Debora Threedy on her play BALTHAZAR, our final (free!) Script-In-Hand Series reading of the season on April 3

Debora Threedy has premiered her plays THE END OF THE HORIZON, WALLACE (co-written with Jenifer Nii), THE THIRD CROSSING and ONE BIG UNION at Plan-B, as well as contributing to several SLAMs and (IN)DIVISIBLE. Her latest play, BALTHAZAR, will be read as the final free reading of this season’s Script-In-Hand Series on Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm. Click here for free-but-required tickets. My play, BALTHAZAR, is in conversation with THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. In Shakespeare’s play, Balthazar is the name Portia uses when she goes to court dressed as a man. (In case you are in need of a refresher: In the play, the merchant Antonio borrows money from Shylock, who as “a merry jest,” asks for a pound of Antonio’s flesh if he defaults on the loan. Antonio borrows the money to give his best friend Bassanio so that Bassanio may woo the rich heiress Portia in style. Bassanio wins Portia, Antonio defaults on the loan, and Shylock demands his pound of flesh. Portia offers to repay the loan but Shylock won’t take her money. She then dresses as a man and goes to court where she defeats Shylock. Everyone lives happily ever after – except Shylock, of course, who basically is convicted of plotting Antonio’s death and punished accordingly.) I am  – or was, I’m retired now – a law professor and the genesis of this play came when I was doing research for an academic article about Portia.  In the midst of this research, one day this thought popped into my head: When Portia goes to court, I don’t think it’s the first time she cross-dressed. It...

Join us for the free Script-In-Hand Series reading of “GUISE” & “DoLs” at the Edward Lewis Theatre Festival

Our Script-In-Hand Series is hitting the road (well, one block south and three blocks east to the Main Branch of the City Library)! Short plays-in-progress from our Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop – “Guise” by Chris Curlett & “DoLs” by Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin – will be read as part of the Edward Lewis Theatre Festival on Sunday, February 10 at 2pm in the Nancy Tessman Auditorium. Click here for free-but-required tickets. In “Guise,” two friends explore what it means to be a man in today’s world. And in “DoLs,” two nerdy girls become fast friends in the most awkward situation imaginable. Yes, we know it’s “Guise” and “DoLs”  Directed by Jerry Rapier. Read by Tyler Fox, Tristan Johnson, Brian Kocherhans, Darby Mest, Katie Jones Nall, Yolanda Stange. Stage managed by Cate Heiner. We’re up first at 2pm, followed by selections from: Wasatch Theatre Company’s #MeToo Monologues University of Utah’s Department of Theatre’s The Lynchpin Life Canary Down the Mine Theatre’s Let Me Down Easy Click here for the origin story of the Edward Lewis Theatre Festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary! KRCL’s RadioActive chat with the playwrights and director at 18:56 at the SoundCloud link below....

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...

Jenifer Nii on her play-in-progress DONNA, opening the 2018/19 Script-In-Hand Series

Jenifer Nii’s play-in-progress DONNA opens the 2018/19 Script-In-Hand Series on October 24 – click here for details and free-but-required tickets. Jenifer has premiered six plays at Plan-B: WALLACE (the first world premiere by an Asian American playwright in Utah history, co-written with Debora Threedy), THE SCARLET LETTER and SUFFRAGE (both nominated by the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York), RUFF! (our third annual Free Elementary School Tour), KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (music by and co-lyricist Dave Evanoff) and THE WEIRD PLAY (a co-production with Sackerson and a recipient of one of inuagural Writers Alliance grants from the Dramatists Guild Foundation). The deadline was looming and, as usual, I had nothing. It was my turn next to present something in The Lab at Plan-B, and…nothing. Which, if you know me, you know isn’t necessarily unusual in itself. I mostly write frantic, last-second drafts, fueled by panic and adrenaline. That said, I usually have something bouncing around in my brain when I know I’ve got something coming due. Little whispers in the corners of my brain, snippets of characters or nuggets of story. Just not this time. Thank goodness for public radio. One afternoon, our local affiliate carried an interview with a man who’d written about Cervantes’s classic Don Quixote. A new translation had recently hit the shelves as well, so the novel was experiencing a bit of a resurgence. Embarrassingly, I realized that my exposure to the story was limited to an alarming community theatre production of the 1965 musical, and about 20 minutes of the film featuring Peter O’Toole in the titular...

Announcing the 2018/19 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 2018/19 Script-In-Hand Series! DONNA October 24 by Jenifer Nii A re-imagining of DON QUIXOTE: modern-day women find and face their own windmills – which, it turns out, warrant more than just tilting. SHORT PLAYS FROM THE THEATRE ARTISTS OF COLOR WRITING WORKSHOP at the Edward Lewis Theatre Festival at the City Library (Main Branch) February 10 Plays and playwrights and cast TBA. BALTHAZAR April 3 by Debora Threedy What if Portia’s appearance in court dressed as a man in Shakespeare’s THE MERCHANT OF VENICE was not the first time she’d cross-dressed? An exploration of gender, gender rebels and the nature of desire. Click here for details – tickets (free but required) available September...

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...

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