a world premiere by Matthew Ivan Bennett
February 28-March 10, 2013
Th, F at 8pm | Sat at 4pm and 8pm | Sun at 2pm
$20 general admission ($10 students)
Running time 70 minutes, no intermission | No late seating
Studio Theatre, Rose Wagner
138 W 300 S, SLC
Eric used to be Erica…and this is the story of when he fell for a woman for the first time.
Featuring Teresa Sanderson. Directed by Jerry Rapier.
Funded by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Blog Entries | Cast/Creative Bios & Playwright’s Statement | City Weekly | Gavin’s Underground | KRCL’s RadioActive! (3:15) | KUED’s Contact | QSaltLake | The Huffington Post (May 2013) | Selective Echo | Standard-Examiner GO! | The Salt Lake Tribune | Transgender Timeline | The Salt Lake Tribune profile of playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett
Who’s Who | Playwright’s Statement
Matthew Ivan Bennett has been Plan-B’s resident playwright since 2007, where his plays RADIO HOUR: LAVENDER & EXILE, RADIO HOUR: ALICE and RADIO HOUR: FRANKENSTEIN, BLOCK 8, DI ESPERIENZA, MESA VERDE and RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE — as well as more than a dozen short plays — have been produced. He has also had short plays produced by Rising Sun Performance Company/Samuel French Festival (New York), Hunger Artists Theatre Ensemble (Los Angeles), Monkeyman Productions (Toronto), Source Festival (Washington, D.C.), Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Circle Theatre (Chicago) and Wasatch Theatre Company (Salt Lake City). Later this season he will premiere his play A NIGHT WITH THE FAMILY at Omaha Community Playhouse (Omaha) followed by a second production at Pygmalion Theatre Company.
Jerry Rapier is in his 13th season as Producing Director of Plan-B Theatre Company, where he has directed the Utah premieres of MOLLY SWEENEY, THE LARAMIE PROJECT, MY LEFT BREAST, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, ANIMAL FARM, PATIENT A, GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!, THE TRICKY PART and SHE WAS MY BROTHER; the Script-In-Hand Series readings of THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER, THE NORMAL HEART, A DOLL HOUSE, STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS and 8; and the world premieres of AMERIKA, FACING EAST, EXPOSED, WALLACE, AMERIGO, BORDERLANDS, LADY MACBETH, THE THIRD CROSSING and Matthew Ivan Bennett’s BLOCK 8 and DI ESPERIENZA. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign, as a three-time Theatre Panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and on the boards of KUER and Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah. He has received Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s Artist Award and been named one of Salt Lake City Weekly’s Alternative Pioneers, one of Community Foundation’s Enlightened Fifty and one of Catalyst Magazine’s Catalyst 100. Proud Papa of Oscar George Bateman-Rapier.
Teresa Sanderson (Eric) has been acting in and around Salt Lake City for nearly three decades. Her most recent credits include LION IN WINTER for Pinnacle Acting Company, GYPSY for Dark Horse Company Theatre and IN THE NEXT ROOM (OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY) and SEVEN for Pygmalion Theatre Company (for whom she also directed LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL). In ten seasons with Plan-B Theatre Company, Teresa has appeared in PUSHING THE ENVELOPE: AN EVENING OF ONE-ACTS, ANIMAL FARM, TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY, THE ALIENATION EFFEKT, EXPOSED, RADIO HOUR: THE HITCHHIKER & ZERO HOUR, several SLAMs and the Script-In-Hand Series readings of STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS and 8. She has also created roles in six Plan-B productions of plays by Matthew Ivan Bennett: the short play WHAT YOU GET, RADIO HOUR: LAVENDER & EXILE, RADIO HOUR: FRANKENSTEIN, RADIO HOUR: ALICE, DI ESPERIENZA, MESA VERDE and now ERIC(A), her first solo play.
Cheryl Ann Cluff (Sound Design) co-founded Plan-B in 1991 and is the company’s Managing Director. She has directed all of Plan-B’s RADIO HOURs (most recently EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE) as well as MESA VERDE and THE SCARLET LETTER. She has designed sound for nearly every Plan-B production since 2000.
Jennifer Freed (Stage Manager) is incredibly grateful to be a member of Plan-B and has literally loved every show since joining the company in 1998. A stage manager for more than 25 years, her credits span from Utah to New York and California to Canada.
