Brief Encounters: New Magnetic Voices 2012, the Magnetic Theatre’s second annual evening of original short plays, is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and varied theatrical events of the summer. Opening on June 30th, the program features new plays by well-known playwrights as well as by writers whose work is being staged for the first time.
“The sheer volume of script submissions we received this year was astounding–and really exciting,” says Katie Anne Towner, Associate Artistic Director and Managing Director of The Magnetic Theatre. Towner co-produces Brief Encounters along with Associate Artistic Director and playwright John Crutchfield. “After reading the nearly 80 submissions we received,” Towner says, “the best scripts turned out to have some variety—everything from comedy to Absurdism to realistic drama. It’s going to be a wildly entertaining show.”
The program includes nationally celebrated playwright Stephan de Ghelder’s “Meeting Mr. Right,” a tender comedy with a surprise ending, directed by Mandy Bean; Asheville-favorite Jim Julien’s “The Dining,” directed by Katie Anne Towner, which offers up a celebrity chef on the verge of a mental breakdown; and Jerry Lieblich’s hilarious “Portrait of the Artist as a Middle Aged Woman,” directed by Samantha Stewart, featuring the Latin Lover of your dreams. At the weirder end of the spectrum are Chris O’Leary’s “Just For the Halibut,” directed by Jason Williams, about a husband and wife who have just given birth to their first fish; and Mark Sullivan’s “I Had That Dream Again,” directed by Peter Brezny, which beggars description entirely. Rounding out the program is “Knit, Purl,” by local writer Mesha Maren, an intense and sensitively-written family drama, directed by Mike Coghlan.
“These writers represent a new group of talents for The Magnetic Field, and for theatre in Asheville,” says Towner. “We received scripts from all over the country, and we’re thrilled to have put together this fun, eclectic program.”
The lineup of talent among the writers and directors is matched by an ensemble of hand-picked local actors, which includes Magnetic Theatre veterans Darren Marshall, Trinity Smith, Courtney DeGennaro, Travis Kelley, Ryan Madden, and Laura Tratnik, as well as fresh-to-the-Magnetic-stage talents Joseph Barcia, James Curley, Carla Pridgen, Sean David Robinson, and Mike Willey.
“If you want to see a cross-section of the best Asheville has to offer in terms of new playwrighting, directing, and acting,” says Crutchfield, “this is a show you won’t want to miss.”
Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays, June 30 – July 21, with low-priced previews on June 28th and 29th. All performances begin at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12/15 (previews $8) and can be purchased online at http://www.themagneticfield.com/events or in person at The Magnetic Field, 372 Depot Street, Suite 50, Asheville, NC 28801.
Category: Asheville features