Building Zion Theatre Company

Zion Theatre Company Logo Zion Theatre Company. It’s been a singular focus for me lately, a near obsession. I’ve been working exceptionally hard to get this theatre company I started last January into full throttle. My summer hours are being poured to get the foundation layed, so that things will run smoothly once my time becomes more limited in the Fall. Why do I do this?

Obtaining theatre spaces to perform on, creating posters and ads, looking into liability insurance, organizing the on the ground producers in Utah, obtaining rights to scripts, looking for affordable ad space, sending personal (and probably annoying) fund raising letters to close friends and family, soliciting directors and designers and cast members, trying to sell videos to gain more capital, working the Facebook groups, attaching links… and that’s just on my end. I have producers, directors, playwrights, videographers, web designers and others who have been clocking in a lot of hours to get this group on its feet.Why do I do this?

The timing is pretty awful. I’m going to grad school  this Fall at Arizona State University. I live in Arizona while the shows I’ll be producing are in Utah.  I have a 9 month year old daughter, a 5 year old son with sensory processing disorder who’s starting kindergarten, and a very patient, supportive wife whose patience and support are being taxed, I’m sure. Why do I do this?

“>Farewell to Eden Trailer on You Tube

Why do I do this? Because it has been my dream to open a religiously and morally focused theatre company since early high school. Because, to paraphrase Eric Samuelsen, every Mormon Shakespeare needs a Mormon Globe. Because I love it. And because I believe not only is it what I want to do, but what I’m supposed to do. Because, if we do it right, I believe with all my heart it can be successful.  And  because we’ve had some wonderful doors opening for us lately which have seemed more than a little providential. Continue reading “Building Zion Theatre Company”

Weekend (Re)Visitor: Arnold Friberg


Arnold Friberg’s passing this week is cause to reexamine him. His work has been a victim of backlash lately from the High Minded. (I suspect because of the massive influence his Book of Mormon paintings have had on depictions of the book’s characters, particularly of Lehi’s family. It’s simply understood now that, for instance, Nephi wears leather over one shoulder, Lehi has a long white beard, Laman and Lemuel are physically brutish. His influence has so overwhelmed Book of Mormon art that sometimes people seem to forget that his work is not The One True Depiction.) Continue reading “Weekend (Re)Visitor: Arnold Friberg”

Happy Birthday, Mormon Fiction

The first work of Mormon fiction was published 165 years ago today, on the front page of the New York Herald, so if Mormon fiction has a birthday, it is today.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Mormon Fiction”

The state of AMV at 5

A Motley Vision launched as a solo blog on June 2, 2004. It was born out of two key events:

1. Clark Goble introducing me to Times & Seasons in late January/early February of 2004.

2. The AML-List crashing in March of 2004 and me not finding out that there was a new version of the list up and running for several weeks.

The odd thing is that I had been aware of blogs since Instapundit first spun out of Slate’s Fray (mainly because I found myself monitoring some of them as part of my work), but it had never occurred to me to start blogging because I wasn’t interested in political or personal blogging and the AML-List met my Mormon Studies needs. The two events above changed all that. (and if you want a laugh, take a look at my initial pretensions. Talk about pretentious.)

If the mood strikes me, I may at some point put together a historical timeline for AMV. But the main thing to know is this: Five years, more than 600 posts from  13 contributors and 1 emeritus blogger plus the contribution of many intelligent, civil commenters, and I still feel like there’s more to say. Continue reading “The state of AMV at 5”

In Memoriam: Ric Estrada


Ric Estrada passed away the morning of May 1, 2009. I will continue posting the remaining four parts of my six-part series beginning next Wednesday, but I felt it would be more appropriate this week to pause and recognize his contribution in silence.

Continue reading “In Memoriam: Ric Estrada”

Science, Art, and Spirit at the Bluff Arts Festival, Part One

On Saturday, November 29, I participated in activities at the Bluff Arts Festival in Bluff, Utah.  This little town of just a few hundred people really knows how to throw a party.  I took my eighteen-year-old son, an aspiring writer, to this celebration of the arts, sciences, and the human spirit, and having him with me deepened my pleasure in the event immensely.  He’s already a part of the unusual Bluff community via his participation in a Shorinji Kempo class held there weekly, but this was his first experience with a writing workshop and open mic reading. Continue reading “Science, Art, and Spirit at the Bluff Arts Festival, Part One”

Virginia Sorenson: the Book Club edition?

Here’s how it all went down:

I had just graduated with a bachelor’s in English from USU and was pregnant with my first baby. I wasn’t going to be “one of those women” who just lets her education go for home and hearth (whatever that means! Thank you liberal/feminist education!) so I joined the ward book club and suggested a truly literary work, Virginia Sorenson’s A Little Lower than the Angels. I had come across it on an online course reading list from BYU. It was a little risky since I hadn’t read it, but, hey, you can trust those BYU professors, right?

Continue reading “Virginia Sorenson: the Book Club edition?”

The Art of Friends, Not Rivals: Shannon Hale and Stephenie Meyer

Several months ago my lovely wife Anne and I had the privilege to go to a retreat hosted twice a year by the Mormon Artists Foundation. Founded by James Christensen (rightfully famous for his art of fantasy and his fantastic art) and Doug Stewart (playwright of the groundbreaking Saturday’s Warrior), it’s always one of the chief highlights of the year for my wife and I. An uplifting experience, not because of the number of recognizable names on the roster (which was a little intimidating at first, until their relaxed manner and cheerful comradery told me that they were only human and weren’t looking down on my comparatively pitiful contribution to Mormon Arts), but because of the focus it brought to the spiritual aspect of our art, and the complicated ways our religion informs and doesn’t inform our Art. It was a true inspiration to see all of these gifted Mormons from the visual arts, literature, film, drama and music band together for a weekend of reminding each other why they’re artists and why they’re Mormons, and what a wonderfully strange and beautiful mixture that is. Continue reading “The Art of Friends, Not Rivals: Shannon Hale and Stephenie Meyer”

Heads and Tails High: Honoring Leslie Norris

When my friend and mentor Leslie Norris died on April 6, 2006, I was unable to attend his funeral or participate in Irreantum’s “Readers Write” feature addressing the topic, “Leslie Norris Among the Mormons.”  With this post I’m making up for lost time.  It runs long, and I beg your indulgence, dear reader. 

If we pay any attention at all to where we’re going and to what we’re doing, we might meet someone who changes everything for us.  Someone whose presence tunes our language, so that we become better spoken, more lyrical in thought and belief, and much deepened in feeling.  Someone who makes us wonder what might have become of us had he or she not come along. Continue reading “Heads and Tails High: Honoring Leslie Norris”