A recommendation from Arnold Wengrow, professor emeritus of drama at UNCA and contributing editor to Theatre Design and Technology and The Journal of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. Wengrow did amazing things for the theatre department at UNCA, and has some high standards indeed.
“I thought you might want to alert Mountain Xpress readers who love good theatre that they should not miss the opportunity to see the Warren Wilson Theatre production of a new play called Fever/Dream by Sheila Callaghan, which plays through this weekend.
The play is a witty send-up of contemporary corporate life with a most unlikely derivation, Life is Dream by the Renaissance playwright Calderon de la Barca.
Now, Warren Wilson Theatre is always doing adventurous, unusual new material and always does old material in adventurous, unusual new ways. But what really makes Fever / Dream a standout is the level of polish, professionalism and punch that director Ron Bashford (in his farewell production at Warren Wilson) elicits from his actors, his designers and his entire team.
I’ve seen a lot of theatre in Asheville in my 40 years here, and this was one of the best. One of the occupational hazards of having been a theatre director myself is that I can rarely turn off my critical antennae. But I was so charmed by Fever/Dream that I stopped looking for flaws and was totally lost in the play and the performance. A rare occurrence for me, as Fever/Dream is a rare theatre occasion for Asheville.”
Word is that Ron Bashford is leaving town for a new position in New England. He’s done acclaimed work at both Warren Wilson and N.C. Stage. He’ll be missed.
More on Fever/Dream, from Warren Wilson:
“Swannanoa gets a taste of surreal corporate intrigue with Warren Wilson Theatre’s production of Sheila Callaghan’s wise and witty new play, Fever/Dream. Fever/Dream is an updated, hip and darkly comic version of the classic Life is a Dream by the Spanish Renaissance playwright Calderón. Callaghan’s play had its world premiere just this year at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., attracting the national attention of playgoers and critics alike.
The play follows the story of the imprisoned Segis Basil, the son of big business executive Bill Basil. Segis, by the orders of his father, has been chained to a desk and forced to work in customer service in the basement of the Basil Enterprises skyscraper. Life is monotonous and inhumane for Segis until a disillusioned bike courier and her nerdy friend discover him. Together, the trio rattle the whole office building, shaking-up ennui-stricken video-blogging corporate associates and uncovering executive plots on their way up the management chain. Released from his prison, will Segis succeed in transforming corporate culture in the age of new media, or will he be returned to his customer service dungeon and believe it’s all been a dream?
Sheila Callaghan is a working playwright who creates relevant and meaningful plays for the blogging and tweeting Echo Boomer generation. She has written numerous critically acclaimed plays, and is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a 2005 Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious Whiting Award. Callaghan is also a writer for the television series The United States of Tara, starring Toni Collette and created by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody.
Director and Theatre Department Co-Chair Ron Bashford chose Fever/Dream to showcase the best new American playwriting at Warren Wilson and to provide students with the opportunity to work on a play that reflects contemporary issues with a fresh perspective.
Fever/Dream performs at Kittredge Theatre on the Warren Wilson College Campus on March 4, 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and March 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are free for all students, $5 for seniors and Warren Wilson alumni, and $10 general admission. Reservations highly recommended.”