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Showing posts from 2012

Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": James Carpenter

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Meet James Carpenter, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
I’ve been in A Christmas Carol nine times, including understudying the Dennis Powers and Laird Williamson version A.C.T. produced from 1976 to 2005. I’ve played Scrooge during all nine runs.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
The street life.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Sharing of food. I drink a lot.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
My wife (received).

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
The final moments.

Who is your favorite character in A Christmas Carol?
Um . . . Scrooge? Do I really have to explain? Mrs. Dilber and Mr. Fezziwig are tied for second place.

What do you want for the holidays this year?
A new car would be really nice . . .


Related Posts

Monday, December 17, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Caro…

Meet the Cast of “A Christmas Carol”: Sasha Steiner

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Meet Sasha Steiner, who plays Little Fan and Miner Child in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
I've done this twice—last time I was Miner Child/Precious.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
Union Square, because of the lights and the ice skating rink.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
"Jingle Bell Rock."

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
1. Getting a Christmas tree and opening presents on Christmas Day! 2. Performing a Christmas song in front of my friends and family.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
Given to a kid: big Pillow Pet. Received from someone: a big fat sphere sheep with a tutu.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
The song we sing when the Ghost of Christmas Present appears, our new carol when the world comes out.

Who is your favorite character in A Christmas Carol?
Young Scrooge! First, because he is my character's brother this year,…

What Kids Can Do: A Christmas Carol Tale

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A Letter from Audience Member Derek McCulloch to Artistic Director Carey Perloff

Hi Ms. Perloff—

I really want you to know about something remarkable that happened as a result of my family seeing your most recent production of A Christmas Carol. Two weekends ago, my wife, Tara, and I took our daughter, Pearl, to a matinee of A Christmas Carol. It was her first grown-up theater experience and she enjoyed it very much. Thank you!

On the way out of the theater, Pearl saw a man with a cup out for spare change and she asked me if she could give him something. I handed her some quarters and she put them in the cup, getting a warm smile and a "Merry Christmas" in return. As we walked along Geary Street on our way to dinner, we past more panhandlers and, at one point, a man sleeping on the bare sidewalk without so much as a piece of cardboard to lie on. I could see Pearl taking this all in, and as we turned on Powell we started talking about it. She said it was really sad that a per…

Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Louis Kehoe

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Meet Louis Kehoe, who plays Boy Scrooge and other roles in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
This is my first year in the show.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
The big Christmas tree in Union Square.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
“Silent Night.”

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Christmas shopping and decorating.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
The bracelet I gave my sister with her hubby’s name on it.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
Scrooge’s return.

Who is your favorite character in A Christmas Carol?
Tiny Tim, because he is a very powerful and deep character.

What do you want for the holidays this year?
A penny skateboard.


Related Posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Meet the Cast of “A Christmas Carol”: Omozé Idehenre

Monday, December 17, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Evelyn Ongpin

Monday, December 12, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A…

Santa’s Workshop: The Props of "A Christmas Carol"

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Posted by Selena Chau, A.C.T. Web Development Fellow

Every season there are special upgrades and enhancements made to the familiar Christmas Carol props to keep the show fresh and new. While the actors rehearsed lines, staging, carols, and dances in the William Ball Rehearsal Studio (on the 8th floor of A.C.T.’s 30 Grant Avenue complex), the A.C.T. production staff worked their backstage magic in the A.C.T. Prop and Scene Shop, a 20,000-square-foot warehouse that has been located in the Mission district since A.C.T.’s move out west from Pittsburgh in 1967. Over the years, the shop has built and stored props and scenery from productions that have played at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater and other stages.

From the outside, the building is indistinguishable from neighboring warehouses on the block, but stepping inside reveals fantastic and unexpected tools, machinery, and props. As you enter, you see the replica of the Tosca Cafe bar sign (a keepsake from our 2010 dance-theater production The Tos…

Meet the Cast of “A Christmas Carol”: Nicholas Pelczar

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Meet Nicholas Pelczar, who plays Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
This is my third time in Carol. I’ve played Bob Cratchit once before and when I was an M.F.A. Program student here I played Fred.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
This is a little hokey, but I really love the puppies in the windows at Macy’s—is there anything cuter?

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
It’s gotta be “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”—I sang a choral version of it in a show once and it was such a pleasure to get to that part of the show every night.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
They really center around food—we celebrate our Polish heritage in my family by having pierogies and potato soup on Christmas Eve. Then we have an amazing brunch the next morning after opening presents. Finally, for Christmas Day dinner we have a fairly traditional English pot roast to celebrate our family’s other heritage.

