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!
written by Richard Montoya
directed by Sean San José
in collaboration with
Campo Santo & Borderlands Theater
Laney College Performance: October 29th @ 2:30
Ran October 12 - October 31, 2016
With irreverence and searing humor, Richard Montoya, famed member of Culture Clash, explores the conflicts and supersized personalities in the iconic border town of Nogales. Blending a variety of historical and current sources, Nogales delivers a powerful story about a contemporary America that has lost its moral center.
"Nogales rests primarily on the sturdy shoulders of its actor-creators, Richard Montoya and Sean San José. Separately and as a team, they deliver powerful performances that show the audience what can happen when two master craftsmen are at work. I truly hope this play has a longer life span than its initial co-production. Montoya’s script is a most impressive achievement." -Huffington Post
"Two hours after Donald Trump referred to “bad hombres” illegally crossing the border in the Wednesday, Oct. 19, presidential debate, Magic Theatre, in collaboration with Campo Santo and Tucson’s Borderlands Theater, opened a show that marked a stunning rebuke to the Republican candidate’s racism, xenophobia and demagoguery."
"A co-founder of the pioneering Latino performance trio Culture Clash, which specialized in satire, Montoya is wonderfully restrained with his punch lines. He makes you lean in and work to keep up, much as it must be like to play audience to the real-life master manipulator."
Richard Montoya is an American playwright, actor, filmmaker, and co-founder of the collective performance trio, Culture Clash, which was formed in 1984 in San Francisco’s Mission District. Born in 1959, Montoya is the son of well- known artist, poet, and activist José Montoya, a co-founder of the Chicano artistic collective known as the Royal Chicano Air Force. While José Montoya went to art school in the East Bay (CCAC) in the early 60’s he quickly gravitated to Berkeley and the Beat Movement still percolating in SF’s North Beach.
While growing up, Montoya witnessed his family’s involvement in the civil rights movement and Cesar Chavez’ United Farm Workers movement as artist activists. He continues that legacy through his career as a playwright, actor and indie filmmaker. Through searing satire or heightened realism Montoya’s writings dig deep into the margins of America. The shadow lands: barrios, deserts, jails where characters confront racism, discrimination, and the difficulties and dangers of displacement and the ghosts of a post-colonial reality on the Mexico-U.S. border. He has co-authored several important works for the national stage and several published anthologies of plays. Among others, he has authored commissioned works for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cal Shakes, Arena Stage, the Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory, Huntington Theater, Berkeley Rep, Getty Villa, South Coast Repertory and La Jolla Playhouse. As a solo writer he has created Water & Power, Palestine New Mexico, Anthems, American Night and The River. Montoya is an alumni of Luis Valdez’ Teatro Campesino and of the Sundance Institutes Writers and Directors Lab, as well as a two-time Annenberg Film Fellow. Montoya was also a staff writer on the critically acclaimed television show Southland. He studied drama at CSU Sacramento and graduated from the Summer Training Congress at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco under Artistic Director Bill Ball. Life on the Water, Asian American Theater, Stages/Studio 24 with Rene Yanez, La Pena and The Intersection are where he cut and sharpened his satirical fangs. He is writer and star of the recently released film The Other Barrio filmed entirely on location in the Mission District with producers Rene Yanez, Lou Dematteis, and Dante Betteo. Grateful for this Magic Theater debut and to be in the orbit of Loretta Greco and stardust of playwright hero Mr. Sam Shepard! Montoya dedicates his performance in Nogales to the memory of director Mark Rucker (The Birds) and to all who hazard their souls to the misfortunes of the desert.
Weekday subscriptions include one ticket to each of the four shows to any weekday performance as well as a pass to the Virgin Play Festival.
Weekend subscriptions include one ticket to each of the four shows to any weekend performance as well as a pass to the Virgin Play Festival.
Flex Pass subscriptions include four tickets to be used as you choose as well as a pass to the Virgin Play Festival.
NextGen subscriptions include one ticket to each of the four shows as well as a pass to Virgin Play Festival. NextGen Subscriptions are for patrons 35 & under, proof of age required.
Magic Theatre's 2018-2019 Season will include the World Premiere of Ashlin Halfnight's The Resting Place; the World Premiere of Mfoniso Udofia's In Old Age; and an anniversary revival of Luis Alfaro's critically acclaimed Oedipus el Rey, which premiered at Magic Theatre ten years ago. The Season will also include a fourth play, yet to be announced, and Magic's beloved, annual Virgin Play Festival.
