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  • The Virgin Play Series

    2013 Martha Heasley Cox Virgin Play Series
    Three Playwrights, Three Monday Evenings

    March 11, 18 & April 1

    Magic Theatre’s Virgin Play Series takes place over the course of three Mondays and introduces a different new work to the public each Monday evening. This year marks our third year of partnership with the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and our sixth with The Commonwealth Club. Playwrights arrive on Thursday and work intensely on their scripts throughout the weekend with actors and a director. During that time, the playwright focuses on reading styles and methods, discussion and development of ideas, and various rewrites that all culminate in the public presentation. Magic Theatre is proud to feature playwrights whose voices reflect our contemporary world and to bring their scripts-in-progress to the public before they arrive on a stage. The Virgin Play Series is a sneak peek into the new play development process and engages audiences in intimate, professional productions that speak to contemporary issues with originality, wit, and a sense of urgency and adventure. After each reading, the playwright and director will have a conversation with the audience members whose constructive input is highly valued by the playwright.

    Reading Locations:
    March 11 & 18:
    Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
    3200 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
    Gallanter Hall
    For more information or to reserve seats, visit the JCCSF website or call 415.292.1233.

    April 1:
    The Commonwealth Club of California
    595 Market Street, 2nd Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Blue Room
    For more information, visit The Commonwealth Club website.

    March 11
    Every Five Minutes by Linda McLean
    7pm at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

    Every Five Minutes is a play about a man named Mo, who has been held prisoner for 17 years. It takes place three weeks after his release at a simple family dinner.

    Linda McLean was born in Glasgow where she studied and trained as a teacher. She traveled teaching English as a foreign language in Europe, America, Africa and Scandinavia before she wrote plays. Her plays include, for the Traverse – This Is Water (2010), Any Given Day (2010), Strangers, Babies (Susan Smith Blackburn prize finalist), Shimmer (Herald Angel), Olga (from the original Finnish play by Laura Ruohonen) and One Good Beating (winner of Best One Act Play 2008). For Dundee Rep and Oran Mor: What Love Is (2011). For Paines Plough and Oran Mor: Riddance (Fringe First, Herald Angel) and The Uncertainty Files; for 7:84 Theatre Company – Cold Cuts and Doch an Doris; for Magnetic North – Word for Word; for RSAMD – Reminded of Beauty. She adapted Like Water for Chocolate (for Theatres sans Frontieres, from the novel by Laura Esquivel). She has also written for radio, most recently a political satire, And So Say All of Us, co-written with Duncan McMillan and Dan Rebellato. Strangers, Babies (Fractures); Any Given Day (Un Joure Ou’Autre) and The Uncertainty Files (Dossier Incertitudes) have been translated into French. Linda is Chairwoman of the Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and has worked for the British Council in Mexico City, Teluca and Bogota. She regularly works in schools and colleges, encouraging new writers to find their own voices. She is currently under commission to the National Theatre of Scotland, Magnetic North, and the Traverse Theatre. Her new play Sex and God for Magnetic North will be produced in 2012. Linda is the Creative Fellow at Edinburgh University’s Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities.

    To reserve seats for this reading, call the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco at 415.292.1233.

    March 18
    Pen/man/ship by Christina Anderson
    7pm at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

    On a fall day in 1896 two Black American business partners, father and son, board a ship headed for Africa. The father has accepted a lucrative proposition from a mysterious colony. In tow is the son’s most recent companion—a young, Black Southern woman who is all too eager to cut her American ties. As they travel across the Atlantic, an unexpected detour resurrects family secrets and reveals true intentions. Pen/man/ship is a modern exploration of cultural responsibility set in the Gilded Age.

    Christina Anderson‘s plays include: Drip, Hollow Roots, Blacktop Sky, Inked Baby, and Man in Love. Her work has been produced by or developed with Steppenwolf Theater, Playwrights Horizon, Crowded Fire, A.C.T., About Face, The Public Theater, Penumbra and other theaters all over the country. Awards and honors include ASCAP Cole Porter Prize (Yale School of Drama), Schwarzman Legacy Scholarship awarded by Paula Vogel, Susan Smith Blackburn nomination, Lorraine Hansberry Award (American College Theater Festival), Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship (New Dramatists), Wasserstein Prize nomination (Dramatists Guild), Lucille Lortel Fellowship (Brown University), Core Writer (Playwrights’ Center). American Theatre Magazine selected Anderson as one of fifteen up-and-coming artists “whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come.” Born and raised in Kansas City, KS, she obtained her B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama’s Playwriting Program. Read more at www.christinaranderson.com.

    To reserve seats for this reading, call the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco at 415.292.1233.

    April 1
    Madame Ho by Eugenie Chan
    6pm at The Commonwealth Club

    Madame Ho tells the story of a formidable woman in the Barbary Coast, a real-life 19th-century brothel madam, Chinese immigrant, wife and mother. Within the confines of the bordello, Madame tries to raise her daughter Daisy right. But headstrong Daisy is spoiled by her father and infatuated with a new servant girl. Madame Ho explores the epic history of the Chinese American West through a shape-shifting tale of one woman’s struggle to forge a life for herself and her daughter.

    Eugenie Chan is a 5th generation San Franciscan whose forefathers sold slippers in Chinatown, dry goods in the desert, and love in the bordellos. No wonder her plays tend to mix up language, reality, tradition, and history. Her work includes, Bone to Pick (Best of 2008 List, SF Bay Guardian); Madame Ho; Kitchen Table; Daphne Does Dim Sum; Rancho Grande; Emil, A Chinese Play; Novell-aah!; Pilgrim; Consent; Circus; and opera libretto, Snakewoman. Recent premieres include: Tontlawald, Cutting Ball (February 17–March 11, 2012); Diadem, Cutting Ball (January – February 2011); and Courtside, Houston Grand Opera: HGOco (February 2011). Other theatres that have produced or developed her plays include, in the West: Magic Theatre, Thick Description, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Northwest Asian American Theatre, Group Theatre, East West Players, and the Asian American Theater Company; on the East Coast: The Public, Playwrights Horizons, Ma-Yi, Centenary Stage, Pan Asian Rep, and Perishable Theatre. Eugenie has received commissions from the Houston Grand Opera, Cutting Ball (3 plays), the San Francisco Arts Commission, Magic/Sloan Science Initiative, and the San Francisco Foundation. She has also written political satire for the San Francisco Mime Troupe and screenplays which have been semifinalists for Nicholl and Cinestory Fellowships. Eugenie is a Resident Playwright at Cutting Ball, New Dramatists, and alumma resident of the Playwrights Foundation.

    Reserve your seats online by clicking here.