With the publication of Saints on Stage: An Anthology of Mormon Drama, I’ve been thinking a lot about Mormon drama and how it currently stands as it own niche genre. The whole reason I pitched the idea of the anthology to Chris Bigelow at Zarahemla Books was because of the.impact that Mormon drama and its playwrights had made upon me when I was younger. I wanted to honor that powerful influence of a genre I loved and the Mormon playwrights who I owe so much to.
In high school, I attended a number of Mormon themed plays at BYU which inspired me…Eric Samuelsen’s The Seating of Senator Smoot and Gadianton; Elizabeth Hansen’s A String of Pearls; James Arrington’s Farley Family Christmas. My own youthful writing before that had largely been non-religious or, if religious, of a general Christian variety (my interest in C.S. Lewis in high school jump started this kind of writing). But it was Mormon drama that really made me investigate my own specific faith, artistically. Seeing my faith on stage, in the spotlight, drew me even deeper into a desire to more deeply investigate my closely held spiritual beliefs.
So this month I want to go into why the plays I chose made it into the anthology—what I think they contribute to Mormon drama and what impact they had on me personally: Continue reading