FACING EAST an independent Film currently in pre-production
Directed By: Will Swenson
Directed By: Will Swenson
Produced By: Emily Pearson and Duane Andersen
Facing East, an independent feature film based on the acclaimed stage play by Carol Lynn Pearson, is the story of Alex and Ruth McCormick, an upstanding Mormon couple who have done everything right. Theirs is an ideal life. Except for one flaw which has brought them now to a point of crisis. Their gay son Andrew, who had not been “healed” from his homosexuality despite every effort, and who had for a year been with a man that he loved, has just taken his own life in a flower bed beside the Salt Lake Mormon temple.
At the cemetery, Alex is unable to leave so that the open grave can be filled. He is not finished. He is desperate to understand what went wrong. His wife Ruth is relieved that at last her tortured boy is in God’s healing hands. Alex insists on holding another funeral at the grave site, one that speaks the truth, and he demands that Ruth stay and hear things that need to be said.
Unexpectedly Andrew’s partner Marcus arrives at the cemetery, thinking he would be alone. Ruth and Alex come to know their son in a way they never had before through the love and the anger of Marcus, and they come to realize the part they played in Andrew’s despair and his terrible, final act.
Facing East premiered with Plan-B Theatre Company in Salt Lake City in November of 2006, playing to sold-out audiences and excellent reviews. The following spring the same company performed a successful limited run Off-Broadway, and later played to enthusiastic, sold-out houses in San Francisco. The play continues to be produced by numerous community and university theatre companies across the country.
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“[Facing East] resembles the last scenes of a Greek tragedy, a vivid rumination on grief, regret and shame. Rather than advancing any one perspective as correct, Pearson crafts all her characters with sympathy. Her insightful writing proves that well-meaning love guides Alex's anger just as much as Ruth's insistence that she's honoring her son by refusing to accept his sexuality. [There is] near-sacred stillness and elegance in this lament for a civil war." Variety
“A fantastic new play, a raw, human portrait of a conflicted life that has been wasted at the hand of faith-based bigotry with just enough levity to keep the piece from completely breaking your heart, and just enough hopefulness to leave you with the idea that we may actually learn from our mistakes.” goodasyou.org
“Some theatre is good drama. Some drama is important theatre. Facing East is both.” nytheatre.com