Oxy-Mormon


After excommunication, divorce, prostitution, and drugs, a sixth-generation Utah Mormon reclaims his kids and Donny Osmond smile. Confessions of a Mormon Boy - running until September 9 as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival in Halifax - is an inspiring true story told with humor, song, and The Book of Mormon. Recently we spoke with wirter and performer Steven Fales about his triumphant solo show.

How long have you been involved with theatre and in what capacity?
I’ve been involved in theatre since I was a senior in high school. So that’s getting to be a long time. I’ve done everything from Shakespeare to musicals. I have a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the University of Connecticut. But I never knew life and the arts would land me in the world of solo performance. I seem to specialize in one-man plays now. I love it.

What are the challenges of the profession/vocation?
What’s great about solo performance is that the show travels well and I can play just about any space you give me. But the biggest challenge is that the cast parties are so lonely! Your ensemble is made up of the light and sound cues and your stage manager!

What are the rewards?
I believe that the stories I tell help change lives. That’s what is so rewarding. People come to terms with their own story as they listen to mine. It’s also a thrill to be the only one to take an audience with me on the journey. It’s also a big responsibility.

What inspired you to produce this particular show?
My excommunication trial is what inspired me to write Confessions. I found my church court (where they tried me as a homosexual) so fantastical I thought, “Someone needs to write about this. This is actually going on in the 21st Century!” I guess I was the one to write about it.

What has the response been like from audiences who have seen it elsewhere?
It really speaks universally. I’ve done the show all over the United States and now Edinburgh, Dublin, London and now Canada. It’s not just a Mormon story or an American story, it’s for anyone who has never quite fit in. And it’s a story of reclamation and restoration and dare I say recovery. We are all recovering from and transcending something.

What has the response been like from the people in your life and the Mormon community?
I have people in my family disown me because of my work. But I wrote the play for my kids so they would understand their dad. My teenage son recently saw the play and said, “Dad, the play really humanized you.” I guess that’s a good start! The Mormon community hates and loves the play. It hits so close to home. I get all kinds of reactions.

What can audiences expect to experience at the Halifax performance?
First of all, the show is much more than the marketing. We go places you won’t expect. Some parts are more than cheeky. But some places are just as sacred. It’s a rollercoaster. And I get naked in ways you have never seen before, I assure you. And without getting naked!

Is this your first time in Halifax/Atlantic Canada?
This is my first time here. I find Nova Scotia so very exotic. It brings so many English-speaking cultures together. And the Acadian thing is fascinating. People should be writing that story more! Confessions of a Mormon Acadian?! The people here are so very friendly and genuine. I find that so refreshing. And Halifax is so charming and timeless.

What are your impressions so far?
It’s very Scotland meets New England. I haven’t spent nearly enough time in Canada. I just got my Roots sweatshirt, so I’m taking you back home with me to Salt Lake City. Did Mitt Romney save our 2002 Olympics or did Roots?!

What’s next on your creative agenda?
Confessions of a Mormon Boy is Part I in The Mormon Boy Trilogy. It also includes two other solo shows Missionary Position and Prodigal Dad. We are working on getting the entire trilogy off-Broadway for next Spring 2013. There is also a book, album, and documentary film called Mormon Boy. If Mitt Romney wins this election, the sky’s the limit!

September 3 - Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre @ 8:30 PM
September 5 - Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre @ 9:00 PM
September 6 - The Bus Stop Theatre @ 8:00 PM
September 7 - The Bus Stop Theatre @ 7:15 PM
September 8 - The Bus Stop Theatre @ 9:00 PM
September 9 - The Bus Stop Theatre @ 2:30 PM