by Kati Nalbandian

The Stand or Sal is Dead is a dark comedy murder mystery that simultaneously captures the heart and humor of the restaurant industry. This new work was written and Directed by Salem State Faculty members Kevin Carey and Peter Sampieri, respectively. This one weekend only performance premieres at the Actors Studio of Newburyport June 21- 24, 2018.

With a Salem State student and alumni infused cast and crew, this tear-inducing 70 minute play (whether it’s from the onions cut live during an opening kitchen scene or from comedic laughter, or the sentiment) hits close to home.  When a perfectly normal summer working at a beach fast food restaurant is disrupted with the death of the boss, things get a little fishy. In the Stand or Sal is Dead, employees at Sal’s Beach Stand are faced with some big changes that stir up their sense of family and security.

The kitchen humor and restaurant staff dynamic is uncanny. Writer Kevin Carey says in his Writer’s Note, “The play is inspired by some restaurant/ service jobs I’ve had over the years. I wanted to see what a murder mystery would be like set in that type of close environment. Once Peter Sampieri came onboard to direct, I could really see the humor and heart of these working class heroes grow beyond the words of the page”.

Director Peter Sampieri’s signature transitions blended with the actors’ character changes were the fluent glue to the rhythm of this show. Each actor portrayed their position honestly, some portraying two or three characters. Notably- SSU Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre Alumn Macey Jennings as Simone and John as well as SSU Theatre Bachelor of Fine Arts sophomore Ryan Doyle as Jack.

Tickets for this show are selling quickly- Sunday tickets are still available at

or by calling 978-465-1229





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