The Magic Theatre and Campo Santo Announce the World Premiere of GARUDA'S WING

Garuda’s Wing will perform from June 05 – June 23, 2024 at the Magic Theatre’s Fort Mason location.

By: May. 13, 2024
The Magic Theatre and Campo Santo Announce the World Premiere of GARUDA'S WING
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The Magic Theatre will premiere Garuda’s Wing by Naomi Iizuka and announce the cast and creative team for this World Premiere.

This profound and potent new play is directed by herald Bay Area theatre artist Margo Hall. Garuda’s Wing will perform from June 05 – June 23, 2024 at the Magic Theatre’s Fort Mason location (Fort Mason, 2 Marina Boulevard, Building D, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94123). 

About GARUDA’S WING

Garuda’s Wing investigates the effects of colonialism and the reclaiming of cultural and personal  identity across generations. Directed by Margo Hall, this is a complex and crafted ensemble drama about claiming home, family devotion, and the loss of lineage through colonialism’s many effects. The story opens in the jungles of Borneo, where an American paleontologist and American  photojournalist war correspondent meet. Their conversation juxtaposes intimate themes about personal history and bloodlines with macro themes of globalism, loss, and tragedy. The play then follows, panel like, in four connected pieces, that play out on the same exact ground over decades, as we discover memories, ghosts, loss in the jungle terrain that gets stripped to nothing. This mysterious ghost play is fueled by quests and questions of personal journeys and losses, while simultaneously questioning how we devalue and destroy this earth and its ecology. 

Naomi Iizuka has a surgeon’s precision to thread interpersonal issues inside global issues. Her work is provocative, thoughtful, and timely. It inspires us to confront our cultural histories and family stories. Get ready for the mysterious new play by Naomi Iizuka, Garuda’s Wing, a mesmerizing blend of personal intimacy and international intrigue! Garuda’s Wing is a magical experience, a spellbinding trance that begins in Borneo and takes us back and forward in time. Hold on and follow the ghosts as we traverse a riveting tale of search, discovery, and even murder, both at an intimate, familial level and on a grand, global scale. Iizuka showcases her unique talent to craft intimate human portraits while evoking layers of revolution and colonial effects.

This will be the first full play by Naomi Iizuka produced at the Magic Theatre. In 1996 she was part of  the anthology project Pieces of the Quilt – a collection of short plays by multiple authors showing the  human face of AIDS. That project was conceived as a benefit project by the current Lead Director,  Sean San José, in his first undertaking as a producer. That project opened the Magic Theatre’s 1996/97 season and included the short play, Scheherazade by Naomi Iizuka, which launched a long, ongoing  relationship between Iizuka, Sean San José, and Campo Santo that has yielded numerous works throughout the country. Garuda’s Wing marks an exciting new chapter in the trio’s creative  relationship.  Campo Santo, the Magic Theatre’s first Home Resident Company, has a storied history with Iizuka, creating multiple premiere productions from Polaroid Stories, Language of Angels,

17 reasons (why), Blood in the Brain. These are plays that now have been produced throughout the country and have been subsequently produced. This reunites so many of these long time collaborators, including Naomi, Margo, Catherine Castellanos, and more.

This production launches an ambitious Magic Theatre Residency with Play On! Shakespeare. Garuda’s Wing has been developed and workshopped along with the brand new version of Richard II, adapted from Iizuka’s Play On! Shakespeare translation. The Acting Company of Garuda’s Wing will perform in both this brand new play and the new version of Richard II, to be directed by Doctora Karina Gutierrez, premiering at the Magic Theatre in August.

