Mark Barr was Plan-B’s board chair from 2005-2007 and is currently a New York-based (soon to be Alabama-based) realtor/broker. He shares his thoughts on Plan-B’s LGBTQ work as part of Give OUT Day.
Plan-B has a long history and tradition of presenting impactful and thought-provoking, LGBT-themed productions designed to foster counter-cultural conversation and dialogue in the heart of conservative Utah. In addition to challenging Utah cultural “norms,” exposing Utahns to the lives of their LGBT neighbors, and holding a cultural mirror up to audiences, these productions also allow Utah’s relatively small but strong and vibrant LGBT community to see themselves and their stories portrayed and reflected on stage in popular culture, creating a sense of inclusion.
During my tenure as Plan-B’s board chair, we continued this important aspect of Plan-B’s mission, with productions such as the revival of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, FACING EAST and THE ALIENATION EFFEKT. In particular, FACING EAST by Carol Lynn Pearson, was an important production of which I am particularly proud. This powerful play laid bare the conflict and pain of many Mormon families with gay children and the all-too-common devastating loss of young gay men who are driven to take their own lives. Plan-B’s company went on to perform FACING EAST in a successful limited run Off-Broadway.