Tony nominee Will Swenson, who currently stars in Broadway's Priscilla Queen of the Desert, will direct a film adaptation of Carol Lynn Pearson's play, Facing East, according to The New York Times. Facing East follows a Mormon couple struggling with their faith after their gay son commits suicide.
"Getting through my own adolescence as a young Mormon was challenging as it was, but watching my best friend struggle with his identity as a gay teenager was heartbreaking," Swenson said in a statement. A native of Provo, Utah, Swenson was raised in a Mormon family and attended Brigham Young University.
Facing East played at off-Broadway's Plan-B Theatre in 2007. No casting has been announced, although production is expected to begin this fall. A percentage of the film's profits will benefit the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization for LGBT teens. Priscilla also recently teamed with the organization for a special campaign featuring Swenson and his co-stars.
Swenson received a Tony nomination for Hair. His other Broadway credits include 110 in the Shade, Lestat and Brooklyn. Swenson also co-directed and starred in the 2004 film Sons of Provo, a comedy about a Mormon boy band.