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Showing posts from July, 2009

All Aboard for England!

posted by Anya Richkind, A.C.T. Young Conservatory student

Every other year, students from A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory go to England to develop a new play written for young actors as part of an ongoing exchange program with Theatre Royal Bath. This year, a group of Young Conservatory and M.F.A. Program students travels to Bath to work on Riot, a brand-new play by Irish author Ursula Rani Sarma, which will receive its world premiere production at A.C.T. in April 2010. Anya Richkind, a junior at San Francisco’s Lick-Wilmerding High School, writes about her preparations for this summer’s big trip.

Approximately 46 days ago, I started counting down the days till takeoff. “Forty-seven days!” I muttered under my breath. And now, that number has dwindled down to one. ONE. One day till we leave for England.

At this point, I am beyond excited. I am dumbfounded, flabbergasted, amazed that this is actually happening. And it all starts tomorrow. I mean, how perfect does this get? Taking acting w…

Phèdre in Canada—Week Two

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posted by Carey Perloff, A.C.T. Artistic Director

Artistic Director Carey Perloff writes to us again from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, where she is directing Jean Racine’s Phèdre, which will transfer to A.C.T. next January.

In our rehearsal process at A.C.T., the protective embrace of the rehearsal studio is fiercely maintained until the end of the fourth week, when we make the big leap to the theater and begin to think about giving the play to a much larger audience in a very public way. By then, we have presumably found our sea legs and made our humiliating mistakes and have found a shape to the production that we can all hold on to.

So it was wild and disconcerting, after two weeks of intensive work on Phèdre in the rehearsal studio, to suddenly be rehearsing onstage this weekend—knowing that we still had another month to go in the studio! The way it works here is that on Sunday nights when nothing is performing, these poor exhausted actors, who have already done …

Phèdre in Canada—Week One

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posted by Carey Perloff, A.C.T. Artistic Director

A.C.T.’s 2008–09 season is coming to a close this weekend (Don’t miss out on the final performances of Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo!), but there’s no rest for our fearless leader. Artistic Director Carey Perloff is up in Ontario directing Jean Racine’s Phèdre, which will transfer to San Francisco next January, with the stellar company of the world-famous Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Here are some of her thoughts from abroad.

It’s Canada Day up here at the Stratford Festival, but that doesn’t mean a day off from French eroticism. We’re a week into rehearsals for Phèdre, heading deep into the heart of this amazing labyrinth of a play. My head is still reeling as I try to get accustomed to working at this enormous institution, which operates like its own kingdom with its own jargon and laws and sets of givens. The daily rehearsal schedule has military precision: there are eleven plays in repertory this season, some in performance a…