XXXXXX




Follow Voicebox on Twitter Follow Voicebox on Facebook
Follow Voicebox on Facebook

Magic Act
SF WEEKLY

September 3, 2008

A Q & A with a historic theater's new chief.

The Magic Theatre takes its name from a famous location in Herman Hesse's novel Steppenwolf: "Anarchist Evening at the Magic Theatre, for Madmen Only, Price of Admission Your Mind." For a while following its inception in 1967, San Francisco's new play bastion made a radical impact on the U.S. theater scene, nurturing the careers of dramatists like Sam Shepard, Charles Mee, and Michael McClure and the acting talents of Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Sean Penn, to name a few. In recent years, however, the company has struggled to maintain its renegade reputation. A slew of big-name world premieres from David Mamet's Faust to Bill Pullman's Expedition 6 brought in a steady clientele but largely failed to stimulate. The Magic hired a new artistic director this summer in an attempt to reignite its spark. Loretta Greco comes to the Magic from New York with high-profile directing and producing credits at such institutions as the Public Theater and the Women's Project. She has also directed productions all over the country, including at ACT and the Magic. We caught up with her just before the launch of her inaugural season.

What inspired you to apply for the job at the Magic?

When I've directed plays in other parts of the country, three weeks into rehearsal I've usually itched to get back to New York. But when I've worked in San Francisco, I've never had that urge to leave. I have fallen in love with the city. I've always wanted to work at the Magic. I'm a Sam Shepard freak. I was spoon-fed all of his plays during my impressionable days. I also took the job because I love the Magic's intimate spaces: They allow audiences to see the sweat and tears on the actors' faces and feel like they're part of the show rather than mere observers.

How does the Bay Area theater scene compare to New York?

Nothing compares to New York in terms of scale, but the quality of what's on offer is comparable. You get a mixture of sublime work and dreck on both coasts.

What turns you on about theater?


As a practitioner, I feel like it's one of the few collaborative art forms. I love working with new writers — and occasionally dead writers, too. As an audience member, I believe that there's nothing like going to the theater. A small part of me is supremely critical. But mostly, I feel like I'm experiencing theater for the first time. When I was 8, my dad took me to a dress rehearsal for the local high school production of Oliver! in Miami where I grew up. I was overwhelmed. My heart was thumping and I had goosebumps. From that instant, I knew what I wanted to do. Eventually, I started organizing neighborhood "happenings" which included readings, dance numbers, and sketches. I would enlist everybody in the neighborhood to help and wouldn't take no for an answer. I like community and ritual. I go to church. I go to the theater, although sometimes I worry about the state of it.

What concerns you most about theater?

That it's lost its sense of adventure and is too commercial. That people go because they want to see their favorite stars. I'll always take a good story over a commercial hit with four big names in it. Still, you have to think about box office. But recently, since the economics have shifted in this country, theaters all too often base decisions not on artistry but commerce.

How do you plan to balance the box office with artistic integrity at the Magic?

I've always trusted my instincts. I've been doing this for 20 or so years. I know I have great taste. If you have a terrific script, fine actors, and a top production team, people will come. If the play's no good, I can hire 20 film stars and it still won't be heard.

How important is staging world premieres?


We're staging two this season — American Hwangap by Lloyd Suh and Mistakes Were Made by Six Feet Under writer Craig Wright. But I'm not just interested in doing world premieres. We need to do second and third productions. Premieres never get the work done.

How much directing do you intend to do?

I'm directing two shows this season — Evie's Waltz by Carter W. Lewis and Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius. I'm determined to maintain a balance between producing and directing.

Tell me about the season's inaugural play, Laura Schellhardt's The K of D, an Urban Legend.

When an agent friend sent me The K of D, I didn't know anything about the playwright. It's a great tall tale about a young girl's rite of passage set in a nowhere Midwestern town. I wanted to launch the season with a play that introduces audiences to a terrific emerging voice and reminds people about what's distinctive about the Magic: It's intimacy.

What about the rest of the season?

