Sister Play

Sister Play
(March 25 - April 19, 2015)

written and directed by John Kolvenbach

Join us for a heartwarming comedy by Magic Theatre audience favorite John Kolvenbach (Mrs. Whitney, Goldfish). Anna will do anything to make her sister Lilly happy, including destroying all her relationships. When Lilly, Anna, and her husband Malcolm retreat to their late father’s cabin in Cape Cod, they expect to relax, unwind, and take stock. But when a charming but shadowy drifter enters the picture angling for Lilly’s heart, their pilgrimage takes a surprising turn. This production is presented as part of a Rolling World Premiere with Harbor Stage Company.

"Sister Play is is why live theater can be so remarkable. You don’t soon forget a play like this." CLINTON STARK –Stark Insider
"One of the joys of Kolvenbach’s script is the creative density of the family dynamics, played with deliciously all-out commitment and turn-on-a-dime nuance by the actors." ROBERT HURWITT –San Francisco Chronicle

Meet the Playwright

John Kolvenbach (Playwright/Director) is the author of Goldfish, Mrs. Whitney, Love Song, on an average day, Gizmo Love, Fabuloso, Bank Job and Marriage Play  (or Half ‘n Half ‘n Half)  which  premiered in 2012 at Merrimack Repertory. Goldfish premiered at South Coast Repertory in the Spring of 2009, directed by Loretta Greco. Goldfish was then produced at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in the Fall of that year. The Magic also premiered Mrs. Whitney in the Fall of 2009, under Kolvenbach’s direction. Love Song premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago in the spring of 2006, directed by Austin Pendelton. Love Song went on to the West End, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award, best new comedy. The London production was directed by John Crowley, with Neve Campbell, Cillian Murphy, Kristen Johnston and Michael McKean. Love Song has been produced in New York, Zurich, Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington, Seoul and Rome. There have been over fifty productions in the US.  on an average day premiered at the Comedy Theatre on the West End in 2002, with Woody Harrelson and Kyle MacLachlan, also directed by Mr. Crowley. Average Day has been produced in Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Lisbon among many other places.  Fabuloso premiered at the Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre in 2008, directed by Mr. Kolvenbach. Fabuloso was staged in San Juan and Zurich, in Spanish and Swiss German, respectively.

Meet the Cast

Anthony Fusco* (Malcolm) a member of Actors Equity since 1984, is delighted to be back at The Magic, having performed here in the Traveljng Jewish Theatre’s production of The Chosen twelve seasons ago. Since arriving in San Francisco from NYC in 1999, Fusco has been among the Bay Area’s busiest actors, appearing in close to fifty productions. A few favorites include Indian Ink, Clybourne Park, The Homecoming, At Home at the Zoo, Dead Metaphor, Hedda Gabler, The Three Sisters, Race, November, and The Rainmaker at ACT (where he is an Associate Artist); Pygmalion, Candida, Arms and the Man, The Tempest, King Lear, and The Importance of Being Earnest at CalShakes; and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures and Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike at BerkeleyRep. Fusco appeared in The Real Thing on Broadway, in many off- (and OFF-off!) Broadway shows, and at regional theaters across America. He trained at Juilliard and The Barrow Group, and could do none of what he does without Martha.

Jessi Campbell* (Lilly) is very happy to be returning to the Magic once again. Jessi has worked in theater, film, and TV in NYC and San Francisco. She most recently played Beth in A Lie Of The Mind and Dee in And I And Silence at the Magic TheatreOther favorite acting credits include: Blackbird (American Conservatory Theater), Speed-the-Plow (American Conservatory Theater), Inky (Women’s Project), Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen (Women’s Project), Commedia Dell Smartass (Ohio Theatre) and Lascivious Something (Cherry Lane Theater).  She would like to give special thanks to Loretta and all the folks at Magic. What a season! She received her B.F.A. in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Member of AEA and SAG.

Lisa Brescia* (Anna) On Broadway, Lisa has appeared as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!, Elphaba in Wicked, Cleo in Twyla Tharp’s The Times They Are A-Changin’, Amneris in Aida, and Marion Halcolmbe in The Woman in White. Additional New York credits include the role of Helena in All's Well That Ends Well at the Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab (Barry Edelstein, dir.) and Claire in Roundabout's Ordinary Days (Mark Bruni, dir.; original cast recording). Regional credits include Hermione in The Winter’s Tale (The Shakespeare Theater of DC - ACA), Gertrude in Hamlet (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival), Ivy in August: Osage County (Theater Raleigh), Sally in Cabaret (PlayMakers Rep), Kennedy Center's Broadway: Three Generations - Side Show (Violet), Chicago's Wicked (Elphaba), Into the Woods (Witch), The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Mom), Evita (Eva), The Last 5 Years (Cathy), A Little Night Music (Petra), and Brigadoon (Meg). Training: MFA in Classical Acting from ACA; American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Proud member of AEA and SAGAFTRA. Thanks to John and everyone at Magic, and my husband, writer Craig Carnelia.

