“Plan-B produces full seasons of new plays by local playwrights. No one else in the country does that!”
Gary Garrison, Executive Director, Creative Affairs, Dramatists Guild of America
Founded in 2008 and funded in part by the the B.W. Bastian Foundation, The Lab is an incubator for new plays, an opportunity for each of the 11 member playwrights (Matthew Ivan Bennett, Rachel Bublitz, Elaine Jarvik, Julie Jensen, Jenny Kokai, Melissa Leilani Larson, Jenifer Nii, Eric Samuelsen, Morag Shepherd and Debora Threedy) to share whatever script they wish, at whatever stage they wish, in a private table reading for the group.
The ultimate goal is two-fold: (1) to continually contribute to the field nationally by strengthening a local community of playwrights and (2) to populate future seasons as often as possible with their work. The Lab is truly an innovative artist community.
The Lab makes it possible for us to build relationships with playwrights rather than plays. Read more from the playwrights in this Utah Theatre Bloggers Association feature, in the anthologies Plan-B has published and on the Plan-B Blog. Special thanks to dramaturgs Martine Kei Green-Rogers, Janine Sobeck Knighton, Greg Hatch and Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell for their guidance and insight.
Click here for the full history of plays read in The Lab and history of first productions.
Click here for the full history of plays read in the Script-In-Hand Series, many of which are by current members or alums of The Lab.
Alums (2008-2012): John Belliston Beth Bruner, Carleton Bluford, Megan Crivello, Debora DeVos, Isabella Iasella, Jim Martin, Kyle Nelson and Lucy Ridolphi.
Alums (2012-present): Austin Archer, Carleton Bluford and Rob Tennant.
THE PRIESTHOOD by Carleton Bluford
MOUNTAIN LAW by Melissa Leilani Larson
Pieces from the THEATRE ARTISTS OF COLOR WRITING WORKSHOP
Plan-B Theatre has premiered 16 ten-minute plays by Matthew Ivan Bennett; the 17th premieres this Saturday as part of ROSE EXPOSED…THE SKY IS FALLING!
JUMP initially unveiled itself to me as a narrative surrounding four characters. I had to figure out what that narrative was outside of the central incident of the failed skydive. And I honestly had very few ideas.
It’s the first time I’ve scripted in any detailed way a vision of what I wanted the piece to look like, and to use those elements as characters with roles to play. And, I wanted to write something that invited (required, really) audience members to participate and determine what the play is about and what it means to them.
The result is THE ICE FRONT, a celebration of the courage it takes to pretend to be someone you’re not in order to be who you are.
Playwright Elaine Jarvik on creating RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN., this year’s Free Elementary School Tour
So I think I am just the right person to write a play for children that explores death and grief—because I sure wish someone had put on that play for me when I was a kid.
A world in which we have run out of oil and are forced to ride bicycles everywhere isn’t necessarily a dystopia for me. To each their own.
Sometimes I think it’s hard to tweeze out our own identities, especially in relation to the people that we are closest to…
So some parts of this play are very true, some parts are very false, and some parts lie somewhere in between. Most of the things I won’t confess to, but here are a couple. The first is that I think everybody is still trying to figure stuff out, whether you’re 75 or 21. We think we’re supposed to get old and wise but I don’t think that ever happens.
I’m so, so grateful that I get to do as much theatre as I do. RADIO HOUR EPISODE 11: YULETIDE feels like an early Christmas present — one that I really, really “need.” Writing for radio is especially rewarding because . . . something about it connects me to that little kid who hid in the coat closet with a microphone. There’s a more intimate overlap, I think, between playing make-believe and grown-up, big-people theatre than we thespians like to admit.
See, the Stasi thrived through a network of paid or blackmailed informants. “They” were largely made up of regular men and women. “They” were not always in uniforms. “They” were your brothers, mothers, co-workers, college professors, and favorite uncles. “They” were like you, and “They” were not necessarily after an obvious out-group. And, as I explore in my play, “They” might have been as afraid of their bosses as anyone else.
Ten things playwright Debora Threedy wants you to know about Joe Hill before ONE BIG UNION opens November 10
ONE BIG UNION celebrates the impact and music of Joe Hill. So we asked playwright Debora Threedy to share ten things she wants you to know about him before you see the play.
THE EDIBLE COMPLEX includes ten foods as characters that playwright Melissa Leilani Larson likes an awful lot. Yes, the Food acts too. She we asked her to tell us why!
If playwrights Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane had a baby, NOT ONE DROP would be that weird, wacky baby. playwright Morag Shepherd shared with us the ten things that helped her write the play – enjoy!
Subscriptions are $53 and include ONE BIG UNION by Debora Threedy, VIRTUE by Tim Slover and NOT ONE DROP by Morag Shepherd. THE EDIBLE COMPLEX by Melissa Leilani Larson is available as an add-on for $6.
THE KREUTZER SONATA by Eric Samuelsen receives its world premiere in a co-production with NOVA Chamber Music Series October 18-November 9 featuring violinist Kathryn Eberle, pianist Jason Hardink and actor Robert Scott Smith, directed by Jerry Rapier. When Jerry...
Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett on creating RADIO HOUR EPISODE 10: OTHERWHERE for the 2015/16 Season
RADIO HOUR EPISODE 10: OTHERWHERE by Matthew Ivan Bennett receives its world premiere in a co-production with KUER’S RadioWest on October 30, 2015 featuring Doug Fabrizio and Jay Perry, with original music by Dave Evanoff, directed by Cheryl Cluff. This is the...
BOOKSMART receives its world premiere December 3-13, 2015 in partnership with The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists, featuring Tyson Baker, Anne Brings, Joe Crinch, April Fossen and Sarah Young, directed by Jerry Rapier. It took me a lot longer than...
BASED ON A TRUE STORY by Elaine Jarvik receives its world premiere February 25-March 6, 2016 featuring Colleen Baum, Jason Bowcutt, Mark Fossen and Nell Gwynn, directed by Cheryl Cluff. The tiny seed for this play was a photo that my friend Andra Harbold sent me...
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, with book & lyrics by Jenifer Nii and music & lyrics by Dave Evanoff, receives it world premiere March 31-April 10, 2016. Subscribe to the full season for only $70! Social media is a dangerous thing, and one never knows when the right/wrong...
Jenifer Nii’s plays WALLACE (co-written with Debora Threedy), THE SCARLET LETTER and SUFFRAGE have premiered at Plan-B, the latter two garnering back-to-back nominations for the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play...
Melissa Leilani Larson makes her Plan-B debut with PILOT PROGRAM. An award-winning writer from Provo, Utah, her plays MARTYRS’ CROSSING (IRAM Best New Play) debuted at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE enjoyed a sold-out run at Brigham Young...
Matthew Ivan Bennett has been Plan-B’s resident playwright since 2007, when he wrote his first radio play, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 3: LAVENDER & EXILE. Since then RADIO HOUR EPISODE 4: FRANKENSTEIN, BLOCK 8, DI ESPERIENZA, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 5: ALICE, MESA VERDE,...
Carleton Bluford is a member of The Lab at Plan-B, a cadre of 9 local playwrights. He has created roles in Plan-B’s WALLACE by Jenifer Nii and THE THIRD CROSSING by Debora Threedy; he will also appear in A/VERSION OF EVENTS later this season.. MAMA, winner of...
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...