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This world premiere production fuses music, movement, and the exact words and experiences of real people to explore prejudice and discrimination in America. Based on over 100 interviews collected in the past year, this verbatim play introduces audiences to a multi-racial teenager, a black woman with disabilities, a gay, Muslim immigrant from Egypt, and many other distinct, complex, and deeply meaningful characters. The Magic in this Soul illuminates our similarities and differences while celebrating the resilience of the human spirit

The Magic in this Soul is written and directed by Blake McCarty, based in part on a commission from New Village Arts. The production features multiple artists and actors who were a part of last summer's award-winning production of Untold


The show includes mature themes and language, and is recommended for ages 12 & up.

Shellina Hefner and Wifred Paloma in The Magic in this Soul



Friday, June 22nd at 4pm

Sunday, June 24th at 6pm*

Wednesday, June 27th at 9pm

Friday, June 29th at 9pm

Saturday, June 30th 1 at 7:30pm

All performances of The Magic in this Soul are part of the 2018 San Diego Fringe Festival. 

*Please note that the Sunday, June 24 performance will be sign language interpreted. Please contact us at for details.



Created & Directed by Blake McCarty

Featuring Andréa Agosto, Mycah Christine Bacchus, Russell Clements, Will Goree,

Shellina Lenora Hefner, Jack Mason-Brase, Melba Novoa, Wilfred Paloma,

Andrew Shane Walters, and Jimi Valiente-Neighbours

Stage Manager: Diana Nicasio-Lopez

Assistant Director: Monique Gaffney

Assistant Stage Manager: Lilia Porter

Production Assistant: Ina Nunez Rocha

Line Producer: Sofia Zaragoza

Associate Line Producer: Nadia Guevara

This production is partially based on material from Verbitas, an outreach program of

New Village Arts, made possible with generous support from the California Arts Council.


Interviews were collected in collaboration with students and staff of Canyon Crest Academy, Carlsbad High School, and Sage Creek High School.



All performances of The Magic in this Soul

take place at the Space Theater in the Lyceum Theater Complex, located in Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego.

Parking is available in Horton Plaza and numerous lots within walking distance.

Latecomers will be seated at the

discretion of management.


FREquently asked questions

If it was co-developed with schools, is this appropriate for my kids?

This production was initially developed because students felt that prejudice and discrimination were significant issues in their communities that deserved to be explored. Teenagers will enjoy the show, but it is not recommended for those under the age of 12 due to some mature language and themes.

Will the performance be triggering for those who have experienced discrimination?

We feel that audience members know themselves and their individual needs best—and respect that frank discussions of discrimination may be upsetting to some people. In our experience, it is often empowering and impactful to see a reflection of our own experiences in performance, and numerous individuals who have personally faced mental illness have found the production moving and insightful. Alternately, the show is intended to educate those who might have little to no understanding of the challenges many marginalized individuals or communities may face. Though the creators have been as objective as possible, the show does not claim or attempt to encompass all possible perspectives on these issues. However, the themes explored do include race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and (dis)ability.

What is verbatim theatre?

Sometimes called ethnodrama, docudrama, or interview theatre, the term refers to any work that reconstructs and presents the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a specific topic or event. Shows like The Laramie Project and artists such as Anna Deavere Smith have popularized the technique. In The Magic in this Soul, the actors portray real people discussing their personal experiences with discrimination and prejudice—incorporating their exact words as well as emulating their tone, inflection, and body language.

What is the Fringe?

Fringe began in 1947 when eight groups appeared uninvited to the Edinburgh International Festival and performed “on the fringe” of the main festival—in church basements, storefronts, streets and alleys. The Edinburgh Fringe is now the largest performing arts festival in the world: more than 500 companies from around the globe give thousands of performances during the 5 weeks of that festival. In the decades since, Fringe Festivals have been established throughout the world to provide an opportunity for artists to showcase their works and performances in a setting unconstrained by censorship, judgment, or the status quo. Fringe Festivals provide platforms for artists of all origins and disciplines to collaborate and share their art with each other and with the local community. 2018 is the sixth annual San Diego International Fringe Festival.

How long is the show?

The show is approximately 1 hour long and does not have an intermission. 

Carter Davis in Untold


The Magic in this Soul is presented by

Blindspot Collective, a theatre company based in San Diego.

Blindspot Collective produces radically inclusive programming at the intersection of advocacy, education, and entertainment that cultivates and celebrates new work, emerging artists, diverse audiences, and fresh ideas.

If you have questions or wish to learn more, please email us at

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