Patrick Kelly Jones* (Man) has appeared with Magic in Buried Child as well as several other readings and workshops. Select regional credits include Cymbeline and Misalliance (New York Classical Theatre); Step One: Plays With Instructions (The 52nd Street Project, NYC); You Can't Take it With You (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Peter and The Starcatcher, Water by the Spoonful (TheaterWorks),  Bellwether, Failure: A Love Story (Marin Theatre Company); The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Florida Studio Theatre), Vincent in Brixton, Hay Fever (The Cleveland Play House). He has worked with several other Bay Area theaters including The Aurora, Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire, the San Francisco Playhouse and Just Theater. Mr. Jones earned his MFA in Acting from Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House.

Gillian Confair* (Stage Manager) is excited to return to Magic Theatre once again. Previous Magic credits include Every Five Minutes, pen/man/ship, and Bad Jews. Other local credits include Around the World in Eighty Days at Marin Theatre Company; DarlingShow Choir, and Homefront with the A.C.T. Young Conservatory; The Soldier’s Tale, a collaboration between A.C.T. M.F.A. Program and San Francisco Conservatory of Music; You, Nero (Production Assistant) with Berkeley Repertory Theatre; and Twelfth Night (Production Assistant) at California Shakespeare Theater. She is a proud alumna of Bryn Mawr College.

Erik Flatmo** (Scenic Designer) previously designed the set for Bad JewsArlington and The Happy Ones at Magic. He has designed scenery for theatre and opera companies across the country, including A.C.T., Asolo Repertory Theatre (Florida), Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, San Jose Rep, South Coast Rep, Theatreworks and Yale Rep. His work in opera includes San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, San Jose Opera and Opera Santa Barbara. His work in dance involves collaborations with choreographers Joe Goode, Trajal Harrell, and Robert Moses. He holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and teaches set design at Stanford University.

Alex Jaeger** (Costume Designer) Magic Theater: A Lie of the Mind, Every Five Minutes, Buried Child, Bruja, Se Llama Christina, AnnapurnaOR, , What We're up Against, Oedipus El Rey, Goldfish, Mrs. Whitney, Mauritius; ACT: Venus in Fur, Major Barbara, Arcadia, 4000 Miles, Maple and VineOnce in a Lifetime, The Homecoming, November, Rock N Roll, Speed the Plow Mark Taper Forum: A Parallelogram, Other Desert Cities; Kirk Douglas Theatre: The Nether, The Paris LetterEclipsed; Public Theatre, N.Y: Two Sisters and a Piano; Oregon Shakespeare Festival: A Wrinkle in Time, A Streetcar Named Desire, August: Osage County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Romeo and Juliet, Handler, Fuddy Meers, Stop Kiss

Jeff Rowlings (Lighting Designer) is a San Francisco based producer, production manager and designer. He was Production Manager for American Conservatory Theater (2001-2012), Production Manager and Resident Designer for Magic Theatre (1985-1995) and Producing Director for San Diego REP (1996-1998). Jeff co-founded Foghouse Productions which produced Culture Clash Anthology in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Foghouse produced the commercial world premiere of R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe in San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle.  Jeff produced the world premiere of Brenda Wong Aoki’s MU and produced and designed the world premiere of Liberty Bradford Mitchell’s The Pornographer’s Daughter.  Most recently he designed lights for the World Premiere of Arlington at Magic and designed sets for the World Premiere musical, The Cable Car Nymphomaniac.

Sara Huddleston (Sound Designer) joined Magic staff in March ’07. For Magic, selected designs include A Lie of the MindAnd I And Silencepen/man/shipEvery Five MinutesHirArlingtonTerminusSe Llama CristinaAny Given DayWhat We’re Up AgainstOr, The Brothers Size, An Accident, Mrs. Whitney, Goldfish, Mauritius, Evie’s Waltz, The K of D and Octopus (Magic/Encore Theatre Company). Further Bay Area sound design credits include In On It and T.I.C (Encore Theatre Company); The Shaker Chair (Encore Theatre Company/Shotgun Players); Macbeth (Shotgun Players); Three on a Party (Word for Word); A Round Heeled Woman (Z Space); Invasion! and 410 [Gone] (Crowded Fire). Ms. Huddleston received a B.F.A from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

Dori Jacob (Dramaturg) is a freelance producer, dramaturg and casting director and is thrilled to be in her 5th season working with Magic Theatre.  At Magic, Ms. Jacob dramaturged the world premieres of Octavio Solis’ Se Llama Cristina, Linda McLean’s Every Five Minutes and Christina Anderson’s pen/man/ship. Further Bay Area dramaturgy/producing/casting credits include: Assassins (Shotgun Players), Marilee Talkington’s The Creative Process (SOMArts), Laura Schellhardt's The Comparables & Elizabeth Hersh’s Shelter In Place (Playwrights Foundation). As the resident producer for Magic’s developmental programming, Ms. Jacob’s credits include: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 Virgin Play Series, the 2012 Asian Explosion Reading Series and the 2013 Costume Shop Festival. Ms. Jacob is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.** Member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829

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