Hi Actors and Avid Blog Readers with Actor Friends,

We wanted to raise awareness about our Equity Audition for our 2015-2016 season of bold new plays. OUR AEA AUDITION IS:

 Monday, April 20th 11AM-6PM. 

For more info on that event, check out

We also know that the Bay is full of wonderful actors that haven’t joined the union (many of whom have received emails detailing a waitlist process for Monday, April 20th).

Hey you guys, guess what:


On Friday, April 24th 11AM-6PM we will be holding a non-equity audition !!

Email to sign up.

Whichever day you come, please bring a headshot and resume, stapled together, and three minutes of material—either two contrasting contemporary monologues, or one monologue and an a cappella song.

Magic Theatre is located in Building D of Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94123. Check-in prior to auditions will take place in the theatre’s lobby on the 3rd floor of the building.

We are so happy to be a member of this big beautiful theatre community full of so many great artists, and can’t wait to see you!

Email to schedule an appointment, or if you’d like more information.

Sister Play Opening Night (Photos)

SISTER PLAY opened on April 1st. The celebration started with a photo-op and continued with John Kolvenbach’s amazing play. A toast was heard after the show and appreciation for everyone’s hard work was felt.

You still have the chance to see SISTER PLAY! The show runs through April 19th. To purchase tickets, click the link “tickets” above.  Did I mention today is OFF THE GRID at Fort Mason?  Grab some food and come on up to the lounge pre-show.  We also have an exciting actor talkback tonight led by SISTER PLAY’S Dramaturg, Dori Jacob!  Hoping you can join us.

P.S.  Were you at opening night?  See for youself in the photos below.

Click to view and right click to download!

SISTER PLAY Press Photos


These images are for the exclusive use of journalists and other members of the media and may only be used for coverage or promotion of Magic Theatre. Photos may not be used for commercial or personal use without written permission from Magic Theatre, and unauthorized alteration, reproduction or sale of these images is strictly prohibited.

When reproducing an image, please use the appropriate caption and credit as indicated.

All images © Magic Theatre. All rights reserved.

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Lilly (Jessi Campbell) demands love from her older sister Anna (Lisa Brescia*)
(Photo credit Jennifer Reiley)











Malcolm (Anthony Fusco*) ponders just what he’s made of in John Kolvenbach’s Sister Play



Malcolm (Anthony Fusco*) Anna (Lisa Brescia*) and Lilly (Jessi Campbell) sit down to after dinner wine.
(Photo credit Jennifer Reiley)
Anna (Lisa Brescia*) in John Kolvenbach’s Sister Play
(Photo credit Jennifer Reiley)
William (Patrick Kelly Jones*) in John Kolvenbach’s Sister Play
(Photo credit Jennifer Reiley)


Lilly (Jessi Campbell) in John Kolvenbach’s Sister Play
(Photo credit Jennifer Reiley)
William (Patrick Kelly Jones), Lilly (Jessi Campbell) and Anna (Lisa Brescia*) have a late night discussion in John Kolvenbach’s Sister Play 
(Photo credit Jennifer Reiley)

Check out our Virgin Play Series

A cool thing is happening at Magic.

It’s called the Virgin Play Series and you should know about it. One because it’s interesting, and two because there are still two readings you can come to!

Virgin is Magic’s opportunity to invest in, develop and share the work of playwrights we’re excited about. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s furious.

Basically we get a playwright, a director and some actors around a table with some clementines and coffee, and we hear a play out loud, have some scintillating conversation, and sometimes we put it on its feet for a small audience. Then there’s wine and more talking, and more talking and more wine.

This year, we’ve been lucky enough to host playwrights Jessica Hagedorn, Justin Kurizkes, A-lan Holt, and Lachlan Philpott, and are looking forward to welcoming Mfoniso Udofia later this week. They’ve taken us to Marcos’ Philippines, to an exclusive college sex party, to south-central LA, to an Austrailian high school, and it’s all been wild.

If you’re intrigued, you’d do a great job as an audience member! You should come!  TONIGHT, we have Fred’s Diner by Penelope Skinner—Penelope’s play takes place in an American Diner in the UK—its funny and dark and full of delicious characters.

Next MONDAY NIGHT  3/9, we have Mfoniso Udofia’s runboyrun, the third piece in her epic Ufot family cycle. You may remember seeing her play Sojourners, another piece of the cycle, at last season’s Virgin.

Don’t miss out—these writers are doing some really creative, crazy things. Both readings are at 7PM at Magic. Did I mention they’re FREE?! Email Ryan at to reserve tickets. See you there!

LIE OF THE MIND goes to Laney College!

Hey Everyone!

