For those who want a taste of the Mormon Theater scene, this weekend is the last weekend for performances from two Utah based theater groups’ most recent offerings.
The first is from the New Play Project, a group I’ve been working with closely lately. This weekend they are performing a group of short plays called accumulatively called Eccentricities (Feb 29 @ 7:30pm; Mar 1 @ 3:30 & 7:30pm
“Numerous playwrights submitted short works for NPP’s 13th themed short-play festival. The seven selected plays respond to the overall theme in a variety of ways, taking both mostly comic and occasionally dramatic looks at how individuals’ eccentricities affect the relationships around them. At the conclusion of each performance, audience members will cast votes for their favorite show: the cumulative winner over the three performances will be awarded a cash prize and announced on our website!”
Donations will be also accepted at the show to help fund production of two full-length plays which will be added to our season in the coming months, including my own Swallow the Sun, which chronicles‘ conversion to Christianity, and Little Happy Secrets, a new play by Mel Leilani Larsen.
I’ve been impressed with this dedicated non-profit group of thespians, not only for their commitment to original work, but also for some of the excellent writing that comes from this relatively young group. They’ve chiefly focused on festivls of short works until now, but are now also branching out into full lengths.
New Play Project can be found on the web at: www.newplayproject.org
Another notable group of short plays is also closing this weekend at Provo, Utah’s, Covey Center for the Arts. Anthology of Love (performed in the Center’s Little Theatre at 7:30 p.m.; $10 admission; closing this weekend) is a “collection of six short romantic or comedic plays that have to do with love.” I’ve already seen this show, and I’ll say that it is a good little group of plays. Especially effecting is veteran Mormon playwright Eric Samuelsen’s superb “Rachel’s Sister,” a treatment on the Leah/Rachel/ Jacob story from the Old Testament.
Of special note is that Scott Bronson is taking over as the Artistic Director for the Covey Center’s “Little Theater.” To say that the theater is “intimate” is an understatement (it’s basically a big room), but Scott Bronson has been doing miracles with what little the Center is giving him and has more in store. I’m especially looking forward to their productions of Bronson’s Stones, Tim Slover’s Joyful Noise, an adaptation of Henry James’ Turn of the Screw (perhaps my favorite ghost story) and Wedlocked, a musical by Marvin Payne and Steven Kapp Perry.
So, choose a show (or preferably both!), for Anthology of Love and the Eccentricities are both highly recommended!