Out of the Mount: BONUS!

Out of the Mount.

Everyone who purchases Out of the Mount will receive a free electronic bonus of six additional plays. These plays are:


“Something Shocking” by Enoch Allred

With young playwrights, one generally assumes that there will be an overabundance of absurdism. It’s easy to do poorly and, to wax snobby for a moment, unsophisticates can’t tell the difference between poorly done absurdism and absurdism done well. On top of that, most readers, have a low tolerance for even the best absurdist theater. And so I think editor Davey Morrison made the right decision, putting only one into the book proper (“Caution” by Julie Saunders) and one in the bonus section. This allowed him to include only the two bits of absurdism that he considered the very best. Once you’ve read them, let us know if you agree with his taste in the absurd.


“Lettuce Alone” by Bianca Dillard

Dillard, author of “No One’s Superman“, turns now to more earthbound fare — a mother and stepfather dealing with a teenage daughter on the cusp of her first date with a cuter-than-average boy. The dynamics between protecting and letting go, authority and autonomy, run into walls when parents no longer how to tell jokes that are funny. (Hint: Jokes about condoms are generally a bad idea, moms.)


“Maror” by James Goldberg

Goldberg is in fine form with this third play. At moments, just as it seems about to drop into so-called misery porn, it becomes something much much more. Maror, remember, means bitter herbs. And the religious significance of bitter herbs is something we can, in our koosh modern lives, sometime forget. But, oh, remember, remember.


“Job Well Done” by Matthew Greene

This play has been replaying in my mind for a week now and I feel strongly that you will love it too. What I’m unsure of is how to sell it to you without making it sounds like a simplistic morality tale which is is not is not is not. The scene opens on a successful old lawyer and his trophy wife. He has just successfully defended a well-paying polygamist and his wife engages him on what that man’s relationship was with his wives, how he treated them as property, an object, a possession. And she comes very very close to seeing a greater truth, but — will she be able to finally grasp it?


“A Restaurant” by Katherine Gee

If I were a parodist looking to take on Out of the Mount as my next project, I might focus on the number of plays that deal with romantic couples. Particularly those arguing.  But that opportunity for parody might be deflated by Gee‘s awesome deconstruction of the trope. On the one hand, there are three couples, two of whom are engaged in dialogues that might, to the cynic, sound vaguely familiar. But the layering of these couples’ stories combined with the outside observations of a waiter and waitress allow the audience the chance to think critically about what it means — in theater or in life — to eavesdrop upon people’s intimate conversations without any context beyond that presented in the moment. This interplay in eavesdropping creates additional layers of meaning. Which is a fancyschmancy way of saying it’s lots of fun.


Así Es (That’s Just How It Is) by Lyvia Martínez

One of the great projects at the moment in Mormon letters is finding the voice of Mormons outside America. Perhaps a Puerto Rican kid at BYU doesn’t quite fit that description, but the difficulty he has fitting in to a culture that he assumed he already belonged to offers us a window into the complexities involved in navigating a worldwide American faith where “Even the names in the Book of Mormon are hard to remember. Nefi, Neefai; Leji, Leehai.”


Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy six more plays from New Play Project!

Get your copy now!

Out of the Mount: “Foxgloves”

Out of the Mount.

An excerpt from “Foxgloves” by Matthew Greene:

= = = = = = = = = = =

MYRTLE. Think about that day when God made the flowers and the trees.   It was the fifth day, wasn’t it?  When he made the flowers?

ANNABELLE. Why would I know that, Mom?

MYRTLE. The first day was the light and the second was the water.

ANNABELLE. And the darkness and the dry ground.  Respectively.

MYRTLE. What’s that?

ANNABELLE. I think the flowers were the fourth day.

MYRTLE. I think you’re right, you been reading the Bible when I’m not looking?

ANNABELLE. No, just remembered.

MYRTLE. But none of that means anything to you, I know that.

ANNABELLE. Well, they got the order right.  They made the light and the soil and the water before the plants could grow.

MYRTLE. Of course they did, of course God knows how to make the plants grow.

ANNABELLE. Of course.

MYRTLE. You look up there and you don’t see anything.

ANNABELLE. I see the sun, the clouds.

MYRTLE. Who made those?

ANNABELLE. Mom, we’ve had this argument.

MYRTLE. I’m not arguing with you, I know better than arguing with someone so smart and educated.

ANNABELLE. That’s right.

Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,
available NOW!

Out of the Mount: Posts updated to reflect book availability

Out of the Mount.

I have just updated all Out of the Mount posts to-date as, get this, you can now buy the book.

A few sneaky people have already slipped in and purchased their copy so I suppose we might as well make an official announcement.

Please be aware that the paperback copies are not yet shipping, but will soon.

Whether you buy the book on paper or electrons though, we are including a free bonus. More details on that next week.

As for now, what are you waiting for?

(Note: the updates made to the posts consist of two changes — the picture now links to the purchase page and a notice of availability is made at the bottom of all pages.)