Yes, it’s that time again!  Magic Theatre is bringing A Lie of the Mind to Oakland for our FREE performance at Laney College THIS Saturday 2/21!  Yes, that’s right. Saturday, February, 21st.

Be there, or be square.

However, if you are a square and you can’t be there… you should come check out our extension!  What? An extension?! Yes, that’s right.  A Lie of the Mind is extending!  Come see A Lie of the Mind, playing until March 1st!  Buy tickets here:

Still not convinced?

Here’s some feedback from Laney College Students who saw the show on opening night as part of our partnership that gives Laney students hands-on access to Magic’s season at every step of the process:

“Sam Shepard’s plays always move me in a profound way, and Loretta’s choice to feature a family of color made the play even more relatable for me. I also appreciated repetition of lines and images because it helped further the message that these two families were the same, no matter where they were from and what they looked like.”

“The acting in A Lie of the Mind was incredible! There were so many times when I forgot that I was watching a play.”

“I thought the music was fantastic… [it] gave me chills.”

So, come check out A Lie of the Mind at Laney College this Saturday or at Magic Theatre until March 1st!  You don’t want to miss it.

Sam on Sam

Shepard 1_ FlavinPhoto Credit: Steve Flavin

This week, hear from the director of this year’s Sheparding America project, Sam Fiorillo.  Sam was our Artistic Direction Apprentice last year and we were lucky to have him back for a week at the helm of Where You First Found Me: Plays and Letters which took place this past Monday.

Sam takes us inside some of his favorite moments during his week back in San Francisco:

1:30 AM, December 8th – I’m walking up and down Polk Street, very quietly celebrating with a bag of Bob’s Donuts.  I should be sleeping. I should be getting to sleep. I have a flight back to Minneapolis at 6:00 AM but I’m not ready to leave this city or allow the night its end.

 10:00 PM, December 8th  – Rod Gnapp lets out the last and faintest ‘you’ and with the final word of the night, the lights go out, the audience greets the performers and band, and I’m a picture of unadorned relief with a gin and lime thing in hand.  Three moments later I am regretfully swept onstage for applause. I am doing my sheepish thing because I very honestly don’t know what else to do. Another 7 moments later, a woman who I may have offended earlier with an overly alcoholic Savage Lover (read fancy cocktail) shouts to me “You were the DIRECTOR? I thought you were the BARTENDER!” No wonder I’m such a terrible bartender, right? But it is hugs, light, and warmth all around now.  Another 15 or so moments later I find Loretta Greco. Thank you so very much from the bottom of me and I’ll see you again sometime hopefully soon.

 7:30 PM, December 8th – I give last words to the band and to Jomar Tagatac before he performsTongues. I don’t have time to put on the suit I’d brought from Minneapolis for this moment. No, the audience is already here and I’m ready to start mixing drinks at the bar. I tell myself what I’ve been repeating for the week of rehearsals, this night is going to be something. I don’t know what, but it will be something.

 5:00 PM, December 1st – Just off the plane from Minneapolis, this is the first moment I have seen Magic Theatre since the end of my apprenticeship there.  Everything looks the same. Everything smells the same.  And I feel the same—I am following my same patterns already. But there are also new people to meet and old people to catch up with over King of Thai. And it is different, of course, because now I am here as a visitor. Now I am here to direct this project Loretta and I have been cooking up since I left.

 7:00 AM July 29th  – I am sitting at the Ferry Building waiting for my train that will take me to Minnesota for my next chapter. Last night was my final moment as an apprentice at Magic Theatre—a late night playing board games with Sara, Ellen, Mike, and others. I wonder if I’ll be back. Loretta and I have been talking about a night of Sam Shepard and Joe Chaikin’s voice plays, live music, fancy cocktails, and some of Magic’s favorite actors. She seems so sure it will happen.

December 8th

Historically, December 8th has not been a good day.  In fact, December 8th has tended toward tragic.  It’s really a bummer day.  I looked at the December 8th Wikipedia page and all I found were plane crashes and terrorist attacks and world war two decisions, and the birthday of Nicki Minaj.

Let me tell you, though: December 8th is going to be great this year.  We’re having a Sam Shepard party!   Maybe I’ll even add our FUN event to Wikipedia?  Because can’t you just do that?  Because it’s a site for the people by the people?  Because we think December 8th is too somber and it doesn’t have to be!


