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Elaine Jarvik is a Salt Lake City playwright and freelance writer. For three decades she was a journalist for The Deseret News, where she won national, regional and statewide first-place awards for her reporting and writing. Every so often she waves at the boxes of these plaques when she goes to her basement to find a wrench or a card table.
She was born in Washington, D.C. in 1946, grew up in Maryland, went to school at Syracuse University (BA in American Studies, 1967) and Northwestern University (MSJ in Journalism, 1968), studied in Florence, lived in Bologna, and worked at a newspaper in Stamford, CT before moving to Utah in 1971 so her then-husband could design artificial hearts. As a reporter she has interviewed the Dalai Lama, George H.W. Bush, Mr. Rogers and thousands of other people who generously shared their lives with her. In 2002 she began reading books on playwriting and then began writing very short plays (or maybe it was the other way around). In 2008, her 10-minute play “Dead Right” was produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theater of Louisville, was published by Playscripts, Inc., has been subsequently produced in nine states, Canada, Mexico and Australia, and is anthologized in the textbook “Bedford Introduction to Literature.”
Her full-length plays have been produced at the Salt Lake Acting Company (“(a man enters)” and “Two Stories”), Plan B Theatre (“Marry Christmas,” “Based on a True Story,” and “R