The Employee Handbook Revision Committee
Thursday-Saturday, October 1-24, @ 7:30 PM, $18 in advance/$21 at the door (No performances October 8 & 9)
Three years after her last hit, MILF: The Musical,Magnetic’s Lucia Del Vecchio debuts her latest play, though instead of musically skewering suburbia, this time she brings her darkly comedic efforts to the office. An ensemble cast filled with regulars on the Asheville theatrical scene, The Employee Handbook Revision Committee begs the question- is there such a thing as a good meeting?
Brad the Temp (Michael Coghlan) joins the staff of an administrative department committee that is revising an out of date employee manual. The committee is helmed by the niece of the company’s boss, DeeDee (Tracey Johnston-Crum), who is off her meds and out for blood. Cal from Human Resources (Scott Bean) takes the committee very seriously and tries to inspire the same among his co-workers. And Sue (Karen Stobbe) trains Brad on who to trust and who to avoid, while hiding secrets of her own that could cost her her job. The show also stars Katie Kasben as DeeDee’s airheaded sidekick Angela, and Stephanie Hickling-Beckman as Beverly, the administrative department head who is the only one who can put DeeDee in her place.
"I'm really thrilled to have such an all-star cast come together for this show,” says Del Vecchio. “It's certainly a comedy, and these actors will be able to play that superbly well, but while also highlighting the dramatic elements of the show as well."
The Magnetic Theatre reopened in their new space in May of this year and is one of the most exciting young theatre companies in the Southeast. If you’ve ever felt caged in a cubicle, sourced solace in the solitude of the copy room, or fell asleep during a meeting, The Employee Handbook Revision Committee will feel familiar in ways both tragic and comic.
Written and directed by Lucia Del Vecchio, sound design by Mary Zogzas, set and props by Kehren Barbour, costumes by Barbara Taggart, and lighting by Jason Williams. At Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street in the River Arts District). Performances Thursday-Saturday, October 1-24, @ 7:30 PM, $18 in advance/$21 at the door
(fees included). No performances October 8 & 9.
SPECIAL EVENT! Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams: Halloween Edition
Featuring Hobey Ford’s “Ichabod: Sketches from Sleepy Hollow”
Thursday-Saturday, October 29-31 @ 8 PM, $7 in advance/$10 at the door
For the last decade, Heather Henson, of the Jim Henson Foundation, has curated Handmade Puppet Dreams, a showcase for the fresh voices of independent puppeteers who embrace film to explore a spectrum of live-action puppetry styles. These short films allow contemporary artisans to weave together the crafts of filming and puppetry, helping them to build their vision and then breathe life into their dreams.
Now, in time for Halloween, The Magnetic Theatre proudly presents a special collection of these stunning films, Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams: Halloween Edition, featuring the Asheville premiere of celebrated local puppeteer Hobey Ford’s “Ichadbod: Sketches from Sleepy Hollow.” Local filmmakers Hobey Ford, Shane Peters, and Robert Klein will be on hand with puppets and sets from “Ichabod” to discuss their project, which was produced by Heather Henson and Ibex Puppetry.
The Halloween Edition will screen for three evenings only, October 29-31, at 8 PM, at Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street in the River Arts District). Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door, which opens at 7:30 PM.
While these short films are not rated, some may not be appropriate for children.
A sample video or two:
The WORLD PREMIERE of David Brendan Hopes’ Washington Place Gives Life to the Women Lost in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
November 5-22, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 2 PM. $18 in advance/$23 at the door.
Many have heard about the devastating Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on New York City’s Lower East Side in 1911, and about the important labor laws enacted in its deadly wake. But no one knows much, if anything, about the lives of the young women caught up in this tragedy. Now David Brendan Hopes beautifully imagines their lives for us, bringing us their passions, hopes, and dreams, as well as their songs and laughter, in an effervescent, moving world premiere presented by The Magnetic Theatre, produced and directed by the company’s artistic director, Steven Samuels.
The Magnetic Theatre is best known for its raucous comedies, and there are wonderfully funny moments in Washington Place. But the company has always harbored a serious streak (exemplified by such works as John Crutchfield’s Ruth and Samuels’ own Evening the Score) and it welcomes this opportunity to spread its aesthetic wings with this historical drama.
David Brendan Hopes is a well-known local poet and actor as well as playwright. His plays Abbott's Dance, 7 Reece Mews, Edward the King, and, most recently, The Loves of Mr Lincoln have been produced in New York. Washington Place was developed, in part, at this summer’s Great Plains Theater Festival.
Steven Samuels co-founded The Magnetic Theatre in 2009 and has served as playwright, director, actor, dramaturg, and/or producer for more than two dozen of the company’s productions, including his own The Merchant of Asheville and three shows presented in The New York International Fringe Festival. He also directs the LaZoom Comedy Tours.