a world premiere by Jenifer Nii
March 1-11, 2018
Love is weird.
Whom do you love?
What do you love?
How do you love?
THE WEIRD PLAY lives in the space between romance and devotion.
“THE WEIRD PLAY is a contemplation of first love, the ecstasy of love, really bad love, self love, religious love, the end of love, moving on from love. It’s different from anything I’ve ever done, putting into play every aspect of theatre I’ve been afraid of taking on.” – Playwright Jenifer Nii, author of WALLACE, THE SCARLET LETTER, SUFFRAGE, RUFF! and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Featuring Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, Susanna Florence and April Fossen.
Designed by Cheryl Cluff (sound), Jaron Hermansen (lighting), Phil Lowe (costumes), Halee Rasmussen (set), Arika Schockmel (props). Stage managed by Jennifer Freed. Directed by Alex Ungerman.
A co-production with Sackerson.
THE WEIRD PLAY is one of 10 recipients nationwide of the inaugural Writers Alliance Grant from the Dramatists Guild Foundation.
PREVIOUS JENIFER NII PRODUCTIONS
WHO'S WHO | PHOTOS
Jenifer Nii (Playwright) proudly calls Plan-B her creative home. She has previously premiered five plays with the company: KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, the first original musical in the company’s history, created with composer and co-lyricist David Evanoff; THE SCARLET LETTER and SUFFRAGE, which garnered back-to-back nominations for the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York; RUFF!, which was the fourth annual Free Elementary School Tour; and WALLACE, co-written with playwright Debora Threedy. Jenifer is the first Asian American to receive a world premiere in Utah. When not writing, she has spent time as a dog trainer, newspaper reporter, and competitive classical pianist. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Cheryl Cluff (Sound Design) co-founded Plan-B in 1991 and has been Managing Director since 1995. She has directed every episode of RADIO HOUR, MESA VERDE, THE SCARLET LETTER, SUFFRAGE, 3, CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS, BASED ON A TRUE STORY and the Free Elementary School Tours of RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN. and THE EDIBLE COMPLEX. She has designed sound for nearly every production since 2001, most recently VIRTUE, NOT ONE DROP and THE ICE FRONT.
Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin (Two) previously appeared in Plan-B’s THE THIRD CROSSING, NOTHING PERSONAL, MAMA and THE EDIBLE COMPLEX. “The past is a Neverland from which I can’t return. The present is this body of work right here. Be present. Just do the damn thing already.”
Susanna Florence (One) has been part of two previous Plan-B productions: PILOT PROGRAM and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (also by Jenifer Nii). Other recent credits include KING CHARLES III, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS (PTC), THE KING’S MEN (Sting & Honey) and AS YOU LIKE IT, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, ROMEO & JULIET, MARY POPPINS, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (USF). Susanna holds an MFA from the National Theater Conservatory. She would like to thank her Mom and Dad for letting her dream as a kid and GK for helping that dream come true.
April Fossen (Three) has appeared in Plan-B’s ONE BIG UNION, BOOKSMART, PILOT PROGRAM, NOTHING PERSONAL, SUFFRAGE (also by Jenifer Nii), MESA VERDE, SHE WAS MY BROTHER, MIASMA, eight SLAMs and various staged readings. Recent local credits also include MERCURY, BULL SHARK ATTACK, and BLACKBERRY WINTER (SLAC); A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Grand); STAGE KISS (Wasatch); AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (Silver Summit/Utah Rep); and TITUS ANDRONICUS (Pinnacle). April holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from UC Berkeley.
Jennifer Freed* (Stage Manager) is excited to be in her 20th year with Plan-B. “Time just flies by when doing something you love. Here’s to 20 more years!”
Jaron Hermansen (Lighting Design) makes his Plan-B debut. Designs include ART, RED, THE FOREIGNER, MURDER FOR TWO (The Cape Playhouse, Dennis, MA); THE MUSIC MAN, WIZARD OF OZ, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Sundance), ELEEMOYSNARY (The Brooks, San Diego CA); THE KING’S MEN, PRIVATE EAR, HEDDA GABBLER (Sting & Honey); BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, SONDER (Sackerson), A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Radical Hospitality). Jaron sits on the Board of Directors for USITT Intermountain Desert Region and is Technical Director for the Waterford School.
