Eric Samuelsen on writing 3

Eric Samuelsen has been writing for Plan-B for a decade: seven SLAM plays, two Ibsen translations presented as part of the Script-In-Hand Series (A DOLL HOUSE and GHOSTS) and six world premieres (MIASMA, AMERIGO, BORDERLANDS, NOTHING PERSONAL,RADIO HOUR EPISODE 8: FAIRYANA and CLEARING BOMBS).  The 2013/14 #SeasonOfEric is fully dedicated to his work. 3 consists of three short plays in which Mormon women quietly confront and examine their own culture. Mormonism is my life-long spiritual home. But loving a culture does not mean blinding oneself to its limitations. And chief among those limitations is a deeply rooted culture of sexism, of patronizing patriarchy. And above all, Mormonism can be obsessed with public relations, with how things seem, with appearances. Often critics outside our culture point to the fact that Mormon women are not allowed the Priesthood. Well, what does that mean? Both more and less than our outside critics understand. The Mormon understanding of ‘Priesthood’ is complicated and difficult; Mormon women participate in public worship and have some leadership role in Church proceedings. No, Mormon sexism is quieter than that, subtler. And it’s tied to issues of body image and sexuality, it’s tied to that focus on the way things look to the world. So the three plays of 3, each with casts of three actresses, begins with that number: three. Three is an iconic number in Mormonism. We believe in a Godhead of three persons; not the Christian trinity, but three distinct individuals, each of them Gods. We’ll sometimes describe ourselves as monotheistic, but it isn’t really true; we worship an odd sort of Divine Committee; three Gods...

Jerry Rapier on selecting The Season of Eric.

Jerry Rapier has been Producing Director of Plan-B Theatre Company since 2000.  Plan-B, his son Oscar and his husband Kirt are the joys of his life. I have had two of the most rewarding experiences of my creative life directing Eric Samuelsen’s AMERIGO (2010) and BORDERLANDS (2011) for Plan-B.  Eric writes with an enviable ease about Big Ideas – he can be Truthful with a Capital T and Intellectual with a Capital I, yet still guide his audience to a soulful place, a place of passion, a place where a true marriage of truth and intellect is possible – a place where you have no choice but to take pause, reexamine and choose how best to move forward. He has an uncanny ability to identify the gaps in the recorded history of historical figures and address the “What if?” without resorting to straightforward biography. Simply put, he makes the historical personal. So when it came time to select the 2013/14 season, I did what I had been considering for quite some time – I invited Eric to be a resident playwright. And then I did something else I had been considering for quite some time – I asked if Plan-B could stage an entire season of his work. I wanted to celebrate his range as a playwright and let some of that been-under-a-bushel-far-too-long work see the light of day. From there, I asked him what mattered most to him of the dozen or so plays/ideas he had in various stages of completion. Together, we settled on (click on each title for details): NOTHING PERSONAL, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 8: FAIRYANA,...

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