Facing East, Drama of a Shaken Mormon Family, Continues to June 17 in NYC

By Kenneth Jones
30 May 2007

Mormon parents deal with the suicide of their gay son in the New York City premiere of Carol Lynn Pearson's Facing East, which opened Off-Broadway May 29.



Previews began May 25. Performances play to June 17. Plan-B Theatre and Bruce Wayne Bastian are producing the drama at Atlantic Stage 2 on West 16th Street.

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In Facing East, "Ruth and Alex McCormick are an upstanding Mormon couple reeling from the suicide of their gay son. Stuck between their faith and their new reality, they encounter their son's partner, Marcus, for the first time."

The drama played to sold-out performances in fall 2006 and spring 2007 in Salt Lake City, UT. The three-actor Utah cast and production team re-created their work for the New York premiere.

Jerry Rapier directs a cast that includes Charles Lynn Frost (as Alex), Jayne Luke (as Ruth) and Jay Perry (as Marcus).

Following the New York run, Facing East will play in San Francisco Aug. 10-26.

The creative team includes Cheryl Ann Cluff (sound design), Jennifer Freed (stage manager), Randy Rasmusen (set design), Cory Thorell (lighting/props design) and Jerry Rapier (costumes).

The play coincides with the 20th anniversary of Pearson's seminal book, "Goodbye, I Love You," the story of her life with her gay husband Gerald, their 12-year Mormon temple marriage, four children, divorce, ongoing friendship, and his death from AIDS in her home, where she cared for him.

Pearson's new book is "No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones," a collection of personal accounts "of the intersection of homosexuality and religion." Visit her at www.clpearson.com.

Atlantic Stage 2 is at 330 West 16th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues).

The intermissionless staging runs 75 minutes. For more information, click here.

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Plan-B Theatre Company's mission is to create theatre that "fully engages the imagination and challenges traditional perceptions of theatre; is socially and politically conscious; explores cultural heritage and diversity; presents well-known texts in new ways; and/or fosters the creation of new work."