What i…

Meet the Cast of “A Christmas Carol”: Omozé Idehenre

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Meet Omozé Idehenre, who plays Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
Three times: Ghost of Christmas Present/Pole Bearer/Fruit Seller/Charitables.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
The gargantuan Christmas tree in Union Square.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
The original one Dickens conceived from his wonderful mind and put to the page for all the world to share.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
I don't really have any holiday traditions . . . I just enjoy the communal aspect of it all. The coming together. But that can be done any day.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
Given: myself. Received: someone else being themselves with me.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
It’s not really a moment. It’s the fact that Jacob Marley comes all the way from the depths to help his friend escape the same fate. He did this after death! Now that&…

Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Evelyn Ongpin

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Meet Evelyn Ongpin, who plays a Child of Alan and Ruth/Precious Wilkins in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
I played a Child of Alan and Ruth and the Sled Girl in last season's Carol. That was my first time.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
“Jingle Bells”

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
I like decorating.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
A really pretty dress.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
I don’t have one. I just like having fun during all of it!

Who is your favorite character in A Christmas Carol? Why?
Scrooge.

What do you want for the holidays this year?
Shoes.


Related Posts

Monday, December 10, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Ken Ruta

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Seth Weinfield

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Carmen Steele


Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Raymond Castelán

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Meet Raymond Castelán, who plays Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
This is my first time in A Christmas Carol and my first time on The Geary stage.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
Ice skating in Union Square with the tree and Macy’s windows all lit up.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
“Oh Holy Night”

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
On Christmas Eve everyone goes over to my parents’ house and we make tamales together. It’s an all-day process that begins with breakfast and Christmas carols on the radio all day and ends with opening presents at midnight.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
It’s become a tradition for my folks to get me and my siblings flannel p.j.’s for Christmas Eve each year—so comfy after a long day in those crisp Central Valley winters.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
I like watching the Boy Scrooge sequence. It is really nic…

Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Ken Ruta

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Meet Ken Ruta, who plays Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
I played Scrooge in A.C.T.’s original Dennis Powers and Laird Williamson production (1976–2005) for three years. I played Marley in the current Carey Perloff/Paul Walsh adaptation for three years. I also played the Narrator for ten years in Center REPertory Theatre’s production of Carol.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
How people still strive for generosity and goodness of spirit and heart.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
“Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”).

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
The Christmas tree.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
There are too many to remember.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
The dance of Mrs. Dilber and Ebenezer Scrooge.

Who is your favorite character in A Christmas Carol? Why?
The boy with the turkey?

What do you want for the holidays this year?
Peace in th…

Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Seth Weinfield

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Meet Seth Weinfield, who plays the Child of Alan and Ruth/Rory Wilkins in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
This is my first time.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
The Christmas lights.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
"Jingle Bells"

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Opening presents, singing Hanukkah songs.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
My mom really liked a pair of earrings I gave her.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
I really like the fight scene with Ignorance and Want.

Who is your favorite character in A Christmas Carol? Why?
That probably would be Tiny Tim, because he thinks good thoughts.

What do you want for the holidays this year?
I’d really like a spy kit.


Related Posts

Monday, December 10, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Ken Ruta

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Carmen Steele


Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Carmen Steele

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Meet Carmen Steele, who plays Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol.

How many times have you been in A Christmas Carol?
This is my first time.

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco during the holidays?
All of the Christmas trees.

What is your favorite Christmas carol?
"Let it Snow."

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Dressing up as Santa or a helper.

What is the best gift you've ever given or received?
My favorite bathrobe.

What is your favorite moment in A Christmas Carol?
When it snows and I say "God bless us everyone!"

Who is your favorite character in A Christmas Carol? Why?
Scrooge, because he is so funny.

What do you want for the holidays this year?
A Kindle Fire.


Related Posts

Monday, December 10, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Ken Ruta

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol": Seth Weinfield

Creating the Ghost of Christmas Present

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This interview is adapted from the Christmas Carol edition of Words on Plays, A.C.T.’s behind-the-scenes theater guide. Purchase a copy to read the complete interview and learn more about Charles Dickens and the magical world of the show.

When costume designer Beaver Bauer undertook A.C.T.’s A Christmas Carol in 2005, she knew it would be a substantial endeavor. “I wouldn’t have considered doing a show this complex at another theater,” she confesses, “in part because A.C.T. is a unique place where you know you can make a bold creative choice in a rendering and then have a ghost of chance that what you are envisioning can actually be achieved. There is enough depth [of talent and experience] in the costume shop to paint fabric and create a hat from scratch and really take something all the way from the ground up—from just fabric.”

