The Merchant of Asheville: A Locally Sourced Comedy



This contemporary comedy, set in a classic mold, concerns the family owners of a modest Bed and Breakfast in Montford, and the troubles they’re having adjusting to the ongoing changes in our fair city…not to mention the appearance of a couple of mysterious strangers!

Written and directed by The Magnetic Theatre’s Steven Samuels (author of When Jekyll Met Hyde, etc.), The Merchant of Asheville stars Tracey Johnston-Crum, Darren Marshall, Samantha Stewart, Kirby Gibson, Joe Carroll, Badi Mirheli, and Samuels himself in the title role.

Set by Erin Owens. Costumes by Scott Fisher. Lighting by Jason Williams. Props & graphic design by Jim Julien. Sound design by Mary Zogzas. Choreography by Kristi DeVille.

Shows from Saturday, May 30-July 4: $20 in advance/$23 at the door (+ tax & service charges) 7:30 PM


  • “From playwright to cast, risk-taking is the order of the evening, and it’s a delight!” – Joseph Barcia, Asheville Grit: “The Merchant of Asheville” at The Magnetic Theatre
  • The Mountain Xpress: The Magnetic Theatre to christen new location with a comedic take on life in Asheville
  • “Pulled out all the stops… The perfect show to officially christen the new space… A gently loving send-up of Asheville… Darren Marshall is perfectly cast… Kirby Gibson is delightful… Joe Carroll practically steals the show… Tracey Johnston-Crum is simultaneously in uber-bitch mode, and uber-MILF mode, and plays both perfectly and with graceful ease… Something one might expect to see if Mel Brooks moved to Asheville, cast members of Monty Python, and performed Shakespeare after a long weekend bender… More outrageously inventive than you’re likely to find being done by any theatre company anywhere… This is some of the most original, and off the wall theatre you’ve ever seen. And seeing is believing.” Jeff Messer, 880therevolution
  • Metro Asheville: Asheville’s Changing Face the Subject of Magnetic Theatre’s Merchant of Asheville
  • The Laurel of Asheville: Magnetic 375 Celebrates with The Merchant of Asheville
  • “In his original new play “The Merchant of Asheville,” the company’s debut production in the new space, Samuels has taken one of the Bard’s best, inserted it into a cache from one of Moliere’s most memorable and added a touch of Christopher Marlowe for additional seasoning and a Gogol-esque twist to come up with a property that tweaks our imagination and titillates our social conscience with no small amount of seat squirming before the welcome relief of a refreshing resolution at the end of the evening.” Jim Cavener – Citizen Times Review: Review: Magnetic Theatre’s ‘The Merchant of Asheville’
  • Prodigious… Tweaks our imagination and titillates our social conscience… This adventuresome and ‘locally sourced’ new comedy features the sights and delights of Asheville, and much double — probably even triple — entendres, as well as naughty nuances that pointedly illuminate what makes Asheville Asheville: beer, food, tourists and ‘keeping Asheville weird.’… A pretty wild romp… An appropriate celebration of the return of a unique aspect of cultural life in the RAD and in the larger Asheville scene.” Jim Cavener, Asheville Citizen-Times/Scene: ‘Merchant of Asheville’ barbs local life at Magnetic
  • Jeff Catanese, Asheville Theater Radio Show, May 28, 2015. WPVM 103.7 FM. Guests: Kirby Gibson and Steven Samuels or The Magnetic Theatre’s “The Merchant of Asheville.”


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