THIS DECEMBER 8th Magic is celebrating how much Sam Shepard rocks.  At 7PM our theatre doors will open into a jazz club with live music, dancing, and two cash bars serving drinks from our sponsors (we have sponsors!): Blue Angel Vodka and Distillery No. 9.   There will be performances by Magic darlings Tristan Cunningham, Rod Gnapp, Marissa Keltie, Sean San Jose, Mia Tagano and Jomar Tagatac. There will be dashing, mysterious strangers and subscribers and YOU.  All gathered together in a room of woven rugs and Christmas lights and boozy drinks to watch a collection of Sam Shepard’s short plays from a collaboration with American theatre legend Joseph Chaikin.  This collaboration ruled.   Sam and Joe wrote letters back and forth for YEARS.  They said stuff like this:

Sometimes I feel I’m a long way from understanding the smallest thing.  Other times I feel I understand everything.  Most of the time I forget it’s even a question.  Your book helped remind me.

– Sam to Joe

They were artistic soul-mates and these plays: Savage/Love, Tongues and War in Heaven are what happened when they finally worked together at Magic in the late 1970s.

Another thing we’re excited about: Magic Directing Apprentice Alum, Sam FIORILLO is back to direct this event.  One day we will know him as THE Sam Fiorillo.  One Sam is great, but two Sams are better.  And 2 Sams put on the best shows.   Come see for yourself, maybe?

See, the event is pretty sold out.  BUT if you self-identify as a young artist or professional, we are here for you.  20 dollar NextGen tickets!  If you self-define or aspire to define as a Patron Of The Arts, you can buy a whole table.  Or a ringside seat.  These are more flashy and expensive, but you’re a Patron Of the Arts and that’s what you do. VIP Plus, ViP and VIP Ringside options are outlined here.


It’s Wednesday, and Wednesday means the beginning of our final performance week for And I And Silence.  You heard it right.  The final week!  

Procrastinators:  All you sweet, back-footed, procrastinators; you adventuresome, too busy procrastinators; you anxious and neurotic, but lovely procrastinators; the last moments, the win by-a-noses, the hair’s breadths, the whiskers, the sweaty down-to-the-wires, the “I’m Living Life to the Fullest”s, the “Don’t Tie Me Down”s , and the “If You Try And Make Friday Plans on a Monday, You Are No Friend of Mine”s—this week it’s all about you.

We know your type.  We know the struggles you face every day: people think you’re lazy and flighty, but we know that’s just not true.  You live life to the fullest.  You don’t like commitment, not because you’re scared, but because commitment means a loss of possibility.  You have SO many ideas and things to do and people to see— and people are always asking you to pick just one: to make a plan.  And you just hate that.  Plans make you sweaty, and you hate being sweaty.

Well, it’s Wednesday.  For the entire run of And I And Silence, you have avoided planning.  You stuck to your guns.  When your friend stuck a laptop in front of your face and said BUY TICKETS TO THIS AMAZING PLAY, you pulled up a new tab and read this buzzfeed article.  You read our glowing review, and it inspired you not to see the play, but to go hiking, or diving, or skiing, or to get a manicure, because you KNEW that this Wednesday would come.  And come it has.  We’re down to the wire this Wednesday.  You’re in your element, and you know what to do.

Type A’s: we haven’t forgotten our sweeties.  Here is some content to share with your procrastinator friends—the ones you’ve told a hundred-and-one times to get to The Magic and see And I And Silence.  We appreciate you.  You do wonderful things and your word of mouth is commendable.  But some of our procrastinators are needy, and sometimes with them, its like that thing where your Mom has been telling you for years that you are neurotic, and you ignore her, and then you’re therapist says “You’re neurotic,” and you’re like THANK YOU, OF COURSE, WHY HAS NO ONE EVER SAID THAT TO ME BEFORE, YOU GENIUS!  In this situation, Type A’s, you’re Mom.  So we’re giving you some special second opinions for your sweet (and sometimes ungrateful) friends:

Tristan Cunningham, who plays Jamie wants YOU to see the show because:

“Sometimes you do a play that changes you, and this is a play that has changed me for sure. I am blown away night after night from the power of Naomi’s words. How they land on me, the other actors, and the audience. I truly believe Loretta, the design team, crew, staff and this company of actors has created something beautiful and real, and I hope everyone comes to see the story of these two woman.”

Siobhan Doherty, who plays Young Dee wants YOU to see the show because:

“There continues to be so much that resonates for me in this play.  Last week, when we were at Laney, I got nervous before a scene of mine because I knew my best friend was in the house, and I wanted the scene to go perfectly.  Then I chided myself because I was more focused on my friend’s perception, than my intentions as Dee.  All of a sudden, I heard the line “If you put rags in your mind, you’ve got nothing.”  Harsh self-judement can easily become “rags in your mind” up onstage.  After a few moments of meditating on that line, I was then able to go onstage knowing and pursuing my true purpose.  This play has really taught me the power of putting “flitter” in my mind instead of “rags”.  Of course, we all have stray thoughts, but if we can keep our priorities straight, and our hearts open, we can achieve great things.  Dee has been an incredible source of inspiration for me.  She dares to dream in a world where everything is completely stacked against her.  She manages to create her own reality.  I admire her greatly for that, and I will miss her dearly.”


