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Collection Guide
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Guide to the Magic Theatre Records, 1967-1990
BANC MSS 81/184 c  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Magic Theatre records contain the administrative, production, financial, and publicity records of a theatre company that grew from a handful of graduate students to a well respected company known for its support of new theatrical works. The collection, which spans the period of John Lion's tenure as Artistic Director and General Director, includes corresondence, bylaws, manuscripts of writings and speeches, programs, posters, financial statements, and clippings. Includes documents relating to the relationship between the Magic Theatre and Sam Shepard, who followed Michael McClure as an important playwright for the company.
Background
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.
Extent
Number of containers: 12 cartons, 3 oversize boxes, 16 oversize folders, 1 volume, 2 tubes Linear feet: ca. 18
Restrictions
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.
Availability
Collection is open for research, with the following exception: In Carton 6: Salary Surveys by the Theatre Communications Group are restricted.