‘In A Clearing’ opens Aug. 24 at The Magnetic Theatre

Jered Shults, Thomas Traugaer, and Emily Tynan McDaniel. Photo by Tempus Fugit Design

Press release from The Magnetic Theatre:

The Magnetic Theatre is proud to present the World Premiere of IN A CLEARING by Karen Saari. This play was a semi-finalist for the National Playwriting Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to produce such a beautiful and relevant script. The play opens Friday, August 24th and runs through Sunday, September 9th. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets can be purchased online at The Magnetic Theatre’s website www.themagnetictheatre.org, or at the door.


Mark is three months into sobriety. He is still haunted by the death of close friend, who died in an unexplained roadside accident after a night of hard partying. The looming guilt Mark secretly feels about his friend’s death has motivated him to become sober; a challenging feat in the small north woods, Wisconsin small town where he has always lived. Seeing friends, family, and the world in a whole new light; Mark rekindles a relationship with Pam, an old “friend” from school and the aggrieved sister of his dead friend, and finally solves the mysteries of his own heart.

Thomas Traugaer, Emily Tynan McDaniel, Kay Galvin, Jered Shults
Scenic Design: Rodney Smith
Lighting Design: Abby Auman
Costume Design: Victoria Smith
Sound Design: Mary Zogzas

Bio for Playwright Karen Saari:

Karen Saari’s In a Clearing will have its world premiere full production via Magnetic Theatre Company in Asheville, NC. Her one-act play Joyland, was performed in the Minneapolis area in May 2018. Another one-act play The Ones Who Stay will be produced at the Pend Oreilles Playhouse (Newport, WA) in July 2018. A Robot, a Clown and a Turban was chosen for Renaissance Theaterworks’ Br!nk Festival (Milwaukee) in September 2017. Bad in Bed (A Fairy Tale) was also a semi-finalist for the 2018 Garry Marshall New Works Festival in Los Angeles.In a Clearing was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Conference, and was selected for the 2015 Wisconsin Wrights New Play Festival. The play was also awarded a PlayLab at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, AK in June 2017. In a Clearing made her a finalist for the 2017 ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Award for Excellence in Playwriting. Karen Saari has many written sketches and one-act plays performed in her home city of Madison, WI. She was also a frequent contributor to Madison’s “That’s What She Said” women’s story-share series. A graduate of Northern Michigan University, Karen Saari is a marketing copywriter, voice talent, actor and mother of two.

Bio for Director Andrew Gall:

Andrew Gall has enjoyed a 25 year career as a director, actor, designer, and playwright. Andrew worked extensively in Chicago,as the Artistic Director of the Wing&Groove Theatre, before coming to Western North Carolina to raise a family. Chicago credits also include work with the Red Wolf Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and the Goodman Theatre. In WNC, he served as the Artistic Director of Parkway Playhouse for 12 seasons and worked with HART, SART, Barter Theatre, Asheville Community Theatre, and Montford Park Players. He has served on the Boards for the Southeastern Theatre Conference and is a Past President of the North Carolina Theatre Conference. For The Magnetic Theatre he has directed Six Knots, Uranium235, Luna Gale, and Doll. He has appeared in Malverse and Better Strangers. He serves as a joint Artistic Director of The Magnetic Theatre, along with Katie Jones.

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