Out of the Mount: “On Gonoga Falls”

Out of the Mount.

An excerpt from “On Gonoga Falls” by Deborah Yarchun:

= = = = = = = = = = =

GENNY. We’re in the middle of the Amazon. We’re surrounded by poison dart yielding natives and a team of Russian Government spies. But of course—now we’re stuck because you thought, “Wow. What a great idea. Let’s take a shortcut across the deadly ice-encrusted thousand foot waterfall.”

DANE. Ninety feet.

GENNY. What?

DANE. Gonoga Falls is ninety feet, not a thousand.  We’re not stuck.  And there’s no ice in the Amazon.

GENNY. Global warming.

DANE. Would melt the ice.

GENNY. Pretend.

DANE. I’m through pretending.

GENNY(Smiling). No you’re not.  You’re pretending we’re not stuck.

DANE. We’re having a pleasant lunch.

GENNY. Sure. We can pretend that too, if you want. And eventually, it’s not pretend. “It is.” Right?

DANE. Just.  Eat your sandwich.

(She looks down.)

GENNY. You’re sure this is the spot?

DANE. I counted twenty-two waterfalls.

GENNY. I counted twenty-one.  This is supposed to be the biggest, right?

DANE. Gonoga Falls…Waterfall types are named for relationships, you know? At least the ones at Ricketts Glen. There’s waterfalls that go like . . . . (He indicates a straight down movement with his hands.) Bridal veil waterfalls.  And . . . . (He indicates a tiered motion with his hand.) And wedding cake waterfalls—like Gonoga.

GENNY. So, we’re . . . .

DANE. We’re two figurines jam-trapped unwillingly in the middle of a really dangerous wedding cake.

Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,
available NOW!

Out of the Mount: “Caution”

Out of the Mount.

The opening lines from “Caution” by Julie Saunders:

= = = = = = = = = = =

(A line of Caution Tape separates one half of the stage from another. ONE enters from right. She starts to cross the stage, then is stopped by the tape. Reads the tape curiously, tries to see what’s on the other side.)

ONE. Hm.

(She turns away, setting down a lunch pail. From left, TWO        enters, walking very quickly. She stops just short of running       into it, steps back confused. She tries to see what’s on the other side.  Both ONE and TWO are very ordinary people, perhaps dressed for business. Though I refer to them by female pronouns here, they’re “Gender Indifferent”, and can be played equally well by men or women.)

TWO. Excuse me.

ONE. Hm?

TWO. Do you work over there?

ONE. What?

TWO. Over there – what are they doing?

ONE. Where?

TWO. Well, aren’t they . . . I mean, don’t you work over there?

ONE. Me?

TWO. Yes.

ONE. Oh.  No, I’m just passing through.  Do you work over there?

TWO. What, over here?  No, I’m just passing through.

ONE. Well then what are you doing over there?

TWO. What are you doing over there?

ONE. There’s a Caution line – “Do not cross.”

TWO. That’s what mine says.

ONE. What?

(They approach the line, examine it. Distress.)

TWO. Oh no.

ONE. It’s double-sided.

TWO. This is not good.  Not good.

ONE. So then which of us needs the Caution?

TWO. I…I don’t know.  Do you think I need it?

ONE. Am I working right now?

TWO. Am I?

(They look around themselves, trying to find some clue, but none are forthcoming.)

ONE. Well, I’m definitely going to need a hard hat.

Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,
available NOW!

Out of the Mount: “Based on Truish Stories”

Out of the Mount.

An excerpt from “Based on Truish Stories” by Katherine Gee:

= = = = = = = = = = =

GIRL 1. Did you ever like Christopher?

MARIA. Ew…gross.

GIRL 2. If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?

MARIA (Thinking). Um…My own house.

GIRL 3. Have you kissed a boy?


GIRL 3. French kissed a boy!?

(Giggles start.)

GIRL 3. Have you ever had se…?

(She’s cut off by laughter and gasps.)


GIRL 1. Shh! Maria doesn’t know what that is yet.


GIRL 2 (Loudly, over the laughter). How did your parents die?

(Sudden silence.)

MARIA (Uncomfortably). I don’t know. It happened when I was little.

GIRL 2. Do you believe in God?

(GRANDMOTHER appears behind Maria.)

MARIA. I…Well… Do you believe in God, Grandmother?

GRANDMOTHER. Course I do, Maria. Everyone believes in God.

MARIA. Everyone?

GRANDMOTHER. Everyone who’s a child of God does.

MARIA. What if you don’t believe in God?

GRANDMOTHER (Matter-of-factly). You’re a child of the devil, and you go to Hell.

MARIA. Did my parents go to Hell?

GRANDMOTHER. Of course not. They went to Heaven.

MARIA (To GIRLS). Of course I believe in God…don’t you?

Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,
available NOW!

Out of the Mount: “Irrational Numbers”

Out of the Mount.

