A Remarkable True Story. 

Pleasant Grove, Utah 1971

On March 13th, 1971, the small conservative town of Pleasant Grove, Utah was rocked by the suicide of 16-year-old Alden Barrett, a prominent Doctor’s son. Local Newspapers reported that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The reports failed to mention, however, Alden's passion for science, drama and learning, his near genius IQ and his struggles with mental illness.

In an effort to help other families who might be dealing with similar issues, Alden's Parents, Marcella and Doyle Barrett, decided to make Alden's struggles and suicide known. In 1971, it was almost unheard of to openly address mental illness, let alone suicide.  Several years after Alden's death, their passionate desire to help other families led Marcella and Doyle to share Alden's personal journal with best selling author, Beatrice Sparks.

A short time later, in 1978, the small town was again stunned by the publishing of "Jay's Journal:" a book labelled non-fiction, containing excerpts of Alden's actual journal coupled with fabricated journal writings describing Jay's (Alden's name had been changed to protect the family) active and deep involvement in Satanic worship and the occult. The story depicts a fabricated spiral into the absurd, ending, ultimately, with Jay's demonic possession and suicide.

Jay's Journal

Jay's Journal went on to become a New York Times best seller, and was tremendously popular in the local community. The book, and more pointedly, the community's reaction to the book, crushed the Barrett family. It took little effort for people to connect the fabricated story of "Jay" with Alden. Alden's gravesite was continually desecrated, his headstone moved, damaged and even stolen for a time. The community turned on the family, and "Jay" became a legend, helping to fuel the local "satanic panic" that swept over the US in late 70s and through the 80s.

Today, 50+ years later, the lore of Jay lives on, and the Barrett family is still reeling.

1995-1997 "A Place in the Sun"

In 1995, Bryan Hall rented a room from Alden's mother, Marcella. The very day Bryan moved in, Marcella and Alden's brother, Scott, shared the entire story and truth about Alden, Jay's Journal and the aftermath. Scott also shared a draft of a manuscript he'd been working on for years, "A Place In The Sun: The truth behind Jay's Journal."

Two years later, armed with the truth and with Scott and Marcella's blessing, Bryan along with Jack Donaldson, Winston Lee and other members of the band, Grain, had composed and produced a rock opera titled "A Place In The Sun."

Scott's continued involvement (see below), along with his book, Alden's actual journal and transcriptions of interviews with Alden's family and friends all proved critical resources in the writing process.

Grain produced and performed the show in various live venues around Salt Lake City and Provo in 1997 and 1998. Consistently met with rave reviews, standing ovations, and requests for taking the Show to other, larger venues – the band simply wasn’t ready for what it would take to go to the next level.
I met Bryan Hall in 1995 the day after he returned from an LDS mission to New York, NY, and moved into the basement apt. in my mother's house. I was in the process of finalizing the second draft of my book, “A Place In The Sun: The Truth Behind Jay's Journal” at the time. From that first meeting, both my mother and I felt a strong friendship working with Bryan to bring out the truth of what happened to our family so many years ago. Bryan felt an immediate kinship with my late brother, Alden, and was inspired by our family’s story as my mother and I relayed it. 

In June of 1995, Bryan asked for a copy of my unpublished manuscript. Two years later, he and his band, Grain, came to me having written an entire rock opera, 38 songs, about my brother and our story. There was no denying the powerful message their show invoked back in 1997.

In 2016, twenty years of additional experience and uncanny events had led both myself and Bryan inexorably full circle, and we met again to hear a reworked storyline and additional songs. Within those songs, is a Hero's Story that includes perseverance as an additional theme, with a decidedly spiritual twist. With tears of redemption flowing, I gave my renewed blessing to this project.

Now, in 2022 we are anxious to share the fruits of our respective and collaborative labors. First, a powerful stage show, called Pleasant Grove, The Rock Opera that will push aside the daily minutiae that has overrun each of our lives to reveal wisdom of what is truly important. And second, a reworking of my book, A Place In the Sun, which now includes my personal journey of healing and hope (to be published 2022).
- Scott Barrett, June 2022

2022 "Pleasant Grove Rock Opera"

For the last twenty-five years, Bryan, Jack and band have continued to build on and refine the show as a labor of love.  That labor has produced something truly remarkable – a finished work of art that captivates everyone who sees and hears it.

"Pleasant Grove,” with its music and lyrics written by Bay of Pigs and directed by Amelia Rose Moore is based on the tragic and true events described above. This unique show is a beautiful, delicate, gritty, emotive and at times raw and explosive Rock Opera. It tackles, head-on, intense themes such as mental illness, drug use and suicide, an over-bearing conservative community, family relationships strained to the breaking point and the seemingly impossible road to a renewed hope and healing. The production demands audiences look inward and reach outward as they experience this epic story.

Added to the team are a capable series of business operators, a world-class Broadway entertainment attorney, a Tony award winning producer, and an amazing cast and crew - all sharing a common vision. The Show is truly going on!

Timeline and Upcoming Events:

August and November 2021 - Bay of Pigs played "Pleasant Grove Rock Opera" to private audiences.

May 20, 21, 2022 - Staged Reading at West Valley Performing Arts Center (see images below)

July 29, 30, 2022 - Summer Preview at West Valley Performing Arts Center

Coming in 2023 - Workshops, Showcase, Premier!


World Premiere:

Location coming soon