‘Planemaker’ brought back to life at Covey Center

Marvin Payne is the writer, director and sole performer in his original musical, “The Planemaker.” He will perform each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Jan. 22 through Mar. 27. (Marvin Payne)

BYU alumnus Marvin Payne will perform his 1978 original musical, “The Planemaker” at Provo’s Covey Center for the Arts despite the ongoing pandemic.

“The Planemaker” is the story of Lucas Lightbrow, a boy who loves airplanes and has dreams of flying. Lucas meets a strange young boy who makes his dreams of flying a reality. The Covey Center describes the show as “a magical story with songs.”

“I hope people will take a kind of magical feeling of renewed belief in the power of dreams. I would like for them to enjoy reflecting on how they felt as children,” Payne said.

Payne wrote “The Planemaker” with the help of Guy Randle. The piece went between the two of them until it was finished in 1978. Since then, the show has been enjoyed by audiences across the United States and Canada and is now being brought back to life at the Covey Center.

The performance has been adjusted slightly throughout the decades, but Payne’s performance at the Covey Center is almost exactly the way he performed it back in 1978.

“It is not just a nostalgic revival,” Payne said. “The Planemaker is back!”

The Covey Center has taken precautions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that make it safe to attend “The Planemaker” and other productions. Audience members are required to wear masks. The audience size has been restricted to about 20% capacity so patrons can socially distance within the auditorium. Payne will also maintain a distance of at least 8 feet from audience members at all times.

The Covey Center reopened after Memorial Day of last year and has been successful in keeping audience members safe.

“To date as far as we know, we do not have any cases traced back to our building,” said Paul Duerden, the Covey Center general manager.

The Covey Center has also moved to a no-touch ticketing system where tickets are sent through email and shown digitally at the door. The same system is used for viewing digital show programs.

Performances begin Jan. 22 and run through March 27. The 29 performances will be on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the Covey Center website.

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