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Magic Theatre Announces 2020 Virtual Gala SPRINGING FORWARD Featuring Taylor Mac, Ed Harris and More


The gala, which will take place on Thursday, August 6, will be honoring Loretta Greco and Kary Schulman

Magic Theatre Announces 2020 Virtual Gala SPRINGING FORWARD Featuring Taylor Mac, Ed Harris and More

Magic Theatre announced today that the Company will host its first-ever Virtual Gala Fundraiser, Springing Forward, on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST. The Gala will feature guest appearances from Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, Taylor Mac, Mfonsio Udofia, Lloyd Suh, and many more. Registration is free and is available online at

"For 53 years, the Magic has been an integral member of the San Francisco cultural family," said Gala Co-Chairs Maureen Sullivan and Meagan Levitan. "What the Magic does is singular - commits itself to original plays while supporting and empowering emerging artists by bringing to life diverse voices and perspectives. Your virtual presence here tonight continues this work and ensures Magic's place in the future of San Francisco arts. Now more than ever, as we endeavor to get past the effects of this pandemic, working to protect the arts and their place in our world - and city - is important (and noble) work."

The recipients of Magic Theatre's 2020 Annual Sam Shepard Legacy Award will be Magic Theatre's Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Kary Schulman, the longtime former director of Grants for the Arts - the San Francisco agency responsible for distributing the city's hotel tax funds to various organizations and nonprofits.

Anyone who registers will receive an invite to a virtual Happy Half-Hour Cocktail Reception (and be entered to win raffles and prizes) at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST, prior to the Gala. Guests will join Magic Playwrights and Artists Ricardo Pérez González, Yetta Gottesman, Liz Duffy Adams, Ashlin Halfnight, Sarah Nina Hayon, and Magic mixologist Corky LaVallee for a conversation as they and live cocktail demonstration! All drink recipes will be included in the link once registered, so everyone can join the fun.

The reception also includes announcing the winner of the Wine Cellar Raffle, who will receive up to $1,200 in fine wines (*local Bay Area residents only). While second place winners will have a featured cocktail named after them! This signature cocktail will then be served at the Magic bar for the entirety of the upcoming season. All are welcome to enter!

Magic will also give 20% of any income raised over the initial goal of $100,000 directly to the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, whose core mission is "to create theatrical works by, for, and about the African American experience. LHT's incredible legacy and dedication to Black artists is crucial to the arts, especially in the city of San Francisco.

Lorraine Hansberry Theatre:

Sam Shepard Legacy Award

This award celebrates an individual who has a special relationship to Magic and has dedicated a life to creating or supporting the creation of exceptional theatre that dynamically pushes the culture forward.

Almost 50 years ago, Sam Shepard embarked on a journey with Magic Theatre. A journey that would include the creation and premiere of seven of his most enduring works including Buried Child, True West, and Fool for Love. Magic Theatre provided him with an artistic home to explore, create, and thrive during these formative years. The art he created at Magic allowed audiences to viscerally explore the essential elements of humanity and dared viewers to feel beyond themselves. Sam challenged the status quo and forged the way for countless other playwrights to dream and discover their own voices. Magic Theatre has continued to be an artistic safe-haven for groundbreaking writers who follow Sam's path in vaulting us all forward because of arts innovators and visionaries, and especially because of tonight's honorees, Kary Schulman and Loretta Greco.

Past Awardees: Taylor Mac, Toni Rembe, John Marx, Rebecca Eisen, and Octavio Solis.

Sean San José, Campo Santo member who has worked with Greco on numerous occasions during her tenure Magic Theatre, describes Greco's impact on the theatre and the community: "What Magic has achieved through Greco's vision, heart, and perseverance - is to create home where there was none. From day one with Loretta-it was about meeting who is here; who is amazing and has to be there; and how to get as many of US in there as she could. The mission was exceeded by virtue of her incredible gift at working with great artists only; her commitment to create new work for now; her belief in nurturing and navigating community here; and her allegiance to the legacy of Magic's history of loving and supporting writers and their new works."

The 2020 Gala Committee Co-Chairs are Maureen Sullivan and Meagan Levitan; the Committee is comprised of Alan Stewart, Sarah Nina Hayon, Ciera Eis, Leigh Wolf, Stephanie Holmes, Kathryn Kersey, Larry Goldfarb, Katrina Wong, Karen Donovan, and John Marx.

Your Impact

For 53 years, Magic Theatre has sought and supported theatre's freshest playwrights who bravely tackle difficult subjects, sharing the essential narratives of our time. The current health crisis is having a profound impact on theater, and they need your help more than ever. At Magic, writers are given a rare artistic home, an extension of faith, and the tools and time to carefully craft their stories. Since 2008, Magic has produced twenty-six world premieres, twenty-one of which have enjoyed extended life beyond the Magic stage throughout the U.S. and abroad.

With the arts at risk, it has been incredibly difficult to maintain operating costs. As a Magic supporter, you are an essential part of continuing to create an invaluable artistic home for infamous playwrights such as Sam Shepard, Taylor Mac, Linda McLean, Mfosnio Udofia, Lloyd Suh, Christina Anderson, Octavio Solis, Theresa Rebeck, and Nassim Soleimanpour.

Not only does your support have a national impact, but you would be supporting the rich Bay Area community as well. Your support will allow them to keep up their collaboration with Laney Community College students, their hands-on Apprenticeship Programs, and their writer's education program for children, teens, and adults in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. Their community outreach program, Making Magic: Arts and Community, brings their mainstage work and special collaborations to the heart of the Tenderloin for free performances and classes which continues to build on Magic's decades of new playwriting expertise. By focusing their curriculum on teaching mindfulness, self-esteem, playwriting, and creative storytelling, Magic seeks to build passion and confidence, encouraging self-expression in their students of all ages.

In these challenging times, we need the new voices and stories Magic brings us more than ever. For these daring voices to be heard and the next generation of writers to be nurtured, Magic needs your support.

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