By Ashlin Halfnight
The Resting Place is a provocative and intense look at an American family in a cloudburst of crisis - it's a hell of a ride, filled with raw humor, penetrating darkness, and fierce love. Ashlin Halfnight (Magic Virgin Play Festival 2017) addresses familial obligation, guilt, our own complacency and culpability in wrongdoing and asks, how do we reconcile our love for someone with the knowledge of their horrifying transgression?
By Mfoniso Udofia
When Azell Abernathy, a seasoned repairman, arrives at the home of Abasiama Ufot to redo the floors of her dilapidated New England home, he is surprised to be met with stubborn resistance. The two clash, challenge each other, and eventually form an unlikely spiritual connection. Abasiama and Azell learn the true nature of forgiveness and love, just as her life takes a new turn. This fifth installment of Mfoniso Udofia’s Ufot family cycle offers both a purge and a peacemaking; both frenzy and faith.
In Spring 2018, Magic Theatre and A.C.T. will each present one, independent chapter from Mfoniso Udofia’s sweeping nine-part saga about a family of Nigerian immigrants and their American-born children. Other chapters of Mfoniso’s cycle (Sojourners, runboyrun) were premiered at Magic in the 2015-16 season.
Magic Legacy Revival
By Luis Alfaro
Set in South Central LA, Oedipus el Rey is a gritty and electrifying take on the Greek tragedy, written by acclaimed Magic playwright Luis Alfaro. Oedipus is reimagined as a troubled young man whose dreams of controlling his own destiny soar beyond the prison walls where he’s spent his life. But in a place where everyone is trapped—by desperation or fate, history or violence—no one man can change his story alone. Love, family and belief collide in this chilling, incredibly powerful play that asks: what’s fate, and what’s just the system?
Magic Theatre is thrilled to welcome our Magic Family member, Luis, back for the 10th anniversary production of Oedipus El Rey.
written by Paula Vogel
directed by Jonathan Moscone
Laney College performance: April 1st @ 2:30 pm
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you ever wondered how a play gets from the page to the stage? The 2016 Virgin Play Festival is an exclusive insider's look at writing in the making! Showcasing young playwrights working side-by-side with Magic's family of mid-career writers, 2016 will feature work in progress from Christina Anderson, Dipika Guha and John Kolvenbach among many others.
Friday, Dec. 2 - 8pm
You Got Older by Clare Barron
Saturday, Dec. 3 - 8pm
How to Catch Creation by Christina Anderson
Sunday, Dec. 4 - 2:30pm
Eva Trilogy by Barbara Hammond
Tuesday, Dec. 6 - 7pm
No One is Forgotten by Winter Miller
Wednesday, Dec. 7 - 8pm
Go. Please. Go. by Emily Feldman
Thursday, Dec. 8 - 8pm
Reel to Reel by John Kolvenbach
Tuesday, Dec. 13 - POSTPONED • Stay Tuned
Hoodwinked by Emily Mann
Wednesday, Dec. 14 - 2:30pm
Untitled play by Dipika Guha
When her dad gets sick at the same moment her life implodes, Mae moves back to her childhood home. Tender and darkly comic, You Got Older is a meditation on the fragility of ordinary happiness, a new play about family and fantasy—and how we learn to keep going.
What would we forgive for those we love? What can we give up for them? Weaving through San Francisco over 40 years How to Catch Creation explores family, connection, and parenthood. A celebration of the power of regeneration this story asks the question—who has the right to start over?
An Irish expat returns home from her rebellious life in Paris. A reunion with her mother forces her to make a choice that has irreparable consequences. We move through time and space, the mundane and the magical to celebrate a woman unbound by social constraint. Spanning thirty years The Eva Trilogy asks how do you stand up for what you know to be true when the world asks you to compromise?
A woman. A man. Indefinite time. Their lives filled with un-answerable questions, two people create a whole world in the confines of captivity. No One is Forgotten celebrates the power of intimacy, imagination, and the radical resilience of the human spirit.
A couple decides: This isn’t working. He says he’ll leave, and then he doesn’t. He stays and stays and stays. Through seventy years of marriages, bar mitzvahs, baptisms, and funerals, he stays. People get drunk. People get sober. People plan vacations. People die. Somebody wins the lottery. A baby grows up. Everybody dances. GO. PLEASE. GO. asks what it means to love somebody for a lifetime, and what a lifetime even means.
What does it sound like when you fall in love? Moving through time and space, sound and word, Reel to Reel presents a collage of sounds, a spliced portrait of a life together. This is an aural history, a love story told over fifty-five years and three months.
Drawing from interviews, transcripts and other primary sources Hoodwinked is a riveting exploration of Islamic extremism sparked by the 2009 mass shooting on the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas. Urgent and difficult, the play asks how we make sense of the questions, confusion and misinformation surrounding one of the most pressing issues of our time.
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