Plan-B Theatre in the Studio Theatre at The Rose
138 W 300 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Contact Name: Jerry Rapier
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Phone: 801-297-4200
Wallace Thurman was a queer Black man in Salt Lake City at the turn of the previous century. He attended West High School, the University of Utah, and Calvary Baptist Church.
He was also the heart of the Harlem Renaissance.
And he has been erased from Utah history.
Our 2010 world premiere of FIRE! launched Salt Lake City's most prolific collaboration between a theatre company and a playwright in recent memory: we have since premiered Jenifer Nii's plays THE SCARLET LETTER, SUFFRAGE, RUFF!, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, THE WEIRD PLAY, and THE AUDACITY; as well as her monologues "Damned If I Do" and "Spam" as part of (IN)DIVISIBLE and "Influencer" as part of RADIO SLAM.
So why revisit FIRE! now?
In the fall of 2021, Jenifer was diagnosed with hippocampal atrophy: portions of her brain are calcifying. She is no longer able to write plays and is slowly losing her memory and ability to communicate.
FIRE! is a play for now, connecting two Utah writers of color separated by a century, the careers of both cut tragically short. Revisiting Jenifer's first work as her final Plan-B production is a fitting farewell to a barrier-breaking writer in conversation with and celebration of another.
In addition to launching Jenifer's playwriting career, FIRE! provided Carleton Bluford the unique opportunity to inhabit a character who faced many of the challenges he also faced growing up Black in Utah. This serendipitous fusion of actor and role gave Carleton the confidence to view himself as an Actor with a capital A, as well as sparking his own playwriting career.
In 2010, FIRE! focused on the power of this place we call home. In 2023, the play comes full circle, insisting that kindred spirits Jenifer Nii and Wallace Thurman claim their space in Utah history through the power of Carleton Bluford's singular performance.
Carleton Bluford returns to the role of Wallace Thurman. You'll recognize him as the playwright of THE CLEAN-UP PROJECT and MAMA, and from his performances in FIRE!, THE THIRD CROSSING, A/VERSION OF EVENTS, and ONE BIG UNION, all at Plan-B; and PASSING STRANGE at Salt Lake Acting Company.
$25 general admission ($15 students)
We will also be hosting an Utah Black History Museum exhibit April 14-16, free and open to the public.