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2016-17 Season
Fool for Love
The Baltimore Waltz

Magic's 2016-17 Season

We are thrilled to share with you our 2016-2017 season, in which we welcome two vibrant world premieres, a very Virgin Play Festival featuring exclusive access to work in gestation, and two legacy masterworks that will launch the new year and Magic's 50th birthday in high style!

Legacy Revival

written by Sam Shepard
directed by Loretta Greco

Eddie (Andrew Pastides) looms over May (Jessi Campbell)

The Old Man (Rod Gnapp) tells his side of the story

Eddie and May share a moment while Martin (Patrick Russell) looks on in the background
photos courtesy: Jennifer Reiley

Fool for Love

EXTENDED: Now through March 5!

In a run-down motel at the edge of the Mojave desert, two former lovers unearth the dark secrets of their tangled relationship. Reality and fantasy, past and present collide in this explosive and timeless masterwork which first premiered at Magic in 1983.

"a transcendent, caveat-free work of theater. "

"Campbell’s portrayal [of May], under the taut, finely calibrated direction of Loretta Greco ... is ferocious."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"The mysteries of passion have never felt more intense, more deeply human"
-SF Examiner

"On top of the outstanding direction and acting, the creative team excels in this Magic revival of Fool for Love."

"For the first-time Shepard viewer (if there is any such person) and certainly for the perennial fan of the playwright genius, no better choice could be made than to experience him at the Magic. "

-Theatre Eddys

Meet the Playwright & Director

Sam Shepard, is an American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director, whose body of work spans over half a century. He is the author of forty-four plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983). Shepard received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York described him as “the greatest American playwright of his generation.”

Loretta Greco+ (Director/Artistic Director)

is currently in her ninth season as Magic Theatre’s Artistic Director where she has proudly developed and premiered Taylor Mac’s Hir; Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus el Rey, Bruja, and This Golden State Part I: Delano; Polly Pen and Victor Lodato’s Arlington; Linda McLean’s Every Five Minutes; Sharr White’s Annapurna; Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap and Jesus in India; Anna Zeigler’s Another Way Home; Octavio Solis’s Se Llama Cristina; and shepherded the American premieres of Penelope Skinner’s Fred’s Diner, Linda McLean’s Any Given Day, and Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus among many others. Ms. Greco’s New York directing premieres include: Tracey Scott Wilson’s The Story (Kesselring), Ruben Santiago Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues (Obie), and Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano (Kesselring) at NYSF/Public Theater; Katherine Walat’s Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen, Karen Hartman’s Gum, Toni Press Coffman’s Touch, and Rinne Groff’s Inky at Women’s Project; Emily Mann’s Meshugah at Naked Angels; Laura Cahill’s Mercy at The Vineyard Theatre; and Nilo Cruz’s A Park in Our House at New York Theatre Workshop. 

Meet the Cast & Crew

Jessi Campbell* (May)

is very happy to be returning to the Magic and so grateful to be working with her dear longtime friend, Loretta, once again. Jessi has worked in theater, film, and TV in NYC and San Francisco. Last season at the Magic Theatre, she played Chloe in Fred's Diner. Previously at the Magic: Sister Play, A Lie Of The Mind, and And I And Silence. Other favorite acting credits include: Blackbird (American Conservatory Theater), Speed-the-Plow (American Conservatory Theater), Inky (Women’s Project), Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen (Women’s Project), Commedia Dell Smartass (Ohio Theatre) and Lascivious Something (Cherry Lane Theater). She received her B.F.A. in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Member of AEA and SAG.

Rod Gnapp* (The Old Man)

A veteran of Bay Area stages, Mr. Gnapp was last seen at Magic in This Golden State, Every Five Minutes, Buried Child and Se Llama Cristina. He recently appeared in Seared at the SF Playhouse and The Realistic Joneses at American Conservatory Theater. His credits also include work at Berkeley Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, San Jose Rep, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, the Huntington Theatre Company, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Seattle Rep, Virginia Playhouse and the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Mr. Gnapp can be seen in the independent feature film Touching Home by the Miller Brothers, with Ed Harris. He can also be seen in Valley of the Hearts Delite, Calendar Confloption (Pixar), and Return to the Streets of San Francisco. He is the recipient of many Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (BATCC) Awards and is a graduate of the American Conservatory Theater's MFA program.

