Legacy is an original show that tells the complex story of my family ties to Mormonism, polygamy, the state of Utah, and what it means to be related to Brigham Young. Developed originally in Brooklyn, then performed to sold-out houses in San Francisco, it received its premiere Los Angeles production in 2009 at the Electric Lodge.
A fourth-generation granddaughter of Brigham Young, Sargent spent several years delving through the vast biographical resources on her grandfather and his church, while dissecting a family tree that is more entangled than is easily imaginable. In Legacy, she brings that research to the stage, questioning what it means to be female, non-Mormon, and a descendent of Brigham Young through his first (pre-Mormon) wife. In the process, she discovers many compelling details of Mormon history, and confirms her own non-religious beliefs. The resulting play tells the complex story of her family ties and her personal relationship to Mormonism, religion, polygamy, and the state of Utah.
Not surprisingly, polygamy – a cornerstone of early Mormon doctrine – runs long through Sargent’s family history. In her research, she found the female experience within the practice ill-recorded – the story of Mormonism and polygamy is typically a man’s tale, centered on the religion’s founding fathers. By presenting images and stories of the wives interwoven with stories from her own life, Sargent examines the affect the practice had, and continues to have, on the female experience in Mormon culture.
In viewing history through the lens of her own experiences growing up non-Mormon in Riverton, Utah, Sargent takes the audience on a journey that examines legend, identity, family, community, industry, and the dynamic relationship between women and tradition in Americas Church. Legacy is a true tale of fantastical proportions that poses the question, “What does it mean to be a non-Mormon, non-religious, granddaughter of Brigham Young?”
Legacy, recognized by The San Francisco Bay Times as “completely and excitingly different”, was originally developed in Brooklyn before being performed to sold-out houses in San Francisco’s Women on the Way festival. Following strong media praise and audience reception, the play made it Los Angeles debut at The Electric Lodge in Venice, California in 2009.
December 11, 12 and 13, 2009
Friday and Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2pm
at the Electric Lodge
1416 Electric Avenue
$15 in advance; $20 at the door
Written and directed by Whitney Channing Sargent
Performed by Marion Dunham, Celeste Martinez, Tinia Orduña,
Whitney Channing Sargent, and Diana Wyenn