a world premiere by Elaine Jarvik
35 minutes, including a brief post-show discussion

October-November 2017

Five-year-old JJ (who has lots of questions) and eight-year-old Izzy (a know-it-all who doesn’t know it all) are siblings who have recently lost their grandmother. They embark on a funny and touching hero’s journey to try to make sense of loss, grief, death and life.

Created specifically for grades K-3 (but also good for 4-year-olds)!

Featuring Ashley Marian Ramos and Benjamin Young. Designed by Aaron Swenson. Directed by Cheryl Cluff.

Special thanks to Dave Evanoff for help with the rap!


RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. will reach 15,000 K-3 students at 40 (primarily Title I) schools in 10 counties as our fifth annual Free Elementary School Tour.

Click here for tickets to the public performance ($3-5) as part of Repertory Dance Theatre’s Ring Around the Rose Series on October 14.

Thursday, October 19, 2pm – Main Library Story Room, 210 E 400 S, SLC
Friday, October 20, 2pm – Glendale Branch, 1375 S. Concord St, SLC
Saturday, November 4, 11am – Sweet Branch, 455 F Street, SLC
Saturday, November 11, 2pm – Chapman Branch, 577 S 900 W, SLC
Saturday, November 18, 11am – Marmalade Branch, 280 W 500 N, SLC
Saturday, November 18, 2pm – Anderson-Foothill Branch, 1135 S 2100 E, SLC

Thursday, October 26, 4pm – Centerville Library Auditorium, 45 S 400 W, Centerville
Friday, October 27, 4pm – Central Davis County Library Auditorium, 155 Wasatch Drive, Layton
Friday, November 17, 4pm – Roy Library Black Box Theatre, 2039 W 4000 S, Roy


Catalyst Magazine  |  Deseret News  |  Gephardt Daily (review)  |  Involuntary Smiles (Mommy blogger review)  |  The Salt Lake Tribune  |  The Utah Review  |  The Utah Review (review, scroll past Shockheaded Peter)  |   UtahTheatreBloggers (review)



Elaine Jarvik (Playwright) has premiered her plays BASED ON A TRUE STORY and MARRY CHRISTMAS and contributed to (in)divisible at Plan-B. Her other plays include TWO STORIES and [a man enters], both of which premiered at Salt Lake Acting Company and THE COMING ICE AGE, which premiered at PYGmalion Theatre Company. Her short play DEAD RIGHT was produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and has since been published in the textbook “The Bedford Introduction to Literature.” She was a long-time reporter for the Deseret News and currently works as a freelance journalist.

Cheryl Cluff (Director) co-founded Plan-B in 1991, has been Managing Director since 1995, and has directed every episode of RADIO HOUR, as well as MESA VERDE, THE SCARLET LETTER, SUFFRAGE, 3, CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS, BASED ON A TRUE STORY and last year’s Free Elementary School Tour of THE EDIBLE COMPLEX. Cheryl has designed sound for nearly every production since 2001, most recently ONE BIG UNION, VIRTUE and NOT ONE DROP.

Sharah Meservy (Education Coordinator/Stage Manager) is Plan-B’s new Education Coordinator. While a student at BYU, she was involved with multiple plays for young audiences: ESPERANZA RISING (as a cast member), GO, DOG, GO! (as assistant costume designer) and THE GIVER (as costume designer). Sharah loves working with students and has previously worked as an English teacher in China, an elementary school paraprofessional and a Girl Scout camp counselor.

Ashley Marian Ramos (Izzy)  is a senior in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah and is pursuing a music minor in Vocal Performance. Recent credits include HØÜSES (Riot Act), WIT (Wasatch Theatre Company), I MARRIED A TIGRESS, APT. 404, RESIDUE and NUMB & AWAKE (Who’s Louis?), THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN, SELF DEFENSE, OR THE DEATH OF SOME SALESMEN and THREE SISTERS (University of Utah) and workshopped the new plays A REQUIEM FOR AUGUST MOON (Pioneer Theatre Company’s Play-By-Play Series) and LAND OF NO MERCY (Salt Lake Acting Company).

