Tami on GiveOUTDay

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Tami Marquardt is the vice president of Plan-B’s Board of Trustees. She and her wife Jane have been involved with Plan-B since 2001 and are the largest private contributors to the company via their Peace & Possibility Project.

Click here to make your #GiveOUTDay gift today.

Pushing boundaries – daring and bold – is how I viewed Plan-B Theatre back in 2001 when they brought THE LARAMIE PROJECT to the stage in Salt Lake City.

Jane and I had recently been blessed in our Union by our Unitarian minister in a time when sodomy was still on the books and same-sex marriage was a little more than an unspoken fantasy.

We were so intent on being recognized as a couple that I changed my surname to Marquardt in an attempt to be say to the world:  “We are a couple.  We mean it, we mean it, we really really mean it!”

So you might imagine how my heart leapt up when we were sitting in the audience on opening night of THE LARAMIE PROJECT and,  just before the show, Jerry Rapier announced that Jane & Tami Marquardt were funders of the play.  The gasp in the audience was from me!  I was so moved by our first out-loud-and-proud public recognition as a married couple that I literally had tears in my eyes.

It is a timeless time spot that I will always remember and I have been a dedicated Plan-B Groupie ever since.  Jane and I are devoted contributors to Plan-B.  I truly love this little theatre company – still daring, bold and pushing boundaries.

 

Plan-B Theatre Announces 2018-2019 Season

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Plan-B Theatre has been an important cause for Tami and me since 2001 when Plan B produced The Laramie Project.  Since then, we have supported Plan B, and Tami has been a long-time member of the Board of Trustees.  Plan B raises awareness and invites conversation about the important issues that are present in our community. Just announced, the 2018-2019 season has some incredible plays and the Script in Hand Series.  Tami and I hope to see you at some of the performances.  Tickets can be purchased here.

As the only professional theatre company in the country producing full seasons of new work by local playwrights, the 28th season of unique and socially conscious works created explores how truth finds us and what we do with it once it does.

A season about sexuality, race and privilege.
A season about us, here, now

GOOD STANDING
a world premiere by Matthew Greene
October 18-28, 2018
November 4, 2018 - United Solo Theatre Festival, New York

“I’d been loved. And that changes a person.”

A gay Mormon faces excommunication a week after marrying the man of his dreams. A solo play about faith, hope and catharsis. Featuring Austin Archer. Directed by Jerry Rapier.

From the author of ADAM & STEVE AND THE EMPTY SEA, featuring the author of JUMP

AN EVENING WITH TWO AWFUL MEN
a world premiere by Elaine Jarvik
February 21-March 3, 2019

“I guarantee you there will come a time when your name won’t ring a bell among the living.”

The original worst-President-ever James Buchanan and actor-assassin John Wilkes Booth defend their (in)actions before a live studio audience. A dark comedy about race, privilege and legacy. Featuring Jason Bowcutt, Anne Brings, Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, one other actor TBA. Directed by Cheryl Cluff.

From the author of RIVER.SWAMP.CAVE.MOUNTAIN., BASED ON A TRUE STORY & MARRY CHRISTMAS

...OF COLOR
a world premiere by playwrights TBA
March 28-April 7, 2019

“You won’t be satisfied, you never are.”

An evening of short plays by and about people of color from the Theatre Artists of Color Writing Workshop. Cast TBA. Directed by Jerry Rapier.

THE 2018/19 SEASON | FREE EVENTS
FREE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TOUR: ZOMBIE THOUGHTS
a world premiere by Jennifer A. Kokai & Oliver Kokai-Means
Fall 2018

Created specifically for grades 4-6, ZOMBIE THOUGHTS is the story of Sam and Pig, avatars in a video game. Sam is anxious. Pig is punny. Will the audience be able to help them make the right choices on their quest to defeat the evil Machine? A sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious journey in and around anxiety. Featuring Katie Jones, Alicia Washington. Designed by Arika Schockmel. Stage managed by Sharah Meservy. Directed by Cheryl Cluff.

Free Public Performances in partnership with the City Library
October 13: Main Branch at 11am, Chapman Branch at 1pm
October 25: Glendale Branch at 4:30pm

The Free Elementary School Tour serves 8,000 K-6 students at 40+ schools in 10+ counties.

SCRIPT-IN-HAND SERIES
October 24, 2018
February 27, 2019
April 3, 2019

A trio of free staged readings of plays-in-progress each season. These plays are almost always read first in The Lab and are now in a later stage of development and ready for their first audience. Plays, casts, directors TBA.

RADIO HOUR EPISODE 13
a world premiere by Matthew Ivan Bennett

An annual co-production with KUER's RadioWest. Air date, title, cast TBA. Original music by Dave Evanoff. Directed by Cheryl Cluff.

THE LAB
Since 2008, The Lab has been an incubator where 13 local playwrights share whatever script they wish, at whatever stage they wish, in a private table reading for the group. The Lab, which meets monthly, has become our primary source of work for full production. We are truly nourishing a pool of local playwrights rivaling that found in any other city in the country.

