RELIGION

Utah County Director Writing & Directing Musical About Joseph Smith

Jul 9, 2021, 12:28 PM

George Nelson, head of BYU's playwriting program and a professor in the school's Theater and Media ...

George Nelson, head of BYU's playwriting program and a professor in the school's Theater and Media Arts Department. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

PROVO, Utah — An award-winning director in Utah County has taken on the challenging task of writing and directing a Broadway-quality musical about Joseph Smith, prophet and founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife Emma. One he said was written in some ways as a counter to “The Book of Mormon” musical that hit Broadway 10 years ago.

“’The Book of Mormon’ musical presents us as tongue and cheek they laugh at us they make fun of almost everything we believe in,” said 66-year-old George Nelson, who is the head of Brigham Young University’s playwriting program and a professor in the school’s Theater and Media Arts Department.

The privately produced play is called “1820: The Musical,” which will open on Aug. 6 at the Covey Center for The Arts in downtown Provo.

“It’s the story of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ told through the love story of Joseph and Emma,” Nelson told KSL’s Dan Rascon during rehearsals in American Fork. “I want (the audience) to look at Joseph Smith and go, ‘Who is this guy?’ People called him a lunatic they called him a charlatan, they called him all kinds of things … We’ve tried to address in a non-apologetic way the things that Joseph has been accused of throughout his life and put the truth out there.”

George Nelson, head of BYU’s playwriting program and a professor in the school’s Theater and Media Arts Department. (KSL TV)

Zack Wilson, who plays Joseph Smith, said it’s really opened his eyes to what Joseph and Emma Smith went through.

“We see some of the weaknesses some of their strengths and struggles they went through,” he said.

That’s why Nelson wants to take the play to a much bigger audience. “I have a (Broadway) producer that is very interested in it. They are watching out this run, how it will go in Utah County,” he said.

Nelson is even taking on sensitive topics, like polygamy.

“Many people say, ‘Well, you can’t really deal with Joseph Smith and Emma without looking at plural marriage and the effect it had on their relationship.’ We don’t back away from that. We have a very poignant scene,” he said.

Tickets are now on sale here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Religion

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed  its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000 set arena.

2 days ago

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is preparing to perform its last two concerts in the Philippi...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir prepares to perform at renowned Mall of Asia with Filipino press day

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is preparing to perform its last two concerts in the Philippines with a press day. Afterward, the choir will continue on with its world tour.

3 days ago

The Birmingham England Temple Rendering...

Michael Houck

Church releases location for Vancouver Washington Temple, renderings for England, US temples

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the site location of the Vancouver Washington Temple and artistic renderings for temples in England, Nevada and Texas.

3 days ago

Thousands of Filipino’s filled the stands at a historic and sacred Catholic University to attend ...

Dan Rascon

Thousands attend interfaith concert in Manila with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

Thousands of people from the Philippines filled the stands at a historic and sacred Catholic University to attend an interfaith concert with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

4 days ago

A trip to the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines quickly became personnel for...

Dan Rascon

Members of Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square pay respects to fallen US soldiers in the Philippines

Members of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square visited the largest American cemetery outside of the United States, making it a tender and special day for all.

5 days ago

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs for the first time in the Philippines in the grand b...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs for first time in the Philippines

History was made for the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square as it performed its very first concert ever in the Philippines.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah County Director Writing & Directing Musical About Joseph Smith