Mark Fossen on CLEARING BOMBS

Mark Fossen has previously appeared in Plan-B’s EXPOSED, THE ALIENATION EFFEKT, THE SCARLET LETTER and Eric Samuelsen’s AMERIGO, as well as many SLAMs, BANNEDs and Script-In-Hand Series readings. In the fall of 2008, we had decided to put our house on the market. We were living in Eagle Mountain after moving to Utah from Pennsylvania, and had decided we needed to be closer to Salt Lake because the amount of theatre we were doing was increasing and the long drives to and from downtown rehearsal were wearing on us. if you remember, the fall of 2008 was perhaps the single worst time in recent memory to try and sell a home. As the bottom fell out of the housing market and the economy, a new podcast launched from NPR called Planet Money. I distinctly remember taking daily walks, listening to episodes detailing the collapse of the economy as terms like “tranche” and “LIBOR” went from a foreign language to familiar terms. It gave comfort, that slight understanding of the global economic forces that were shaping my personal life. In the mix of all that discussion were constant references to two opposing sides in a debate that was raging as to how governments should react: there were the Keynesians and the Austrian School. One favored government intervention in the form of stimulus, one warned against it. The debate seemingly came up daily, and I sucked down the information about two economists from the early 20th Century who were becoming so central to my personal decision to try and sell my house: John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek. Planet Money covered...

Playwright & director Eric Samuelsen on creating CLEARING BOMBS

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 five world premieres (MIASMA, AMERIGO, BORDERLANDS, NOTHING PERSONAL and RADIO HOUR EPISODE 8: FAIRYANA).  The 2013/14 #SeasonOfEric is fully dedicated to his work. Sometime in the summer of 1942, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich A. Hayek spent a night on the roof of King’s College Chapel in Cambridge.  It was a college faculty assignment, to spend the night there and extinguish any German incendiary bombs that might drop in an air raid.  Almost nothing is known about that night.  Neither Keynes nor Hayek wrote of it at any length, except for a brief mention of it by Keynes in a letter.  Even so indefatigable a biographer as Robert Skidelsky (my apologies, sir: that should be Baron Skidelsky), whose magisterial three volumes of Keynes biography would seem fairly all-inclusive, didn’t mention it.  I learned of it in the book that first drew my attention to the friendship and rivalry between the two economists: Nicholas Wapshott’s “Keynes Hayek.”  I think it’s likely that the event took place either in June or mid-August, 1942.  Those two time periods coincide with Keynes’ weekends at Cambridge. Anyway, I found it fascinating.  Two remarkable economists, brilliant men, endangering their lives for a patriotic and college faculty assignment.  What did they talk about?  1942 is a fascinating time period for their discussion to have taken place.  The outcome of the war was still very much in doubt, and yet economists were very intensely engaged in conversations about...

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,...

CLEARING BOMBS

Clearing BombsWho's Who | Playwright's Statement A world premiere by Eric Samuelsen February 20-March 2, 2014 Studio Theatre @ Rose Wagner 138 W 300 S, SLC No late seating Running time 95 minutes, no intermission Click here for 2013/14 Mini Season Subscriptions and/or Single Tickets During the summer of 1942, economists Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes spent a night on the roof of King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, waiting to clear away and control German incendiary bombs. In CLEARING BOMBS, they’re joined by a fire warden, Mr. Bowles.  A play about economics and defining the future amid mortal danger. Featuring Kirt Bateman, Mark Fossen and Jay Perry.  Directed by Eric Samuelsen. REVIEWS City Weekly  |  Salt Lake Magazine  |  The Salt Lake Tribune  |  SLCene  |  The Utah Review/Selective Echo  |  Utah Theatre Bloggers PRESS Blog  |  Cast & Creative Bios and Playwright Statement  |  15Bytes  |  Catalyst Magazine  |  City Weekly  |  | Gavin’s Underground  |  Mormon Iconoclast  |  The Salt Lake Tribune  |  The Utah Review/Selective Echo  |  UtahTheatre Bloggers #SeasonOfEric Who’s Who  |  Playwright’s Statement PLAYWRIGHT ERIC SAMUELSEN has written for Plan-B since 2004, where his plays MIASMA, AMERIGO, BORDERLANDS, NOTHING PERSONAL and RADIO HOUR EPISODE 8: FAIRYANA received their world premieres.  He has had twenty-six plays produced across the country (most of them in Utah, but also in New York, Louisiana, Idaho and California).  A three-time recipient of the Association for Mormon Letters award for best play, several of his plays have been published by Plan-B and Sunstone.  His Ibsen translations have been produced in Utah, California and elsewhere (including A DOLL HOUSE and GHOSTS as part of Plan-B’s Script-In-Hand...

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