“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 (Austin Archer, Matthew Ivan Bennett, Rachel BublitzElaine 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.

Alums: Carleton Bluford and Rob Tennant.

Playwright Julie Jensen on CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS (2014/15 Season, Show #2)

Julie Jensen is Utah’s most produced playwright nationwide. We at Plan-B are thrilled to offer her new play, CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS, its world premiere December 11-21 as Show #2 of the 2014/15 season. We previously produced her play SHE WAS MY BROTHER during our 2010/11 season. Christmas bothers me; it always has.  I never fit well in the groups it’s meant for.  And so I have for a number of years, been haunted by other people who just don’t fit in either, who don’t take to the world of Christmas excess. I feel embarrassed for them, for myself, I guess. And so CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS is just that: spending Christmas with a bunch of people who don’t fit that Dickens, Santa, and Coca Cola stereotype. In the process, we might come to a larger understanding of the world and just maybe this holiday that makes me so uncomfortable. CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS is four short darkly comic plays, performed by three very funny folks – Kirt Bateman, Colleen Baum and Jeanette Puhich, and directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff. THE GIRL AND THE ELF.  A seven-year-old girl knows she’s found the only real, true elf in the Macy’s Christmas window.  So she brings him home. HIM AND HER ON CHRISTMAS EVE.  An adolescent boy and an adolescent girl, both gay and both geeks, give each other sex for Christmas.  Could you say they were underwhelmed by the experience? THE BABY JESUS COLLECTION.  What’s man to do who has one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine examples of the infant Jesus, all stuck to a board?  He joins the ladies selling crafts at the...

Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett on RADIO HOUR EPISODE 9: GRIMM (2014/15 Season, Show #1)

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, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE, ERIC(A) and DIFFERENT=AMAZING have premiered at Plan-B, along with a plethora of short plays including TERMS OF USE.  His plays RADIO HOUR EPISOD 9: GRIMM and A/VERSION OF EVENTS receive their world premieres as part of the 2014/15 season as shows #1 and 4, respectively. Not all fairies are very nice. That’s a lesson you learn from reading the older editions of the Grimm Brothers’ stories. Fairies will toss your beloved out of a window and drown your ass. Parents will put themselves first. Beauty is a virtue. Disobedient children die. Good children die (but are sometimes resurrected). If you distance yourself from these stories that are so popular in our culture you begin to question whether they’re moral tales at all, or simply stories about horrible things happening with a little faith or magic for flavor. As I wrote, I couldn’t stop from seeing that the old folk tales are unfortunately modern. As Hansel and Gretel’s parents conspire to abandon (and therefore kill) their children in the woods, Susan Smith rolled her car, with her two children locked inside, into a lake. Many of the stories are straight-up horror, like FITCHER’S BIRD. Others are clearly Christian allegories. Really, the collection is too varied to make blanket statements about it, but it’s fair to say that we still...

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