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Showing posts from June, 2009

The beginning chord of a 'Circle'

posted by Anthony Fusco, A.C.T. Core Acting Company member

A little over a week ago at A.C.T., we got together for an internal reading of a few scenes from Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, newly translated by our own Domenique Lozano. You may know her as the director of A Christmas Carol for the past few years, but “Domie” is also an important part of the M.F.A. program, where she directs and teaches and also helps the graduating land agents and dazzle casting directors by putting together the M.F.A. Showcase—which travels to New York and L.A.—every year. I had the good luck to co-teach a Shakespeare class with her this year, and suffice to say her students are very lucky indeed.

With the blessings of the Brecht estate, she is busily preparing Chalk Circle for production next season. It will be directed by John Doyle, and based on what we read, we are off to a fine, fine start. Her translation so far is very actable, very funny, and strikes a perfect balance between naturalistic ph…

Planning while the Future Plays

posted by Dan Rubin, Publications & Literary Associate
Outside my window on the seventh floor patio are eight young girls playing catch while they finish their lunches before going back to their acting classes. Earlier, a couple practiced lines from a play I didn’t recognize and, on the balcony above, a group practiced “La Vie Boheme” from Rent. It is summer, and 30 Grant has been happily invaded by the young talent of San Francisco (and beyond!). But even though our building is infused with an energy only youth can generate, there is work to be done! And I have the calendars to prove it.

The publications office is upgrading. This past season we used Outlook’s calendar. Fine. Functional. Equipped with alarms that remind me when I should be where and, I’m sure, a number of other applications that I never taught myself. But its palette of five colors is lacking. Five colors for next season are not going to cut it, not with the number of overlapping deadlines already set with as much …

By Any Other Name

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posted by Anthony Fusco, cast member of Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo
In Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo, my character, Peter, has a complicated relationship with his penis. In fact, he can hardly utter the word.

The same is true of me. Not because of shyness, but because the word itself is so . . . flaccid.

Penis. Pee-niss. Go ahead and say it out loud a few times right now.

It starts off okay, with that nice firm “p” sound. Lips pressed together, gathering energy behind them until that first sound just erupts. Then—sadly, disappointingly—the rapid decline into “niss.” The poor vowel, short and clipped as it is, rendered even weaker by the intrusive nasality of the “n” as the poor little word dies out in sibilance.

A name that sounds like a mild rebuke, a name invented by a disappointed assistant principal or the department of public health.

A name too meager for something so important. Important to ME anyway.

Not that the other names are much better: dick, cock, thing, wien…

“I’ve been to the zoo.”

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posted by Manoel Felciano, cast member of Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo

“I’ve been to the zoo.”

These are the famous first words of Edward Albee’s explosive debut play, The Zoo Story, written in 1958. With this statement Jerry introduces himself to Peter, and what follows is perhaps the most riveting first encounter ever written for the theater. The Zoo Story, originally a one-act, is now paired with a prequel act, Homelife, which Albee wrote in 2004. The two together form Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo, which opens at A.C.T. in June. I have the great privilege—and daunting task—of playing Jerry.

A few weeks ago, between leaving the cast of Ragtime at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and starting rehearsals for At Home at the Zoo in San Francisco, I found myself with an unexpectedly free afternoon back in Manhattan. My flight for San Francisco left at 6:55 p.m. It was 2 p.m. I set out from my apartment at 14th and 9th to retrace the pivotal journey Jerry makes just pr…