'Priscilla' star helms screen adaptation of Mormon-themed play

Will Swenson, currently starring in Broadway tuner “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” is set to direct indie film “Facing East” for production company Brainwave.

“East” is based on a 2006 play by Carol Lynn Pearson, who also will adapt the screenplay. Brainwave’s Duane Andersen (“White on Rice”) and Emily Pearson (“8: The Mormon Proposition”) produce.

Story centers on Mormon parents struggling to come to terms with the suicide of their gay son. Play bowed in Salt Lake City before going on to runs Off Broadway and in San Francisco.

Mormon-raised Swenson, a Rialto vet whose credits include “Hair” and “110 in the Shade,” previously wrote, helmed and co-starred in “Sons of Provo,” a film mockumentary following a fictional Mormon boy band.

Collaborators on “Facing East” are targeting a fall 2011 production start for the film, with casting to be announced soon. A portion of the film’s profits will be steered toward the Trevor Project, a helpline for LGBT youth.

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