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SEASON & EVENTS

2017-2018 Season
A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
The Eva Trilogy
Reel to Reel
The Gangster of Love

Magic's 2017-18 Season

We are honored to announce our 2017-2018 season, featuring Taylor Mac's groundbreaking performance art concert A 24-Decade History of Popular Music and three world premieres by new and returning members of the Magic Family! 

Subscribers also receive access to our Virgin Play Festival 2017 — all three of this year's premieres were workshopped at last year's Virgin, and this year's Festival promises both bold works-in-progress and new plays from America's leading dramatists!

TAYLOR MAC

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music*

BARBARA HAMMOND

The Eva Trilogy 

Eden
     Enter the Roar
     No Coast Road

JOHN KOLVENBACH

Reel to Reel

JESSICA HAGEDORN

The Gangster of Love

———

*Presented by Curran and Stanford Live
In association with Magic Theatre and Pomegranate Arts

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music

written by Taylor Mac

September 15: Chapter I (1776-1836)

September 17: Chapter II (1836-1896)

September 22: Chapter III (1896-1956)

September 24: Chapter IV (1956-the present)

Photo: Teddy Wolff
Photo: Teddy Wolff

Presented by Curran and Stanford Live
In association with Magic Theatre and Pomegranate Arts


West Coast Premiere

Begins September 15, 2017

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is Mac’s multi-year effort to chart a subjective history of the United States through 246 songs that were popular throughout the country, and in its disparate communities, from 1776 to the present day. In performing the work, Mac is joined by an orchestra—led by Music Director Matt Ray, who created new arrangements of all 246 songs—plus an ensemble of “Dandy Minions” and a variety of local special guests, including members of the audience cast as colonial needleworkers, World War I soldiers and Yum Yum from The Mikado. Costume designer Machine Dazzle, a longtime Mac collaborator, has handmade an outrageously imaginative, world-unto-itself costume specific to each decade.

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music recently won the 2017 Edward M. Kennedy Award for Drama inspired by American History and was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, in addition to being included on an unprecedented three New York Times “Best of…” lists in 2016: Performance, Theater and Classical Music.

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music will be presented over four nights at Curran Theater (445 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102).

 ·  Friday, September 15 at 5pm (Chapter 1: 1776-1836): The American Revolution from the perspective of the yankee doodle dandy, the early woman’s lib movement, an epic battle between drinking songs and early temperance songs, a dream sequence where the audience is blindfolded and the heteronormative narrative as colonization.

 ·  Sunday, September 17 at 2pm (Chapter II: 1836-1896): Walt Whitman and Stephen Foster go head to head for the title of Father of the American Song, culminating in the queerest Civil War Reenactment in history.  Oh, and: a production of The Mikado set on Mars.

 ·  Friday, September 22 at 5pm (Chapter III: 1896-1956): A Jewish tenement, a WWI trench, a speakeasy, a depression, a zoot suit riot all make the white people flee the cities.

 ·  Sunday, September 24 at 2pm (Chapter IV: 1956-the present): Bayard Rustin’s March on Washington leads to a queer riot, sexual deviance as revolution, radical lesbians, and a community building itself while under siege.

Magic subscribers get one ticket (per subscription) to one of these six-hour performances.

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is Created, Written, Performed and Co-Directed by Taylor Mac, with Co-Direction by Niegel Smith, Music Direction & Arrangements by Matt Ray, Costume Design by Machine Dazzle, Dramaturgy by Jocelyn Clarke, Scenic Design by Mimi Lien, and Lighting Design by John Torres. A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is produced by Pomegranate Arts and Mac’s company Nature’s Darlings.

