Center for Latter-day Saint Arts

2019 Arts Festival Events

Thorns & Thistles


Saturday, June 29, 11 AM (Teatro)

What happens when Mormon writers get a chance to speak their own language? Thorns & Thistles weaves together excerpts from 24 different literary works by authors using Mormon imagery, exploring Mormon experience, giving voice to Mormon hopes and Mormon anxieties. Accompanied by a live performance of an original score by Billboard-charting cellist Nicole Pinnell, Thorns & Thistles is an hour-long “concert of literature” that will give you a fresh experience of what Mormon creative writing can sound like. 

Thorns & Thistles, which was directed by Arisael Rivera, will be read by Belén Moyano, Juan Cardenas, Nicole Wilkes Goldberg, and James Goldberg and features writing by Katherine Cowley, James Goldberg, Gabriel González Núñez, Scott Hales, Angela Hallstrom, Emily Harris Adams, Lisa Harris, Faith Heard, Eric Jepson, Melissa Leilani Larson, Aivar Lembit, William Morris, Melody Newey, Steven Peck, Jonathon Penny, Merrijane Rice, Eric Samuelsen, Nicole Wilkes Goldberg, Citlalli H. Xochitiotzin, and Darlene Young. 

Winner of two AML words and a finalist for a Whitney Award, James Goldberg is a pioneering narrative theorist for the Church History Department. Nicole Goldberg has taught advanced persuasive writing courses at BYU, been a co-editor of the Mormon Litz Blitz. Together, the two have served on several awards selection committees and organized literary conferences and contests.

Arisael Rivera is a Latter-day saint writer and actor with an MFA from the New School. He has performed with Boston’s Commonwealth Theater and New York’s Shakespeare in the Park, as well as on television and web series.