World Premiere of “The Mormon Kid”


Press Release

The OtherSide Players and the USU Eastern Theatre Department announces the production of a new play, “The Mormon Kid” written by Morgan Lund, a two-act, one-man play performed by Lund himself. “The Mormon Kid” is directed by Xan Johnson with live music by John Serfustini.

The world premier will play at the Black Box Theater on USU’s Eastern campus on Nov. 2-12 with curtains at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets pricing is $20 for general admission and students with I.D. receive free admission.

“The Mormon Kid” is an authentic Western story full of humor, history and bold character work; a one-man show and a tour-de-force challenge for any actor.

“It’s like being around a campfire with a good storyteller who makes you forget you’re sitting there. Theatrical in the best sense of the work. An unexpected window into the pioneer days of Utah,” playwright/theatre blogger Matthew Bennett.

“A brilliant script, beautifully acted by Morgan Lund. He is a master at handling the stage alone. This is Morgan’s best work,” film/stage/television actor Anne Decker.

This play is provocative, exciting, and what I would describe as useful. It charges people to examine their lives, their role in making changes to this world……and may help deter you from making the same stupid mistakes humans make century after century! We need to make changes as a species. We need to adapt! Many of this age believe it’s impossible for art to ever make a difference. Never doubt the power that comes from humans gathering in a charged space, in the dark.

The Story

The outlaw characters of the American West have captured our imagination like no other American era. Why? It’s full of good stories! That’s why! And it is our heritage; it is our history. Our story is of a young Mormon Utah outlaw. Mormon outlaw! We could call that an Oxymormon, but we won’t.

“The Mormon Kid” is the first installment of “The Legend of The Mormon Kid” and may best be described as the early years of Utah outlaw Matt Warner, or we could title it; “Who Wants to be an Outlaw?” Our story takes us from the early years of Matt Warner, a young Mormon settler born in Ephraim, Utah, and follows Warner’s life. Warner was a “bigger than his britches” young man, living outside the law, honing his criminal skills and instincts until at last he breaks out into the world and begins his cowboy outlaw career. Always just one step ahead of the sheriff’s posse.

Our story is told by Warner himself, and by the men and women who helped in the making of “The Mormon Kid.” It is a story of fact based on fiction, and when you throw religion into the mix… got a story we could sell to FOX! We guarantee a rip-snorting good time!! And a tour-de-force role for any actor!

The OtherSide Players

The OtherSide Players is a theatrical production company based in Carbon County, Utah. The Artistic Director is Morgan Lund. The company was formed in 2009-10 and originally was in residence at The Rio Theatre, 210 South Main in Helper, Utah. We are now an Indie production company. Our past theatrical productions partnerships have been with USU eastern (formerly CEU), the Helper Arts Festival, Logan Old Lyric Theatre Company, Pinnacle Theatre Company, USU at Logan, U of U Youth Theatre, Fundraisers with ECV and Sub-for-Santa. The OtherSide Players do Union Shows and only Union Shows.

USU Eastern Theatre Department

Utah State University Eastern Theatre is a unique and individualized Associates of Arts degree program. Offering an immersive experience, providing theatre students many opportunities to create unique learning experiences in and out of the classroom for both performers and technicians. This includes hands-on involvement in state-of-the-art facilities, which include high-resolution projection mapping technology, full LED lighting and digital sound, and individualized performance training and coaching.

The Director

Xan S. Johnson Ph.D. is an emeritus professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah. Dr. Johnson has served as Department Chair, Head of Theatre Honors, Head of BFA in Theatre Education, and Creator/Head of the former nationally acclaimed MFA/Ph.D. in Child Drama. He also has served as the Utah Theatre Consultant for the Utah State Office of Education. He has directed over 200 stage productions across his 50-year career in higher education, production venues ranging from professional, to community, to university, and to K-12 public education. Dr. Johnson has been a leading keynote presenter regionally, nationally, and internationally, focusing on the topics of drama and leaning theory, especially the relationship between Theatre for Youth and Social Cognitive Neuroscience. Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Cannot locate Xan? Check elementary schools close to the University of Utah. Xan may be there engaging K-6 students and teachers in drama-making.


Morgan Lund is the Artistic Director of The OtherSide Players, a professional acting company in Carbon County, Utah. We are very excited about bringing this new show (“The Mormon Kid”) to the Southeastern Utah audience. Lund has been a professional actor/writer/producer/director/teacher and artist for 40+ years. A strong AEA/SAGAFTRA union member, Lund has worked with LORT Theatres, Film, Television, Radio, Print, Small Business, Corporate America, World Class Opera and Orchestras, Dance Companies, Theme Parks, Universities and Colleges all around the United States. I invite you, your family and friends to come on over to the OtherSide of Utah and enjoy exciting theater in a great setting and share the diversity that is Utah. So… come on down to Carbon County where the castles are millions of years old, and the art is all new! It’s Happening in Helper!

Musical Director

Cellist John Serfustini can’t claim to be a virtuoso, having had his last music lesson 61 years ago. However, he has taken part in orchestral and small ensemble production in Carbon County since 1997. During his 40-year career in journalism, he has earned many awards for news writing, editing and photography. Sadly, he is the last of the handball players in Carbon County.

Technical Director

Technical Director Brent Innes has been at USU Eastern now for a decade, teaching and mentoring young theatre students in the art and craft of technical production and design. Prior to and in addition to this experience, he has an MFA in Theatre Production from USU (Logan) and has worked professionally as a stagehand, pyrotechnician, special effects artist, technical director, rigger and bouncer all over the Western states. In addition to teaching full time at Eastern, Innes is currently the full-time technical director at Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre in Logan, Utah.


Tickets: arts.eastern.usu

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