Plan-B receives 9th NEA Grant in 10 years!

Plan-B to Receive $10,000 Art Works Grantfrom the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to Plan-B Theatre Company for the world premiere of ZOMBIE THOUGHTS by Jennifer A. Kokai & her 11-year-old son Oliver Kokai-Means. ZOMBIE THOUGHTS is Plan-B’s sixth annual Free Elementary School Tour and the fourth consecutively funded by the NEA. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as Plan-B Theatre Company, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 1 in 8 children in the United States. ZOMBIE THOUGHTS, created specifically for grades 4-6, 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, around and through anxiety. 

ZOMBIE THOUGHTS will serve 8,000 students at 46 elementary schools in 12 counties across Utah between October 1-November 16, 2018 (presenting partners include Davis Arts Council, Entrada Institute, Salt Lake City Public Library and Weber State University’s Arts Learning Collaborative). There will also be four public performances:

Weber State University (tickets $3-$5, available September 1):

Monday, October 8: Browning Center, Room 136 at 7pm

Three branches of the Salt Lake City Public Library (all free): 

Saturday, October 13: Main Branch at 11am
Saturday, October 13: Chapman Branch at 1pm
Thursday, October 25: Glendale Branch at 4:30pm

"Although each year's Tour offers free public performances, I've made it a point to sneak away from my office during the day to see each of the past three Tours in elementary schools," says Plan-B's board president Jesse Nix. "There is nothing quite like being in the room when kids are interacting with art." Artistic Director Jerry Rapier truly believes a 30-minute play can make a difference: “By dispelling misunderstandings surrounding anxiety for the students, teachers and administrators experiencing ZOMBIE THOUGHTS, our hope is to help each school we serve become a safer space for each of its students.”

ZOMBIE THOUGHTS features Katie Jones & Alicia Washington, is designed by Arika Schockmel, stage managed by Sharah Meservy and directed by Cheryl Cluff. 

 Visit planbtheatre.org/zombiethoughts for more information and to bring ZOMBIE THOUGHTS to your school (booking preference given to Title I schools)