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.”


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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?

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Read your own copy then return and discuss.