Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett on RADIO HOUR EPISODE 13: TROLL

RADIO HOUR EPISODE 13: TROLL by Matthew Ivan Bennett receives its world premiere in a co-production with KUER’S RadioWest on December 13, 2018 featuring Olivia Custodio, Lily Hye Soo Dixon and Jay Perry, with original music by Dave Evanoff, eFoley by Jennifer Freed and direction and sound design by Cheryl Cluff. Click here on Thursday, December 13 at 9am to listen to TROLL live. So, the last episode I wrote for RADIO HOUR was called STAND. It was a dystopian thriller I began writing in the fall of 2017. Naturally, it absorbed issues of the day – from nationalism to racism to sexism. Each of those “-isms” continue to press down on our collective consciousness, but with TROLL I’ve latched onto sexism in particular and written a story about an internet troll who – presto chango – becomes a real troll. To free himself, he has to convince a feminist to fall in love with him. At the holidays. Unlike STAND, this episode uses (dark) comedy to get at something serious. The news has been so heavy lately that I made myself deal in humor, which I feel is critically needed right now to give us the emotional space to change. Laughing at yourself is, I believe, a first step in becoming a bigger person. Also, taking trolls too seriously is a bad way of dealing with trolls. Not that we should ever laugh at trolls. On the contrary, it’s important to first see them as fellow humans. But humor is connective. By itself it’s a sort of common ground. If two people can find something to laugh about – especially...

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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