Desire brought Magis Theatre Company into being: desire to train, desire to teach, desire to act.
Several alumni from the Columbia University Graduate MFA program in Acting wanted to deepen and develop the training they received at the hands of master teachers such as Andrei Serban, Anne Bogart, Kristen Linklater, Priscilla Smith, and Nikolaus "Niky" Wolcz. Recognizing that there was not yet any single place to go where they could continue to find the diversity and breadth of this training, they decided to work together to create a laboratory where different techniques could be investigated and interact with one another.
In 2003 artistic director George Drance received a request that made this idea take form. The president of Notre Dame School asked George if he would be willing to work with the students in an after-school program in exchange for rehearsal space in the girl's high school on 13th Street. The school's new home included a sizeable wooden-floored gym/theatre space: a perfect place to continue their training and to pass it on to a new generation of actors through the school's drama program.
Since then Magis has opened its doors to over ten years of student and professional actors seeking this kind of training, produced a yearly season of critically acclaimed performances, and presented its work at the New York State Theatre Educators Association, The Educational Theatre Association, The Austrian Voice Institute in Salzburg, and the Voice Foundation's Annual Symposium. Magis Techniques have been demonstrated and shared at workshops at Fordham University, Boston College, Marquette University, and Creighton University; with the Kennedy Center's Cultural Visitors Program; and abroad in Albania, Italy, Mexico and Guatemala. "Magis" is the Latin word for "more." It represents our desire to continue to strive for the "more" that theatre has to offer to artists, students and audiences alike.