We are so thrilled to have Sean San José back at the Magic Theatre directing and starring in the rolling world premiere of Nogales by Richard Montoya. Sean has been a devoted member of the Magic Family for many years, most recently directing the world premiere of Mfoniso Udofia’s runboyrun and last onstage at Magic in Luis Alfaro’s This Golden State Part One: Delano and Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind. Sean has been an actor in Octavio Solis’ Se Llama Cristina, Luis Alfaro’s Bruja, as well as conceiving and acting in Pieces of the Quilt, a collection of short plays confronting the AIDS epidemic.
Sean is the co-founder of Campo Santo, as well as directing, writing, and performing in many of their shows. Since it’s founding in 1996, Sean’s work at Campo Santo spans 50 premiere theatre productions all focusing on providing an outlet for untold stories through “socially relevant world premieres,” including plays by Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Jorge Ignacio Cortinas, Junot Diaz, Dave Eggers, Chinaka Hodge, Denis Johnson, Greg Sarris, Luis Saguar, and Vendela Vida, Philip Kan Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn, Naomi Iizuka, Octavio Solis, John Steppling, Erin Cressida Wilson, as well as many others. Sean is the Artistic Director of Youth Speaks’ Emerging Artists Program.
For 15 years Sean San José was the Program Director of the Performance Program at Intersection for the Arts, where he produced and oversaw more than 100 premiere productions of theatre, dance and interdisciplinary performances, working with resident companies the Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, the Living Word Project and Felonious among the more than 500 artists with whom he collaborated. San José worked under Deborah Cullinan and alongside Kevin B. Chen and Rebeka Rodriguez at Intersection as part of a team that developed new works that crossed boundaries, disciplines and communities.
Sean also organized and created Alma Delfina Group-Teatro Contra el SIDA, an AIDS Service Arts group formed to distribute funds and present benefit performances. Sean’s awards include, but are not limited to: multiple MAP Fund Awards, including one for his current work on Nogales; commission of adapting Lysley Tenorio’s Monstress at ACT, the Audrey Skirball-Kennis TIME Grant Awards to support the development of his new work; the San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Commission; two residencies at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from the Wattis Artist Residency; a Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award; the DramaLogue Award; Backstage West; the Cable Car Award; the Bay Guardian Goldie Artistic Achievement in Theatre Award; as well as many of the productions Sean has conceived, written, and produced receiving many of their own awards in excellence, including the Bay Area Reporter Best of the Season, the Cable Car Award, the DramaLogue, and the Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award. He is a current Headland Artist Resident, a Creative Work Fund recipient with Cutting Ball Theatre for work on and the premiere of his new play with them, Superheroes. Sean recently directed Colman Domingo’s new play, Dot, in its New York premiere. Sean is also a frequent lecturer at both the University of San Francisco and the University of California at Berkley. The Magic Theatre is so proud of Sean San José for all he has accomplished in the Bay Area theatre community, for his work on Nogales, and for his impact around the world. He will always be an integral member of the Magic Family.
“I can’t ever forget that I – actually the first time I ever [saw] a play was right in this space, and it was a Sam Shepard play so the spirit of Sam Shepard in my life and all of our lives – it’s so profound and I sound like such a theatre nerd when I say it, but it’s very true. I was very – I’m still a very troubled person but I was a very troubled young – younger – person and really it opened my eyes to just what live human interaction can do when you see a live human being sharing themselves onstage and I come from a family of people of color so we never ever knew what that meant to do and so to see it live onstage, really it changed my life and I wouldn’t be doing theatre if it wasn’t for this place and if it wasn’t for Sam Shepard.” -Sean San José
Founded in 1996, Campo Santo is an award-winning multi-cultural ensemble committed to developing and premiering new American Theatre and to nurturing diverse new audiences for the performing arts. Spanish for sacred ground, Campo Santo uses the sacred form of storytelling as a tool to bond community through socially relevant plays, introducing the audience to the world of Campo Santo and cultivating audiences that reflect that diversity.
At Campo Santo’s core is a New Play Development Program that cultivates playwrights, poets and fiction writers of exceptional vision. It’s widely regarded “Open Process” development program invites in communities to question and engage with works that affect them. Campo Santo has presented over fifty World Premieres to standing room only crowds.
Campo Santo focuses on fostering long-term relationships with writers that emphasize the collaborative creative process and that aim to tell the stories of immigrant and marginalized communities and infuse the tradition of theatre with vital new life. Campo Santo has fostered relationships with internationally known writers who are leaders in developing work that is broadening and diversifying the American voice - including Jimmy Santiago Baca, Philip Kan Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn, Naomi Iizuka, Denis Johnson, and Octavio Solis, to name a few.