Bright Half Life

Bright Half Life
(November 14 - December 6, 2015)

by Tanya Barfield
directed by Jessica Holt

WEST COAST PREMIERE                                                                



The Reviews are in for Tanya Barfield’s Bright Half Life

“…its telling embodies the reality of our lives, in which any moment in the present may be electrified, undermined or simply informed by flashbacks to a shared past.” “..the spare, incisive poetry of Barfield’s writing exerts a pretty strong pull.”
-The San Francisco Chronicle

Read the Full Review here


Tanya Barfield’s Bright Half Life is a fast-paced and vibrant love-story that follows Erica and Vicky through the big and small moments of their relationship. “Bright Half Life isn’t about being gay,” Barfield says, “It’s about being alive and in love.”


“In Tanya Barfield’s engaging new play… two attractive and articulate women meet at work in their twenties, date secretly, fall in love, have children, get married (when it becomes legal), fight a lot, split, and, separately, watch their kids grow up. This well-written portrayal of smart women finding, losing, and finding themselves and each other again is profound.”
–The New Yorker
“Tanya Barfield’s new play Bright Half Life commences catapulting through a romance. Barfield’s fluid drama time-travels across a long-term relationship, fast-forwarding to its end and flashing back to its origins with few markers to divide scenes.”
–Tom Sellar, The Village Voice
“Romantic! Virtuosic! For sheer loveliness, you won’t surpass Tanya Barfield’s exquisite Bright Half Life.
– Time Out New York
Bright Half Life is the rare play you actually wish went on longer…the actresses’ easy rapport seems comfortable and real – like the best love stories.”
– New York Post

Meet the Playwright

Tanya Barfield’s plays include: Bright Half Life  (Women’s Project Theatre; Time Out New York Critic’s Pick). The Call (Playwrights Horizons/ Primary Stages; New York Times Critic’s Pick). Blue Door (South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons).   Other work includes: Feast (co-writer, Young Vic/Royal Court) and Of Equal Measure (Center Theatre Group), Chat (New Dramatists’ Playtime Festival), The Quick (New York Stage & Film).  Short plays include:  Medallion (Women’s Project/Antigone Project), Foul Play (Royal Court Theatre, Cultural Center of Brazil), The Wolves and Wanting North  (Guthrie Theatre Lab, named Best 10-Minute Play of 2003).  A recipient of a Lilly Award, the inaugural Lilly Award Commission and a Helen Merrill Award, Tanya is a proud alumna of New Dramatists and a member of The Dramatist Guild Council.

Meet the Cast

 Lisa Anne Porter's previous credits at Magic Theatre are The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Pharmacist’s Daughter and The Brief But Exemplary Life of A Living Goddess. Most recently, she played Viola/Sebastian in Twelfth Night at the California Shakespeare Theatre. She has performed with many regional companies, including the American Conservatory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Shakespeare/Santa Cruz, Center Reperatory Theatre, Brava Theatre Center, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Festival/LA, Sacramento Theatre Company, Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare & Company, Syracuse Stage, and Boston Theatreworks. She has an MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre, a BA from Wesleyan University and is a certified Linklater voice teacher. She is currently Co-Head of Voice and Dialects at the American Conservatory Theatre and a lecturer in Voice, Acting and Public Speaking at the University of California-Berkeley. She has coached over sixty professional productions in voice and dialect. She is thrilled to be back home at the Magic and to be performing at the new Strand.

Sarah Nina Hayon* is proud to be a native San Franciscan and thrilled to return to the Magic for the third time. A three-time Drama Desk Nominee, she is a proud member of both LAByrinth Theater Company and Partial Comfort in NYC. Most recently seen in Life Is A Dream at Cal Shakes and Luis Alfaro’s This Golden State at The Magic both directed by Loretta Greco. She has workshopped new plays on Broadway and Off-Broadway including Yale, The Huntington, New York Stage and Film, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists, INTAR, The Public Theatre, Page 73, and NYTW Other Theater Credits Include: Water By The Spoonful (The Old Globe, Eddie Torres) Se Llama Cristina (Magic Theatre, Loretta Greco) Bright New Boise (Drama Desk Nom., Partial Comfort, Davis McCallum), Eldoris,(T41, Leigh Silverman) Sor Juana (Royal Shakespeare Company & LAByrinth), The Provenance of Beauty (Obie Award, Drama Desk Nom.,The Foundry Theater, Melanie Joseph), Widows (Reverie, dir. Hal Brooks) Rearviewmirror (Drama Desk Nom Reverie, dir. Carl Forsman) Recent TV & FILM: “Curmudgeons In Love” (dir. Danny Devito) “Unforgettable”, “Oscar”, “Parker & Maggie” “Are We There Yet”, “The Green”, “SATC”, “Law & Order”, “Avatar” Upcoming Theater: Swimmers at Marin Theater Company Spring 2016

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