Facing East, Pearson's Drama of Suicide in a Mormon Family, Makes San Fran Premiere Aug. 10

By Kenneth Jones
10 Aug 2007

Jayne Luke and Charles Lynn Frost in Facing East.
Jayne Luke and Charles Lynn Frost in Facing East.
Photo by Julie Stark

Carol Lynn Pearson's Facing East, the drama of a Mormon family grappling with the loss of a gay son, plays San Francisco Aug. 10-26, following its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run.

The play is "the story of Ruth and Alex McCormick, 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."

Plan-B Theatre Company's production is presented at San Francisco's Theatre Rhinoceros.

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Facing East had its world premiere in November 2006 in Salt Lake City, UT. It was remounted there in April-May 2007 in preparation for a limited engagement Off-Broadway in May-June 2007.



The original cast (Charles Lynn Frost as Alex; Jayne Luke as Ruth; Jay Perry as Marcus) and original creative team (including director and costume designer Jerry Rapier, sound designer Cheryl Ann Cluff, set designer Randy Rasmussen, lighting and props designer Cory Thorell, stage manager Jennifer Freed, plus Ross Thorell) continue with the project.

Post-show discussions with the best-selling author/playwright will be held Aug. 11 and 19. Pearson lives in Walnut Creek, a suburb of San Francisco. This is the play's West Coast premiere.

Facing East 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.

Although centered on Mormon characters, Facing East, according to the producers, "is accessible to anyone of any faith, anyone with a family, anyone who has felt the pain of loss, anyone with hope for change."

Plan-B Theatre Company is one of three Equity theatre companies in Salt Lake City, UT. The company has won awards for its productions and will be honored by Equality Utah immediately following the San Francisco run of Facing East for its contribution to Utah's LGBT community.

Theatre Rhinoceros is at 2926 16th Street (@ South Van Ness) in San Francisco. Tickets are $20. For information call (415) 861-5079 or visit ticketweb.com. For more information visit planbtheatre.org/facingeast.