Magic Circle Theatre Collection

Dates: 1972-1977
Size: .5 linear feet, 24 photographs, 1 oversize folder
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: SPE: Archives_CTC_MCT
Provenance: Donated by Guy Giarrizzo in 1988.
Access: Researchers, please request this material 24 hours in advance of use.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Magic Circle Theatre Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library

Historical Note

The Magic Circle Theatre was founded by Goodman Theatre School alumnus Guy Giarrizzo. The Theatre was dedicated to the investigation of innovative techniques and the development of new plays that were original and imaginative. Giarrizzo defined their style as “theatre that encourages a spontaneous organic and total environment between performer and audience.” After a year in Seattle, Magic Circle became one of the resident theatres at the Body Politic in January 1973. Their first two productions, Bite On! and a Japanese “No” Theatre adaptation of Antigone were well received and the theatre decided to make Chicago their home. That year, they were also presented with the Chicago Drama Critic’s MacArthur Award for Outstanding Ensemble Work.

In September 1973, Magic Circle moved to the Wellington Avenue Church where they continued to present original work and avant-garde adaptations such as Chekhov’s Three Sisters set in a “Ward Six”-like atmosphere and a science fiction musical based on Christopher Columbus called Plumed Serpent: the Fourth Voyage of Kristopher Kolumbus. Magic Circle was also host to other companies, such as the San Quentin Drama Workshop, as well as collaborating with local theatres. One such collaboration was the Jeff Award-winning Green Julia by Paul Ableman, produced with the All-Media Drama Workshop.

Scope and Content

The collection includes promotional and production records of the Magic Circle Theatre. The records contain programs, posters, photographs, flyers, and reviews for productions from 1972 through 1977. There are also copies of the original scripts from several of the early shows. The donor permitted us to copy his videotapes of Noh Antigone and Bite On!, as well as providing us with a tape of the music from Plumed Serpent.

Arrangement

The material is arranged chronologically by season, with posters in oversize storage, and photographs and videotapes stored in vertical files.

Related Materials

Container List

Box 1 Folder 1 General correspondence, 1976-1977
Box 1 Folder 2 General promotional material, 1972-1977
    Bite On! by Guy Giarrizzo, Seattle, undated. See: oversize poster
Box 1 Folder 3 Bite On! by Guy Giarrizzo, January 17 [?], 1973, edited, scored and directed by Guy Giarrizzo – Clippings and script
Box 1 Folder 4 Noh Antigone, adapted from Sophocles’ Antigone, March 28-[?], 1973, directed by Guy Giarrizzo – Clippings, press releases and program. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV Noh Antigone and Videotape 1.2
Box 1 Folder 5 Worms by Guy Giarrizzo and Douglas Gehr, September 7, 1973, directed by Guy Giarrizzo – Clippings, press releases, programs and script. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV Worms
Box 1 Folder 6 Three Sisters, adapted from Chekhov’s writings by Guy Giarizzo, May 23-[?], 1974, directed by Guy Giarrizzo – Clippings, press releases and program. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV-Three Sisters
Box 1 Folder 6a Three Sisters – Script
Box 1 Folder 6b Three Sisters – Director’s preliminary notes
Box 1 Folder 6c Three Sisters – Rehearsal/performance notes
Box 1 Folder 7 Red Earth: A Western Myth, written and performed by Vince Balestri, September 1974 – Clipping
Box 1 Folder 8 And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers by Fernando Arrabal, translated by Charles Marowitz, October 10-[?], 1974, directed by Gary Houston, sets by John Paoletti and Mary Griswold, costumes by Cookie Gluck, lights by Patrick Murray – Clippings, press releases and programs. See also: Oversize posters, MCT-AV And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers
Box 1 Folder 9 Plumed Serpent: The Fourth Voyage of Kristopher Kolumbus by Guy Giarrizzo, April 3-[?], 1975, directed by Guy Giarrizzo, sets and costumes by Ray Nelson, lights by Jeff Ravitz – Clippings, press releases, programs, scripts and audiotape. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV Plumed Serpent
Box 1 Folder 10 Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, adapted by the Company, 1974-1975, directed by Vince Balestri, sets, lights and music by Vince Balestri, choreography by Judith Sondra Heiss – Program
Box 1 Folder 11 Jekyll and Hyde by Guy Giarrizzo, December 4-[?], 1975, directed and designed by Guy Giarrizzo, lights by Brian Laczko,…with Yuri Rasovsky – Clippings, press releases, programs and script. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV Jekyll and Hyde
Box 1 Folder 12 Green Julia by Paul Ableman, February 12-April 24, 1976, co-production of the Magic Circle Theatre and the All-Media Dramatic Workshop, directed by Michelle Faith, …with Yuri Rasovsky – Clippings, flyer, press release. See also: Oversize poster
Box 1 Folder 13 Making Money and Other Short Plays by William Saroyan, May 6-[?], 1976, directed by Diane Giarrizzo, sets by Guy Giarrizzo,…with Yuri Rasovsky – Clippings, flyer, press release, program and scene sketch. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV Making Money and Other Short Plays
Box 1 Folder 14 The Cage by Rick Cluchey, “The Magic Circle Theatre presents the San Quentin Drama Workshop, May 18-19, 1976” – Flyer
Box 1 Folder 15 Billy Budd by Herman Melville, adapted by Robert Perrey, September 16-[?], 1976, directed by Guy Giarrizzo, sets by David Simon, costumes by Mary Dale – Clippings, flyers, press releases and programs. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV Billy Budd
Box 1 Folder 16 We: The Organism by Ruby Streak, December 2, 1976-January 22, 1977, directed by Diane Giarrizzo, sets by Guy Giarrizzo, lights by David Smith – Clippings, press release and program. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV We: The Organism
Box 1 Folder 17 The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, February 17-April 9, 1977, directed by Robert Perrey, sets by Ray Nelson, costumes by Ray Nelson and Rosalyn Krimmer – Clippings, flyers, press releases and programs. See also: Oversize poster, MCT-AV The Servant of Two Masters
Box 1 Folder 18 Magus Jasmine by David Stone, May 5-June 25, 1977, directed by Guy Giarrizzo, sets by Dan Simon, lights by David Smith, costumes by Tim Stevenson – Clippings, flyers, press releases and programs. See also: MCT-AV Magus Jasmine
Box 1 Folder 19 The Princess and the Silver Screen by Darryl Boehmer, November 20-December 31, 1977, directed by Russell Fear -- Flyer

 

Print this page