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Collection Guide
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Guide to the Magic Theatre Scripts, 1966-1990
BANC MSS 81/14 c  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Magic Theatre Scripts, 1964-1990, consists of over 1200 works collected during John Lion's tenure as General and Artistic Director with the company. The scripts are written about a wide range of subjects, from sports to racial politics, by an equally diverse range of ethnic groups, including Chicanos, Indians, and Australians. Playwrights include such well known authors as Michael McClure, Sam Shepard, and David Mamet, as well as a vast number of unknown playwrights. The scripts were separated from the company's archives; the operational files are collected as Magic Theatre Records, 1967-1990 (BANC MSS 81/184 c).
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: 50 cartons, 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 62.5
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.