Google maps street view of Magik Theatre.
Richard Rosen

October marks the beginning of The Magik Theatre’s 20th Anniversary season.  For San Antonio and the region’s only professional resident performing arts institution, 20 years is a major milestone.

With a tagline “Where Imagination is Education!” The Magik Theatre has been rooted in educating children and introducing them to literary works.  Since our inception, Magik has strived to share experiences with children from a young age to develop imagination, critical thinking, cognitive and creative skills. A well-rounded education is what children deserve and Magik continues to accomplish this need for San Antonio youth for the past two decades.

It's not just for kids, all ages are encouraged to come out and enjoy Shakespeare In The Park. Photo by Melanie Robinson.
It’s not just for kids, all ages are encouraged to come out and enjoy Magik Theatre’s Shakespeare In The Park. Photo by Melanie Robinson.

Magik was established in 1994, producing more than 160 main-stage productions and touring live stage versions of children’s classics like “The Cat in the Hat,” “The Velveteen Rabbit” and “Pinkalicious,” among others. Since inception, Magik has performed to more than two million audience members and more than 750 schools in 70 school districts throughout south and central Texas.

When we began 20 years ago, our main goals included creating a theatre that ensured a place for actors to be paid a living wage without having to leave San Antonio, all plays would be based on great books, to never have to turn a child away because of their inability to pay for a ticket, and a commitment to continually add programs that address issues important to young people and our community.

We’ve lived up to every promise. Magik now employs 25 full-time staff members. Every year, more than 2,000 people experience Magik’s programs free of charge. Additionally 7,000 pay a significantly discounted rate, at more than 75% off the general admission price.

a scene from Seussical the Musical, which completed the 2012-2013 season this past Saturday.
A scene from “Seussical the Musical,” which completed the 2012-2013 season at the Magik Theatre. Courtesy photo.

With a mission to nurture a love and understanding of theatre and literature, Magik provides extraordinary, affordable and professional theatre and education experiences. Programs are offered all year long.

Camp Showbiz, offered every summer, is an all-inclusive theatre experience for ages 3-17 that teaches acting techniques, writing, music, building sets and costuming. Children are also offered an opportunity to participate in Magik’s semester-long Acting & Creative Academy or the Shakespeare Speaks workshop.

These programs strengthen arts education for our community’s children and engage learning styles that empower imagination and critical thinking. Magik’s staff and actors are advocates of a dynamic education, to advance literacy and include essential tools that develop children to become better students.

Magik also does its part to help the children of our community. Xcelerated Theatre is offered in collaboration with the Cyndi Taylor Krier Correctional Center and Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department, and introduces incarcerated youth to theatre mentors. Xcelerated Theatre proves that a positive outlet in which the arts and mentorshipeffectively improve academic achievement, can reduce delinquent behavior and improve attitudes about themselves and their future.

On Sep. 9th, the staff and board of the Magik welcomed city leaders, supporters and our young theatre patrons at a gathering at The Magik Theatre in celebration of bringing “20 Years of Magik.”  Joined by the Honorable Mayor Julian Castro, Hemsfair Chief Executive Officer Andres Andujar, State Representative Mike Villarreal and SA2020’s Molly Cox spoke in support of the educational benefits provided by the Magik through its programming.

Cast Members and 20th Anniversary Dignitaries Top: Alan Petlin, Richard Rosen, Dylan Collins (Cat in the Hat), Mayor Julian Castro, Andres Andujar, Representative Mike Villarreal, Molly Cox Bottom: Ariel Rosen, Becky King, Kacey Griffin, Alex Berkowitz
Magik Theatre Cast Members and 20th Anniversary Dignitaries
Top: Alan Petlin, Richard Rosen, Dylan Collins (Cat in the Hat), Mayor Julian Castro, Andres Andujar, Representative Mike Villarreal, Molly Cox
Bottom: Ariel Rosen, Ashtyn Sonner, Becky King, Kacey Griffin, Anthony Bosmans

Over the past two decades, our efforts to bring attention to the value of theatre and engage our city leadership has finally been recognized.  We are proud and excited to kick off the next 20 years to announce our expansion within Hemisfair.

We are planning a world class theatre that includes ample rehearsal and classroom space to hold the increasing number of students enrolled in our programs each year, dressing rooms and a smaller black box theatre for additional productions. Our plan is to secure this vision within the next 20 years on our present footprint in the Hemisfair redevelopment, making it one that is open and accessible to the children and families of San Antonio.

Google maps street view of Magik Theatre.
Google maps street view of The Magik Theatre at 420 S. Alamo St.

As one of San Antonio’s children’s and performing arts jewels, The Magik Theatre will hopefully soon have a home that showcases the powerful impact that our work has on the lives of young people, parents, grandparents, educators and our entire community and central Texas region.

We are fortunate to have partners and donors who recognize what a thriving children’s theatre means to the community and region. We could certainly not have reached this moment without the continuing support of many generous and equally visionary donors, including the sponsor of our 20th anniversary season, H-E-B. Our board members have also helped foster the growth of our theatre and its programs.

Our 20th season performances include shows such as “Shrek the Musical,” “Llama Llama,” “Pinocchio,” and “Skippyjon Jones,” among others. I welcome everyone to come and experience The Magik Theatre and help us celebrate ’20 Years of Magik.’ The 20th Season kicks off with “Willy Wonka” on Oct. 11 with a set that will be our largest most elaborate yet. I promise that you’ll leave with an experience like no other.

Happy anniversary Magik, and to you, our theatre audience as well! Thank you for your continued support for the past 20 years. With your support, we look forward to 20 more years of Magik. For more information about educational programs or to purchase tickets or a season pass, please visit www.magiktheatre.org

Richard Rosen is the Executive Director for The Magik Theatre, San Antonio’s leading performing arts organization. The Magik Theatre has been entertaining hundreds of thousands of children for 20 years. Founded in 1994, the theatre was created as a voice for young people and families throughout the region. You can follow the Magik Theatre on Twitter at @TheMagikTheatre

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