ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville’s award winning Occasional Theatre and Asheville Community Theatre will co-present Sandra Mason’s riveting hit drama, Return of an Angel, in recognition of the 80th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Wolfe’s seminal novel, Look Homeward, Angel. With special permission from the Thomas Wolfe estate, Mason’s powerful play uses Wolfe’s own words to bring to life the “love – hate” relationship that Asheville had with its most famous son, Thomas Wolfe. Chris Morton, Operations/Interpretation Manager for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial said, “We are very pleased Occasional Theatre and ACT are once again bringing this wonderful play to the community.”
The world premiere of the play took place at ACT’s Heston Auditorium, adjacent to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, during the 2007 Thomas Wolfe Festival. Each of the three performances played to nearly full houses and brought audience members to their feet, including Wolfe Festival attendee, Jan Hensley from Greensboro who wrote: “I was just entranced with the play, with the actors, with the set, the lighting, the musicians… it was all professionally done. I can only hope that you will bring it back to Asheville again and again.” Producer Brenda Lunsford Lilly added, “After the performances last year many audience members, including City Council Member Robin Cape, left the theatre and immediately walked over to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.”
In 1929, not everyone in Asheville was thrilled with the newfound fame brought to them by Wolfe’s novel. Many in the town thought that Thomas Wolfe had exposed them to the world, warts and all. Of course now, Look Homeward, Angel is known for its compelling story of time lost, not the salacious gossip.
The Occasional Theatre is dedicated to bringing professional, premiere productions of plays – in particular plays written by North Carolina playwrights – to audiences. Over the years it has produced theatre in both Los Angeles and New York and now is based in Asheville. It is delighted to be partnering again with Asheville Community Theatre and will be donating a portion the ticket sales to the Wolfe Memorial. Sponsors for this production include PLI, Wake Robin Farm Breads, and Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar.
Return of an Angel will run October 2-11 with performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm. All performances will be held at Asheville Community Theatre at 35 East Walnut Street in downtown Asheville.. Tickets are $22.00 for adults, $19.00 for seniors and students. Tickets are available online, by phone at the ACT box office (828-254-1320), or in person at the ACT box office, which is located on site at the theatre and is open from 10am-4pm Tuesdays – Saturdays.