Goodbye, Magic man

After five seasons at the helm of San Francisco’s Magic Theatre, artistic director Chris Smith will leave his position at the end of the 2007-2008 season.

A search commtittee will begin a national search for his replacement effective immediately.

“As I contemplate my fifth season at the Magic, I believe we have accomplished so much that I had hoped for when I came on board,” Smith said in a 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.”

Since Smith’s arrival in the 2003-2004 season, the Magic has grown artistically and financially with 20 world premieres, four American premieres and three Bay Area premieres by the likes of David Mamet, Rebecca Gilman, Edna O’Brien, Paula Vogel, Charles Grodin and the Tony Award-winning team of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik.

In four seasons, subscriptions have increased by 50 percent, and single-ticket income hit all-time highs with Mamet’s Dr. Faustus, O’Brien’s Triptych, the musical adaptation of The Opposite of Sex and Elaine May’s Moving Right Along.

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