If that is not enough, your procrastinator friends have no soul.  But we don’t judge.  Maybe they’re just visual learners?

To the left are Brandin Baron’s beautiful costume designs for Jamie and Dee!  Rumor has it that Brandin can speak six languages…

It’s Wednesday.  We have a show tonight (sold out– sorry procrastinators!), a show tomorrow night, one the night after that, the night after that, and the day after that is closing.   We’re down to the wire, and it’s Wednesday; I think you know what to do.

A Very Opening Night


IMG_4008This past Tuesday we opened And I And Silence to a packed house full of friends, family, patrons, board-members, champagne, fancy cookies, and pitchers of Corky Lavallee’s much anticipated cocktail, aptly named, Take No Prisoners.  And I And Silence is the first show I have assistant directed professionally, and from first rehearsal to opening night,it was a whirlwind amazing experience. Earlier in the day, the team was sitting together on stage for our final rehearsal and Jessi Campbell (Dee) leaned over to me and said, “Wow—I can’t believe it’s finally here.  Feels like we started yesterday.”   It really did feel just like yesterday– huddled around a long table with the actors giving voice to a play the Magic staff had been reading and analyzing for months.  It was in that moment—just three weeks ago– when I knew I was going to be a part of something really special.

Fast-forward to a few days later, and the cast and crew, led by our Dramaturg, Sonia Fernandez, was fully immersed in her research, which was rapidly becoming the jumping point for the rich and specific world of And I And Silence.  We listened to music from the 1950s, explored newspaper articles, examined print/media from the era, and ok… maybe we watched a few I Love Lucy’s.


Later, when we had the play on its feet, we began delving into Naomi Wallace’s language as our landscape and platform for discovery.  We explored rhythm, tempo, games, and ritual, and I watched—mesmerized– as the language allowed the actors to soar.

So on opening night when the crowd let out and spilled into the lounge and lobby, I couldn’t help but grin with pride as I overheard conversations about our little world, which had just increased 100-fold with its first audience.  Hearing people discuss and delve into the elements that I had helped to discover in the rehearsal room was incredibly gratifying.

And I And Silence is such a special, powerful play.  It has made me laugh, cry, and grapple with some amazing questions.   So, come and see what it’s all about—I have a feeling you’ll be astounded.


— Ellie Sachs, Assistant Director

Is Sara Huddleston a Wizard? / A visit from Laney College

Last Tuesday, a group of students from Laney College  (check out their cool theatre group: ) made the trip out to Magic to see And I And Silence tech rehearsal in action. Magic’s five-year strong partnership with Laney College is headed by Dori Jacob, in conjunction with Michael Torres, the Chair of the Laney Theatre Department. The trip last Tuesday was very successful and exciting, mystical–even.


We started the visit with a talk from Production Wizard, Sara Huddleston. Two things about Sara re: wizardry.  Excuse the Harry Potter reference.  One, she’s a Gryffindor.  Duh.  Brave, heroic, fearless, Sara most certainly has a time turner.  That’s the second thing.  Sara Huddleston runs everything; she wears nearly every hat as our Director of Production and our absolutely killer resident sound designer!

Formidable Sara led the Laney group in a discussion about the technical side of theatre, engaging them in the specifics of lighting, sound, props and costumes in relation to And I And Silence.  We are hoping to integrate discussions and practical experience with Tech into our Laney program, which allows students hands-on access to every show in our season at every step of the process.  Laney students are invited to First Read and Opening; they analyze each script in a scene analysis class; and they talk with each visiting Magic playwright in their own classroom.  Finally, with every show, Sara Huddleston, who is apparently a wizard, leads the charge coordinating the movement of the Magic production to the stage at Laney for a free Oakland performance.  (Don’t miss this one—Saturday, November 15th at 2:30PM)!

After Sara’s talk and a walk-through of the backstage area and dressing rooms where the Laney students met the actors, it was back to the theatre to be flies on the wall in Loretta’s rehearsal room.  We watched Loretta and the actors on the beautifully spare stage, first sitting cross-legged, talking through some new beats and blocking and then watched the actors swiftly put the new decisions to action on stage. It will certainly be interesting for the Laney students to see how the scene changes from that day in rehearsal to Opening Night.

Speaking of…Opening Night! It’s TODAY!  Here:  You can BUY TICKETS!  See how convenient that was?  Read a blog, see some theatre— you’re so cultured this Tuesday!  Congrats to you and to And I And Silence and Laney and of course, Sara Huddleston.  This one goes out to you.