Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”
Opens night April 30
Thursdays - Saturdays, May 5-28
$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.
Among the handful of great American stage dramas of the 20th century, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman stands at or near the top. The extraordinary story of traveling salesman Willy Loman’s love for his family, and his dissolution in the face of the changing world of 1948, his failing powers as he ages, and the trouble his sons are having establishing themselves securely in their lives, revolves around the past, the present, and fantasies colliding inside Willy’s head.
“Death of a Salesman has become such an accepted part of the canon,” says director Henry Williamson, who recently directed his own adaptations of The Seagull and Hamlet, “that we tend to forget how revolutionary its dramatic structure was and still is today. The play moves in and out of different aspects of Willy’s life, filtering everyone and everything through his mind, blurring the lines between fact and fancy, creating a symphonic rendering of the interplay of thought and time.”
Salesman was suggested by actress Jane Hallstrom, who saw a Willy Loman in Magnetic Artistic Director Steven Samuels. “It wasn’t my idea,” Samuels insists. “I had never considered the part, but when Jane asked I realized all I have in common with Willy: I’m just the right age; I grew up in his Brooklyn; and when I was young, my father was a traveling salesman. Still,” he says, “to imagine one is good enough to play such a role is folly. One can only hope and trust that the material will inhabit him and raise him to its level.”
Hallstrom, who plays Willy’s devoted wife Linda, recommended Williamson to helm the production. Williamson has put together an extraordinary cast of 12, including Magnetic Theatre veterans Erik Moellering and Allen T. Law as the Loman sons Biff and Happy.
Death of a Salesman kicks off The Magnetic’s new “Masters Series.” While remaining dedicated to original works, the company believes there can be real value for audiences in seeing some of the sources behind the troupe’s world premieres; that working on classics will expand the capacity of Magnetic actors, designers, and directors; and that the company’s playwrights may find inspiration in working closely with established texts (as Samuels did in a co-production with the Montford Park Players of Molière’s Tartuffe, which led to his The Merchant of Asheville). “It’s also an opportunity,” adds Magnetic Managing and Associate Artistic Director Lucia Del Vecchio, “for us to reveal the unexpected and forgotten in seemingly familiar works.”
Directed by Henry Williamson. Starring, as the Loman family, Steven Samuels (Willy), Jane Hallstrom (Linda), Erik Moellering (Biff), and Allan T. Law (Happy), and featuring Emily Crock, Dana Gillihan, Travis Kelley, Cody Magouirk, David Mycoff, Caleb Owolabi, Bri Tureff, and Elliot Weiner. Lighting by Abby Auman. Costumes by Kayren McKnight. Hair by Sandra McDaniel. Stage management by Deanna Braine.
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.
The Attic Salt Theatre Company presents "Saturdays on Stage" at Magnetic 375 - Family shows on Saturday mornings at 10am! Click the image to learn more!