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The Happy Ones

The Happy Ones
begins September 17, 2015

by Julie Marie Myatt


Julie Marie Myatt returns to Magic (The Sex Habits of American Women in Magic’s 2003-4 season). Orange County, California in 1975 is the happiest place on earth for appliance store owner Walter Wells. But when his world is suddenly turned upside down, Walter must struggle to navigate grief, wrestle with forgiveness, and rediscover the power of friendship in this uplifting story about new beginnings.

"Engrossing. And affecting... a rich emotional journey.... Myatt's writing... is beautifully spare and deeply moving... [The Happy Ones] yields a rich drama of personal loss and unusual connections. And of at least tenuous hope."- Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle
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‍‍Take a look inside the production!

Meet the Playwright

Julie Marie Myatt’s play The Happy Ones premiered at South Coast Repertory, and won the LA Drama Critic Circle’s Ted Schmitt Award for Outstanding New Play. Her play The Sex Habits of American Women premiered at Magic Theatre in 2003 and was produced by the Guthrie Theater, among others. Her play Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter premiered at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and a tour of that production went to the Kennedy Center as part of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. Her play Someday premiered as part of Cornerstone Theater’s Justice Cycle. Her play My Wandering Boy premiered at South Coast Repertory in the 2007, was part of Pacific Playwrights Festival, and was also produced in New York as part of the 2007 Summer Play Festival. Boats On A River premiered at the Guthrie Theater, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and was recorded for the LA Theatre works radio play series, “The Play’s The Thing”. Her ten-minute play Mr. and Mrs. premiered at the 2007 Humana Festival. Her work has been developed or seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Rep, Cherry Lane, A.S.K. Theatre Projects, LAByrinth Theater Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, ACT Seattle, among others. She received a Walt Disney Studios Screenwriting Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights’ Center, a McKnight Advancement Grant, Mark Taper Forum Fadiman Award, and a Master Playwright Residency – Michener Center for Writers and Department of Theatre and Dance, UT/Austin. She is currently working on commissions for Roundabout Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Center Theatre Group. She is an Ensemble member of Cornerstone Theater Company, a resident member of New Dramatists, and has just recently been awarded the Mellon Playwright in Residence at South Coast Repertory.

Meet the Cast & Crew

Jonathan Moscone is entering his 13th season serving as Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater, where he most recently directed Shakespeare's The Tempest in 2012. Credits include the world premiere of Ghost Light, which he co-created and developed with playwright Tony Taccone for Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. In addition, he directed Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park for American Conservatory Theater prior to its winning the Pulitzer Prize. Upcoming projects include American Night for Cal Shakes. For Cal Shakes, Mr. Moscone has directed the world premiere of John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven by Octavio Solis (recipient of the inaugural NEA New Play Development Award); The Life and Adventures of Nicholas NicklebyCandidaTwelfth NightHappy Days; and The Seagull. He is the first recipient of the Zelda Fichandler Award, given by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation for "transforming the American theatre through his unique and creative work." Regional credits include Huntington Theatre, Alley Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Goodspeed Musicals, Dallas Theatre Center, San Jose Repertory Theater, Intiman Theatre, and Magic Theatre, among others. Mr. Moscone is a recipient of a Stanford Graduate School of Business Center for Social Innovation Fellowship and is an adjunct faculty member with A.C.T.'s MFA program. He currently serves as a board member of Theatre Communications Group.

Liam Craig* (Walter Wells) B'way: Boeing Boeing (understudy, appeared). Off- Broadway: The Internationalist (Vineyard Theatre), Aunt Dan and Lemon (The New Group), Two Noble Kinsmen (Public Theater), Juno and the Paycock (Roundabout Theater). Regional: The Servant of Two Masters (The Guthrie Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre), A Doctor In Spite of Himself (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre), The Government Inspector (Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Wild Duck (Bard Summerscape), The Scene (Hartford Stage, Alley Theatre), The Lady From The Sea (Intiman Theater), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (California Shakespeare Festival). Television: UnforgettableMercyRescue MeBoston LegalLaw and Order: SVULaw and Order. Film: The Royal Tenenbaums. Training: MFA, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program.

Gabriel Marin* (Minister Gary Stuart) is delighted to return to Magic Theatre where he was previously seen in Tape (Vince), and The Rules of Charity (Horace). Recent Credits include The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Jackie) at the SF Playhouse, Its a Wonderful Life (George) at Marin Theatre Company, and The Understudy (Harry) at San Jose Rep. Locally Marin has appeared in over 40 Equity productions with American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre Company, Bay Area Playwrights Foundation, Black Box Theatre,Center REP, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, PlayGround, San Francisco Fringe Festival, San Jose Rep, San Francisco Playhouse, TheatreWorks, The Jewish Theatre, Thick Description, Word for Word, Z Space, among others. Mr. Marin was named Best Actor by the East Bay Express in their “Best of The East Bay 2010”. Mr, Marin was named as co-MVP for 2011 by Sam Hurwitt (theIdiolect.comMarin Independent Journal). He has performed on NBC, CBS, PBS and the BBC.

