Plan-B Theatre’s new season focuses on women playwrights

First Published      Last Updated Apr 24 2014 01:29 pm

Plan-B Theatre, committed to creating socially conscious theater, announces its upcoming season, which features seven premieres, written by four female and two male playwrights.

"To the general public, I don't think that's a big deal, but I want to talk about it as much as I can because people don't understand how hard it is for female playwrights to get produced," says Jerry Rapier, the company's producing director.

Season tickets are $88 and go on sale May 3 at "And the Banned Played On" (see box at side for details) and May 5 at planbtheatre.org.

Here's the season line-up:

Oct. 15 • "Radio Hour Episode 9: Grimm," by Matthew Ivan Bennett, directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff, drawing upon the fairy tales "Rapunzel, "Little Snow-White and "The Juniper Tree." The show will be performed as live radio drama and broadcast on KUER's "Radio West." "We really wanted to be nice and Grimm for Halloween," Rapier says.

Dec. 11-21 • "Christmas with Misfits," four short plays by Julie Jensen, directed by Cluff. In her hatred of the holiday, Jensen has really written is a love letter to Christmas. "The plays are incredibly funny, incredibly touching, and definitely not stories that most people would associate with the holiday," Rapier says.

Feb. 12-22, 2015 • "Mama," by Carleton Bluford, directed by Rapier. Selected from 24 submissions to earn the inaugural grant from the David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists. "It's a wonderful serendipity that the first winner is someone who had shared the stage with David [who died in December 2012], and they had lots of conversations about what they did and didn't like about theater, and lots of conversations about their mothers," Rapier says.

March 5-15, 2015 • "A Version of Events," by Matthew Ivan Bennett, directed by Christy Summerhays. Bennett's play, inspired by the retelling of a family story, focuses on the fractured marriage of a young LDS couple on a roadtrip to Hershey, Penn., after the death of their young son. "It's very human, very difficult at times, but also very accessible," Rapier says. "It asks: How do you stay married when the focus disappears?"

April 9-19, 2015 • "Pilot Program," by Melissa Leilani Larson, directed by Rapier. A what-if play, set in 2019, about a happily married LDS couple who are called to be part of a pilot program reintroducing the practice of polygamy. "We've explored polygamy before with Jenifer Nii's play, 'Suffrage,' but focused on a historical context," Rapier says. "What Mel is really cleverly capturing here is the zeitgeist of now."

Additional shows

Dec. 20-23 • Script-in-Hand reading of "Marry Christmas," by Elaine Jarvik, directed by Jason Bowcutt, a benefit for Restore Our Humanity. "We want to celebrate the anniversary and give those stories some additional life," says Rapier of the 1,243 lesbian and gay couples married in Utah between Dec. 20, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014.

Tickets • $20

Fall 2015 • Public performance and the launch of an elementary school tour of Jennifer Nii's "Ruff," directed by Rapier. A story of about two shelter dogs, that's really about figuring out how to be who you really are, says Rapier, who will direct the show. The preshow will teach kids some dog training tips, that they can use during the show.



‘And the Banned Played On’

Plan-B Theatre Company presents an evening of readings of classic children’s books to celebrate free speech.

When » Saturday, May 3, 8 p.m.

Where » Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center’s Jeanne Wagner Theatre, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets » $20 ($10 students) at 801-355-2787 or planbtheatre.org.