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...

Why (in)divisible?

All performances of (in)divisible through June 18 (presented as part of our Script-In-Hand Series) are technically at capacity, but you can still see the show. Free + summer = a certain number of no-shows! Click here for details, waitlist and walk-up info. Below each of the 17 actors share their thoughts on what drew them to participate in (in)divisible. Everything in (in)divisible is rooted in real-life experience and the parameters are pretty strict: no mentioning of Trump or Clinton, or even allusions to them – when those names surface in conversation, listening seems to cease. And listening is the goal. The lack of respect for those with whom we differ is at the root of the quagmire we find ourselves in as a country. Identifying people by labels creates polarity. And the more polarized we become, the less chance there is for real communication and real change. We’re not asking people to agree; we’re asking people to listen to those whom they may normally write off as “the other.” The greatest challenge of (in)divisible has been for each playwright to write their own point of view. The opposite point of view was much easier: it could be looked at objectively as a piece of theatre, as a character to treat as truthfully as possible. But when faced with representing their own point of view, each playwright felt immense pressure to avoid being preachy or didactic. The result is pretty magical: each playwright examined their own biases and fears and is boldly and frankly sharing what they found. Grasping for a wisp of magic, in a thundercloud … – Joe Debevc While growing up Japanese American in Utah,...

(in)divisible is coming June 8-18 and it’s free!

(in)divisible is our response to the response to the election. But it’s not about Trump. Or Clinton. Or Sanders. Or Obama. Or any other political figure. As the project took shape, we followed two ground rules: (1) none of the above could be mentioned or even alluded to because when they are mentioned, listening ceases; and (2) everything had to be rooted in real-life experience. (in)divisible is about our country. (in)divisible is about its citizens. (in)divisible is about us. Twelve local playwrights have each created two five-minute pieces: one liberal and one conservative. Scroll down to see who they are and their thoughts on the pieces they’ve created – stories from some people you’ll agree with, some people you’ll disagree with, all who just happen to be just like you. (in(divisible is a reminder of what it means to listen. Click here to reserve your free tickets and see who’s in the cast. We ask that in lieu of a ticket purchase you make a contribution to The Children’s Center at the theatre.   Click here to reserve your free tickets...

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