Magic Theatre Head Chris Smith to Leave Artistic Director Position at Season's End

News   Magic Theatre Head Chris Smith to Leave Artistic Director Position at Season's End
Magic Theatre artistic director Chris Smith has announced he will step down from his position at the San Francisco theatre company at the end of the current season.

Smith — who has been artistic director for five seasons — will leave "to pursue other artistic and directorial ventures," according to an announcement. A search committee has been assembled to find his replacement.

The director will stay on for the transition and is still scheduled to direct the previously announced world premieres of Edna O'Brien's Tir Na Nog ("Land of Youth") and Wendy MacLeod's Birnham Woods.

"I believe we have accomplished so much that I had hoped for when I came on board," said Smith in a released statement. "I'm proud of the work we've done on stage and behind the scenes. As my family and I consider the next step in my career, I know the Magic is in a great position for this transition.  I will be leaving on an artistic and organizational high note."

The Magic, with Smith, has seen growth while committing to the development of new plays. Since the 2003-04 season, the company produced 20 world premieres and four American premieres. Among the list of contributors include such names as David Mamet, Rebecca Gilman, Edna O'Brien, Paula Vogel, Charles Grodin and the Tony Award-winning team of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik.

  "This will be a highly sought-after position," says board co-president Harold Goldstein. "I have great faith in our search committee to find the perfect candidate to take the Magic to the next level." The season at Magic opened with Bill Pullman's Expedition 6 (through Oct. 7) and will continue with Rebecca Gilman's The Crowd You're in With (Nov. 10-Dec. 9), Betty Shamieh's Territories (Jan. 12-Feb. 10, 2008), Edna O'Brien's Tir Na Nog ("Land of Youth") (Feb. 23-March 23, 2008), Kevin Fisher's Monkey Room (April 5-May 4, 2008) and Wendy MacLeod's Birnham Woods (May 10-June 8, 2008).

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