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Plan-B Theatre Company’s 10th Anniversary SLAM Takes a Twist

by on May 3, 2013



Every year, Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM event has offered one of the more creative, and frantic, nights of live theater in Salt Lake City–particularly for the actors, directors and playwrights involved.

Local playwrights would gather on a Friday night, be randomly assigned a cast of actors along with a play title, then sent off to create an original play to be performed a mere 24 hours later. The directors and actors would get the just-penned script on Saturday morning, and the plays would all be produced on Saturday night. The resulting plays have always had the ability to surprise and delight in how strong they were, given the time constraints all involved were dealing with.

This year, for SLAM’s 10th anniversary, Plan-B’s Producing Director Jerry Rapier decided to pull a surprise of his own and change things up a bit. First, he had the directors and actors join the playwrights on Friday night. Then he dropped a bit of a bomb on the group, totally changing the SLAM rules for this year–rather than create new, original plays, they would recreate five of the plays done for SLAM in the past. Actors who played roles in the original versions will get to play them again, and directors will also get to revisit past SLAM plays they were involved in, and reimagine them for 2013.

The five plays that will be performed on Saturday night:

– Tobin Atkinson’s Totally Fucked (2004), a political satire which was also the very first play at the very first SLAM

– Larry West’s American Garbage (2005), a dark comedy about the damage we do to our own world
– Jenifer Nii’s Control_Alt_Delete (2011), a touching family drama about loss and healing
– Eric Samuelsen’s Behind the Blue Door (2007), a metaphorical look at the Iraq War
– Matthew Ivan Bennett’s Terms of Use (2009), simply the funniest SLAM play ever: an existential ode to breasts
The opportunity to revisit some SLAMs of old, and give the plays new twists, should lead to a memorable Saturday at the Rose Wagner. Another bonus–new artwork designed for each play, and a return of Greg Ragland’s projections originally done for Behind the Blue Door in 2007.
(Photo of Jerry Rapier, above, by Thomas George.)

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