Magic Theater’s Campo Santo presents the world premiere of Bennett Fisher’s SHELTER


Magic Theater will host a one-of-a-kind world premiere theatrical event from resident company Campo Santo: a “listening” to Bennett Fisher’s pandemic thriller SHELTER. The production will be presented remotely by director Omar Metwally (as an actor, Mr. Metwally has appeared in the television series “The Affair”, “Mr. Robot” among many others).

SHELTER will play February 25 and 26 at 8:00 p.m. Single tickets range from $20 to $70 and are on sale now at MagicTheatre.org. Tickets are also available as part of a 2022 season pass (still available for a limited time).

From Art Director Sean San Jose:

We want to welcome you to a new world at the Magic Theatre, a new resident company at home for the first time in Campo Santo, an incredible writer new to this stage in Bennett Fisher – and with a new theatrical experience from the Campo Santo company led by director Omar Metwally.

Developed with the Campo Santo family of artists, SHELTER was born from the first months of shelter-in-place orders at the very start of the pandemic, when all the elements of a classic paranoid thriller were part of everyday life: silences strangers, the threat of strangers, and the volatility of trust when the world shrinks to the walls we live within.

Fleeing the pandemic and attempting to rekindle their troubled relationship, a young Bay Area couple retreat to the Sierra Mountains. When a stranger shows up on their doorstep asking for help after an accident, they are forced to weigh their personal safety against the desire to help someone in crisis.

Through the use of a meticulously crafted soundscape and an exclusively candlelit theater, the Magic Theater space will be transformed into an intimate and visceral atmosphere designed to focus and engage the senses of the assembled audience. From there, it’s a game of imagination: where your eyes go and what sounds you choose to hear. The story may be told through sound, but the event brings together and listens: the room and the audience all around you.

From playwright Bennett Fisher:

I started writing Shelter in May 2020, just a few months into the pandemic. I wanted to capture something about the feeling of the moment, that feeling that we were all in deep danger in places that felt totally safe only a short time ago. And it wasn’t so much that this insecurity was something new, but rather that the illusion of security was fading. Shelter is about taking into account the horror of uncertainty.

I wrote the piece for Campo Santo and for this specific group of collaborators – Omar, Sean, Lauren, Juan, Catherine, Brian and Chris. I have known Sean, Omar and Catherine since my college days. They are all people who inspire me to be a better artist and a braver artist. It was so rejuvenating to be able to make art with them at a time when theaters were closing. If part of Shelter comes from a place of fear, another part comes from a place of deep love and gratitude.

The beauty of Campo Santo is that it is not a “franchise” theater group. They’re not looking for the game that’s going around the country right now. They don’t want people to come in, do their thing and leave. They clung to something that seems increasingly rare these days – the idea that art and artists are not interchangeable, that the individual matters, that the unique grouping of people who share space together for each performance – artists and audience – counts.

For me, Campo Santo is the vaccine for the soul. I hope you get as much experience from this piece as I did from helping to create it.

This is the first Campo Santo project of the new era at the Magic Theater, as we enter a new era of rightfully centering people of color throughout the organization. While many Campo Santo Familia were part of early events and first magical play as designers, curators, etc., this is Campo Santo’s inaugural production as a new resident company at home. . As part of expanding the scope and reach of the Magic Theater with the goal of making it a home for more people, we’ve invited an incredible group of companies into the space to make it a home! Campo Santo is the Home Resident Company, joined by other Resident Companies: Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Black Artists Contemporary Cultural Experience (BACCE), Ellen Sebastian Chang/Sunhui Chang, as well as a host of resident artists, including the new curator in residence Juan Amador.

The cast of SHELTER includes Campo Santo Familia and All Stars: Juan Amador, Catherine Castellanos, Brian M. Rivera and Lauren Spencer.

Along with director Omar Metwally and playwright Bennett Fisher, the creative team includes: sound design by Christopher Sauceda and an original score by Saucy, sound engineering by Thayer Walker and lowdown haus, director Joan Osato, executive producer Daniel Duquue-Estrada, project manager Ashley Smiley, production manager Brittany White.

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