written by Han Ong
directed by Loretta Greco
featuring Carl Lumbly
Begins May 31, 2017 / Closes June 25, 2017
It’s a homecoming for MacArthur Genius award winner Han Ong, who returns to Magic after a 25 year hiatus. Grandeur imagines a meeting between an ambitious young journalist and the shape-shifting music legend, Gil Scott-Heron. Questions of legacy, art, hope, and redemption drive this funny and gut-wrenching exchange.
Han Ong is a novelist and playwright. His novels are Fixer Chao (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2001), which was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year and cited as a new immigrant classic by the New York Times; and The Disinherited (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2004), nominated for a Lambda Book Award. Among Ongʼ s more than three dozen plays are The L.A. Plays (1990), The Chang Fragments (1996), Middle Finger (1997), and The Suitcase Trilogy (1992–97). They have been widely produced in the US in such venues as the Joseph Papp Public Theater (New York), Berkeley Repertory Theater (Berkeley, California), the Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles, California) and the American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Massachusetts), as well as abroad, at Londonʼ s Almeida Theater. Ong is one of the youngest recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, awarded to him in 1997, when he was 29. He has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Born in the Philippines to Chinese parents, he immigrated to the US with his family as a teenager. He lives in New York city. He has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University and Long Island University and has taught playwriting for several years at New Yorkʼ s 92nd Street Y.
Safiya Fredericks* (Julie Toussaint) was seen last fall in Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem at A.C.T. and received a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Nomination for her work in Aubergine at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Other local credits include Much Ado About Nothing at California Shakespeare Theatre, Once on This Island at Theatreworks, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and the Witch in Into the Woods at SF Playhouse (BATCC nominee), Blackademics at Crowded Fire, It’s a Bird..Plane..Its Superman! at 42nd St. Moon, Merry Wives of Windsor at African-American Shakespeare Company, and the title role in Antigone at San Jose Repertory Theatre. Past favorites include The Civilians production of In the Footprint at ArtsEmerson in Boston and By Hands Unknown at the New York International Fringe Festival. Film work includes the female lead in Black Gold: America is Still the Place alongside Mike Colter and the short film With Children, currently making festival rounds. She studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) the University of California Irvine. She is honored to be making her Magic Theatre debut.
Rafael Jordan* (Steve Barron) was previously seen at Magic in runboyrun and Dogeaters, and is thrilled to return with Grandeur. New York Credits: Caesar and Cleopatra (Resonance Theatre, Off-Broadway), Uncle Tom's Cabin (Metropolitan Playhouse, Obie Award season), I Feel Your Pain (a Performa NYC commission, created by Liz Magic Laser), Thunder Above, Deeps Below (Second Generation, World Premiere, by Lark Fellow Recipient A. Rey Pamatmat). Bay Area credits: Love and Information, A Christmas Carol (American Conservatory Theatre); King Lear, The Tempest (California Shakespeare Theatre); American Buffalo (Aurora Theatre Company, Theatre Bay Area Best Ensemble Acting, Theatre Critics Circle Best Production); The Liar (Livermore Shakespeare Festival). Regional Credits: King Charles III (Tour: ACT, Seattle Rep, Shakespeare Theatre of DC), 365 Days/365 Plays, The Open Road Anthology by Rolin Jones, Michael Jon Garces, Kia Corthron, A.Rey Pamatmat, Constance Congdon (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Film: Me, You and the Road(C&I Productions), Best Laid Plans (Messyhouse Productions), Othello the Web Series (www.ReadySetGoTheatre.com) Rafael is a graduate of the MFA program at ACT.
Carl Lumbly* (Gil Scott-Heron) is excited to return to Magic Theatre after his debut there in Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus in 2013. For the stage, Carl Lumbly most recently starred as Ira Aldridge in the San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Red Velvet, which ran through June 25, 2016. Lumbly was nominated for a San Francisco Bay Theatre Critics Circle award for his 2015 performance in Between Riverside and Crazy at ACT. Earlier in 2015, he starred as ‘Alfred’ in Let There Be Love at ACT and as ‘Leo Price’ in the San Francisco Playhouse’s premiere of Tree. In 2014, he starred as Chester Kimmich in John Patrick Shanley’s Storefront Church at the San Francisco Playhouse and as Troy in August Wilson’s Fences at the Marin Theatre Company. In 2013, Lumbly starred in Regina Taylor’s off-Broadway play stop. reset. Also in 2013, he starred in the San Francisco Playhouse’s West Coast Premiere of The Motherf**ker with the Hat. He starred in the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’s 2012 production of Blue/Orange. Lumbly was featured in the San Francisco Playhouse’s 2010 production of Cormac McCarthy’s Sunset Limited. In 2007, he won a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for his starring role in the San Francisco production of Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train. Lumbly’s extensive resume includes five seasons on ABC’s Alias.
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