Marcia Pizzo* (Mary-Ellen Hughes) is pleased to return to the Magic Theatre where she last appeared in Dead Boy. Other Bay Area credits include Wilder Times and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale at Aurora Theatre Company, the later for which she received a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle award nomination; Round and Round the GardenRock’n’Roll, and A Mother with Olympia Dukakis at A.C.T.; the West Coast premier of The Pitman Painters at TheatreWorks; Restoration ComedyTwo Gentlemen of VeronaThe Merchant of VeniceKing Lear, and The Tempest at California Shakespeare Theater; Antony and CleopatraTaming of the ShrewAs You Like ItMacbethCyrano de Bergerac, and The Servant of Two Master at the Marin Shakespeare Company; The King And IOklahoma!My Fair LadyAnything Goes, and Annie for the Mountain Play; the World Premier of First Day of School at SF Playhouse; The Women at Marin Theatre Company; and Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Theatre on the Square. Marcia is a graduate of the A.C.T. Advanced Training Program.

Jomar Tagatac* (Bao Ngo) is excited to be a part of this project here at Magic Theater. Credits include Jesus in India (Magic Theater), Rights of Passage (New Conservatory Theater), Down to This (Sleepwalkers Theater), The Nature Line (Sleepwalkers Theater), The Best of Playground New Works Festival and A Christmas Carol (A.C.T 2005). Jomar received a B.A in Theater from San Diego State University and an M.F.A from The American Conservatory Theater where he graduated in 2005. He’s also been a Teaching Artist for The New Conservatory Theater since 2006, teaching Improv/Theater Games, and is a Hip-Hop Dance Instructor at various studios around the Bay Area. 

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers. 

Michael Cano* (Stage Manager) has enjoyed working in the entertainment business in the Bay Area since 1995 and has just recently returned to the theatre after 6 seasons with the SFJAZZ organization managing over 50 acts of incredible musicians. Past Productions and Theatres have been Denis Johnson’s Des MoinesPurvisPsychos Never Dream, and Soul of Whore for Campo Santo, Beauty Queen of Leenane for Berkeley Rep, and Permanent Collection and Betrayed for The Aurora Theatre.

Erik Flatmo** (Scenic Designer) most recently designed the sets for An Accident and Oedipus El Rey at Magic Theatre. His previous credits at Magic include American HwangapEvie’s WaltzOctopus and The Hopper Collection. He has designed scenery for many Bay Area theatres including A.C.T., California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre and Theatreworks. Regionally he has worked at South Coast Repertory, Asolo Repertory Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre. His work in opera has premiered at Opera Santa Barbara, Opera San Jose and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. His work in dance has debuted in New York City at venues such as The Kitchen, Danspace Project, Dance Theatre Workshop and The American Realness Festival in addition to international presentations in Poland, France, Germany, Mexico and Sweden. He is a graduate of Columbia University and The Yale School of Drama. He teaches set design at Stanford University. 

Christine Crook (Costume Designer) has designed costumes for theatre, dance, and opera in the Bay Area with companies like Opera Parallèle, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Boxcar Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, UC Berkeley, Center Repertory, Just Theater, Festival Opera, Berkeley Playhouse, and with Shotgun Players where she is a proud company member. She has an MFA in costume design from UC San Diego and is the recipient of a 2011 SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. 

Stephen Strawbridge** (Lighting Designer) Mr. Strawbridge’s work has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and at most leading regional theatres and opera houses across the country. Internationally he has designed the lighting for major premieres in Bergen, Copenhagen, The Hague, Hong Kong, Linz, Lisbon, Munich, Naples, Sao Paulo, Stockholm and Vienna. Recent work includes January Joiner and Satchmo at the Waldorf for Long Wharf Theatre; Azimuth for Pilobolus Dance Theatre; Madame Buttterfly for LA Opera, Strange Interlude for Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC; Athol Fugard's The Train Driver and The Blood Knot, both directed by the author at the Signature Theatre in New York; and Krapp’s Last Tape with Brian Dennehy for Long Wharf Theatre. He has been recognized with numerous awards and nominations including the American Theatre Wing, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Connecticut Critics Circle, Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum, Helen Hayes, Henry Hewes Design and Lucille Lortel. He is co-chair of the design department at Yale School of Drama and resident lighting designer for Yale Repertory Theatre. 

Cliff Caruthers** (Sound Designer) has created soundscapes and original music for over 200 theatrical productions, including The Tempest for California Shakespeare Theater, Dead Metaphor for A.C.T.; Troilus and Cressida for Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Circle Mirror Transformation for Marin Theatre Company, TRAGEDY: a tragedy for Berkeley Repertory Theatre; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity for Aurora Theatre Company, Happy Days for Guthrie Theater; Julius Caesar for The Acting Company; On the Waterfront for San Jose Stage Company; Bug for SF Playhouse; and Pelleas and Melisande for The Cutting Ball Theater. Future projects include American Night: The Ballad of Juan José for California Shakespeare Theater, and The Loudest Man for TheatreWorks. 

Lynne Soffer (Dialect Coach) is a teacher of acting, speech, and textwork, has served as dialect coach on over 235 theater productions (13 for the Magic) including productions at ACT, Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, TheatreWorks, California Shakespeare Theater, Marin Shakespeare Company and the Sherwood Shakespeare Festival. Regional credits include the Old Globe, Dallas Theater Center, Arizona Theatre Co., Arena Stage, Seattle Rep and the World Premiere of The Laramie Project at Denver Center and NYC and several films including Fruitvale (Sundance 2013 multiple award winner) . She is also a professional actor (Magic’s Waiting at the Water’s Edge) and is the recipient of the 2011 Actors’ Equity Lucy Jordan Humanitarian Award. . . 

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association ** Member of United Scenic Artists local 829.

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