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Showing posts from June, 2010

Listening to History

posted by Elizabeth Brodersen, A.C.T. Publications Editor and a research dramaturg on The Tosca Project

Listen to an excerpt from Carey Perloff and Elizabeth Brodersen’s interview with Tosca Cafe owner Jeannette Etheredge, who describes her decision to buy the bar and honor its rich historical legacy. (5.6 mb)

Listen to an excerpt from Valerie Hart’s interview with Vesuvio Cafe co-owner Janet Clyde, who describes her early memories of Tosca Cafe. (2.2 mb)

On any theatrical production, it is typically the dramaturg’s job to collect research that will help the playwright, director, and performers create, shape, and authentically realize the story that will unfold onstage. Developed organically in a series of improvisatory workshops, based on real people in a real place over a 90-year period, and conceived without a conventional script, The Tosca Project presented a particularly complex challenge. What kind of information would be most helpful to the process? Where could we find it? How co…

Graduating to The Tosca Project

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posted by Kyle Schaefer, cast member of The Tosca Project 

Kyle Schaefer, who graduated from the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program in May, writes about his experience performing on the A.C.T. mainstage and the joy of working with the artists of varied backgrounds who make up the ensemble of The Tosca Project.

The Tosca Project is my first job as a professional actor out of school. It feels oddly like home, however, and I think I’ve been realizing how prepared I am for the nuts and bolts of this profession. In many ways it has felt like any other production I’ve been involved with: get together in the room, rehearse, take breaks, rehearse again, argue a point, take direction, joke around, work hard, get frustrated, have fun. I’m certainly familiar with life at 30 Grant and the American Conservatory Theater.

However, there are also many firsts for me in this new world of postgraduation life. I don’t take it lightly that I am employed directly out of school on a world premiere at A.C.T. w…

Home Away From Home

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posted by Brian Jansen, A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2011 


I found this picture and wanted to share it with the A.C.T. community. It is trustee Dianne Hoge and her husband Ron with three Master of Fine Arts Program students—myself (on the right), Sara Hogrefe ’10, and Matt Bradley ’12. Clearly, we are having a ball.

Diane is one of the members of the Board of Trustees who act as a “Trustee Host” for M.F.A. Program students. What does this mean? Well, every student-trustee host relationship is different, but the general idea is that board members take a particular student or group of students under their wing. They are a familiar face at opening nights and the annual gala events; they attend our shows, cheer on our progress, and help with networking and general support during our three years here.

Dianne and Ron are incredibly gracious hosts. We get invited over to their house a few times a semester for drinks and dinner. Often they invite other artists or young people…