WE RESPOND TO THE RESPONSE TO THE ELECTION
WITH 24 FIVE-MINUTE PLAYS BY 12 LOCAL PLAYWRIGHTS
June 8-18, 2017 | Th & F @ 8, Sat @ 4 & 8, Sun @ 2
Studio Theatre at the Rose Wagner | 138 W 300 S, SLC
In partnership with The Children’s Center
Free tickets (free but required) at planbtheatre.org
Presented as part of Plan-B’s Script-In-Hand Series
Running time 2 hours with a 10-minute intermission
(in)divisible is our response to the response to the election.
But it’s not about Trump.
Or any other political figure.
(in)divisible is about our country.
(in)divisible is about its citizens.
(in)divisible is about us.
Our country feels more divided than ever before. People increasingly feel their voices are being ignored. It seems we’ve collectively lost the ability to listen. With that in mind, as the project took shape, we followed two ground rules: (1) none of the above could be mentioned or even alluded to because when they are mentioned, listening ceases; and (2) everything had to be rooted in real-life experience.
Local playwrights Austin Archer, Matthew Ivan Bennett, Carleton Bluford, Rachel Bublitz, Elaine Jarvik, Julie Jensen, Jennifer A. Kokai, Melissa Leilani Larson, Jenifer Nii, Eric Samuelsen, Morag Shepherd and Debora Threedy have each written two five-minute plays: one from a conservative perspective, one from a liberal perspective, each drawn from real life. The result is a non-partisan evening of new work – equal parts liberal and conservative – some you’ll agree with, some you won’t, all from people just like you.
Read by Joe Debevc, Lily Hye Soo Dixon, Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, April Fossen, Mark Fossen, Bryan Kido, Tito Livas, Jayne Luke, Shane Mozaffari, JJ Neward, Isabella Reader, Matthew Sincell, Darryl Stamp and Jason Tatom. Designed by Jesse Portillo, stage managed by Michael Johnson, directed by Jerry Rapier.
Tickets are free but all patrons are encouraged to contribute to The Children’s Center while at the theatre. The Children’s Center provides comprehensive mental health care to infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their families.
Read on for details on what each playwright has written:
THE WALL, PARTS 1 & 2 is based on an incident in Michigan the day after the election, when a group of middle school students chanted "build that wall" in the school cafeteria.
- Debora Threedy
SPINNING is about a woman who is way smarter than she pretends to be. DEMOCRACY is about a former academic who is generally easy-going but, right now, is filled with rage.
- Eric Samuelsen
GET OVER IT is based on a conversation with a mentor of mine, whom I adore—except when we’re talking about politics. This time I just listened. It was a lot less stressful. SAFETY (PINS & OTHERWISE) is a running conversation I have with myself.
- Elaine Jarvik
I realized I've become hardened to news about shootings and that I rarely hear from the survivors. Politics gets in the way so quickly. So instead of talking about the politics around guns and racism, I wanted to give a voice to survivors of mass shootings in ALL THIS RED and THE BLUE ONE.
- Matthew Ivan Bennett
I drove limousines for 9 months. PASSENGER delves into just how open and candid people can be while traveling in the backseat of a car. DINNER is part of a telephone conversation I had with a friend who loves and works in the arts but doesn’t feel like her voice is always welcome.
- Carleton Bluford
SWIPE LEFT and SWIPE RIGHT are taken from conversations I’ve had with friends about people they’ve dated. What I’m hoping to show is the intersectionality of the internet era, and how we are all more similar than we may realize.
- Austin Archer
AMERICAN MAN FROM IRAN is based on a cab driver I met in Chicago. He was very principled, but the people he knew were not doing things right. He thought something should change. WOMAN WHO KNITS is based on my neighbor. She, too, is very principled, but the people she knows are not doing things right. She knows something has changed.
- Julie Jensen
For BLUE I tapped into one of my first reactions to the election and all the shame and fear that came out of it. With RED I wanted to represent a person similar to me in as many ways as I could find but on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
- Rachel Bublitz
THE MARCH is from the point of view of one of my dearest friends who, for all intents and purposes, has achieved the American Dream and pretty much kicks ass. MOTHER EARTH is tired of constantly being fucked over by the people who use her.
- Morag Shepherd
GLUTEN is about an Asian-American woman who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s, intent on blending in and raising her kids to do the same. She is often mistaken for being white, and that is just fine with her. ERASERS is about her daughter who feels separated from her mother’s Filipino culture.
- Melissa Leilani Larson
MITCH is media trained, exceptionally poised and well spoken. He works for the John Locke Foundation. He is also my cousin. JANINE is a nationally recognized, award-winning poet. Her family fled persecution from Marcos and came to the US illegally. She wasn’t aware of that until she graduated high school as valedictorian and tried to apply for financial aid for college.
- Jennifer A. Kokai
DAMNED IF I DO stems from conversations with white friends about race: they feel excluded expressly because they want to be inclusive. They don't know what to do, and I don't blame them. SPAM is my personal realization of the ways I contribute to racism and prejudice. I have begun to understand that I should be held accountable.
- Jenifer Nii