright Darryl Stamp has created roles in Plan-B’s JUMP and (IN)DIVISIBLE. A member of Plan-B’s Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop, he makes his playwriting debut this season with a dramedy about stand-up comedy: “Roar” is one of four short plays that comprise …OF COLOR, premiering in March of 2019. “Roar”  comes from my personal experience as an amateur and professional stand-up comedian. As a two-time winner of Showtime’s Funniest Person in Kansas in the 1980’s, I competed against Ellen DeGeneres, who was named Funniest Person in America. I’ve experienced what it’s like to perform at various open mic nights, to fundraisers with hundreds of people in the audience, to opening for and working with other professional stand-up comedians. I’ve performed at the Santa Monica Improv, Charm City in Baltimore, the Comedy Cellar in New York City and various comedy clubs in Kansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. The stand-up comedy writing process, the stress associated with entertaining audiences despite what’s going on in your personal life, and the exhilarating feeling you get when you hear audiences laugh is the inspiration for “Roar.” Most comedic material is the expression of moments that run the gamut of experiences and emotions. Like Richard Pryor ‘s routine about catching himself on fire while freebasing cocaine (“… Save the balls! …”) to Robin Williams “Childbirth” (“… It’s like Winston Churchill and Gandhi had a baby …”), they’re all scripted, worked, amended, rehearsed, performed, and reworked in their earliest stages. I’ve always believed in writing things down as soon as possible if I’ve experienced something funny or had an epiphany. It’s not unusual for me to get out of...

#LoveUTGiveUT + #GivingTuesday = Love Utah Give Tuesday

#LoveUTGiveUT + #GivingTuesday = Love Utah Give Tuesday Please join us online Tuesday, November 27 for a 24-hour day of giving to support the only professional theatre company in the entire country producing full seasons of new plays by local playwrights (hey – that’s us)! Our goal is to raise $10,000 between now and December 31. Gifts given through our website are much appreciated at any time! ...if you are planning to give on November 27, we encourage you to give through our Facebook page to help us qualify for matching funds from Facebook and PayPal. The matching begins at 6am MST. We know it’s crazy, but if you are able to make your gift through our Facebook page as close to 6am as possible, the greater the chance your gift will be matched! And Facebook is waiving all credit card fees on donations made to non-profits! We are also extremely grateful to have an anonymous $2,000 matching gift in play as soon as the Facebook/PayPal matching funds are depleted on November 27. Hang out with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates from 6am-midnight on November 27. And be sure to watch for the announcement of the fifth winner of the Plan-B Theatre grant from The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging...

From the Artistic Director

I’m exhausted. I’m sure you are too. It’s impossible to keep up with the 24-hour news cycle, social media, hyper-partisan politics and the ever-diminishing line between church and state. On Saturday alone, the federal SCOTUS appointment dovetailed with local opposition to same-sex marriage, trans* rights and even science. It’s maddening to witness people talk about women rather than listen to women. It’s maddening to witness the normalization of racism. It’s maddening to witness the normalization of homophobia. It’s almost impossible to feel powerless as the abhorent becomes the norm. We feel a responsibilty as a company to reflect the community in which we live. And yet I’ve been asking myself: with all that is happening, does attending the theatre even matter? I say yes. Maybe more than ever. Because we are your people. And being with your people is sometimes the only way to catch your breath, slow your heart rate and clear your head. The connection between the audience and what unfolds onstage in a darkened theatre is indescribable. But you know what I mean. You’ve felt it. And if you’re like me, you chase it. Time spent with us should be the beginning of an experience, not the end of one. When the houselights come up, our hope is that you feel seen and heard. Let’s sit in the darkened theatre together and maybe, just maybe, we’ll figure out a way to move forward, together. Jerry Rapier Artistic Director Plan-B Theatre The playwrights of the 2018/19 Subscription Season, Free Elementary School Tour, Script-In-Hand Series and Radio Hourshare their thoughts below on how their work connects to the reality of living in America in 2018. SUBSCRIPTION SEASON GOOD STANDING, October 18-28 Playwright Matthew Greene: We’re living in...

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