About Naomi Iizuka

Naomi Iizuka is a playwright, producer, professor,  and screenwriter. Naomi Iizuka’s plays include 36 VIEWS, POLAROID STORIES, ANON(YMOUS), LANGUAGE OF ANGELS, ALOHA, SAY THE PRETTY GIRLS, TATTOO GIRL, SKIN, AT THE VANISHING POINT, CONCERNING STRANGE DEVICES FROM THE DISTANT WEST, LAST FIREFLY, CITIZEN 13559, and WAR OF THE WORLDS (a collaboration with Anne Bogart and Siti Company), among others. In addition to teaching and playwriting, Iizuka is now a well regarded television and film writer, with credits as writer and producer on shows ranging from Michael Mann’s Tokyo Vice for HBO; to the adaptation of The Sympathizer from Viet Thahn Nguyen, directed by heralded auteur Park Chan Wook. Her plays have been produced at theatres across the country including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Goodman, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, the Guthrie Theatre, Cornerstone, Children’s Theater Company, the Kennedy Center, the Huntington Theater, Portland Center Stage, The Public Theatre, Campo Santo + Intersection for the Arts, Dallas Theatre Center, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Soho Rep.

Her play GOOD KIDS was the first play commissioned by the Big Ten Consortium’s New Play Initiative and has since been produced at universities across the nation. Most recent projects include an adaptation of SLEEP, a short story by Haruki Murakami, in collaboration with the ensemble theatre group Ripe Time which was produced at BAM’s Next Wave Festival, the Annenberg Center, and Yale Rep’s No Boundaries series, and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, a play written in collaboration with USMC veterans and their families, produced by La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls and Cornerstone Theater Company. Iizuka’s plays have been published by Overlook Press, Playscripts, Smith and Kraus, Dramatic Publishing, and TCG.

Naomi lizuka was named the Berlind Playwright-in-Residence at Princeton University. She is an alumna of New Dramatists and the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, an Alpert Award, a Joyce Foundation Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Stavis Award from The National Theatre Conference, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, an NEA/TCG Artist in Residence grant, a McKnight Fellowship, a PEN Center USA West Award for Drama, a Hodder Fellowship, and a Jerome Fellowship.

A long time member of the Theatre Department at the University of California at San Diego, part Playwriting Faculty, Iizuka for the past decade and more has been the Head of Graduate Playwriting.  She has taught a generation of now established writers from Lauren Yee to Jeff Agustine, and many others who are regularly produced throughout the country, as well as some who are active writers in television. Prior to her time at UC San Diego, Naomi was the Head of Playwrighting for the University of California at Santa Barbara.  At UCSB, she founded and produced an annual Summer New Plays Lab- that brought incredible artists from across the country together to both develop their own brand new works and too, to work with students in new play workshop intensives.  Artists through the years included Luis Alfaro, Daniel Jones, Chay Yew, Jessica Hagedorn, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Campo Santo new performances group, and dozens more. 

About Margo Hall

Margo Hall is an award winning actor, director, activist, educator, and the Artistic Director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Margo is a Co-Founder and Leader of new performances company Campo Santo. She has graced Bay Area stages for 30 years as a performer and director. She recently appeared in the hit film and as a series regular of Blindspotting with our own Oakland native Daveed Diggs; and in the film All Day and a Night on Netflix; and more recently is the sole actor in the short feature Bottled Spirits. She was last seen onstage at the Magic Theatre as the titular character in Star Finch’s Josephine’s Feast in 2023.

Margo has a long and fruitful relationship with Naomi Iizuka, having created many characters in multiple world premieres with Iizuka for Campo Santo. Additionally Margo has directed many productions from Naomi’s body of work, most significantly having led multiple productions as director of Iizuka’s Polaroid Stories and Blood in the Brain.

She most recently directed productions for her own Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, including In the Evening by the Moonlight, Soulful Christmas and prior: How I Learned What I Learned at Marin Theatre Company, Nollywood Dreams and Barbeque (which she also starred in) for SF Playhouse, among so many others. Margo is on Faculty at UC Berkeley and Chabot College, where she teaches and directs regularly, including recently directing Tarrel McCraney’s In the Red and Brown Water. She has performed at virtually every major theatre in the Bay Area. Margo is on the Board of Directors for Theatre Bay Area and has hosted their award and gala events regularly. 

Hall works regularly in new play development, her own writing credits include The People’s Temple at Berkeley Repertory Theater, which won the Glickman award for best new play in the Bay Area for 2005, and, Be Bop Baby, a Musical Memoir, a semi-autobiographical piece at Z Space, featuring the Marcus Shelby 15 piece Orchestra. She is a founding member of Campo Santo, a long standing multicultural San Francisco based theater company and has directed, performed and collaborated on several new plays with artists such as Naomi Iizuka, Phillip Kan Gotanda, Sean San Jose, Octavio Solis Luis Saguar, and Jessica Hagedorn.