Jesse Portillo (Lighting Design) has previously lit Plan-B’s EXPOSED, BLOCK 8, DI ESPERIENZA, RADIO HOUR: ALICE, AMERIGO, SHE WAS MY BROTHER, MESA VERDE, BORDERLANDS, LADY MACBETH, THE THIRD CROSSING, THE SCARLET LETTER, RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE, ADAM & STEVE AND THE EMPTY SEA, a slew of SLAMs and several Script-In-Hand Series readings. He designs lighting all over the country and teaches lighting design for the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre.
Jerry Rapier (Design) has propped about a dozen and costumed about half-a-dozen Plan-B productions.
Plan-B Theatre Company develops and produces unique and socially conscious theatre. Founded in 1991 and incorporated in 1995, ERIC(A) is the 67th world premiere out of 91 productions in our history. Plan-B is the proud recipient of 42 City Weekly Slammy/Arty Awards; 16 QSaltLake Fabby Awards; and Organization of the Year Awards from Equality Utah, Human Rights Campaign and Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah. The company operates under a Letter of Agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, an Independent Producers Agreement with the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society and is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network.
STATEMENT FROM PLAYWRIGHT MATTHEW IVAN BENNETT
ERIC(A) is about Eric, a transgender man who’s falling for a woman for the first time.
Eric began his life as part of my now-shelved play WHAT ARE YOU?. I had set out to write a very balanced, three-character play about racial, gender and religious identity. But at the first public reading, all anyone cared about — including me I soon realized — was Eric, the transgender character.
I was confused.
So I started over. Completely. To my frustration at the time, Eric also dominated the second version of WHAT ARE YOU? I felt devastated and stupid and angry and lost when, after a second reading, it became clear I was writing a remarkable character in an unremarkable play.
So I shelved WHAT ARE YOU? and threw myself into a new piece. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Eric. When Jerry Rapier asked me if I’d considered creating a solo play about Eric on the very day I realized I had better pay attention to the fact that Eric had something to say, we both (all three?) realized the timing was more than coincidental.
As Jerry, Teresa and I began working in earnest on ERIC(A), I had a lightbulb moment. While working on WHAT ARE YOU?, I interviewed and became friends with several transgender people whose experiences transitioning from female to male figure largely in the play. I became intrigued with the idea of maleness — of what makes me a man. I read and posted on trans message boards. I devoured the science and documentaries the posters pointed me to. I followed trans issues in the papers, heard about the nauseatingly brutal murders of trans people at talks and gatherings. The research crept into all my conversations. I blogged about it. I daydreamed about it.
The lightbulb moment? Well, I had discovered a world that I thought was far removed from my own but was, at its core, almost indistinguishable from my own. It seems so obvious looking back. Eric wouldn’t let go of me because I couldn’t possibly let go of him.
Now I know that Eric wants love. He wants to be seen by others as he sees himself. Just like the rest of us. That’s what he’d been trying to tell me all along. And that’s the story we’re going to share together.
Good Company Theatre
260 25th Street (2nd Floor), Ogden
November 12-13, 2013 | 8pm
United Solo Theatre Festival
November 16, 2013 | 4pm
The Studio Theatre on Theatre Row | 410 West 42nd Street, Manhattan
402 West 4th Street, Santa Ana
January 3-4, 2014 | 8pm
January 5, 2014 | 2pm
Eric used to be Erica . . .
and this is the story of when he fell for a woman for the first time.
Written by Matthew Ivan Bennett
Performed by Teresa Sanderson
Directed by Jerry Rapier
Best Drama (2013)
– United Solo Theatre Festival
“ERIC(A) is one of the most impressive theater experiences in recent memory.”
– Salt Lake Magazine
“Teresa Sanderson’s performance is extraordinary…ERIC(A) builds a bridge between one person’s story and a basic human quest: to become the person we truly want to be.”
– The Salt Lake Tribune
Organization of the Year (2013)
– Transgender Education Advocates of Utah
Arty Award: Best Theatre Performance in Utah (2013)
– Salt Lake City Weekly
Available as part of Plan-B’s New Plays IV and IndieTheaterNow’s Plan-B in NYC. Click here for blog entries, photos, press and reviews from the original production, which was funded by an ArtWorks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.