An excerpt from “Irrational Numbers” by C. Adam Stallard:

= = = = = = = = = = =

MOM. And they said that they eat 1/3 of their body weight a day, and that’s all in oysters and fish that they dive down to the bottom to get, though they never go to shore to eat them, they just float on their backs and prepare the food on their stomachs.

ANGIE. So I found out today that Robby IS going to Jefferson, instead of getting bussed to the private school.  I told him it was better even though his Mom keeps trying to convince–

MOM (Louder). That’s a lot of food don’t you think?  Also, they have to spend one quarter of their waking lives grooming themselves

(ANGIE joins in even louder talking over top of MOM’s next line.)

ANGIE. We learned something about pi today at school.  Mr. Giovanni said that someone memorized pi to 50,000 places.

MOM. because if their fur gets dirty it won’t be as effective at keeping them warm, and staying warm is crucial for the otter because it lives in very cold oceans.

ANGIE (Yelling). Is that what your doing Mom?

DAD. Angie!  You know better than to interrupt your mother at dinner.

ANGIE. Sorry.  It’s just I was getting bored of sea otters.

MOM. No, your teacher was talking about pi.  I’m working on the square root of 2.

ANGIE. Isn’t that the same thing?

MOM. No, pi has to do with circles.  The square root of two has to do with squares.

ANGIE. Don’t people who want to break a record for memorizing a number work on pi?  That has to be the most common one, right?

DAD. Speaking of pi, we have ice cream for dessert.

Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,
available NOW!

Out of the Mount: “On Being a Priest”

Out of the Mount.

The opening lines from “On Being a Priest” by Eric & Mary Emma Heaps:

= = = = = = = = = = =

(On the El in Chicago. A CATHOLIC PRIEST enters, and sits down next to a MORMON PRIEST. The CATHOLIC  PRIEST accidentally drops his Bible.)

CATHOLIC. Oh, excuse me.

MORMON. No problem.

(The boy hands it back.)

MORMON. Good reading material.


MORMON. Where are you at?


MORMON. I’m in 1 Peter. Where are you?

CATHOLIC. Oh, Revelation.

MORMON (Inhaling sharply). Whoo. Can’t wait till I get there.

CATHOLIC. Nothing stopping you from reading it now.

MORMON. Well, I’m just—it’s just, I’m reading it as part of—for seminary.

CATHOLIC. Seminary? Aren’t you a little young for seminary?

MORMON. Well, in my church we have it for four years, from, like, fourteen to eighteen.

CATHOLIC. You graduate at eighteen?


CATHOLIC. Then do you become a priest?

MORMON. No, I’m already a priest.

CATHOLIC. Well, I wish it had been that simple for me.

Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,
available NOW!

Out of the Mount: Superheroes

Out of the Mount.

Two plays in Out of the Mount deal with superheroes, Bianca Dillard’s “No One’s Superman” and Lyvia Martinez’s “The Illegal Alien”.

Mormon writers are often, fairly or unfairly, dismissed categorically as a bunch of fantasy writers. And while certainly true that Mormons are surprisingly common in fantasy, science fiction, and related genres, outside of actual comics, written works about superheroes are relatively rare so having two in one volume is striking.

Neither of these plays features actual Mormon superheroes (for that you will have to look elsewhere, for instance my own play titled “Mormon Superhero“) and of all the plays in the collection, they are perhaps the most resistant to a Mormon reading.

But “resistant” is code for being particularly fruitful and I suspect that more theories will eventually be promoted here than for the other more obviously Mormon works. I’ll go first.

For starters, the superheroes in this book are painfully real. They have eating disorders and immigration issues. Yet they put on a happy face and continue to save the day.

The idea that Mormons are perfectly nice (etc) results in pressures that many have difficulty coping with.

Plus, doctrinally, Mormons are aiming for godhood.

What better metaphor than a beleaguered superhero?

= = = = =

Read your own copy then return and discuss.

Out of the Mount: Mad Blurbery

Out of the Mount.

The blurb we have selected to appear on the back of the book is this, from William Morris of A Motley Vision:

With these 19 plays, the New Play Project ably makes its claim as one of the most ambitious and vibrant going concerns in the world of LDS culture to all of us mission-field Mormons who have only heard rumors and testimonies. Out of the Mount delivers comedy and tragedy and social commentary, allegory, politics and healthy doses of armchair philosophy and theology in plays that mainly focus on (as most good plays do) relationships that unfold via crackling dialogue. Whether it’s Clark Kent and Lois Lane applying for a marriage license or Adam and Eve feeling their way towards some sort of post-fall rapprochement or young couples falling in and out of love, these playwrights are writing for these latter-days, even when there’s nothing particularly LDS about their characters and settings. That said, what I love most about this anthology is that we get — especially with the fantastic concluding trio of “Gaia,” “Prodigal Son” and “Little Happy Secrets” — works that artfully and poignantly explore key aspects of the grand drama that is the Mormon experience.

Now available for purchase.