About Campo Santo

Founded in 1996, Campo Santo is an award-winning new performances group by and for People of Color, committed to developing and premiering new performance works and to nurturing diverse new audiences for the performing arts. The longer-term goal is to model a way to generate new communities of theatre participants, creators, audiences and more- rather than singular experiences. Working in this process and model has allowed Campo Santo to have a diverse and dynamic audience and family of collaborators throughout the 28+ year existence. Campo Santo has developed and premiered more than 100 World Premieres pieces with a wide range of writers including Luis Alfaro, Junot Diaz, Jessica Hagedorn, Naomi Iizuka, Denis Johnson, Richard Montoya, and Ntozake Shange, to name a few, and nurturing the first works of writers Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, Dave Eggers, Star Finch, Chinaka Hodge, Dennis Kim, and Luis Saguar. Campo Santo has a new home, as the first Home Resident Company of the Magic Theatre, giving a community base again after orbiting with residencies and collaborations since our long-term residency dissolved after 15 years with Intersection for the Arts (who remain the company fiscal sponsor.)  

Campo Santo and Naomi Iizuka have enjoyed a decades-long relationship. The group collectively developed and premiered many new plays from Naomi Iizuka. Campo Santo produced plays by Iizuka from 1997 to 2007. Plays included Polaroid Stories and the world-premieres of Language of Angels, 17 reasons (why), and Blood in the Brain.  Additionally, together they developed Iizuka’s Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls, Scheherazade, among others. All of the plays produced have gone on to further life with productions throughout the country.  Language of Angels was later published in the theatre journal, TheatreForum.

About the Magic Theatre

Since the company’s founding in 1967 by visionary John Lion, the Magic Theatre has identified and cultivated writers on the cutting edge of American theatre, serving as a vital center for the creation and performance of new American plays. Sam Shepard developed and premiered his Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, True West, and Fool for Love during his decade-long Magic residency (1974-84), forever altering the shape of American drama. The Magic Theatre has entered a new Golden Age with the appointment of Sean San José as the new Artistic Director in June, 2021. With this new leadership, we are dedicated to making the Magic Theatre a home to more people by rightfully centering People of Color throughout the organization. While continuing to premiere bold and new plays as it has done for 55 years, we have expanded the vision with these new Programs: new Residency Program- which includes Home Resident Company Campo Santo, the historic Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (Artistic Director Margo Hall), along with Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience (Co-Artistic Directors Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe and Rotimi Agbabiaka), Ellen Sebastian Chang/ Sunhui Chang, Saint John Coltrane Church, TigerBear Productions, and Play On! Shakespeare; new Performances Program, telling theatrical stories in dance, poetry, and music led by San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin; and Resident Artists, highlighted by Playwright In Residence Star Finch and Resident Curator Juan Amador, and designers Russell Champa, Tanya Orellana, Joan Osato, Christopher Sauceda, and Brittany White. In addition to the new Leadership Team and Staff (Daniel Duque-Estrada, Brechin Flournoy, Oliver Holmes, Stephanie Holmes, Sara Huddleston, Kevin Nelson, Sean San José, Christopher Sauceda, Liam Vincent), we have energetically, artistically, and aesthetically shifted the whole space in ethos and activation, a redesign of the spaces (lobby, cathedral, and theatres) including multiple wall sized murals by local artists Mister Bouncer (Miguel Perez), Cece Carpio from the Trust Your Struggle collective, Adrian Arias, Ka’ala, and a space filled with legendary Black art from the Saint John Coltrane Church by Emory Douglas, Mark Roman, and Deacon Mark Doox. The space is open year round for engagement and entertainment, arts and activation from the plays to the people- the Magic Theatre is Home for bringing the City inside.

The Magic Theatre is located in the Marina District of San Francisco, at the historic Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94123). For more information, visit MagicTheatre.org or call the box office at (415) 441-8822. The performance schedule is Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00pm and Sundays at 4:00pm.




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