The Magic Play

Oct 21 - Nov 20, 2016 In the Owen
Approximate running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes including one intermission

  • Highly Recommended”— Chicago Sun-Times

World-class magic and a deeply human story of loss and love come together to create one astonishing theatrical experience.

Though a good magician must always be in control of his show, his offstage life may be as fragile as a house of cards. When a rising young magician must take the stage just hours after his partner has left him, his performance begins to unravel. Overcome with heartbreak, he must accept that the inherent tricks and deceptions he uses to dazzle his audience are the very things that drove his lover away. Critically acclaimed magician, illusion designer and actor Brett Schneider stars in a mind-blowing spectacle that combines the allure of a live magic show with the poignant punch of Chicago theater.

Recommended for ages 13 and up.

For groups of 10 or more, call 312.443.3820 or email

A world premiere co-commission with Roundabout Theatre Company

Press & Reviews

'The Magic Play' finesses dramatic sleight-of-hand

True to its title, "The Magic Play," Andrew Hinderaker's highly original, altogether remarkable new work, is full of sleight-of-hand astonishments. But the real magic in this engrossing theatrical hybrid - now receiving a meticulously polished world premiere at the Goodman Theatre, in what is unquestionably a Broadway-ready production - involves a very different bag of tricks altogether.

'Magic Play' a mystical trip into relationships and sleight of hand

These are challenged times for analog table magic. The venerable art of the false shuffle, the waving of the aces, the Biddle trick and all the other stocks in ancient trade of the cardsharp will always have their fans.

Goodman Theatre's The Magic Play is a genre hybrid that enchants

Of course there's no such thing as magic. Not in the supernatural sense, anyway. Not in the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" sense, where Mickey Mouse dons his master's glowing cap and casts a spell on a broom, making it tote buckets of water for him.

The Magic Play

Sleight-of-hand makes an intriguing metaphor for human relationships in Andrew HInderaker's appealing new play, even if the sleight can get heavy-handed. In a first-act scenario that plays out as a hybrid of magic show and inner life, actor and magician Brett Schneider plays an unnamed illusionist whose public performance (complete with volunteers from the audience) is invaded by his offstage angst.

Goodman drama underscores power of belief in love and 'Magic'

Magic is a lot like love. You believe or you don't. You accept that a magician can pluck from a shuffled deck the playing card with your name on it. Or, you watch warily to discover the trick behind the treat. It's the same with love.

Talks & Events
low vision and blind services  PATRONS WHO ARE BLIND OR HAVE LOW VISION

Large print programs: available to download in Microsoft Word format for all shows prior to a performance. Download The Magic Play program.

Braille programs: available day of the performance from the Guest Services desk

Audio Described performance: Sunday, November 13 at 2pm
Blind and low vision patrons receive a headset for one ear that allows them to listen to a description of the key visual elements of a performance while still hearing the actors. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the show. For access to reserved, discounted seating enter the promo code AUDIO when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

Touch Tour: November 13 at 12:30pm
The tour will feature a 45-60 minute presentation detailing the set, costume and character elements for the performance. When reserving tickets please indicate how many people will be in your party for both the Touch Tour and the performance.


hearing impaired services


Assistive Listening Devices: Both the Albert and the Owen are equipped with FM frequency assistive listening devices. You may use your own headphones, or they will be provided for you. In addition, neck loops are available that are compatible with t-coil hearing aids. Devices are available at the Guest Services desk in the Goodman lobby. Assistive listening devices are offered free of charge, but a driver's license or valid ID is required as security.

Open Captioned Performance:  Sunday, November 20 at 2pm

For hard of hearing or deaf patrons, an LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance. For access to reserved, discounted seating enter the promo code OPEN when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

American Sign Language Interpretation: Saturday, November 19 at 2pm

ASL interpreters are located near the stage for deaf patrons seated in an area of the theater that gives the best sight lines to follow the interpretation and the action on stage. For access to reserved, discounted seating in the front five rows for a signed performance, enter the promo code SIGN when purchasing online or call the box office at 312.443.3800 (voice) or 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD).

Watch a special magic trick and an ASL description of The Magic Play!

mobility services 


Goodman Theatre has accessible wheelchair/scooter locations in both the Albert and Owen* theaters.

Depending on your preferences, you can use the promo codes below to access special reserved seat locations when purchasing tickets online:

  • Enter promo code TRANSFER if you wish to transfer to a theater seat from your walker, wheelchair or scooter.
  • Enter promo code REMOVAL if you require a location where a seat can be removed for you to stay in your wheelchair/scooter while you watch the performance.

Please call ticket services at 312.443.3800 if you have questions or would like to purchase over the phone. All of our ticket representatives can assist you in finding a seat location to fit your needs.


Goodman Theatre has a wheelchair on site, which may be used to transport patrons to and from assigned seats. For use of the on-site wheelchair, contact house management at 312.443.3818.

*Although the Owen Theatre is a general admission house, accessible seats will be reserved for you on the seating level you purchase.

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