Arts News

Plan-B brings ‘Season of Eric’ to a close with a trio of women’s stories

After retiring from a 20-year teaching gig at Brigham Young University, Eric Samuelsen found himself in remission Rickt Bell’s disease — a muscular degenerative disease. This opened up his schedule to write a full season of plays for Plan-B Theatre Company.

The final show opens March 27 and is a trio of plays focused on Mormon women. Two were part of a series written eight years ago and the third is new.

The first, Bar and Kell, is about two women who want to help a single mother, but find they are more compelled to do a complete makeover of her life.

In Community Standard, a woman serving on the jury of an indecency trial is forced to confront issues in her marriage.

And Duets, the new play, depicts what happens when a woman marries a gay man thinking she can change him and learns she can’t.

The production opens March 27 and runs through April 6 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center Studio Theatre, 138 W. Broadway.


On May 7, Plan-B will bring back And the Banned Played On with leaders reading from a surprising list of banned children’s books.

Equality Utah’s Brandie Balken, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Rep. Joel Briscoe, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Sen. Jim Dabakis, actor Anne Cullimore Decker, Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill, Salt Lake couinty Mayor Ben McAdams, Rep. Carol Moss, Utah AIDS Foundation director San Penfold and Rep. Jen Seelig will be doing the readings.

The books include:

Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford, Banned in 1987. The book was banned and then reprinted because it originally showcased a topless beachgoer (not like anyone could find her if they tried, though).

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Banned in 1988. Everyone’s favorite childhood book was banned from a public library in Colorado because it was considered “sexist.” It was also challenged by several schools because it “criminalized the foresting agency.”

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, Banned in 2006. Talking animals are somehow considered an “insult to god,” resulting in this book’s banning throughout random parts of the United States. Several institutions in Turkey and the UK have also banned the book, claiming that the character of Piglet is offensive to Muslims. Other institutions claim that the book revolves around Nazism.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, Banned in 1999. The book was banned from an elementary School in Texas because it included the word “ass.”

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, Banned in 1983. The book was banned from several schools for being “a bad example for children.” It was also challenged for teaching “children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.”

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Banned in 2010. Forget anti-semitism; the 50th Anniversary “Definitive Edition’” was instead banned by a Virginia school because of its “sexual content and homosexual themes.” Additionally, the book was previously banned by several schools in the United States because it was “too depressing.” Most recently, in May of 2013, a Michigan mom tried to get the book banned due to its “pornographic tendencies.”

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Banned in 1996. The book was banned from several classrooms in Pennsylvania on accounts of “profanity, disrespect for adults, and an elaborate fantasy world that might lead to confusion.” The book has also been banned by other schools for its use of the phrases “Oh Lord” and “Lord.”

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, Banned in 2006. Similar to Winnie-the-Pooh, this book was banned in Kansas because talking animals are considered an “insult to god.”

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Banned in 1900. Apparently there are references to sexual fantasies and masturbation in this book, resulting in its ban from classrooms in New Hampshire. Since this original banning, the book has been challenged by thousands of other institutions, most famously in the 1960s in fear that it would promote drug use to children.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Banned in 1963. The book was primarily banned in most southern states immediately following its publication, and it has since been challenged due to the fact that it promotes “witchcraft and supernatural events.”

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, Banned in 1989. A California school district banned the book and claimed that it “criminalized the foresting industry” and would thus persuade children against logging.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, Banned in “Until as recently as 1991”. Remember that time when Sam I Am tried to seduce his friend? Me neither. But the book was banned in California on accounts of “homosexual seduction.” It was also banned in China for “early Marxism” from 1965 until Dr. Seuss’ death in 1991.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Banned in 1988. A Colorado library banned the book because it embraced a “poor philosophy of life.” Additionally, since its publication in 1964, the book was under fire for comparing the Oompa Loompas to Africans. The characters’ descriptions were later changed in an edited version in 1988.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Banned in 1928. All public libraries in Chicago banned the book because of its “ungodly” influence “for depicting women in strong leadership roles.” In 1957, the Detroit Public Library banned the book for having “no value for children of today.”

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Banned in 2010. The Texas State Board of Education briefly banned this picture book after confusing its author, Bill Martin, Jr., with philosopher Bill Martin, author of ‘Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.’ Q

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