Following the success of last year’s production of Death of a Salesman, The Magnetic Theatre’s first entry in its Masters Series (designed to explore established works that have influenced the company’s world premieres), director Henry Williamson III pushes the boundaries once again. The cast, comprised of Steven Samuels and Scott Fisher, will perform the double bill of one-acts staged in New York in the 1960s that had a tremendous, enduring impact on theatergoers and dramatic writing nationwide, Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story” and Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape.” Low-priced previews October 12 and 13, opening night with complimentary Prosecco October 14, and performances Thursdays-Saturdays through October 28 (three weeks only), at 7:30 PM, at Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street in the River Arts District).
“The Zoo Story,” which launched three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Albee’s impressive career, was described by The New York Times as “a gut punch with a closed fist.” The Associated Press said, “The dialogue crackles and the tension runs high,” and Time Out NY has called it “Darkly comic and thrilling!” The seemingly simple encounter in New York’s Central Park between a settled, middle-class man (Samuels) and a younger man (Fisher) whose grittier life is spinning out of control, “The Zoo Story” is relentlessly unpredictable and features one of the strangest and greatest monologues in the history of the stage.
“Krapp’s Last Tape,” by Nobel Prize-winner Samuel Beckett, is a tour-de-force, the surprisingly tender, frequently comical, story of an old man (Samuels) looking back on his life and loves by listening to one of the audio diaries he’s made for many years on his birthday, while recording the latest entry. Back in the day, The New York Post called it “a comment on time past, passing, and to come; on the tinny mechanization of the age and the yet unquenchable wellsprings of the heart.”
Williamson, who devised the evening, says, “‘The Zoo Story’ is mesmerizing in its explosive examination of extreme alienation. Its impact is both harrowing and astonishing. ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ mesmerizes, too, with its keen grip on the dichotomy of time and memory, the interplay of light and dark, of past aspirations and present failures; the absurdity of who you have been versus who you are now. With the pairing of these two plays in a perfect mix of shock and awe, audiences are in for an unforgettable night of theatre!”
The Magnetic Theatre’s Masters Series presents Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story” and Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape.” Directed by Henry Williamson III. Starring Scott Fisher and Steven Samuels. Set design by Dwight Chiles. Lighting design by Abby Auman. Sound design by Henry Williamson III. Stage management by Elissa Peragine. At Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street in the River Arts District). Low-priced previews October 12 & 13. Opening night, with complimentary Prosecco, October 14. Continues Thursdays-Saturdays through October 28. All performances at 7:30 PM. Previews $12. All other performances $16. $10 student rush tickets available 15 minutes before curtain with valid I.D. Prices are inclusive of all taxes and fees. Tickets and info: www.themagnetictheatre.org. Info only: 828.239.9250.
About The Magnetic Theatre:
Now in its ninth year, The Magnetic Theatre is a not-for-profit production company devoted to “new plays, locally grown.” Its 53 world premieres to date reflect the belief that significant advances in the art of the stage depend on theatre people living and working in an actual community, like Asheville, and writing and producing works for that community.