New works about sexuality, race and privilege — “a season about us, here, now” — will be produced next season at Plan-B Theatre Company. The Salt Lake City company bills itself as “the only professional theatre company in the country producing full seasons of new work by local playwrights.”
The company, which aims to produce socially conscious work, has been developing new plays through its monthly playwrights lab since 2008. The lab has become the primary source for the company’s productions.
Oct. 18-28 • “Good Standing,” Matthew Greene’s solo play about a gay Mormon who is excommunicated after his marriage. The play, by the author of “Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea,” features Austin Archer, the author of “Jump,” and will be directed by Jerry Rapier, the company’s artistic director. The Salt Lake City run will be followed by a Nov. 8 performance at New York’s United Solo Theatre Festival. “I’d been loved,” the character says. “And that changes a person.”
Feb. 21-March 3 • “An Evening with Two Awful Men,” by Elaine Jarvik, the author of “River. Swamp. Cave. Mountain,” “Based on a True Story” and “Marry Christmas,” spotlights the “original worst president ever,” James Buchanan, and actor-assassin John Wilkes Booth, who defend themselves before a studio audience. “I guarantee you there will come a time when your name won’t ring a bell among the living,” a character says. The dark comedy will be directed by Cheryl Cluff, and the cast features Jason Bowcutt, Anne Brings and Dee-Dee Darby Duffin.
March 28-April 7 • “... of Color,” an evening of short plays by and about people of color from the Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop, to be directed by Rapier.
Season tickets are $59 for the three productions, available at planbtheatre.org.
Oct. 13 and 25 • “Zombie Thoughts” will be performed for 8,000 students at 40 schools in 10 counties statewide for the company’s annual free elementary school tour. In addition, the company will perform the show Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. at the Main Branch of the Salt Lake Public Library, and at 1 p.m. at Chapman Branch; and Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the Glendale Branch.
The play for students in grades 4 to 6 was written by Jennifer A. Kokai (an associate professor at Weber State University) and her son, Oliver Kokai-Means (currently performing in Salt Lake Acting Company’s “Fun Home”). The show tells the story of Sam and Pig, video game avatars. One is anxious, one is punny, and both seek help from the audience on a quest to defeat the evil machine. The show, featuring Katie Jones and Alicia Washington, will be directed by Cluff.
Oct. 24, Feb. 27 and April 3 • Staged readings of plays-in-progress.
‘Radio Hour’ Episode 13 • The company will announce a date and title for its annual radio play by playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett. The show will be directed by Cluff and feature original music by Dave Evanoff.