Andrew Pastides* (Eddie)

AEA/SAG/AFRTRA. Theatre: Tribes (Denver Center), Half and Half and Half (Merrimack Rep), Goldfish (Magic Theatre), Lovesong (59 E59), Makeout Session (Barrow Group), The Glass Menagerie (Two River Theatre), The Chosen (The Cleveland Playhouse), Molly's Delicious (The Arizona Theatre Co.), Tartuffe (Two River Theatre), Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (Theatre Alliance). Television credits include: CBS's Blue Bloods, Law and Order on NBC, USA's Suits, and HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Film credits: Home is Where the Heart Aches (Dir. Julien Levi), Deja Vu (Dir. Phillip Van), Hank and Asha (Dir. James Duff), Si Nos Dejan (Dir. Celia Rowlson-Hall), The Audition and Gray Dog (Dir. Celia Rowlson-Hall), Miss Tenderfoot Takes a Lover (Dir. Melissa Tomjanovich), Shadows and Lies (Dir. Jay Anania), Life (Dir. S. Gibson), and MA (Dir. Celia Rowlson-Hall). Andrew is a graduate of The SCGSAH and The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Patrick Russell* (Martin)

most recently appeared in King Charles III at A.C.T. and was last seen at Magic Theatre in the West Coast Premiere of The Other Place. Regional credits include: Red Velvet, Trouble Cometh (world premiere), 77% (world premiere), Seminar, and reasons to be pretty at San Francisco Playhouse; Once in a Lifetime and A Christmas Carol at A.C.T.; A Bright New Boise, Wilder Times, Body Awareness, Trouble in Mind, and Awake and Sing! at Aurora Theatre Company; Old Wicked Songs (CenterREP), Othello (Marin Theatre Company), Comedy of Errors (Marin Shakespeare Company), and Care of Trees (Shotgun Players). Film credits include the feature length film Being Us and the award winning animated short film Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero. Voice-over credits include numerous internet advertisements. Patrick holds a BFA in acting from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MFA in acting from American Conservatory Theater where he currently serves on the faculty in several of the conservatory’s actor training programs. Patrick is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

Julie Haber* Stage Manager

is delighted to return to Magic after stage managing last season's Fred’s Diner. Other Magic productions include This Golden State Part One: Delano, Arlington, Se Llama Cristina, Bruja, and Jesus in India. She has stage managed at many theatres around the country including the Bay Area’s Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., and Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and served as Company Stage Manager at South Coast Repertory for 20 years. She enjoys doing children’s theatre at MainStreet Theatre Company. She received her MFA from Yale School of Drama and has taught stage management at UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Cal Arts, and Yale. Julie is proud to be celebrating 40 years as a member of Actors Equity Association.

Andrew Boyce** (Scenic and Costume Designer)

is a Chicago and NYC based designer working in Theatre, Opera, and Film/TV. Past credits at Magic: The Lily’s Revenge, Buried Child, Se Llama Christina, This Golden State, Bruja, and Annapurna. Other Bay Area Credits: Realistic Joneses and The Hard Problem (A.C.T.); Confederates, Velocity of Autumn, Now Circa Then (Theaterworks), Life is A Dream (CalShakes), Circle Mirror Tranformation; A Steady Rain (M.T.C.). NY credits with: Lincoln Center Theater, Roundabout Theater Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Primary Stages, etc. Regional credits with most major regional theaters across the U.S. MFA - Yale School of Drama.

Christopher Akerlind** (Lighting Designer)

returns to Magic where he designed Annapurna, working alongside Loretta Greco and Andrew Boyce. In the San Francisco area, his work has been seen at A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, San Jose Rep, and at San Francisco Opera, most recently on the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne. For nearly thirty years, his work has been seen across the United States, in Europe, Asia, on Broadway, and at opera houses around the world.

