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Magic Theatre Records
BANC MSS 81/184 c  
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Collection Overview
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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.
36.25 linear feet (29 cartons, 3 oversize boxes, 16 oversize folders, 1 volume, 2 tubes; 1 digital object (1 image))
Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Cartons 1-5 and 7-12, oversize boxes 1-3, oversize folders 1-16, volume 1, and tubes 1-2: open for research.