Press release from Attic Salt Theatre Company:
Attic Salt Theatre Company is excited about their upcoming, all-female production of Jane Martin’s Talking With…, to be presented August 2nd through the 11th at Magnetic 375. Attic Salt is coming off the acclaimed Mass Appeal, presented in April of this year. Their previous work includes How I Learned to Drive, God of Carnage and Gruesome Playground Injuries, among many other local hits. Magnetic 375 is located at 375 Depot St. in the River Arts District of Asheville. The performances will be held Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm. Tickets cost twenty dollars and can be purchased through The Magnetic Theatre box office at themagnetictheatre.org or by calling 828-239-9250.
Originally presented at Louisville, Kentucky’s famed Actor’s Theatre in 1982, Talking With… won the American Theatre Critics Association award for Best Regional Play. Since then, it has garnered raves around the country and around the world for both its dramatic and darkly comic take on the world. In their review of the show, The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, “With Jane Martin, the monologue has taken on a new poetic form, intensive in its method and revelatory in its impact.”
The show itself contains eleven unrelated monologues. Each voice is unwaveringly female, but demonstrates such a diversity of voices, one might wonder if they were written by the same person. The gamut is run from a down-on-her-luck rodeo rider to a housewife who finds empowerment in her myriad tattoos; from a fundamentalist snake handler to an actress who will go to inappropriate lengths to get a role. However, whether humorous or full of angst, each piece represents how women use their strength to make their way through their world.
Despite the common theme of female empowerment, the play is not a political declaration. As Director Marci Bernstein says, “In our world of #metoo, we really wanted to present some strong female voices that are really just that – strong female voices – without being overrun by political statements or being labeled as a feminist declaration. This play simply lets the characters speak for themselves. It lets them have their strong, ugly, quirky, hilarious voices be totally unencumbered. I feel that’s about the strongest statement we can make.”
To that end, the producers of Talking With… decided that the entire cast and crew should be women. The production will be helmed by Ms. Bernstein, with Abby Auman designing the lights, McKinney Gough creating the costumes, and Lilly Mills serving as Stage Manager.
Additionally, Ms. Bernstein was able to assemble a cast of eleven of Asheville’s finest theater actresses. Many of them are local favorites, including Mandy Bean, Candice Burchill, Jane Hallstrom, and Devyn Villarreal. Rounding out this stellar cast are the terrific Hallee Hirsh, Amanda Hunt, Carin Metzger, Chelsey Mirheli, Christy Montesdeoca, Lynda Schuler and Nina Troy. “It wasn’t easy coordinating so many of our amazing actresses for this show,” says Ms. Bernstein. “But I can already see that the final product is going to very much worth the efforts.”
In the end, the producers at Attic Salt hope that audiences will come to the show to be entertained, and leave with that and a lot to think about.
Tickets for Talking With… are available now through The Magnetic Theatre box office at themagnetictheatre.org or by calling 828-239-9250.