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Four new works by Utah writers to be produced by Plan-B Theatre for 2017-18 season

Published March 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Stage • The playwrights are familiar to Utah audiences.
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As part of its 2017-18 season, Plan-B Theatre company will present three premieres by Utah writers as well as its fifth free elementary-school tour.

The regular-season plays are: Eric Samuelsen's "The Ice Front," a World War II-era drama about Norwegian National Theatre actors assigned to perform Nazi propaganda; Austin Archer's "Jump," described as an exploration of "the impact of survival on those we love"; and Jenifer Nii's "The Weird Play," about the in-between of romance and devotion, sparking questions about who and what and how people love.

Samuelsen is the author of "Clearing Bombs," "3" and "The Kreutzer Sonata," which played in recent years at Plan-B. "The Ice Front" is receiving a staged reading next month as part of Pioneer Theatre Company's Play-By-Play series.

Nii is the author of Plan-B shows "The Scarlet Letter," "Suffrage" and "Kingdom of Heaven," as well as "Ruff!" — which toured local elementary schools in 2015. "The Weird Play" will be co-produced with Salt Lake City's Sackerson theater company.

"Jump" is Archer's first play to receive a production. He is a Weber State University-trained actor recently transplanted to New York City. His work is familiar to Utah audiences from Pioneer Theatre shows as well as last year's "Climbing With Tigers," a play by Troy Deutsch based on a book by Nathan Glad and Dallas Graham, co-produced by Flying Bobcat at Salt Lake Acting Company. "Jump," also a co-production with Flying Bobcat, is a partnership with The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists.

In addition to its regular season shows, Plan-B will produce Elaine Jarvik's "River. Swamp. Cave. Mountain." in the fall as part of its fifth annual elementary-school tour, scheduled to be performed for K-3 students at 40 Utah schools in seven counties. Jarvik is the author of Plan-B's "Based on a True Story" and "Marry Christmas" and SLAC's "Two Stories" and "(a man enters)." River" is a story about JJ (a 5-year-old with lots of questions) and her sister, Izzy (an 8-year-old know-it-all), who are trying to make sense of their grief after the death of their grandmother.

Season tickets for the three regular shows are $53, available after March 20. —

Plan-B spotlights Utah writers in 2017-18

"The Ice Front" • Nov. 9-19. By Eric Samuelsen. Set during World War II, it's the story of what happens when Norwegian National Theatre actors are ordered to perform a Nazi propaganda drama. The play raises questions "about what it means to be an artist, to be a patriot, to be human."

"The Weird Play" • March. 1-11. By Jenifer Nii, in a co-production with Salt Lake City's Sackerson. A play about the distinctions, or not, between romance and devotion.

"Jump" • April 5-15. By Austin Archer, in a co-production with Salt Lake City's Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory, in a partnership with The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists. The play "explores the impact of survival on those we love," prompting questions such as: How will you die? Will you see it coming? And: What if you're given a second chance?

Tickets • $53; on sale March 20 at planbtheatre.org or 801-355-2787.

Free elementary-school tour

"River. Swamp. Cave. Mountain." • Fall 2017. By Elaine Jarvik, in partnership with The Sharing Place. Described as a play about sisters JJ, who is 5, and Izzy, 8, who are learning to negotiate their feelings of grief after their grandmother passes.

Public performances • Will be held at Salt Lake City Library branches, and as part of Repertory Dance Theatre's Ring Around the Rose Series on Oct. 14.






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