Elaine Jarvik has previously written for Plan-B’s SLAM and Script-In-Hand Series. Her play MARRY CHRISTMAS runs December 20-23 as a fundraiser for Restore Our Humanity. This blog post also appears in the current issue of QSaltLake.
MARRY CHRISTMAS is a simple boy-meets-boy (and girl-meets-girl) story. You know the kind: Two people fall in love and get married and then the Attorney General asks the Supreme Court to intervene.
As conceived by Plan-B’s Jerry Rapier, the play is a look back at the 17 days last winter when gay marriage was legal in Utah. Because I used to be a newspaper reporter and am now a playwright, Jerry asked me to interview couples who got married during those two and a half weeks and then to write a play based on those stories, from the giddy beginnings on December 20 to the cliff-hanger ending that still hasn’t been resolved.
I’ve loved talking to these couples. Take, for example, Shelly Eyre and Cheryl Haws, who’ve been together for nine years, got a marriage license in Provo on December 26, and suddenly discovered that a picture of them kissing was on the national news. “Most of our friends have never seen us kissing,” says Shelly. “We look like Relief Society ladies. What I always say is, I don’t know why people are so upset about our lifestyle; my life doesn’t even have a style. My lifestyle is more like yours.”
MARRY CHRISTMAS could have a cast of thousands, because every one of the couples that married last winter has a story worth telling. We hope the ones we’ve picked will give the flavor of those 17 days — the shock of hearing the news, the sense of urgency to get a marriage license before a court stay was issued, the jubilation in county clerks’ offices across the state, the disappointment and jubilation and disappointment again from the court decisions that followed — and the months of limbo since.
It’s possible that by opening night this December, the U.S. Supreme Court will have decided whether it will hear Kitchen v. Herbert. Which could eventually mean thousands more marriage stories. And maybe MARRY CHRISTMAS: THE SEQUEL.
Elaine Jarvik’s MARRY CHRISTMAS, directed by Jason Bowcutt, runs December 20-23 – all tickets are $20 and 100% of the proceeds benefit Restore Our Humanity as they continue to pay the bills of Kitchen v. Herbert. Click here for tickets and more information.