Phillip R. Lowe (Costume Design) has designed for Plan-B for 14 years, where his favorite designs include ANIMAL FARM, BLOCK 8, WALLACE, SHE WAS MY BROTHER, THE SCARLET LETTER, SUFFRAGE, CLEARING BOMBS, THE KREUTZER SONATA and VIRTUE. An MFA graduate of Utah State University, he was awarded KCACTF’s National Barbizon Award in Costume Design in 2002 and now serves as a KCACTF design respondent. Phil spent five seasons as Costume Director for Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre and is now Costume Studio Manager/Resident Designer at Pioneer Theatre Company.
Halee Rasmussen (Set Design) makes her Plan-B debut. She received her BFA from the U of U’s Performing Arts and Design Program, with a double emphasis in technical direction and set design. She is currently in her sixth year as the Assistant Technical Director and Scenic Charge Artist for U of U’s Department of Theatre and her seventh year as resident set designer for the Grand Theatre. Halee is thrilled to be designing with Plan-B!
Arika Schockmel (Props) has designed props for Plan-B’s THE ICE FRONT, VIRTUE, BASED ON A TRUE STORY and CHRISTMAS WITH MISFITS. She is the resident Prop Master for U of U’s Department of Theatre. Other projects include costume crafts for film and Pioneer Theatre Company, and the occasional acting gig. She and her husband Christopher Glade are parents to Charlotte, age 7, their best collaborative work to date.
Alex Ungerman (Director) is an SLC-based director and producer. is an SLC-based director and producer. He is Co-Founder of Grassroots Shakespeare Company and one of the Producers of Sackerson, where he has directed THE WORST THING I’VE EVER DONE, AN OAK TREE, SONDER, SHOCKHEADED PETER and THE TEN DEATHS OF HAMLET. He often plays a supporting role to his all-star wife, Dr. Elisa Thelys Bushman; and occasionally acts as movement coordinator for his two children, Zelda and Hollis.
Plan-B Theatre Company develops and produces unique and socially conscious theatre and has produced nearly 100 world premieres by local playwrights since 1991. Nationally, five of these plays have been nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York, four have enjoyed extended lives in New York and two have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Awards include International Center for Women Playwrights’ 50/50 Applause Award (twice), Utah’s Governor’s Organization Leadership in the Arts Award, Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s Artist Award for Service to the Arts by an Organization, Transgender Education Advocates of Utah’s Organization of the Year, Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award and Equality Utah’s Allies for Equality Award.
Sackerson is an SLC-based theatre company focused on new works, unconventional spaces and bold audiences. The company is Dave Mortensen, Morag Shepherd and Alex Ungerman. Since launching in 2015, Sackerson has produced BEFORE THE BEEP, POPPY’S IN THE SAND, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE WORST THING I’VE EVER DONE, AN OAK TREE, BURN, SONDER, HOW LONG CAN YOU STAND ON THE TRAIN TRACKS: A GAME FOR TWO SISTERS (a co-production with Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory), DO YOU WANT TO SEE ME NAKED?, SHOCKHEADED PETER, THE TEN DEATHS OF HAMLET and THE LITTLE PRINCE.
Artists of Utah/15Bytes (review) | BroadwayWorld | Catalyst online or PDF | City Weekly | City Weekly (review) | Deseret News | Front Row Reviewers (review) | Gephardt Daily (review) | Playbill | QSaltLake online or PDF | Salt Lake Magazine | Salt Lake Magazine (review) | The Salt Lake Tribune | The Utah Review | The Utah Review (review) | ZAP Blog
We’re hosting Sackerson’s free reading of Matthew Ivan Bennett’s THERE’S AN OCEAN TO SWIM IN Friday, March 2 at 10pm – click here for free tickets. And don’t miss our Script-In-Hand Series reading of Melissa Leilani Larson’s MOUNTAIN LAW Wednesday, March 7 at 7pm – click here for free tickets.
I’d seen a handful of shows in my youth (including a particularly alarming Idahoan-interpreted MAN OF LA MANCHA). I’d never read a play just for fun. But life is a wild ride. Mine had just steamed through most of a music degree at university, then swerved toward journalism after a Schumann etude ate my finger. Then, through some loopty-loops I still can’t really follow, I landed in the back row of a campus production of Marsha Norman’s play GETTING OUT that cracked my heart and I saw, for the first time, how theatre can transport, and open up and shake.
“It’s different from anything I’ve ever done, putting into play every aspect of theatre I’ve been afraid of taking on.” – Jenifer Nii, Playwright, THE WEIRD PLAY
“Hopefully it will be a worthy addition to the legacy of David Fetzer!.” – Austin Archer, Playwright, JUMP
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.