Eric Samuelsen • Author

Eric Samuelsen taught at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio before joining the faculty at Brigham Young University in 1992. He became head of the Playwriting program at BYU in 1999. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member in the Religion department. He retired from BYU in 2012.
As a playwright, Samuelsen has had twenty-seven plays professionally produced in Utah, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, and California. Some of his plays include Gadianton, which has seen three professional productions across the country, A Love Affair with Electrons, Family, The Plan, and The Way We’re Wired.  He is resident playwright at Plan-B Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, who designated their 2013-14 season a ‘Season of Eric,’ including productions of six plays.
He is a member of the Playwrights’ Circle, and the Dramatists Guild. He is three-time winner of the Annual Award in Playwriting offered by the Association for Mormon Letters (AML) and he became president of AML in 2007. In 2013 the organization awarded him the Smith Pettit Award for his lifetime work as a playwright.
He has been a staff writer for the on-line satirical magazine The Sugarbeet. He was also featured in the book Conversations with Mormon Authors, edited by Chris Bigelow. He is a noted Ibsen translator, and has also published scholarly articles on 19th and 20th century Scandanavian Theatre, and more recently, on LDS drama and film. He blogged at Mormoniconoclast.com.

Eric died in September of 2019 after a long battle, due to complications from polymyositis. The LDS Community, Utah, the Intermountain West, and the Country lost a unique and powerful voice of insight and call to action; an award-winning voice. Eric had a way of getting to the heart of any matter, thusly motivating us to think, react, and then act.

Plays in the Leicester Bay Theatricals Catalog:

  • 3 (Three Women) Three short plays about Mormon women, or women of Faith, confronting their own culture:
    • Bar and Kell (two women help a single mother and confront their own motives)
    • Community Standard (a woman serving on the jury of an indecency trial is forced to confront issues in her own marriage)
    • Duets (a woman confronts the choices she has made by marrying a gay man)
    • – Premiered at the Little Brown Theatre in Springville, Utah, 2001 (without ‘Community Standard’);
    • later Premiered as “3” at Plan-B Theatre C0mpany, 2014 (with all three short plays)
  • Aftermath
  • Amerigo (Christopher Columbus) Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company, SLC,  2010; published in “More Plays from Behind the Zion Curtain.”
  • Behind the Blue Door 10 minute play – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM 2007
  • Blind Date — one act Covey Center for The Arts, Provo, Utah, 2012
  • Bottom of the Ninth • PREMIERE PLAY FILE
  • Blood Pudding 10 minute play – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM 2006
  • Borderlands – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company, 2011; Published in Sunstone Magazine, 2009; Published in 2012 in “Even More Plays from Behind the Zion Curtain”
  • Bumps a 60 minute TYA play • Theatre Arts Conservatory/Plan-B Theatre Company production
  • Burning Desire 10 minute play – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM 2008
  • The Butcher, The Beggar and the Bedtime-Buddy 10 minute play – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM 2005 (Later became the full length, “Miasma” [see below])
  • Cannibal Bondage Fiasco a 10-minute play — PREMIERE PLAY FILE
  • Investiture at Canossa — PREMIERE PLAY FILE
  • Cassandra – A Ten-minute Play –– Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival — 2018
  • Clearing Bombs (Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize) Premiered at Plan-B Theatre Company 2014
  • CoughLaugh (experimental) Premiered by BYU in 1998 and again in 2010
  • Control_Alt_Delete Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM
  • Do Good PREMIERE PLAY FILE
  • A Doll House (translated and adapted from the Ibsen original) Staged Reading by Plan-B Theatre Company
  • Dreamers a 10-minute play • Rose Exposed
  • Fairyana (Plan-B Theatre’s Radio Hour Episode 8) Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company and KUER’s Radio West  2013
  • Foursquare — a 10-minute  TYA  • Theatre Arts Conservatory and Plan-B Theatre Company Student SLAM
  • Gaming the DMV – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company SLAM 2012
  • Ghosts (translated and adapted from the Ibsen original) Staged Reading at Plan-B Theatre Company
  • He and She Fighting: A Love StoryPremiered by The New Play Project, Provo, Utah 2010
  • The Ice Front – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company, 2017 (The Nazi Occupation of Norway)
  • Intersection – Premiered by the Theatre Arts Conservatory at Plan-B Theatre Company, 2009
  • Inversion – Premiered by the Theatre Arts Conservatory at Plan-B Theatre Company, 2008
  • Kiss – a one-act play (can be added or inserted into “Peculiarities” Below)
  • The Kreutzer Sonata – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company and Nova Chamber Music Series, 2015
  • Last Chance a 20 minute play about middle-age (or Seniors) PREMIERE PLAY FILE
  • Little Eyolf (translated and adapted from the Ibsen original) Premiered at BYU
  • A Love Affair With Electrons (Philo T. Farnsworth and the invention of Television) Premiered at BYU in 2000
  • Magnificence (adapted from John Skelton’s Medieval play) Premiered at BYU, 2002
  • Miasma – Premiered by Plan-B Theatre Company, 2006; published in “Plays from Behind the Zion Curtain.”
  • Mount VernonA Black History Professor visits George Washington • PREMIERE PLAY FILE
  • Nothing PersonalProduced by Plan-B Theatre Company 2013
  • Peculiarities (Four short interwoven parable-plays on youth and sexuality as they intersect Faith) Premiered at Springville Playhouse, 2005, then Produced by Cue Media, Filmed
  • Perfect Circle 10 minute play – Premiered by Theatre Arts Conservatory/Plan-B Theatre Company’s STUDENT SLAM 2009
  • Playing The Game – Produced at BYU in 1979 (Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival regional production) (COMING SOON)
  • Rain In The Face  PREMIERE PLAY FILE
  • Slaying The Greeble (a play for Young Audiences) • TYA
  • Spinning and Democracy — a scene and a monologue from the play (IN)DIVISIBLE (a play produced at Plan-B Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, with multiple authors) (COMING SOON)
  • Spoiled Cheese – a ten-minute play from Plan-B Theatre Company’s SLAM 2005
  • What Really Happened – Produced at BYU, 2000
  • Winding Sheet – About a Victorian social reformer and prostitution. Staged reading at Salt Lake Acting Company 1998 • PREMIERE PLAY FILE

