2014 MAINSTAGE PLAY

Matthew Ivan Bennett

Salt Lake City, UT


Matthew Ivan Bennett is a resident playwright of Plan-B Theatre Company, with whom he's premiered several plays, including Eric(a), which won Best Drama at the United Solo Theatre Festival (New York), and Mesa Verde, which was nominated for a Steinberg award. His radio plays have been broadcast nationally through KUER, and his adaptation of Frankenstein received Best Feature Program from the Utah Broadcasters Association. His short works have been at Salt Lake's Wasatch Theatre, in Chicago's Circle Theatre, Hunger Artists Theatre Ensemble in Fullerton (LA), at Rising Sun Performance Company in New York, at Monkeyman Productions in Toronto, and at the Source Festival in DC. He’s written an anti-bullying play for children, Different=Amazing, which toured to Utah schools, and has had poetry published in Western Humanities Review and Sugar House Review. Matt earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts at Southern Utah University and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.



The Cause


John Brown has been called "the father of American terrorism"—and has been hailed as a hero. Before attacking Harpers Ferry, Brown went to the Underground Railroad conductor (and ex-slave), Harriet Tubman. According to history, Brown and Tubman became fast friends. She approved of Brown's plan and agreed to recruit men for the attack; yet she never joined him in Virginia, and she sent him no men. The Cause is historical fiction that imagines what might have happened between these friends, and plumbs the when and why of committing ourselves to violence. Hounded by a federal marshal, Brown meets Tubman in the Boston home of Dr. John S. Rock (the second African-American doctor in US history and a fierce supporter of non-violent resistance). When the house is beset by the marshal, Brown must quickly convince Tubman to join his violent revolution or face his fate alone.



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