Brief Encounters: New Magnetic Voices 2016
Tailor-made for adventurous short attention spans, the fourth installment of The Magnetic’s new work showcase, Brief Encounters: New Magnetic Voices 2016, will premiere five new short plays by local WNC writers this June. Local directors are working with casts of actors largely new to The Magnetic stage, in plays that were chosen for their clarity of voice, purpose, humor, and dramatic arc.
“In previous years we've usually done 6, but this year we have a few plays that run longer than your average 10-minute play, so 5 made for a nicely balanced evening of new work,” says The Magnetic’s managing and associate artistic director Lucia Del Vecchio. Also markedly different than the 2015 production, which showcased work from submissions received nationwide, this year’s production is focused exclusively on local writing talent. “We hope that this year's installment of Brief Encounters shows just how much theatrical writing talent we have locally in WNC. It is increasingly difficult for burgeoning playwrights to get a chance to see their work onstage, and there can be no growth without productions. Brief Encounters truly encapsulates our mission to promote and produce new work for the stage.” said The Magnetic’s artistic director Steven Samuels.
The evening of work will range from the comedic to the tragic, exploring the relationships between parents and children, aging and death, as well as truth and illusion. Made for the theatrically curious, The Magnetic Theatre’s Brief Encounters offers audiences the chance to get to know the bold voices of their neighbors in a truly homegrown artistic experience.
The Magnetic Theatre presents Brief Encounters: New Magnetic Voices 2016, featuring works by Devin Brady, Cody Magouirk, Cliff Yudell, Adam Arthur, and Peter Lundblad. At Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street in the River Arts District), June 4-25, Thursdays-Saturdays, at 7:30 PM (tickets $21 online/$24 at the door), with low-priced previews June 2 and 3 ($16/$19). $10 student rush tickets available, with ID, 15 minutes before each performance.
Low-priced previews: July 7 & 8 at 7:30 PM
$16 online/$19 at the door
Opening night (with free bubbly!) July 9
Then plays Thursdays - Saturdays, July 14 - 30
All performances at 7:30 PM
$21 online/$24 at the door
All performances at 7:30 PM. $10 student rush tickets available 15 minutes before curtain with valid I.D.
Capital Liar, a world premiere noir comedy by local playwright Peter Lundblad, brings the style of classic, madcap Hollywood comedies to the Asheville stage. Set in Washington, D.C., in the late 1950s, Capital Liar concerns Sylvester “Sly” Goodwin, a man who will do anything to keep his tabloid newspaper, The Capital Liar, financially solvent. But money turns out to be the least of his problems. When a notorious gangster, a femme fatale actress, a misguided FBI agent, and a hard-charging reporter for the Washington Post take an interest in him and his paper, Sly must face the ineffable truth: survival frequently requires a good lie.
Playwright Lundblad says, “Capital Liar seems to be the natural conclusion of enjoying film noir detective stories, historical fiction, and screwball comedies.” He adds, “Humor is something I just can't seem to shake,” which will be no surprise to audience members who have flocked to The Magnetic’s annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectaculars over the years, since Peter is one of the writers for that comedy juggernaut. He’s also a member of local improv troupe No Regets and has appeared as an actor with The Magnetic in Pinocchio, The Caro Savanti Experience, and Tartuffe. His comic one-act, “Fifty-Five Ninety-Nine,” is part of The Magnetic’s current Brief Encounters 2016. Capital Liar will be his first-produced full-length play.
Director Rodney Smith shares Lundblad’s taste in film and humor. “I have a passion for comedy films of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and I have dreamed for years of directing The Front Page for the stage,” Smith says. “So, when I saw Peter’s treatment for this play, I knew I had to be part of bringing this project to life.” Smith is no stranger to The Magnetic, having appeared onstage in The Last Laugh and Evening the Score, directed for Brief Encounters, and also contributed writing to the Bernsteins. Best-known locally as a photographer, he has also worked with the Montford Park players and Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective, for which he starred in Neighbors and directed his own, award-winning play, Table 6.