Bordering on naturalism, Evie's Waltz is not something I'd normally pick. But I found the play so honest and scary. It's about what happens to our kids in high school and how bad things can happen even to great families. Tough Titty by Oni Faida Lampley is about a woman's search for grace. Exuberant, buoyant, and heartwarming, it's a love letter to anyone who's ever had a cross to bear. I make the play sound like a Hallmark card, but it's nothing like that. American Hwangap looks at the immigrant experience through the lens of a Korean-American family in Texas. It's wonderfully poignant as well as madcap. Mauritius is constructed like a brick shithouse. Until I saw this play in New York, I never saw a heist work onstage. The plot, which concerns five people all after the same thing — a postage stamp — is extremely funny and heartbreaking. Screw The New York Times for comparing Rebeck unfavorably to Mamet. This lady is every bit the dramatist that Mamet is. If every first draft were as good as the one I have of Mistakes Were Made, we'd all die and go to heaven. Wright is a real wordsmith. The play asks big questions like, is there a God? And if our hours were numbered, how would we spend our time? For this first season, I won't push the envelope as far as I plan to in the future. I want to get to know the audience first.

Where do you see yourself and the Magic five or ten years from now?

In five years, I want the Magic to be financially triumphant and a destination for artists. In ten years, I hope to have bequeathed my job to someone much younger, smarter, and braver than I am. Perhaps I'll return to New York to run a theater there.

Labels:

5 Comments:

  • ToolsCycle shops sell fantastic Swiss Army Knife-style folding tool-kits with every kind of attachment under the sun, and cyclists get these as Christmas presents. They take with them instead, however, a small cloth roll with a couple of old spanners bent in just the right place, some long-nosed pliers and a spoke wrench. If you break down on your bike, you could not hope for a better bit of luck than a tourist riding by - they are usually generous with their time, helpful and friendly to other cyclists.. Common laser hair removal locations include legs, face, armpits and bikini line. Because the laser targets pigment in the hair, the procedure is most effective on people with light skin and dark hair and generally ineffective for blond, white or gray hair. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.ShoreBank has worked with Nobel prize winners and top economists, and is widely held to have invented the concept of community development banking. They proved that micro-lending to local small businesses and skilled workers can create an economic renaissance from the grass roots up as exemplified by Chicago's South Shore revival. And they worked closely with Muhammad Yunus of the to bring micro-lending to the third world, lifting millions our of poverty. [url=http://www.cyclingcloth.com/]Cycling Clothing[/url] Used for injuries to the knee, knee bandages, also know as "Ace" bandages, provide compression to the knee joint to reduce the amount of fluid in the area. ibuprofen, naproxen). Knee bandages help to protect the injured area which can help reduce the time needed to heal from an injury.While this works well during training and competition, it is not always ideal in other circumstances. Walking through a wet environment with boxing shoes would likely soak your foot to the bone. While the moisture in your shoes would eventually evaporate, the socks underneath could remain wet. If you have recently taken up cycling as part of your fitness routine, you will no doubt have discovered the necessity of providing proper protection for your hands. Whether you ride mostly in the dirt or on the pavement, bumps and vibration can quickly numb your hands, making it difficult to control your bike. Along with a quality pair of cycling gloves, installing a good set of grips can do much to alleviate any hand discomfort. [url=http://www.cyclingcloth.com/]Cycling Cloth[/url] Witch Hazel Trail and Lumberjack Loop :: Saint Charles, MIRingwood Forest is an out-of-the-way and lightly developed county park bordering the South Branch Bad River. In the spring the woods can be a bit sloppy and in early summer a little buggy. But by late June the trails are dry, by mid-August most of th….If A were six, then the image would be appear six times larger through the viewfinder. B is a measurement of the diameter of the binocular lenses, which determines how much of the target space can be seen at once. Another important factor is a binocular's ability to focus, which can be anywhere from severely limiting to entirely customizable, with individual focus for each eyepiece. Dental caries remain a major public health concern in most industrialized countries, affecting 60-90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults. Water fluoridation prevents cavities in both children and adults, with studies estimating an 18-40% reduction in cavities when water fluoridation is used by children who already have access to toothpaste and other sources of fluoride. Although water fluoridation can cause dental fluorosis, which can alter the appearance of developing teeth, most of this is mild and usually not considered to be of aesthetic or public-health concern.Whether you choose high-performance, inexpensive or second-hand clothes, make sure you have enough layers of clothing to allow you to adjust to different temperatures. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 26, 2013 at 12:43 PM  

  • and hustle and academia architects artists and designers to come together And multitudinous machines [url=http://www.ddtshanghaiescort.com]shanghai escorts[/url] toughened in industrial production

