The Magic Tree

The Magic Tree
October 10 – November 13, 2015
Ursula Rani Sarma
Matthew J. Keenan and Colin Smith

Which comes first, loneliness or violence? THE MAGIC TREE is the story of love born in a very dark place between a man who wants to belong and a woman who wants to be forgotten. On a stormy night, they shelter in an abandoned summer home and tentatively discover what it is they have in common. But just when it seems something beautiful might emerge, the opposite appears.

THE MAGIC TREE is an exploration into human behavior at a time when humanity seems determined to endlessly repeat the mistakes of the past. It looks at why good people are capable of doing bad things and asks if love alone can save us.

Ursula Rani Sarma is an award­winning playwright who has been Writer in Residence for the National Theatre Studio (London), Paines Plough Theatre Company (London) and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Centre. She has written for the National Theatre (London), the Abbey Theatre (Dublin), Origin Theatre Company (New York), the Traverse Theatre (Scotland) and the American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco).

Women's Voices Theater Festival


More than 50 of the Washington, D.C. region’s professional theaters are joining together to produce, in the fall of 2015, the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. The companies will each present a world premiere production of a work by one or more female playwrights, highlighting both the scope of plays being written by women, and the range of professional theater being produced in and around the nation’s capital. The Women’s Voices Theater Festival will be the largest collaboration of theater companies working simultaneously to produce original works by female writers in history.


The Washington Post Review

“Sarma’s script takes an intensely poetic turn, smartly complemented by co-directors Keenan and Smith … Sarma’s brooding portrait — a U.S. premiere — draws a dark parallel.  A quiet, disturbing power steals over this off-balance show; part two is as fascinating as part one is off-putting…”

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Broadway World Review

“A dark and stormy night in Dublin; the setting, an empty house punctuated by flashes of lightning. Suddenly a window is broken, and one after another a small group of broken souls assemble in a dimly lit living room. A horrific act is attempted, and in the bloody aftermath the oddest of couples flees to Cambodia.”

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DC Theatre Scene Review

“Letourneau makes Lamb compelling and complex … Stinson adeptly balances youthful awkwardness with dawning affection … Abernathy is chillingly violent and intimidating … Tumulty is convincing as a reluctant follower with a surprising sense of innocence.  … Keenan and Smith lead the artistic team in maintaining an appropriately ominous and haunting tone … Ursula Rani Sarma is skilled at effective dialogue and exploring the human psyche…”

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DC Metro Theatre Arts Review

“Four lost young people in a deserted beach house, in Dublin, late at night.  There is a thunderstorm beating down. This is the evocative opening scene of The Magic Tree, in its American premiere at The Keegan Theatre as part of The Women’s Voices Theater Festival. There is murder; flight; and a gang rape plan that goes disastrously wrong.”

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Lamb Brianna Letourneau
Gordy Chris Stinson
Doc Scott Ward Abernethy
Lenny Ryan Tumulty

Production Team

Directors Matthew J. Keenan and Colin Smith
Stage Manager Alexis J. Rose
Fight Choreographer Casey Kaleba
Scenic Design Robbie Hayes
Lighting Design G Ryan Smith
Sound Design Tony Angelini
Projection Design Patrick Lord
Costume Design Kelly Peacock
Hair and Makeup Design Craig Miller
Set Dressing and Properties Design Carol H. Baker