Aaron Swenson (Costumes/Artwork) has previously designed Plan-B’s 2012 revival of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, BOOKSMART, ONE BIG UNION and last year’s Free Elementary School Tour of THE EDIBLE COMPLEX. Other designs include THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and TWO DOLLAR BILL (PTC), GEOGRAPHY CLUB and AVENUE Q (UofU), ASSASSINS, tick..tick, BOOM! and THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL (Dark Horse) and YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN and TWELFTH NIGHT (Salt Lake Shakespeare). After eight seasons as Head of Wardrobe and Crafts at PTC, Aaron is now Wardrobe Supervisor on “Andi Mack” for the Disney Channel. Acting credits include three productions of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Plan-B) and BUYER & CELLAR (PYGmalion).

Benjamin Young (JJ)  is a junior in the University of Utah’s Actor Training Program. Previous credits include CLIMBING WITH TIGERS (Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory/Salt Lake Acting Company), KING CHARLES III (Pioneer Theatre Company) and the Script-In-Hand Series reading of THE ART OF FLOATING (Plan-B Theatre Company). He is grateful to be a part of this year’s Free Elementary School Tour.


Click here to download the Study Guide!

“Many of the students have lost grandparents and so they could relate to what was being talked about in the play. It opened up the door for them to freely talk about the issue of death with their peers and get sympathy, understanding and a little feedback from each other.” – Mrs. Green, First Grade Teacher, Stansbury Elementary

“Very, very good for our students. It kept our younger students captivated and interested. It was simple and effective and our students truly did stay with the actors and were given a good learning opportunity. Our rural school needs more opportunities to have these types of experiences. A BIG thanks to Plan-B!”– Nick Reynolds, Principal, Panguitch Elementary

“This performance lead to other discussions about when we could have these same feelings. How we can recognize, deal with, and who to talk to about it. It was a great play with good teaching experiences.” – Holly Durrant, Third Grade Teacher, Highmark Charter School

“The kids were all reluctant to come up on stage for the post show, but after an adult jumped up, she managed to entice a boy (Desmond) to come up with her. As we were discussing the cave and feeling scared, Desmond told us, “I’m a scaredy cat.” Afterwards, Desmond’s mother approached me to convey her thanks for the performance. Desmond was busy telling [actors] Ben and Ashley about all of the things that made him feel afraid (spiders of various shapes and sizes featured prominently on the list). “I’m a child psychologist,” his mother explained, “So I deal with this subject matter a lot. You did a great job. It was so well paced and perfect for kids.” She then said that due to trauma experienced before she adopted Desmond, he didn’t even speak until two years ago.” – Sharah Meservy, Education Coordinator, Plan-B Theatre

“RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. did an amazing thing for children all across Utah. It made it okay to talk about grief and the people we love who have died. o many children go to school each day missing someone close to them but don’t have the ability to identify those feelings or an environment of acceptance for these feelings. RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. gave these kids a moment to say “Me, too.” and to know their feelings of grief are normal and okay. Thank you, Plan-B Theatre for normalizing children’s grief and giving these kids a moment to not have to grieve alone.” – Jill Macfarlane, Program Director, The Sharing Place

“RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. was a big hit at the Marmalade Branch this last Saturday! The room was full of kids and families, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the show. We would never be able to provide this kind of high-quality theatre programming to our neighbors without great partners like Plan-B Theatre.” – Andrew Shaw, Communications Manager, Salt Lake City Public Library

“We have presented our “Active Stages: Arts In Education” program for 10 years. The last five years have been Plan-B’s Free Elementary School Tour, which has exceeded the highest standards in every way, every year. I can honestly say that RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. has topped them all! The addition of the tour manager this year, trained to lead a post-show discussion, makes this partnership even more valuable. For many of these students, this program is their first experience with live performance. That, combined with learning such critical life lessons, is unimaginably satisfying. This year, RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. provided us with the most professionally-produced, directed, acted and written theatrical production about grief imaginable. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents were laughing, crying and engaged. We are honored to present Plan-B’s Free Elementary School Tour to Davis County schools and we hope to do so for a long time coming.” – Kirt Bateman, Executive Director, Davis Arts Council

“RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. was the perfect addition to our “Ring Around the Rose” series, which presents ‘wiggle-friendly’ performances for children and families from professional artists, introducing them to the theater in an approachable way. RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. not only presented a professional show with talented actors, but tackled a very important topic. The children in attendance were delighted and listened with rapt attention. It was the perfect introduction to the theater.” – Stephanie Perkins, PR & Marketing Director, Repertory Dance Theatre



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