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 5, 2013 at 5:31 AM  

  • Concise statement shows you the undeniable info about nike shoes and ways it can certainly threaten people.|A quick review teaches you all inner workings linked with nike shoes and consequently the actions one need to do immediately.}[url=http://www.nikejapan.asia/]ナイキ air [/url] An enormous double take on nike shoes [url=http://www.adidasjapan.biz/]スニーカー adidas[/url] News-- nike shoes Can Have An Essential role In Any Site administration The Astounding Hidden knowledge Of Methods One Could Rule gucci Without Having Any Past experiences! [url=http://www.guccijp.asia/]gucci 財布[/url] Upcoming chloe E book Shares The Simplest Way To Dominate The chloe Market [url=http://www.chloejp.biz/]クロエ 財布[/url] Challenging Strategies To Learn about chanel And How One Could Be a part of The chanel Top dogs [url=http://www.chaneljp.biz/]chanel バッグ[/url] Strategies to understand each and every thing there is to understand about chanel in Some easy ways.A Lazy Male's Way To The nike shoes Achievement [url=http://www.adidasjapan.asia/]adidas シューズ[/url] I can not believe this, amazing service. Your organization have to consider nike shoes straight away when it is still up for grabs : ) [url=http://www.nikejp.biz/]スニーカーナイキ[/url] Insights on how to understand every single thing there is to understand related to nike shoes in Some straightforward steps.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 21, 2013 at 3:00 AM  

  • L est tr猫s bien situ茅. Par contre, nous sommes d茅莽us de la propret茅 (serviettes pas chang茅es et baignoire non nettoy茅e penddant tout le s茅jour). Le petit d茅jeuner se prend dans une minuscule salle et est tr猫s l茅ger.
    j'ai besoin de vos conseils [url=http://www.chaussuresfootlockerpascher.com/]foot locker france[/url] et comment le papa et la maman font que leurs graines se m茅langent
    Je lis le forum et vois qu'il y a quantit茅 d'autres produits : drysol, sri, maxim, spirial, driclor etc Je ne les ai pas essay茅 mais peut锚tre sontils plus efficaces. En fait, 莽a doit d茅pendre de chaque personne et pour trouver le produit id茅al, il faut s没rement tout essayer. [url=http://www.chaussuresfootlockerpascher.com/]acheter pas cher chaussures[/url]
    tu commences par le coin interieur de l'oeil puis tu fais ton trait de l'interieur vers l'exterieur en appuyant un peu plus au milieu de l'oeil pour epaissir le trait.
    la gal茅re. Mais longtemps , d猫s un retard de r猫gles , je me voyais avec un 4 , mais enfin c'est un autre probl猫me . [url=http://www.footlockerfrancepascher.com/]nike air max chaussures[/url]
    A cette date, il confectionne ses teeshirts prototypes dans le Bronx avec ses 17.000 dollars d' conomie et un pr t de 40.000 dollars. Planqu la sortie des vestiaires, il distribue ses maillots aux joueurs des universit s pour essais et attend que le bouche oreille fasse son effet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At May 9, 2013 at 11:32 AM  

  • So there's no bad time, or I got to go on the space shuttle. Or they put me in a time machine. [url=http://www.fitflopsuk-sale.com/]fitflop sale[/url] The formaldehyde dries and damages the toenail.
    As a thank you, the store gives a 10% discount on any new pair of shoes, sandals, clogs or hiking boots (including footwear already sale priced). More than 30,000 pairs of reusable shoes have been collected for distribution by the First Presbyterian Church Deacon's Closet and other community partners.
    "Exfoliation is a year-round event," says Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer "But in the spring and summer is when people should exfoliate more because humidity starts to build and skin is going through its molting phase. And there's been more of a dead skin buildup from the drier winter months." says that the frequency of exfoliation depends on a person's sensitivity. Redheads and people with fair and sensitive skin should try once a week and those with non-sensitive skin should do it every other day. But the most important thing is to find an exfoliator with small, consistently-shaped particles that scrub away the dead skin and stimulate the new skin. [url=http://www.birkenstockinaustraliaonline.com/]birkenstock australia online[/url] Nick Clegg told the conference yesterday they didn't applaud but they didn't shout him down either
    Five for fall 1New silhouette: Call it a reworking of the '40s or the '80s, but an upside-down triangle shape is the latest revival for fall. Just avoid too much exaggeration - moderation is the key. Try a slouchy boyfriend jacket, a snug-fitting biker jacket or a white blouse with peaked or slightly squared-off shoulders for the top half.
    I love socks and sandals like Birkenstocks or Tevas. The floor is chilly at home, so you're wearing a thick pair of socks. You need to go out but your shoes don't fit with those socks. [url=http://www.birkenstockinaustraliaonline.com/]birkenstock australia[/url] page WWF report comes on the heels of a controversy in May

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At May 20, 2013 at 6:57 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home