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Plan-B Theatre's THE POST OFFICE is a unique companion to the UN Conference in SLC

Posted By Salt Lake County ZAP
August 19, 2019

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Alexis Bitner as Ash in The Post Office (photo by Mark Fossen)

Plan-B Theatre, Gandhi Alliance for Peace, Granite School District and United Nations Association of Utah are embarking on a unique collaboration as a companion piece to the United Nations Civil Society Conference coming to Salt Lake City at the end of the month.

Adapted from Rabindranath Tagore's classic fable by Utah playwright Melissa Leilani Larson, THE POST OFFICE is the story of Ash (Alexis Bitner, Olympus High School), a child suffering from a mysterious illness. Despite being confined at home by the doctor, she remains hopeful, winning over strangers with her positive attitude and ability to imagine a better life for herself.

THE POST OFFICE is performed by high school students from high schools across Granite School District) and directed by Adam Wilkins, the drama teacher at Cottonwood High School.In addition to the acting roles, there will be student dramaturgy, stage management and student-created show art; as well as shadow opportunities with Adam Wilkins (director) and each member of the design team: Madeline Ashton (set), Cheryl Cluff (sound), Pilar Davis (lighting) Maddiey Howell-Wilkins (costumes).

100% of proceeds benefit Adopt-A-Future, a program of the United Nations Association, providing direct support for refugee education at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Donations - and all ticket sales - will be matched 4 to 1!

From Plan-B Theatre

We develop and produce unique and socially conscious theatre created by Utah playwrights. The Dramatists Guild of America has recognized us as the only professional theatre company in the United States producing full seasons of new work by local playwrights.

Plan-B's In The Classroom Program

 THE POST OFFICE is presented as part of In the Classroom, our newest educational program. Launched in January of 2018, In the Classroom has served more than 1,000 students K-12 students in Salt Lake City. The foundation of the program is diversity and inclusion, for we believe live theatre enriches and enlivens education and is essential to the development of well-rounded, civically-engaged individuals.

From Gandhi Alliance for Peace

We first learned about Tagore’s play THE POST OFFICE when one of our members read “The King of Children” by Jean Lifton, the story of Janusz Korczak, a Polish pediatrician. During the Nazi control of Warsaw, Korczak’s orphanage was forced to move into the Warsaw ghetto. To help the children accept death, the orphanage produced THE POST OFFICE. When the time came, Korczak boarded the box car for the death camps with the children.

The international community failed to save the children and adults of the Warsaw ghetto. Far too often we continue to fail to protect the children of the world. This new adaptation of THE POST OFFICE gives us here in Utah the opportunity to help more children living in refugee camps receive an education—a fundamental right of childhood.

Art has the power to help us cope with the unacceptable.  Art also has the power to inspire us to reach beyond expectations and, sometimes, even to change the world.

From United Nations Association of Utah

Happiness, good health and financial stability are the pursuit of people worldwide. The surest path to achieving this is knowledge. Knowledge is acquired by education or experience. Basic skills and knowledge are learned in part at home or in a community. But formal education plays an important part in securing a satisfying future. Millions of people now living in refugee camps, away from their home of origin and the family and society of their forebears, seek educational opportunities.

The Adopt-A-Future program is providing direct support in the form of schools, teachers and teaching materials to the young people living in Kakuma. Donations (including all ticket sales to THE POST OFFICE) will be matched 1:1 by the Telemarcus Fund and that will be matched 1:1 again by the Educate a Child Fund of Her Highness Sheika Moza Bint Nassar of Qatar, making every $100 donation worth $400.

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From Granite School District

We are proud to host one of the largest refugee centers for students in the state. The Language Academy, based in Cottonwood High School, is designed to serve refugees and immigrants from around the world. The Language Academy provides access to a first-class education with highly qualified teachers and staff. Through this enriching and supportive environment, we strive to increase the English language skills and academic achievement of newcomer students to support successful integration into mainstream society. Working with professionals, we hope that THE POST OFFICEproject will inspire this incredibly talented and unique population to contribute to the larger community.

From playwright Melissa Leilani Larson

I was excited to adapt Rabindranath Tagore’s THE POST OFFICEfor several reasons. The original is beautifully simple—it’s a parable, filled with symbolism, about the power of a child’s desire to grow beyond plotted expectations. Part of the beauty of Tagore’s play is that it takes the viewer to a very specific place and time, and it has been a fun challenge to open it up a little for a broader, contemporary audience. There is so much about the central character Amal to admire: his curiosity, his compassion, his guilelessness. As the child of an immigrant, I have a personal stake in the way that our community accepts and interacts with immigrants and refugees. For me, the message of THE POST OFFICEis one of friendship and acceptance, delivered through the medium of theatre, one of the most communal forms of art we have.

From director Adam Wilkins

As the theatre teacher at Cottonwood High School, my primary goal is to educate, inspire and entertain. When given the opportunity to direct THE POST OFFICE for the community, I realized that through working collaboratively with business, non-profits and the Granite School District, I—and, more importantly, the students from across Granite School District that will work on the production—will use theatre as a tool for social awareness and change.

Performances & Tickets

Saturday, August 24 at 4pm & 7pm

Sunday, August 25 at 4pm & 7pm

Monday, August 26 at 7pm

 

Leona Wagner Black Box Theatre

Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center

138 W 300 S, SLC

801.355.ARTS and/or planbtheatre.org/postoffice

Appropriate for ages 5+

Running time: 55 minutes

All tickets, including student tickets, are $10. If you call 801.355.ARTS or purchase in person in the Rose Wagner box office, student tickets have no fees. It's not possible to order student tickets online.