The Lesson of The Scarlet Letter

As you walk into the Studio Theater at the Rose Wagner Center for the Performing Arts, as with any play done in a studio space, you expect to see the set subtly lit with the stage lights, but you expect it to be vacant with the actors hiding backstage or in the wings waiting for the show to start. That’s not the case with Plan-B’s THE SCARLET LETTER, by Jenifer Nii (Adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne). Yes, you see the set, subtly lit by the stage lights, but it’s not empty. Hester Prynne, played by Lauren Noll, stands defiantly at the top of the scaffold holding her baby bundled in a black cloth. Occasionally the baby cried or otherwise fussed, and she would attend to it. I heard one audience member say, “oh! She’s real” when Hester moved. Continue reading

Gutenberg! Darn-tootin-berg!

The stellar reputation of Park City Theatre continues with a revival production of their 2007 hit musical, Gutenberg! The Musical! Presented by Plan-B Theatre Company and the Egyptian Theatre, “Gutenberg!” chronicles the literary journey of Bud Davenport (Jay Perry) and Doug Simon (Kirt Bateman) who, inspired by their love of musical theatre, have written a musical which details the life of Johann Gutenberg – inventor of the the printing press. Or…what Bud and Doug imagined his life would have been. Continue reading

Review: Borderlands

Ex-Mormon and used car salesman Dave has some issues with honesty; namely, that he can’t stop employing it since he met nigh-divorcée Gail.

Directed by Jerry Rapier, Plan-B Theatre Company’s world premiere of BORDERLANDS boldly tackles the issue of stepping forward into unexpected honesty in a culture that can often, much to its detriment, subdue questions and doubts. Playwright Eric Samuelsen was inspired by “Braving the Borderlands”, a series of articles in Sunstone magazine. Authored by Jeff Burton, the articles open the floor to Mormons and their individual spirituality, addressing issues that are often ignored or swept under the rug in LDS culture. Continue reading

Journey to the Middle Place (and back again)

The following is the first in our new series, Backstage Stories. Where we get unique behind-the-scenes perspectives from local productions. This story is from one of our main contributors to the site, as well as moderator, April Fossen. April recently performed in the amazing Plan-B Theatre production of She Was My Brother. Here is her experience… Continue reading

She Was My Brother

Julie Jensen’s She Was My Brother is the story of two 19th century American anthropologists’ encounter with a Zuni man who dressed, worked, and behaved as a woman. Based on real events and people, it presents an alternative viewpoint of transgendered people and relationships; revealing to us perhaps the most enlightened viewpoint by a people the white civilization considered at the time as heathen and backward. I felt privileged to see this amazing story brought to life on stage, and thank Ms. Jensen and Director Jerry Rapier for their efforts in creating it. Continue reading

Plan-B Theatre Company: Amerigo

Plan-B’s latest production is a fascinating argument between Christopher Columbus (played by Mark Fossen) and Amerigo Vespucci (played by Matthew Ivan Bennett), about who deserves to be called the true “discoverer of America”. An argument that is causing an uproar in Purgatory, and forces the issue to be moderated by Niccolo Machiavelli (played by Kirt Bateman), and judged by Mexican poet Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (played by Deena Marie Manzanares). The argument, funny at times, poignant in its modern relevancy at others, is both thought provoking and engaging, and well worth experiencing for yourself. Continue reading

Plan-B Theatre Company: “Wallace”

Wallace is comprised of the solo plays Fire, based on the writings of Wallace Thurman adapted by Jenifer Nii, and Where I Come From, based on the writings of Wallace Stegner, adapted by Debora Threedy. Continue reading

  • Subscribe to Backstage Utah

    Get the latest Audition, Now Playing, and Classifieds posts directly in your email.

    Join 2,932 other subscribers