Out of the Mount: Davey Morrison

Out of the Mount.

Davey Morrison did not join New Play Project until halfway through it’s four-year to-date history. And even then he joined, as he admits in Out of the Mount‘s introduction, to impress a girl. But one thing led to another and soon he wrote his first play, “Adam and Eve”, which was produced in 2008 and again in 2009, then published in Mormon Artist making it, perhaps, the most widely seen/read play to appear in our upcoming book.

Morrison is the editor of Out of the Mount and he wasn’t shy. He’s included three of his plays (and one of his now-wife’s). Unquestionably the most powerful of the three is “To Be Continued”. A man lies dying of cancer with nothing but oblivion to look forward to. Perhaps some claim that there are no atheists in foxholes. Perhaps the truth is that those who see death have the best view of God’s absence.

Out of the Mount comes out of the Mormon tradition, but the simplistic way that phrase is often interpreted utterly fails to capture the depth and breadth of the works Morrison has collected here. While certain “Mormon” themes do emerge (relationships, freedom of choice, the responsibility to know for oneself), never does the book feel like a polemic or a treatise or a tract.

It is instead a collection of art. Art that Peculiar Pages is proud to present.

Now available for purchase.

Out of the Mount: Eric Samuelsen

Out of the Mount.

Eric Samuelsen has two plays in our upcoming Out of the Mount. the first, “The Exact Total Opposite”, is part of a series of plays starring He and She that New Play Project is producing next February. The other play, “Gaia”, is in serious competition for the best short play I’ve read in the past ten years.

As reviewed by Gideon Burton (this link also includes reviews of Out of the Mount plays “Based on True-ish Stories”, “Foxgloves” and “A Burning in the Bosom”),  “Gaia” makes “stereotypes of downtrodden Mormon women ring ever more hollow” as a premortal Eve stands down Lucifer and proves her strength and worthiness to be the mother of all living only shortly before the days of Eden.

Rumor has it that “Gaia” is the planned opening scene to a full-length work from Samuelsen.

We can only hope so.

Now available for purchase.

Out of the Mount: Melissa Leilani Larson

Out of the Mount.

Melissa Leilani Larson is generally considered to be one of the best playwrights working in the Mormon tradition today. Originally from Hawai‘i, she is based now in central Utah. Her list of accomplishments is long (link) but at the moment her most known work is probably Little Happy Secrets (included in our upcoming volume, Out of the Mount).

AML-Award winner in 2009 for best drama (citation), this is the beautiful story of a young returned Mormon missionary struggling with her sexuality as the friend she loves falls in love herself with a man who is just wrong for her.

The play was first produced by New Play Project in March 2009, but an older version is available in its entirety online as an audiocast (link).

Little Happy Secrets may also be produced again later this year if funding can be obtained in time. (For information on how you can help, click here.)

The beauty of this play is difficult to overstate.

A second Larson play will also appear in Out of the Mount. “A Burning in the Bosom” is also part of New Play Project’s best-of spectacular coming this September in conjunction with the book release.

Now available for purchase.

Out of the Mount: James Goldberg

Out of the Mount.

I first read a James Goldberg play in my copy of Curelom Press’s Best of Mormonism 2009 (my review) and I was stunned by its excellence. That play, “The Prodigal Son”, is also an AML-Award winner (citation) and fully deserving of all the praise heaped on it.

I was stunned to later learn that Goldberg is a kid, only in his midtwenties. His work is so measured and certain, I had assumed he was an artist who had been in his prime for decades.

The other Goldberg play in Out of the Mount is “Book of Mormon Stories”, a bit of midrashery that competes with “The Prodigal Son” for the right to call itself my favorite. In this one, two sister missionaries teach a suburban former cokehead about the Book of Mormon, and he teaches them about King Noah’s snowy habits. Can’t miss reading.

Find Goldberg online at one of his three blogs, My Life and Hard Times (in which he screws with you), Caucajewmexdian (in which he explores his complicated heritage), or Mormon Midrashim (in which he takes midrash to its Mormon limits).

Now available for purchase.

Coming soon: New Play Project


Peculiar Pages has teamed up with the award-winning theater collaborative New Play Project to publish nineteen of its best plays as selected by Davey Morrison.

In its brief four-year history, NPP has produced hundreds of original works, providing a space for new and established playwrights, directors and actors to bring new efforts to the public.

The volume, Out of the Mount, is being released in conjunction with new productions of its five plays. If you’ll be in Utah this September, check them out:

The Best of New Play Project
September 16-20, 23-27
Featuring five of our very best short plays:
“A Burning in the Bosom,” by Melissa Leilani Larson
“Foxgloves,” by Matthew Greene
“Gaia,” by Eric Samuelsen
Adam and Eve,” by Davey Morrison
“Prodigal Son,” by James Goldberg

But whether Utah is on your itinerary or not, the plays in this book should pass before your eyes. Reading plays is one of life’s least heralded enjoyments and if you haven’t done so recently, Out of the Mount is an excellent opportunity for you.

More details as the drop date nears.


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In other news, an update on submission reading for Mormons and Monsters is up today at Motley Vision.