Posts

Showing posts from November, 2010

Scrooge on Ice

Image
The holiday season starts early at A.C.T.; we began rehearsing our annual production of A Christmas Carol at the beginning of November. As a sponsor of the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square, we’re sharing our anticipatory cheer with the city. Below, Scrooge (A.C.T. Associate Artist Anthony Fusco) announces the opening of the rink on Wednesday, November 10. He’s joined by dignitaries, figure skaters, and . . . Mr. Peanut?
—The A.C.T. Intern Blog Quadrumvirate




Photos by Randy Taradash

"The Secret of the Sweets": An Interview with Marcus's Richard Prioleau

Image
Third-year A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program actor Richard Prioleau is a busy man: he’s in rehearsals for A Christmas Carol and going to class in A.C.T.’s studios each day, while playing the title role in Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet on the mainstage each night. Still, last week he found time to sit down with A.C.T. Dramaturgy Fellow Zachary Moull—who worked as assistant director on Marcus—over lunch (salad and noodles) to talk about the urgency of Marcus, the joys and challenges of acting in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play, and the musical proclivities of its cast.
—The A.C.T. Intern Blog Quadrumvirate

Your lunch looks very healthy. Do you have any routines or strategies for keeping your energy up?
No, I just have to remember to drink lots of water. I stopped going to the gym regularly because of the time constraints. But Marcus is 16, and he shouldn’t look like a football player, anyway. I do have preshow rituals: get there an hour before curtain, make sure I shower and warm up, and…

An Actor Reflects: Living the Brother/Sister Cycle

Image
posted by Jared McNeill, cast member of Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet

Jared McNeill’s role in Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet may not be huge, but his onstage presence is enormous. As Terrell, the obnoxious-but (in McNeill’s hands)-loveable dude who follows Osha and Shaunta Iyun around in the first act, McNeill has the audience in stitches, especially with his bit about white chicks in horror films. This is not McNeill’s first time charming audiences in a Tarell Alvin McCraney drama. In fact, he has appeared in all three of the Brother/Sister Plays. After playing Oshoosi Size in City Theatre’s production of The Brothers Size in Pittsburgh, PA, and Elegba in In the Red and Brown Water at Marin Theatre Company (MTC), McNeill has the unique perspective of having lived and breathed McCraney’s entire cycle. Below, he describes that experience for us.
—The A.C.T. Intern Blog Quadrumvirate

The Brothers Size was my first show coming out of Fordham University, and it came after a good deal of ki…

Marcus: The Poster, The Process

Image
posted by Amelia Nardinelli, Senior Graphic Designer at A.C.T.

You may not have seen A.C.T.’s production of Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet yet, but odds are that you’ve noticed a certain mysterious, enigmatic image following you around town. In your newspaper, on BART, or in a shop window, a young black man with an otherworldly glow about him and a heart-shaped explosion of water over his chest stares back at you. His eyes are full of something. Maybe his gaze unsettles you. The man is Richard Prioleau, member of the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2011 and star of Marcus, and the poster design is by Amelia Nardinelli, senior graphic designer at A.C.T. The poster has such an iconic presence it takes a moment to remember that it was created by a particular person. But created it was, and below Nardinelli lets us into the world of her process.
—The A.C.T. Intern Blog Quadrumvirate

Mythical. Gritty. Sexual. Urban. Southern Gothic. Lyrical. Wet. Humor. Katrina. Raw. Louisiana b…

Imagining Despair

Image
Last month, students in the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program classes of 2011 and 2012 took a dramatic step that would intimidate even the most experienced of actors: they publicly performed Chekhov. In The Three Sisters, Chekhov’s masterpiece about missed opportunities and dreams stifled by stagnation, the Prozorov sisters fervently dream of returning to the Moscow of their youth but somehow cannot manage to walk away from their small village and lives they cannot but see as dreadfully prosaic. Three Sisters director Marco Barricelli, former member of A.C.T.’s core acting company (he played Vershinin in Carey Perloff’s 2003 production) and currently artistic director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, took on the challenge of helping these aspiring young actors—in their second and third years of A.C.T.’s three-year training program, respectively—tackle Chekhov’s iconic turn-of-the-20th-century tale of midlife misery. Below are excerpts from a conversation with Barricelli that took place jus…

A Wild Ride with the YC

Image
posted by Naomi Kunstler, A.C.T. Young Conservatory student 

A.C.T. Young Conservatory students are sharp. We’d heard it from everyone: YC Director Craig Slaight; Karen Hartman, author of Wild Kate (a new play commissioned by the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program and YC); the M.F.A. Program students who’ve worked with them on conservatory coproductions and in A Christmas Carol. So when we knew they were in the building rehearsing Wild Kate, we didn’t want to miss the chance to let them weigh in on young actor training and the dark hilarity of Wild Kate’s nautical adventures. Naomi Kunstler, a junior at Convent of the Sacred Heart high school, pulls us into the nitty gritty of rehearsal as only a true actor could.
—The A.C.T. Intern Blog Quadrumvirate

The first day of rehearsal I’m sitting in my chair during our line-through and I can barely stay in my seat I am so excited. The room is packed with the cast, crew, playwright, director, lighting designer, sound designer, choreographer, etc., and I am…

A New Audience for Marcus

Image
posted by Zachary Moull, A.C.T. Dramaturgy Intern

A.C.T.’s dramaturgy intern, Zach Moull, one fourth of A.C.T.’s blog quadrumvirate, has been doing double-duty, serving as the assistant director for Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet in addition to his literary duties. He’s been privy to some of the amazing outreach events that a play like Marcus can facilitate, including a recent presentation to at-risk teens. Enjoy his description of the day, and check out the photos by former A.C.T. Marketing Intern Timothy Faust below!
—The A.C.T. Intern Blog Quadrumvirate

A couple of weekends ago, the cast of Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet welcomed an audience into the rehearsal room for the first time since the production's opening rehearsal, when we welcomed a group of LGBT teens to an early read-through of the play.

Four weeks into the rehearsal process, the play was up on its feet and on its way to the stage. But Marcus is filled with moments that call for the actors to connect directly with t…

Let's Go Giants!!

Image
CONGRATULATIONS  SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS!
And welcome home! What better way to celebrate Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet day (as today was proclaimed by the Mayor’s office), than a citywide parade! Here are some photos of the festivities from the roof of our administrative offices/school. Unfortunately, it does not quite catch the uproarious hurrahing or the continuous horn blowing, but still . . .

Marcus opens tonight, and we’re all in quite the festive mood!