Meet the Playwright

Taylor Mac (who uses “judy”, lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. “A critical darling of the New York scene” (New York Magazine), judy’s work has been performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center, The Public Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, London’s Hackney Empire, Los Angeles’s Royce Hall, Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, Boston’s American Repertory Theatre, Stockholm’s Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, San Francisco’s Curran theater and MOMA, and literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls, opera houses, cabarets, and festivals around the globe. Judy is the author of seventeen full-length plays and performance pieces including  A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, Kennedy Prize in Drama), Hir (placed on the top ten theater of 2015 lists of The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out NY; published by North Western University Press and in American Theater Magazine), The Lily’s Revenge (Obie Award), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (named One of the Best Plays of 2011 by The New York Times), The Young Ladies Of (Chicago’s Jeff Award nomination for best solo), Red Tide Blooming (Ethyl Eichelberger Award), and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (Edinburgh Festival’s Herald Angel Award). Recent acting roles include Shen Teh/Shui Ta in The Foundry Theater’s production of Good Person of Szechwan at La Mama and the Public Theater (for which judy received Lucille Lortel and Drama League Award nominations), Puck/Egeus in the Classic Stage Company’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, the title role in various productions of judy’s play, The Lily’s Revenge, and opposite Mandy Patinkin in the two-man vaudeville, The Last Two People On Earth, directed by Susan Stroman. Mac is currently creating a Dionysia Festival of four original plays (to be premiered separately and eventually performed in repertory), which deal in some way with our cultural polarization and that include:  an all-ages play called, The Fre (commissioned by the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, premiere date TBD); a kitchen-sink tragedy named, Hir (which received its world premiere at the Magic Theater in Feb 2014);  a dance-theater play, The Bourgeois Oligarch, and a music theatre debate regarding small and large government, set inside an Ezra Pound poem, in the subconscious of Clarence Thomas, during a Supreme Court Hearing. Mac is the recipient of multiple awards including the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Award, the Herb Alpert Award in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and an Obie. An alumnus of New Dramatists judy is currently a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and the Resident playwright at the Here Arts Center.

The eva trilogy

Eden
  Enter the Roar
 No Coast Road

written by Barbara Hammond
directed by Loretta Greco

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World Premiere

Begins October 19, 2017

Barbara Hammond's THE EVA TRILOGY is a lyrical Irish epic spanning thirty years over the course of three plays: EDEN, ENTER THE ROAR, and NO COAST ROAD. In Hammond's trilogy, an Irish expat named Eva returns home from her rebellious life in Paris and makes an irreparable choice when her ailing mother's fate is placed in her hands. Her decision becomes legendary within her community and proceeds to haunt her through the rest of her life. Each play in the trilogy champions its own theatrical landscape, reflecting the tremendous range of Hammond's writing and the evolving state of her subject. Magic will be the first theatre to take on all three parts in a single production. Julia McNeal (FRED'S DINER, A LIE OF THE MIND) will star as Eva.


Meet The Playwright

Barbara Hammond

is a New Dramatists resident playwright and
is a citizen of both the United States and Ireland. Awards and recognitions: 2015-17 Royal Court Theatre new play commission, 2017 Headwaters Theatre Festival in Creede, CO, 2017 University of Arkansas New Play Award, 2017 Theatresquared Festival of New Plays, 2017 lyricist for the 25th anniversary concert of the AIDS Quilt Songbook at National Sawdust, 2016 Duke University residency, 2016 Emerson Stage workshop production, 2015 Play Commission from the Contemporary American Theatre Festival for WE ARE PUSSY RIOT, 2015 Lippmann Family "New Frontier" Award, 2015 P73 Fellowship finalist, 2014 Seven Devils Theatre Conference; the 2012 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award;  Yale Playwrights Festival mentor since 2010; a 2011 Edward Albee Foundation Fellow; Tyrone Guthrie Centre repeat resident in Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland; finalist at the Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Festival and the Kerouac Project; Special Jury Award, First Irish 2009 Theatre Festival.  She is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, and was named one of the Influential Women of 2011 by the Irish Voice.  Her work has been funded by the National Endowment of the Arts, The Venturous Theater Fund, the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.Plays: WE ARE PUSSY RIOT OR EVERYTHING IS P.R., TERRA FIRMA, VISIBLE FROM FOUR STATES, THE EVA TRILOGY: EDEN, ENTER THE ROAR and NO COAST ROAD, BEYOND THE PALE, JAMES, NORMAN AND BEATRICE, PAPER TIGERS and a collection of three one-acts entitled NEW YORK IN JUNE.  Visit her website at barbarahammond.com.

