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Magic Theatre Announces Next Artistic Director, Sean San José

San José will succeed outgoing Artistic Director Loretta Greco in the post.

Magic Theatre has announced that Sean San José will be the company's next Artistic Director, succeeding Loretta Greco in the post. San José will begin working with Magic Theatre in June 2021 on a part-time basis, transitioning to full-time in August 2021.

"Magic was the first theatre where I saw a play - changing my life, feeling the power of what theatre could possess," said Sean San José. "It was the theatre where I got my Actor's Equity card as a performer, cast by the late Barbie Stein, giving me a profession and union; it was where I studied, as part of an unofficial company, performing for 5 seasons; it was where I gained inspirations and ambitions to reach beyond expectations and the scope of productions, where I was affirmed of long term commitments, in the way I was able to witness and be part of watching Loretta Greco artistically produce. It will be a true honor to be able to extend this trajectory, and more so, to deepen the amazing impact and inspiration Magic Theatre has made."

"I don't believe there is anyone so naturally suited to lead Magic, a theatre so richly defined by the spirit of San Francisco, than the absolutely sublime Sean San José," said Loretta Greco, Magic Theatre's Artistic Director from 2008-2020. "I am thrilled for my dear friend (and for Magic!) and look forward to experiencing how Sean's incomparable vision, artistry and love of this community meets this particular moment in time-to manifest a brand new, impactful, and exhilarating chapter for Magic!"

On behalf of Magic's Board, Chair Kathryn Kersey writes, "We are delighted to welcome Sean San José as our new Artistic Director. We were impressed with his track record and commitment to directing and producing bold new plays consistently over a decades-long career. His work is diverse and inclusive and Sean represents a voice that is modern, relevant and refreshing. What we also value in Sean is his ability to build local community which is foundational for theater. We are confident that Sean will shepherd us into a new era of theater and continue the Magic Theatre mission locally, nationally and internationally."

"I can barely contain my excitement and how absolutely delighted I am to begin working with Sean," says Kevin Nelson, Managing Director. "His voracious support of and leadership among Bay Area artists, longstanding history with Magic and incomparable work make him a natural and wonderful fit to chart the next path in Magic's 54 year journey."

As the new Artistic Director of Magic Theatre, San José carries the legacy and lessons from his former mentors and previous Magic Artistic Directors in Mame Hunt and Loretta Greco. Sean San José will continue as Program Director for Campo Santo, the new performances group for People of Color he is an integral part of. Along with Campo Santo Producing Director Joan Osato, he will continue to help produce and develop new works for Campo Santo, including co-productions with and at Magic Theatre. Campo Santo will also begin a residency at Magic as part of a vision for opening up Magic to more people: artists, communities, companies, disciplines with massive diversity as the direction forward.

While maintaining Magic's historic legacy with new plays and playwrights, Magic will look to expand in many ways, creating a more open and truly reflective home for folx in the Bay. Invoking Campo Santo's POC centered culture, creativity, and collaborations, this new chapter in Magic's bold and beautiful history will reach out to reclaim; and will lead into a new era of possibilities.

Magic already has a calendar full of exciting commitments and will reopen with the most exciting of projects, beginning this new era and season with Taylor Mac's new play, Joy and Pandemic directed by Loretta Greco.

The season will continue to evolve as the world settles into its new reality. Under Sean San José's artistic direction Magic, will sustain its national reputation working with and producing artists from recent Magic history such as Taylor Mac, Luis Alfaro, Jessica Hagedorn, Richard Montoya and Roger Guenveur Smith, as well as artists new to Magic including multi-visionary Colman Domingo; Campo Santo/Crowded Fire Theatre Mellon Playwright in Residence Star Finch; director Ellen Sebastian Chang; composer Marc Anthony Thompson; writer Britney Frazier; and writer A.M. Smiley. The future will also include inviting more music, dance, film and interdisciplinary works to share space at Magic, to create an evolving forum for our peoples.

San José has upcoming seasons already envisioned and soon to be shared. Magic Theatre will soon be open and filled with new works, new communities and new disciplines, reflecting the world we live in.

Sean San José is a Bay Area theatre maker, performer, director, and producer, making change and amplifying theatrical innovation for the last 25 years. His long history with Magic is fundamentally tied to his history with theatre writ large. San José got his Actors Equity card after being cast by the late Barbie Stein in Erin Cressida Wilson's Soiled Eyes of a Ghost in 1990. Over the years, Sean has had the honor of working at Magic under Mame Hunt's leadership and more recently under Loretta Greco's direction in new works by Luis Alfaro, Jessica Hagedorn, Octavio Solis, and many more.

Along with Margo Hall, the late and even greater Luis Saguar, and Michael Torres, San José helped co-found Campo Santo in 1996. As Program Director of Campo Santo, San José has helped develop, produce, and premiere nearly 100 new works for and by People of Color since 1996. One of these works, Nogales, by Richard Montoya was a co-production and collaboration with Magic Theatre, launching Magic's 50th Anniversary Season in 2016.

Sean San José sat on the Theatre Communications Group board of directors, was a member of the Zellerbach Family Foundation review panel, and currently teaches as a guest lecturer and guest director at University of California Berkeley. He is a recipient of multiple MAP fund awards, and was commissioned in the inaugural round of writers for Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Play On! to create a translation of William Shakespeare's Coriolanus. This June, Sean is excited to begin his post as Magic Theatre's new Artistic Director.

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