Sara Huddleston (Sound Designer)

joined Magic staff in March ’07. For Magic, selected designs include Dogeaters, Fred’s Diner, Sister Play, A Lie of the Mind, And I And Silence, pen/man/ship, Every Five Minutes, Hir, Arlington, Terminus, Se Llama Cristina, Any Given Day, What We’re Up Against, Or, The Brothers Size, An Accident, Mrs. Whitney, Goldfish, Mauritius, Evie’s Waltz, The K of D, and Octopus (Magic/Encore Theatre Company). Further Bay Area sound design credits include: Miss Bennet, Christmas at Pemberley and Gem of the Ocean (Marin Theatre Company); In On It and T.I.C (Encore Theatre Company); The Shaker Chair (Encore Theatre Company/Shotgun Players); Macbeth (Shotgun Players); Three on a Party (Word for Word); A Round Heeled Woman (Z Space); I Call My Brothers, Invasion!, and 410 [Gone] (Crowded Fire). Ms. Huddleston received a B.F.A from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

Sonia Fernandez (Dramaturg)

is a scholar, translator, and dramaturg specializing in new work. Recent production dramaturgy includes: The Shipment by Young Jean Lee with Crowded Fire, and Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield and runboyrun by Mfoniso Udofia with Magic Theatre. New play dramaturgy projects include a bilingual (English and Cantonese) workshop of Madam Ho by Eugenie Chan and directing Cucaracha and the Bogeyman by Matthew Keuter in Crowded Fire’s Matchbox reading series. She has worked with various Bay Area theater companies including Aurora, Playwrights Foundation, Brava, Cutting Ball, Magic, PlayGround, and Crowded Fire, where she is a long-time company member. Sonia received her A.B. in English from Princeton University and Master’s in Theater from San Francisco State; she is a PhD candidate at UC San Diego.

Dave Maier (Fight Director)

has choreographed violence for 18 Magic Theatre productions including Dogeaters, And I And Silence, Any Given Day, and Oedipus el Rey. His work has been seen at Berkeley Rep, ACT, SF Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Center Rep, Impact Theatre, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and Shotgun Players, among others. He is the resident fight director at San Francisco Opera and California Shakespeare Theatre and he teaches combat related classes and workshops at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, St. Mary’s College of California, and Stanford University. Mr. Maier is currently serving as president of Dueling Arts International.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association.

**Member of United Scenic Artists local 829.

+Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC)

Legacy Revival

written by Paula Vogel
directed by Jonathan Moscone

Laney College performance: April 1st @ 2:30 pm

[click here for more information about Laney College performances]

The Baltimore Waltz

Begins March 22, 2017

Paula Vogel’s fantastical satire takes us on a whirlwind odyssey through Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and Vienna in search of romance and a cure.  Part heartfelt tribute and part political indictment, this groundbreaking work from the beloved Pulitzer Prize winner was given its West Coast premiere at Magic in 1992.

Meet the Playwright

How I Learned to Drive, The Long Christmas Ride Home (The Vineyard); Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq (Wilma Theater); A Civil War Christmas (Long Wharf, New York Theatre Workshop); The Mineola Twins (Roundabout); Hot ‘n’ Throbbing (A.R.T., Signature Theatre); The Baltimore Waltz, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven (Circle Rep); The Oldest Profession (Signature Theatre). Awards include the Pulitzer Prize, two Obies, the NY Drama Critics Circle, Theatre Hall of Fame, Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement, and The Thornton Wilder Award. She is most honored by three awards given in her name: the Paula Vogel Award at the American Theatre College Festival, the Paula Vogel mentorship program for Philadelphia Young Playwrights, and the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award given by the Vineyard Theatre. After teaching for 30 years at Brown University and Yale School of Drama, she now conducts workshops at theatres, schools, and community organizations. Upcoming projects: Jitterbugging and the War Effort (Long Wharf), Baby Girl, a musical theatre work with Matt Gould, and the book, How to Bake A Play.

Text Link

World Premiere

written by Han Ong
directed by Loretta Greco


Begins May 31, 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.

Meet the Playwright

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.