A Tale of Paradise Lost in “Lock Your Heart, Elder P”

By Ernest Kearney — The proselytizing efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the Mormons, are known and typically dreaded, worldwide, but these efforts have also contributed to making it one of the world’s fastest growing “religions.”

In Lock Your Heart, Elder P., Performer/Writer Robert Perkins offers an absorbing insight into both the psyche of the young Mormons sent out on their two year “rite of passage” by the church, as well as the directives used by the church-governing body to isolate them from the very world they’ve been sent out to convert.

Perkins relates his narrative reading from the thirty-year-old journals he kept during the period he was assigned to spread the gospel of Joseph Smith to the people of Sweden, accenting his tale with the occasional map and photo.

It is this simple and direct approach to his story of two “church-crossed” lovers, and his heartfelt rendering of a love discarded in the name of religious zeal that makes this show so moving and so tragic. He expresses his pain of a path not taken, without bombast or emotional pyrotechnics, but with a sincerity that will remain with those he’s shared it with, who will feel its stinging for some time to come.

Director Amanda Bird wisely does not try to overcoat the staging with any razzle-dazzle, but adds subtle highlighting to the humanity of the piece.

A modest show with a much needed moral: Anytime one speaks the name of “God” in denying love, the speaker is a Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutionliar.

For that Lock Your Heart, Elder P. takes —


♦    ♦    ♦

Lock Your Heart, Elder P

playing during The Fringe at

Studio C (Studio C)

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.


For Complete Show Information: http://hff19.org/5971


For Events, Plays and Other Fun Fringe News and Info: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/



Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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