Attic Salt Theatre Company is excited about their upcoming production of the thought-provoking, science-fiction play, Jerome Bixby’s The Man from Earth, to be presented October 12th through the 27th at Attic Salt Theatre Arts Space. Attic Salt is coming off the acclaimed Talking with…, presented in August of this year. Their previous work includes How I Learned to Drive, God of Carnage and Gruesome Playground Injuries, Mass Appeal, and many other local hits. Attic Salt Theatre Arts Space is located at 2002 Riverside Dr. in Studio 42-O in Asheville. The performances will be held Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm. Tickets cost fifteen dollars and can be purchased through the box office at atticsalt.org.
Written by Jerome Bixby, a writer for the original Star Trek TV series, The Man from Earth presents the rather unique scenario of a college professor who, at his going away party, confesses to his friends and colleagues that he is, in fact, 14,000 years old. Initially thinking he’s joking, the group begins to warm to the idea, some as a joke and others decidedly not thinking it’s very funny. John, the professor, weaving a tale that spans history from the time of Cro-Magnon man to the present, creates a tapestry of mysteries and wonderments regarding biology, theology, ethics and much more.
“It’s a real think piece,” says Attic Salt Artistic Director, Jeff Catanese. “It’s something that anyone interested in history, science fact or science fiction would really be able to sink their teeth into. The human element is not discarded either. It really puts you in the place of the characters who are so curious about this one man’s adventure through time. What questions would you ask?
The show will be directed by Ryan Martin, who is recently coming off turns at Montford Park Players as Robin Hood and Laertes in Hamlet. He discovered the play after seeing the original move several years ago, and brought it to Attic Salt Theatre Company for inclusion in their Studio Series.
Martin and Catanese decided it would be most advantageous to present this bit of intrigue outdoors, around a campfire, on the kind of October night that warrants such deep discussion. Martin said of this decision, “To see a man like John proclaim his long-ago beginnings in a setting he might have found himself in his youth will put viewers closer to the conversation. A fire with friends is just the right setting to make anyone think to themselves, ‘But, could it be?’”
The Man from Earth will star such Asheville theater notables as Allen Law, Devyn Ray and Cary Nichols, alongside a slate of other local veterans. Martin has assembled a cast who is not only talented enough to pull off such heady material, but all of them are game to present such a fantastical show. Ms. Nichols says of the production, “I’m very excited to perform the play, but I might be even more excited to talk to people after it’s over and ask them what they think and how it made them feel.”
All involved hope that audiences will be extremely entertained by the show, but also that it will make them think about themselves and their place in the world. It’s definitely that kind of play.
Tickets for The Man from Earth are available now through the box office at atticsalt.org.