About me

Eric Samuelsen here.  I’m a playwright and a critic, a theatre director and occasional actor, a baseball fan and a Democrat, a Mormon and a Christian, and a retired college professor.  I earned a PhD in Theatre History and Criticism from Indiana University, then taught at Brigham Young University for twenty years.  I was then diagnosed with polymyositis, an incurable muscular degenerative auto-immune disease, which forced my early medical retirement.  I’m the father of four wonderful children, and very happily married for thirty two years.  My plays have won multiple awards, and have been produced all over the country.  I am also a recent winner of the Smith-Pettit Award, for oustanding lifetime contributions to Mormon Letters. I am resident playwright at Plan B Theatre company in Salt Lake City.  And I’m a huge fan of the San Francisco Giants.

19 thoughts on “About me

  1. Alex Kazan

    Pleasure meeting you Eric. I’m a Liberal Mormon, and I specifically liked your comment “…people who call themselves Christian to re-examine their souls, and their attitudes towards their brothers and sisters.” I feel the same way every Sunday when I attend church.

  2. Diana Reynolds

    Just found your blog. Love it. I’m a Hoosier living in Indianapolis and love the Indiana connection. Being a liberal Mormon here in the reddest of red states is difficult at best. But I plug along as the “weirdo” in my ward. Your posts give me strength. Thanks for writing. Oh, and “Go IU!”

  3. Brett Nordquist

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and it’s become one of the few I look forward to each day. I recently moved from the Seattle area to St. George and I’m still hanging tough as one of the new non-conservative in my neighborhood and ward. Keep up the excellent writing.

  4. notallright (@notallright)

    You and I are politically poles apart, yet your eloquent and witty post on the filibuster is one of the best I’ve ever read. I especially admire your remarks about eccentrics. Yes, let’s do keep the national conversation going! Thank you for your blog!

  5. Juliathepoet

    Some days I mourn when i don’t have a post in my inbox I know it is just because you are in rehearsals for a new and brilliant play.

    If you haven’t seen the review on FMH yet, get a few tissues. Then, please start a Kickstarter so that those of us who are part of the Mormon diaspora have a way to watch, share and cherish the performances on video. I don’t mean turn your shows into movies, just into well shot videos of the plays. Please. (I will beg, or help run the promotion for the Kickstarter, or whatever is most helpful.) Think of it as a Keepa project for the 20teens. 😉

  6. John Draper

    Hello. I’m looking for someone who was a liberal Mormon in 1979. I’m writing my first novel and it takes place in 1979, shortly after Spencer Kimball removed the priesthood bad. One of my characters is an progressive/liberal Mormon in the ward. I would like to talk to a liberal Mormon who lived through this period. It will help me create the character sketch for this character

    1. Karen Heiner

      Did you find the person you were looking for? If not, I can put you in touch with my mom. She fits the description.

      1. John Draper

        I don’t need a liberal mormon anymore as much as I need an ex mormon returned missionary. Liberal in general would be good because there’s swearing and sex in it. I’d like to pay him/her to read my novel.

  7. Kenna

    Hi Dr. Samuelsen, I am doing a class project about you and your plays for my Dramatic Analysis class.
    I was wondering what you would consider your top/best five or six full length plays? And where your ideas to write come from? (Obviously Mormon culture, but as you are relatively prolific as far as LDS playwrights go, and your plays have the tendency to center around topical or thematic structures, how do you go about grabbing those ideas?)
    I would really appreciate what ever time you had to offer. And thanks so much for your talent and skills. I’ve so enjoyed reading the plays I have read so far.

  8. Larry Morris

    Eric, I just discovered your blog, and I’m enjoying it. My favorite pitching performance in a World Series was that of Dizzy and Paul Dean in 1934. Between them, they won all four games. True, Dizzy lost game 5, but that was after getting knocked out as a pitch runner in game 4. Dizzy also got three hits and scored three runs in the series. He pitched a shut out in game 7, and, if I remember right, never walked a batter and never ran the count to 3-2.

  9. christensene

    Hello Dr. Samuelsen! Nice to read your blog. So sorry to hear about the illness. Keith tells our kids fun stories about missionary adventures the two of you had in Norway. We have 2 kids at BYU. It would be nice to visit you on one of our trips to Provo. –Elizabeth

  10. Ward

    Dr. Samuelsen:

    Would you get in touch with me? I’d like to have a conversation about nuclear weapons and the Church of Latter Day Saints.

    ward {at} rethinkingnuclearweapons.org


    Ward Wilson

    PS Great blog.


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