Playwright Will Eno on Wakey, Wakey

By Joy Meads

There is a strange alchemy in Will Eno’s plays that draws us away from the anxious, racing world outside and into a quiet communion with one another and those solid, undeniable realities that connect us. Almost imperceptibly, he makes us more conscious of the world and more connected to those around us. Eno’s play The Realistic Joneses was performed at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater in 2016, and now his work is back at the Geary with Wakey, Wakey. We are grateful we have the opportunity to share this play with you. 
Wakey, Wakey playwright Will Eno. Photo courtesy Will Eno. 
What is it about the Geary that makes it the right home for this piece?
The play, I hope, makes spaces for us to have a human connection, to come together as a group of humans and sit with one another in the experience of larger, maybe scary or sad things. I love the potential ramifications of an audience using that entire space. I love the frank connection that Guy has with the audience, and the idea of actor …

Director Anne Kauffman on Wakey, Wakey

By Hannah Clague
“The world is a complicated place,” says Anne Kauffman, “and directing theater is my way of facing that.” In two decades working in the American theater, the New York–based director has been unafraid to tackle weighty subjects. In addition to her work on and off Broadway, the Obie Award–winning Kauffman directed Hundred Days at Z Space in 2014, a musical that also tackles universal explorations of humanity. Kauffman returns to A.C.T., where she led an MFA Program production of Steve Gooch’s uncompromising drama Female Transport in 2005.

What excites you about Wakey, Wakey?
Growing up in the theater, we’re all taught the Aristotelian way of looking at plays: there’s a beginning, middle, and end. It’s this beautiful arc and all the moments of the play add up to one thing. Each scene is built to take us one step in the direction of the final conclusion. Real life is not shaped that way, and neither is Wakey, Wakey. It’s messing with the arc.

It’s so different from other p…

Humor and Vulnerability: Tony Hale on Wakey, Wakey

By Simon Hodgson

“I hope that Bay Area audiences walk away from Wakey, Wakey feeling encouraged,” says two-time Emmy Award winner Tony Hale. Though Hale is best known for his television work in Veep and Arrested Development and recent big screen outing as the voice of Forky in Toy Story 4, his theater roots run deep.

You’ve been working for 20 years in film and television. How did you get started?
I was not a sports kid and my parents didn’t know what to do with me. My dad was in the army and he retired in Tallahassee, Florida, where I moved in the seventh grade. By the grace of God, there was this children’s theater nearby, Young Actors Theater, and my parents signed me up. It’s difficult to put into words how supportive and influential that theater was for me growing up. It was a space to be silly and stupid, to be free to discover, and to find what I love to do. I adore going back and talking with students and raising money for the theater.

Whether a kid goes into the arts or not, ce…

Drinks + Drama Fridays a Bay Area Hit

By Claire L. Wong 
“Your new favorite end-of-week go-to spot” – The San Francisco Chronicle

Looking for a social spin on your theater-going experience? Ramp up your Friday night with a $15 advance ticket/ $20 door ticket for an orchestra seat and a drink included! Burst into the weekend with live music before the show, pop-up food from local vendors, and a lively atmosphere. You can even take photos against a backdrop with props.

Audience members in the Sky Bar at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater for Top Girls. Photo by Miranda Ashland.
Audiences loved Drinks + Drama for Top Girls at the Geary and Testmatch at the Strand. Join us for the next Drinks + Drama event at the Geary for Wakey, Wakey on January 24.

Check out our dates for upcoming Drinks + Drama events below.

Wakey, Wakey

Geary Theater

January 24, 2020 from 6–8 p.m.


Strand Theater

February 14, 2020 from 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Toni Stone

Geary Theater

March 6, 2020 from 6–8 p.m.

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show

Geary Theat…

The Holiday Spirit: Fellows Decorate the Geary

By Claire L. Wong
As you walk into the Geary Theater to experience the holiday magic of A Christmas Carol, you may marvel at the sparkling decorations throughout the theater. How did all those wreaths get up there? It’s an A.C.T. tradition that each class of fellows participate in decorating the Geary, and this year was jubilant as ever. With holiday cheer, boxes of glittering decorations, and a little elbow grease, the 2019–20 Fellows Cohort had the perfect recipe for trimming the tree in Fred’s Lounge and wrapping garlands around the stairwell railings.

Some of the 2019–20 Fellows in the Geary Theater. Photo by Amy Dalba. With fellows working in such varied departments throughout the company, gathering together to decorate, drink hot cider, and catch up is a welcomed winter event. Outside of decorating and their individual duties, the 2019–20 Fellows Cohort has also been hard at work preparing for the upcoming production of Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties by Jen Silverman Mar…

A.C.T.’s Prospero Society Creates New Award

By Simon Hodgson
“They call year two the pressure-cooker year,” says Master of Fine Arts Program actor Allen Darby. “When you move from being a first-year MFA student to the second year, the gloves are off.” Dressed in loose-fitting clothes and with hair tied up with an elastic band, the second-year actor has just come from a dance class. With only 60 minutes to talk and eat lunch before class starts up again, the life of an MFA student is a hectic one.

“The first year was more exploratory,” says Darby. “Now we’re honing what we’ve learned. Our work is under a microscope.” Darby is the first recipient of A.C.T.’s Prospero Society Scholar Award, one of several awards given to MFA actors. “It means a lot because it was given for artistic talent and work ethic. It was a nice way to start the year.”

The cast of A.C.T.’s MFA Program production of Sense and Sensibility (2019). Photo by Alessandra Mello.
This new award is supported financially by the members of A.C.T.’s Prospero Society, a gr…