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Utah playwright Robert Paxton's "Heir to the Covenant" will be presented during a free staged reading on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 24-25, at 10 a.m. in Thorley Recital Hall at Southern Utah University.

The reading is part of the Utah Shakespearean Festival's annual New Plays-in-Progress program. Paxton's play, set in Nauvoo, Ill., between 1842 and 1844, depicts events surrounding the introduction of polygamy into the LDS Church.Paxton is a Utah native who is now director of theater programs at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, west of St. George. He received his M.A. degree in English, creative writing and dramatic literature from Brigham Young Univesity and an MFA in theater and playwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

His previous plays include "Fair Play," "What Wondrous Things" and "Pricing Tomatoes."

All four plays in the 1995 series will be repeated in sequence on Monday-Thursday, Aug. 28-31: Julie Jensen's "Tenderhooks" on Aug. 28, Edward F. EmanuEl's "A Woman of Power" on Aug. 29, Doris Baizley's "Glass Mountain" on Aug. 30 and Paxton's "Heir to the Covenant" on Aug. 31.