Plays in the ZT Catalog:

  • Accommodations  Produced at BYU in 1993, Published in Sunstone Magazine in 1994, Association for Mormon Letters Best Drama Award 1994
  • The Way We’re Wired – Premiered at BYU 1999; Winner: Association for Mormon Letters Best Drama Award, 1999; Adapted into a Novel, “Singled Out” published by Cornerstone in 2000.
  • Family – Produced at BYU, 2005; Winner: AML Drama Award, 2005; Published in Sunstone Magazine, 2005;
  • Letter From A Prophet (from Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail) (co-authored with Charles Metten) Produced at BYU, Fall 1980
  • A Mess Of Pottage – 2013 (COMING SOON)
  • The Plan – Premiered at The Covey Center for the Arts, Provo, Utah 2011; Published in Sunstone Magazine, 2009 (INCLUDES THE SHORT PLAYS: Gaia, Bathsheba, Ruth in the House of Boaz, Rachel’s Sister, Outside Jericho, Eve-Dying)
  • Prayers From Winter Quarters (A Short Play)
  • Gadianton Premiered at BYU 1997; Published in Sunstone Magazine; Winner: Association for Mormon Letters Best Drama Award, 1997; Anthologized in Saints On Stage by Mahonri Stewart, Zarahemla Press, 2013
  • Without Romance – Premiered at BYU 1997; 
  • The Seating of Senator Smoot – Premiered at BYU 1996, Videotaped and broadcast on KBYU TV

His Novel:

  • Singled Out (from Amazon.com) (A novelization of his play, “The Way We’re Wired”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER PLAYS: (We are having trouble finding copies of the plays listed below due to Eric’s death. If you have a copy, please forward it to us or to the author’s wife, Annette.)

  • Bishop (a one act play, part of the filmed “Peculiarities” above) COMING SOON
  • The Christmas Box (based on the novel by Richard Paul Evans. Music by Murray Boren) A Musical premiered at BYU in 1997. [rights unavailable]
  • Derrida’s Dead Cat written in the 1980s
  • Emma (An Opera with Murray Boren) – produced by BYU in 1984 and by Hell’s Kitchen Opera Company in 1984
  • Fourth and Two (unfinished)
  • A Girl Who Blushes – one act Produced by BYU 1978 (feared completely lost)
  • A Man of the Eighties a comedy (Indiana University, 1987)
  • Sex and the New York Yankees (produced at BYU and at Bloomington Playwrights Project, Bloomington, Indiana) (feared completely lost)