Theater as Original as Asheville Itself
Fresh Works that Spark Imagination
Asheville is a haven for originality. From breathtaking aerial arts to vibrant reinterpretations of Shakespeare, Asheville is driven by artistic vision and bold risk-taking. Artists push boundaries to delight visitors and locals with original works that inspire discovery. Sitting in the audience is like stepping into a new world where creativity reigns supreme.
Fox & Beggar Dares to be Different
Elaborate choreography and costumes covey The Fox and Beggar Theater’s devotion to the unusual, and the narrative qualities of its performances make it truly unique.
“I've always been a storyteller and I've always loved circus,” says Fox and Beggar’s artistic director Nat Allister. “I want to leave viewers with a sense of divine wonder.”
This nonprofit collective combines dance, acrobatics, puppetry, live music and folklore to create a sensory experience that conveys a message. Each performance reveals “esoteric secrets” that are equal parts strange and beautiful.
The Fox and Beggar Theater performs at several venues around town, including the Orange Peel and Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre in the Montford neighborhood. Allister says he wants each performance to instill a “small sense of wonder at the wild beauty of the universe.”
Magnetic Theater Pulls in Audiences
Original works are at the center of The Magnetic Theatre’s force field. Talented playwrights are drawn to theater’s dedication to new works. It’s one of the few theaters in the country that is exclusively devoted to world premiers.
Audiences are quick to respond to its sold-out shows that sometimes poke good-humored fun at Asheville’s quirks. The Merchant of Asheville: A Locally Sourced Comedy explores the lives of fictional local bed and breakfast owners who reckon with “changes in our fair city.”
Food and How to Eat It extols Asheville’s exuberance for food of all kinds, “from farmers markets to the trendiest restaurants, from your kitchen to test kitchens, from spaghetti and meatballs to tuna cones.”
Asheville’s jovial spirit make The Magnetic Theatre’s productions a hot ticket for anyone who wants to see the city at its best. Catch a show at the theater’s new home in the River Arts District.
Montford Park Players Shake Up Shakespeare
The power of the Bard is unparalleled, but each production explores new territory in the hands of the Montford Park Players. Richard II is reinvented as a steampunk opera; Taming of the Shrew boasts a “Shakespearean flash-mob.”
The outdoor Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre fosters a relaxed atmosphere where t-shirts, dogs and picnics are encouraged. The summer performances are free (donations are encouraged) and a palpable sense of joy and humor permeate the air.
Notoriously Creative Nutcracker at ACDT
Theater doesn’t stop during the winter months. The Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre reinvents The Nutcracker each season to wide acclaim. Some years it’s an entirely original production. Other years it features long-forgotten versions of this classic story.
ACDT presents several special events throughout the year, including the Asheville Butoh Festival and the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. These multi-location events invite audiences to experience theater in wildly imaginative ways.
Magnetic Theatre photo courtesy of Magnetic Theatre. Fox & Beggar Theater photo by TazDigital.