San Francisco's Magic Theatre has good news and bad news. The good news is that its adventurous 1998-99 season is to include the world premiere of John O'Keefe's The Seduction of Charlotte Bronte, the West Coast premiere of Sam Shepard's Eyes for Consuela (currently playing at NY's Manhattan Theatre Club) and Doug Wright's comedy about the wife of the Marquis de Sade, Quills.
The bad news is that the theatre is losing its artistic director, Mame Hunt, who has been named associate artistic director of Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre.
Hunt, who has been artistic director of the Magic Theatre since 1993, has developed scripts by several emerging playwrights including Nilo Cruz, Jose Rivera, Claire Chafee and Marlane Meyer. She also produced Roger Guenveur Smith's A Huey P. Newton Story and Athol Fugard's Playland, and adapted the script for Unquestioned Integrity, an original play based on the testimony of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas.
"I will miss the Magic and the Bay Area theatre community," said Hunt in a prepared statement. "In 30 years, the Magic has definitively established itself as one of the nation's last, great homes for new voices in American theatre. From the early years, when the latest works by Michael McClure, Sam Shepard and other icons received their first productions at the Magic, we have continued on a singular mission . . . I hope to find ways to collaborate with the Magic from my new artistic home in Seattle."
Hunt is to remain at the Magic through its next two presentations: John O'Keefe's Shimmer, which runs Mar. 25-April 26, and Samfest, a four-day festival celebrating the works of Sam Shepard, April 30-May 3. For information, call (415) 441-8822.
-- By Rebecca Paller