Teresa Sanderson on the meaning of 3

Teresa Sanderson, Christy Summerhays and Stephanie Howell in 3

Teresa Sanderson, Christy Summerhays and Stephanie Howell in 3

Teresa Sanderson received the 2013 City Weekly Arty Award for “Best Local Theatre Performance” for Plan-B’s ERIC(A), which also toured to Good Company Theatre in Ogden, United Solo Theatre Festival in New York and Theatre Out in California.  She has also appeared in Plan-B’s PUSHING THE ENVELOPE: AN EVENING OF ONE-ACTS, ANIMAL FARM, TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY, THE ALIENATION EFFEKT, EXPOSED, DI ESPERIENZA, MESA VERDE and all six RADIO HOURs (most recently Eric Samuelsen’s EPISODE 9: FAIRYANA).

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 

As I have been rehearsing Eric Samuelsen’s new play 3, I have talked to more than one active Mormon woman who talked about this notion, that they are always striving for perfection. An admirable goal, but I worry that we beat ourselves up trying to achieve it, get caught up in the minutiae, worry about how it looks and forget the important stuff. When we put that kind of pressure on ourselves it is easy to blame society, or men, or the Church. But the truth is women are very hard on themselves and I worry that the goal is unachievable.

During the rehearsal process, we have talked a lot about this idea of perfection and Christy Summerhays shared a definition I think I could live with. The Hebrew word (tam or tamim) doesn’t carry the meaning “without flaw” as the term perfection does in English. It means “complete” or “mature” or “healthy.”

I have always been leery of perfection, in fact, on my script for ERIC(A), the play I did for Plan-B last season, I have written in my own hand, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never achieve it.”

But this idea of completeness, and health, THAT I understand.

I hope I strive every day to be better than I was the day before. A better wife, mother, friend. But I know my life will never be “perfect.” Life is just too messy for perfection. And I would be as bored with perfection as I am with “normal.”

I hope to be one of those old ladies in dance class, or learning to paint, or something. Learning and growing for as long as I’m able. Always working towards maturity, and health, and “completeness.”  You know, perfection.

Eric Samuelsen’s 3 receives its world premiere as part of Plan-B’s #SeasonOfEric March 27-April in the Studio Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.  Featuring Stephanie Howell, Teresa Sanderson and Christy Summerhays, directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff.  Click here for more information and tickets.

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