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.
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: 12 cartons, 3 oversize boxes, 16 oversize folders, 1 volume, 2 tubes
Linear feet: ca. 18
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, with the following exception: In Carton 6: Salary Surveys by the Theatre Communications Group