Matthew Ivan Bennett

Matthew Ivan Bennett

Matthew Ivan Bennett serves as a Resident Playwright at Plan-B Theatre in Salt Lake City. Since 2005, he’s premiered over 20 plays with them, including 13 radio plays in collaboration with KUER’s RadioWest. Last year, his play "From June to August" was the Official Selection performed at Meanwhile Park. Working with the Transgender Education Advocates of Utah, he developed "Eric(a)" and it...
Matthew Ivan Bennett serves as a Resident Playwright at Plan-B Theatre in Salt Lake City. Since 2005, he’s premiered over 20 plays with them, including 13 radio plays in collaboration with KUER’s RadioWest. Last year, his play "From June to August" was the Official Selection performed at Meanwhile Park. Working with the Transgender Education Advocates of Utah, he developed "Eric(a)" and it won the Best Drama award at the United Solo Festival in New York. Twice he’s contributed to the Great Plains Theatre Commons and has been a finalist at the O’Neill for "Let Down Your Hair," a modern retelling of "Rapunzel" through the lens of sex education in America. He’s worked with the Omaha Community Playhouse, The Constructivists in Milwaukee, and his short plays have appeared in Toronto, New York, and DC. His poetry has been published with Sugar House Review, Western Humanities, Utah Life, and unearthed. His feature film "The Whole Lot" was an Official Selection at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival in 2022 and several others. Matt is a recent alum of Futurescapes and a member of the Dramatists’ Guild. He's on Mastodon @mibwright@mastodon.social.

Plays

  • From June to August
    A divorcée and a widower take a chance on each other in this feel-good summer rom-com.
  • Non
    The partisans Lémeau and Puchis must convince a "non" (meaning non-political) to vote for only one of them in a nation-wide election. An absurdist, comic, ahistorical take on the party duopolies of modern republics.
  • Art & Class
    A Latina art teacher fights for her job and reputation after she's accused by a conservative white parent of showing “pornography” to her sixth-grade students.

    *This piece premiered as an audio drama, in April 2021, with Plan-B Theatre Company.
  • The Cause
    Hounded by a Federal marshal, John Brown and Frank Sanborn meet Harriet Tubman in the Boston home of Dr. Rock, a Black abolitionist who refuses to let his friend join a suicide mission. With the house beset by the marshal, Brown must tear Tubman away or face his fate alone.
  • Let Down Your Hair
    A modern re-telling of the Brothers' Grimm "Rapunzel." Frau Göthel the fairy is re-imagined as a right-wing presidential candidate who hires a home tutor for her daughter. When the oddball tutor, Ms. Wiegle, tells Rapunzel about the birds and the bees—and she meets a boy who's run away from a wilderness therapy program—things get a little Grimm.
  • A\Version of Events
    A\VERSION OF EVENTS is a two-hander, road-trip play about the choice between truth and peace in marriage. We ride with Cooper and Hannah, two liberal Mormons in their mid 30s, who have just lost a child and are trying to reconnect. They're driving from the 9/11 monument in New York to Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania—if, that is, they can fight through the traffic and secrets between them....
    A\VERSION OF EVENTS is a two-hander, road-trip play about the choice between truth and peace in marriage. We ride with Cooper and Hannah, two liberal Mormons in their mid 30s, who have just lost a child and are trying to reconnect. They're driving from the 9/11 monument in New York to Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania—if, that is, they can fight through the traffic and secrets between them.

    (Now published with Steele Springs Stage Rights: https://www.stagerights.com/allshows/version-events/)
  • Sherlock Holmes & The Final Problem
    On the run from Moriarty, Holmes is unsure of his deductive powers and Watson is unsure of her friendship with him. This rendition of the last story in "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," casts Watson as a woman and re-envisions Holmes as carrying a torch for his best friend, even after her recent marriage. It's partly a story and flight and self-doubt and partly a story about the endurance of...
    On the run from Moriarty, Holmes is unsure of his deductive powers and Watson is unsure of her friendship with him. This rendition of the last story in "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," casts Watson as a woman and re-envisions Holmes as carrying a torch for his best friend, even after her recent marriage. It's partly a story and flight and self-doubt and partly a story about the endurance of friendship and platonic love.
  • Sherlock Holmes & the Blue Carbuncle
    A 50-minute, four-actor radio adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle"—a program fit for the holidays. It premiered on KUER's RadioWest with Doug Fabrizio, and is published with Leicester Bay Theatricals.
  • Sleepy Hollow
    When a fraidy-cat schoolmaster pursues the most eligible bachelorette in Sleepy Hollow, he finds himself pursued by Headless Horseman. This adaptation premiered on KUER's RadioWest on October 29, 2021.

    Published with Leicester Bay Theatricals.
  • Stand
    In the year 2050 — after California has seceded, and church and state bleed together — Agent Alicia Mora is approached by "Gilani," a resistance spy with word of Mora's estranged sister. Her sister has risen high in the American insurgency, is planning a large-scale attack, and wants to get Mora to a safe zone. But before Mora can make up her mind, she and the spy are cornered by immigration cops...
    In the year 2050 — after California has seceded, and church and state bleed together — Agent Alicia Mora is approached by "Gilani," a resistance spy with word of Mora's estranged sister. Her sister has risen high in the American insurgency, is planning a large-scale attack, and wants to get Mora to a safe zone. But before Mora can make up her mind, she and the spy are cornered by immigration cops, and the spy kills them. On the run with a man she scarcely trusts, Mora must decide where her allegiance lies — with the flawed regime or the flawed resistance.

    *A link to the premiere with Plan-B Theatre Company and KUER'S RadioWest:
    http://radiowest.kuer.org/topic/radio-hour-plan-b-theatre-company

    Published with Leicester Bay Theatricals.
  • Eric(a)
    A transgender man falls in love for the first time.

    This piece premiered with Plan-B Theatre in 2013, won Best Drama at the United Solo Theatre Festival, showed at Good Company in Ogden, and Theatre Out in Anaheim, CA. It was developed in coordination with Transgender Education Advocates of Utah.
  • Will It Go Round
    "Will It Go Round" is a cycle of short stories in civil rights from 1964 to 2020, each a snapshot of people’s lives in Utah. A mixed race couple is sent to the principal’s office. LGBT students fight for an after-school club. Old estranged classmates reunite after the murder of George Floyd and see how far apart—but still close—they are. A tapestry of scenes showing how far we’ve come, how far we...
    "Will It Go Round" is a cycle of short stories in civil rights from 1964 to 2020, each a snapshot of people’s lives in Utah. A mixed race couple is sent to the principal’s office. LGBT students fight for an after-school club. Old estranged classmates reunite after the murder of George Floyd and see how far apart—but still close—they are. A tapestry of scenes showing how far we’ve come, how far we haven’t, and why politics are always personal.