 

Peace and Possibility Essay Competition

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Tami and I are proud to sponsor the Peace and Possibility Speakers Series at Weber State University each year, and this year, we’re sponsoring our second essay competition.  The LGBT Resource Center is accepting student essays. Students who submit an essay could win a cash scholarship; 1st place will receive $1000, 2nd and 3rd place will each receive $500. Any student interested in sharing their experience for a chance to win a scholarship should submit an essay.

Essays will be recognized and scholarships awarded on Wednesday April 25, 2018 during the Lavender Graduation reception. Winners will have the opportunity to share their essay at the event. 

Topic:

Using your talents, skills, and experience as an LGBTQ+ person or ally to achieve success and make a difference. 

  • What does LGBTQ+ mean to you? 
  • How do you or would you leverage your talents, skills, and experience to achieve success and make a difference? 
  • In what ways has your LGBTQ+ identity or involvement with the LGBTQ+ community influenced your life? 

Essay Requirements: 

Applicants must be current Weber State University students. Essays should be typed, 500-750 words, and address the topic of the essay competition. The questions listed can be used for guidance in addressing the topic.

Essays are due and should be submitted to Jayson Stokes (jaysonstokes@weber.edu) by  Monday, April 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm. 

Tami and I look forward to reading the winning essays - the students have amazing stories to share. 

Bastian encourages us to tell our personal stories

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Last week, I had the privilege of introducing Tami’s and my good friend, Bruce Bastian at the Peace and Possibility Speakers Series at Weber State University. If we look back over the last 25 years of progress made in Utah on issues involving civil rights, and in particular LGBTQ rights,  a whole lot of that progress has been pushed, prodded and carried by the work of one individual.   That individual is Bruce Bastian.   Tami and I are eyewitnesses to many of the ups and downs and ins and outs of this journey.    Whatever the particular issue, often the driving question was – and still is - “what does Bruce say?” Not only has he made things happen with his donations, he takes an active role in helping set policy.

Bruce spoke to an enthusiastic audience of Weber State University students, faculty and staff.  In his talk, titled "Leveraging who you are to achieve success and make a difference," Bruce shared some of his life experiences in growing up in a conservative Mormon family, attending BYU, creating a successful business (Wordperfect) and coming out as a gay man.

He shared his own struggles with letting others define him, and talked about how once he accepted who he really is, he was able to focus on the important work of doing what he can to make the lives of others better. 

Bruce asked the audience to consider what is their main goal in life.  He hoped that for most people it would be to "be happy."  He said "every person's path to happiness is unique.  Discover your own path and don't let it be defined by anyone else."

When asked by an audience member what advocacy work most needs to be done now, he encouraged everyone to continue to tell their personal stories.   It is the power of stories that changes hearts.    He also reminded the audience that "happiness is a process, not a moment."

Tami and I are grateful for Bruce’s friendship and leadership in the community, and stay tuned for more from the Peace and Possibility Speakers Series. 

 

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Bruce Bastian to Keynote Peace and Possibility Speaker's Series

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The Jane and Tami Marquardt Peace and Possibility Speaker Series aims to bring high profile LGBTQ leaders and advocates to Weber State University to provide cultural opportunities, enhance the "welcomeness" and inclusion of campus, and to cultivate the "ally" community.  This year, our good friend and fellow philanthropist Bruce Bastian will keynote our series.  

Bruce is the co-founder of WordPerfect, and has been a generous contributor to the LGBTQ+ Community as well as the arts across the country and here in Utah.  

Come join us for the annual Marquardt Peace and Possibility Speaker Series on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Noon in Ballroom C of the Shepherd Union Building. We are very excited to welcome Bruce W. Bastian as our keynote speaker this year. All are welcome to attend and the event is free. 

For more information, click here

 

LGBTQ+ Olympians make a great example

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With the 2018 Olympics entering the second week, I’ve been reflecting on the number of “out” LGBT Athletes competing in the games.  This year 15 “out” athletes are participating in the Winter Games, beating the record of 7 in Sochi in 2014 and this year some of those 15 are men.  Standing out (no pun intended) is Figure Skater Adam Rippon.  

Adam’s skating has come second to his openness about being a gay athlete and what that means and doesn’t mean.  According to the Olympic Creed  “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part,” the Olympic Creed reads, “just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” Few have been the personification of that Olympic Creed quite like Rippon.  

Other LGBTQ+ Olympic Athletes have made an impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people at home.  Skier Gus Kenworthy, who participated in Sochi in the closet, is out this year, and kissed his boyfriend on National TV after his qualifying slopestyle free skiing run.  Gus said, ““To be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcast to the world, is incredible. The only way to really change perceptions, to break down barriers, break down homophobia, is through representation. That’s definitely not something I had as a kid. I never saw a gay athlete kissing their boyfriend at the Olympics. I think if I had, it would’ve made it easier for me.”

These Olympians are not only exemplary athletes, but wonderful examples to the thousands of LGBTQ+ youth that aspire to compete at the Olympics.  These athletes are breaking stereotypes and paving the way for the future Adam Rippon’s of the world.  Congratulations to all the athletes on a wonderful Olympic games.