The Magic Theatre Scripts, 1964-1990, consists of over 1200 works collected during John Lion's tenure as General and Artistic
Director with the company. The scripts are written about a wide range of subjects, from sports to racial politics, by an equally
diverse range of ethnic groups, including Chicanos, Indians, and Australians. Playwrights include such well known authors
as Michael McClure, Sam Shepard, and David Mamet, as well as a vast number of unknown playwrights. The scripts were separated
from the company's archives; the operational files are collected as Magic Theatre Records, 1967-1990 (BANC MSS 81/184 c).
The Magic Theatre was founded in 1967 in Berkeley, Calif., with a production of Eugene Ionesco's, The Lesson, by a group of University of California, Berkeley graduate students, headed by John Lion, who had an interest in the newly
emerging, avant-garde European playwrights, including Ionesco, Genet, and Beckett. They had no intention of starting a theatre,
but with the success of The Lesson, the company moved into the Steppenwolf Bar on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, and began producing plays as the Magic Theatre,
a name adopted from Hesse's novel, Steppenwolf.
Number of containers: 50 cartons, 2 oversize folders
Linear feet: 62.5
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.