reel to reel

written and directed by John Kolvenbach

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World Premiere

Begins January 31, 2018

John Kolvenbach (SISTER PLAY, MRS. WHITNEY, GOLDFISH) returns to Magic to direct the World Premiere of his own REEL TO REEL. Fascinated by the relationship between sound and memory, Kolvenbach has written the story of a fifty-five-year marriage as told through the mundane sentiments of recorded conversations, arguments, and household noises. What emerges is a collage of love, aging, and death captured on audio tape. Will Marchetti (of Magic's original FOOL FOR LOVE) will lead the cast.

Meet the Playwright

John Kolvenbach is the author of Goldfish, Mrs. Whitney, Love Song, on an average day, Gizmo Love, Fabuloso, Bank Job, and Marriage Play (or Half ‘n Half ‘n Half) which premiered in 2012 at Merrimack Repertory. Goldfish premiered at South Coast Repertory in the spring of 2009, directed by Loretta Greco. Goldfish was then produced at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in the fall of that year. The Magic also premiered Mrs. Whitney in the fall of 2009, under Kolvenbach’s direction. Love Song premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago in the spring of 2006, directed by Austin Pendelton. Love Song went on to the West End, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award, best new comedy. The London production was directed by John Crowley, with Neve Campbell, Cillian Murphy, Kristen Johnston and Michael McKean. Love Song has been produced in New York, Zurich, Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington, Seoul and Rome. There have been over fifty productions in the US.  on an average day premiered at the Comedy Theatre on the West End in 2002, with Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan, also directed by Mr. Crowley. Average Day has been produced in Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Lisbon among many other places. Fabuloso premiered at the Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre in 2008, directed by Mr. Kolvenbach. Fabuloso was staged in San Juan and Zurich, in Spanish and Swiss German, respectively.

the gangster of love

written by Jessica Hagedorn
directed by Loretta Greco

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World Premiere

Begins April 11, 2018

The season ends in Spring with the world premiere of THE GANGSTER OF LOVE from Jessica Hagedorn, who presents the theatrical adaptation of her own story of immigration from Manila, based on her book of the same name. Raquel "Rocky" Rivera and her eccentric family settle in the Haight during the 1970s, opening for us a window to a dynamic period of conflict, social change, and artistic flourishing in San Francisco. The lauded city of poets, rebels, and thriving musicians will be reclaimed at Magic through the eyes of Hagedorn's immigrant artists. Featuring live music, poetry reading, and the music video as key narrative forms, this is a story 20 years in the making. THE GANGSTER OF LOVE is a Magic Gerbode commissioned new play.

Meet the Playwright

Jessica Hagedorn is the author of Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster Of Love, and Dogeaters, which won the American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. Other publications include Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and Burning Heart: A Portrait Of The Philippines (with photojournalist Marissa Roth). Hagedorn edited both volumes of Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, and Manila Noir, a crime fiction anthology. Her plays include Most Wanted, Stairway To Heaven, Fe In The Desert, and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters. In collaboration with composer Fabian Obispo, Hagedorn is adapting Lysley Tenorio’s short story, Felix Starro, into a musical play. Her work in film includes screenplays for director Shu Lea Cheang’s Fresh Kill and for the Oxygen Network’s animated series, The Pink Palace. Honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, a Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, and a Philippine National Book Award for Manila Noir. She is an alumna of the Sundance Theatre Lab for Dogeaters and Most Wanted, and the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab for Dogeaters. For more information, visit www.jessicahagedorn.net.