by Kathleen Cahill
directed by Meg Gibson
originally produced at Salt Lake Acting Company,
Salt Lake City, UT.
through May 9, 2010
Margaret Fuller is tall, plain, Harvard-educated and published, but without a husband or child. It’s New England, 1840, and it’s insufferable. Her best friends are the great writers of the day, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathanial Hawthorne. In Charm, we slyly slip behind these literary giants and their unexpected muse, Margaret. Their pursuit of intellectual and emotional intimacy becomes a surreal comedy of manners, provoking the question: What do men and women really want? With wit and delightful theatricality, Margaret glides among the landscapes of the past as she freely imagines a future. She pursues the right to love fully and be who ever she wants to be. By doing so, Margaret transcends her time, forever influencing these illustrious men.
In creating Charm, Kathleen Cahill found inspiration in American Transcendentalism. The writings of Emerson, Thoreau and Hawthorne center on the belief that freedom of the human spirit can transcend accepted social order and the confines of history. By rediscovering Margaret Fuller, Cahill offers an unexpected and comedic journey with these literary giants. This vision fires the mind and tenders our hearts through a wildly imaginative, disarming theatrical freedom. The Salt Lake Acting Company, with its history of developing new work, offers Ms. Cahill a vital testing ground for Charm. With its intimate space and committed community of actors, designers and associate artists, SLAC continues its mission of nurturing new voices.
The play is timely. The Transcendentalists’ need for change surfaces again, says Ms. Cahill, “as our towers of greed crumble around us”. We reach into our past for those with an undenying new vision. In this era of acknowledging the full rights of women, Margaret Fuller’s fulsome existence illuminates the journey from then to now. It is a privilege for the Salt Lake Acting Company to be part of that journey and Kathleen Cahill’s magical vision.
Set Design:Keven Myhre
Lighting Design:Jim Craig
Sound Design:Cynthia Kehr-Rees
Costume Design:Brenda Van der Wiel
June 2008: Reading - University of Utah, New Play Workshop.
Aug 2008: Workshop - Icicle Creek Theatre Festival. Directed by Christine Sumption.
Sept 2008: Reading - Lark Theatre, Playwrights Week. Directed by Sturgis Warner.
Oct 2008: Reading - Salt Lake Acting Company. Directed by David Mong.
Jan 2009: Reading - Orlando Shakespeare, Playfest. Directed by Laura Lippman.
Nov 2009: Workshop Production - Orlando Shakespeare. Directed by Meg Gibson.
Dec 2009: Reading - National New Play Network, Showcase. Atlanta.