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The Magic Theatre  

BioAgenda and The Magic Theatre of San Francisco present two, short, science-themed pieces by Rodes Fishburn (Bay Area playwright), Joyce Maynard (“To Die For”) that are tailored specifically for Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry (both from “L.A. Law”). They also present a theatrical program of a grouping of scenes from two strong plays with themes emphasizing genetics and science. The scenes are from Bob Clyman’s “Secret Order” and Carl Djerassi’s “An Immaculate Misconception,” and are portrayed by Michael and Jill. All four scenes are directed by Chris Smith, Artistic Director of San Francisco’s internationally renowned Magic Theatre (and former Founding Program Director of the E.S.T./Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project).  

The Magic Theatre is a non-profit theater company with a 38-year history of producing and developing new works.  Magic resident playwrights include Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Rebecca Gilman, and many others. Website:

This theatrical presentation at the BioAgenda 2004 Summit was underwritten by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Play Synopses  

Eternity: A Play in 20 minutes by Rodes Fishburn

Jennifer and Geoffrey are a married couple in their mid-fifties. Geoffrey is a real-estate broker who has enthusiastically signed them both up for a brand new procedure with LifeXtenders, a biotech company promoting gene therapy life extension. Jennifer is less interested in living forever, but resigns herself to playing along because, well, "’Til death do us part." Geoffrey is extremely annoyed to have Jennifer point out that, "Love has never been asked to live forever."  

Secret Order by Bob Clyman

Dr. William Shumway is a cell biologist whose cancer research has led him to a process in which R-cells can trick tumor cells into ceasing to divide and multiply. Dr. Robert Brock of Hill-Matheson wants Dr. Shumway on his team.  It looks as if Shumway might be headed for the Nobel Prize, except for one problem -- the tumors are starting to grow again after two weeks, and he is not reporting the results to Dr. Brock.

Joyce Maynard Play: TBA  

A monologue crafted especially for Jill Eikenberry.

An Immaculate Misconception by Carl Djerassi

Dr. Melanie Laidlaw is 37 years old and wants a child.  The man she wants as the father has been infertile for years because of a radiation accident. Dr. Laidlaw wants to test a groundbreaking new form of fertilization she’s discovered called ICSI. Who better to test it on than herself?

The Cast  

Jill Eikenberry is an actress with numerous stage, film and TV credits, appearing in films such as Between the Lines and Arthur. She is well known for her role as attorney Ann Kelsey in the TV series LA Law in which she co-starred with her husband, Michael Tucker. In addition to acting, both she and her husband are spokespersons for the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s awareness campaign, “Know Yourself to a ‘T’.”  

Michael Tucker is an actor who first appeared as a “Lost Boy” in a community theater production of Peter Pan at the age of 14. He is best known for his role as attorney Stuart Markowitz in the prime-time TV series, L.A. Law, in which he co-starred with his wife, Jill Eikenberry. His film credits include Diner, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Radio Days.  

Kevin Rolston is an actor who made his Off-Broadway debut last spring in the new play Whose Family Values!, directed by Philip Rose. For the past four seasons, Kevin has been a company member of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. He most recently appeared in the West Coast Premiere of Richard Greenberg’s The Violet Hour at the SF Playhouse.

Chris Smith is the Artistic Director of the Magic Theatre of San Francisco. Chris is also the Founding Program Director for the E.S.T./Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project.  


Previously, he was the Associate Artistic Director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City and served as Artistic Director of Youngblood, a company specializing in the work of playwrights under 35 years old. His recent work as a director includes Contact With The Enemy by Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank D. Gilroy, which received a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Play.  


His work Off-Broadway includes world premiere productions by Romulus Linney, David Ives, Joyce Carol Oates, Gen LeRoy, David Zellnik, and Paul Selig. He has also worked with prominent regional theaters and his television credits include directing for CBS's As The World Turns.

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