Nowhere was this experience put to better use than in creating the costume for the Ghost of Christmas Present, played this year by A.C.T. core acting company…

A.C.T. Graduate Makes Broadway Debut

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On November 14, Facebook friends of A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2010 graduate Mairin Lee read the young actor's excited post: "I am making my Broadway debut today as Mrs. Montgomery in The Heiress! I'll be working with the wonderful David Strathairn, Jessica Chastain, and Dee Nelson!" Lee is an understudy for Tony Award–nominated director Moisés Kaufman's production of The Heiress, which opened on November 1 at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre. She went on for the matinee and evening shows on November 14 and again on November 15, sparring with A.C.T. favorite David Strathairn (Scorched, The Tempest) in what she calls a "Victorian verbal boxing match: Dr. Sloper v. Mrs. Montgomery."

While at A.C.T., Lee made her mainstage debut in A Christmas Carol and also performed the role of Ismène in the 2010 production of Phèdre, for which she also understudied the role of Aricie, under the direction of A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff. She a…

Meet the Cast of "Elektra": Olympia Dukakis

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Meet Olympia Dukakis, who plays the Chorus Leader in Sophocles’ Elektra.
What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
Naps, food, yoga.


What's your favorite thing about San Francisco?
Stephen Anthony Jones [who plays Aegisthus in Elektra].


If you weren't an actor, what would you be?
A better human being.


What was your most memorable Halloween costume?
Never had one—believe it!


What is your favorite moment in Elektra?
Enjoying Carey Perloff's acting.


What is the most outrageous thing you've done to take revenge on someone?
Who, me?


Related Posts

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Meet the Cast of "Elektra": Titus Tompkins

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Meet the Cast of "Elektra": Allegra Rose Edwards

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Q&A with "Elektra" Translator and Adaptor Timberlake Wertenbaker 
Posted by Cait Robinson, Publications Fellow

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
M.F.A. Program Students Make A.C.T. Mainstage Debuts in Elektra 
Posted by Cait Robinson…

A.C.T. Young Conservatory Makes Theater on an International Stage

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As part of a two-year summer international exchange program, the A.C.T. Young Conservatory (YC) will collaborate with Scotland's Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) Young Persons Company to explore actor training in residencies in Aberdeen and San Francisco. Following each summer workshop, the companies will present a co-commissioned work at their respective theaters.
For the inaugural session of the program, the YC and APA Young Persons Company co-commissioned Scottish playwright DC Jackson to write [untitled] Reality Project, which brings audiences into the world of reality television. Students from the YC traveled to Aberdeen, Scotland, over the summer of 2012 for two weeks of acting and cultural immersion, workshopping the new play with the playwright and taking part in classes and extracurricular experiences with the APA Young Persons Company. 

Meet the Musician in "Elektra": Theresa Wong

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Meet Theresa Wong, who plays the cello onstage in Sophocles’ Elektra. Visit theresawong.org to learn more about her career!

What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
Some or all of the following: Dedicating the performance to someone, a shot of whisky, vocal warm-up, breathing/visualization exercises, being still.

What’s your favorite thing about San Francisco?
Berkeley.

What was your most memorable Halloween costume?
Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream.”

What is your favorite moment in Elektra?
When Aegisthus enters and holds court.

What is the most outrageous thing you’ve done to take revenge on someone?
Forgive them.

“Whew . . . A Day Off!”: A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program Students Take Their Craft to a Local High School

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As part of the ongoing partnership between A.C.T.’s Education Department and the Visual and Performing Arts Department of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), in mid October the six members of the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2013 participated in a brown bag workshop for students attending the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (RASOTA), San Francisco’s acclaimed (and only) public visual and performing arts high school. RASOTA students across all disciplines were invited to attend the lunchtime workshop, organized by A.C.T. Director of Education Elizabeth Brodersen, SFUSD Artistic Director Susan Stauter, and RASOTA Theater Technology & Design Department ChairKeith Carames.

Connecting their own work to the RASOTA theater students’ theme of “Legacy: Fame v. Infamy,” the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program actors presented self-selected scenes from Arthur Miller’s Crucible, William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I, and Thieves, a youthful adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV p…

M.F.A. Program Students in Moscow: Elyse Price

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The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2014 recently returned from Moscow, where they were honored as the only U.S. acting school invited to attend the prestigious Stanislavsky Festival. They performed Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, were featured on the evening news, and interacted with students from England, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Russia.

We asked the students to share their photos and reflections from this unforgettable trip. To read more about their experiences, search for hashtag #ACTinMoscow on Facebook and Twitter.

Elyse Price

Dobre OOtra!

Good morning from the foggy streets of Moscow City. I woke up this morning to the smell of cigarette smoke and the sensation of the cold, crisp Russian air creeping in through my hotel room window. This is not a complaint, rather a surreal reckoning.
In this past week, several of my dreams have come true. For this entry, I’ll focus on Wednesday’s.

Revamping The Strand: A Halloween Fundraiser for A.C.T.’s New Performance Venue

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On October 27, friends of A.C.T. crawled, oozed, flew, materialized, and zombie-walked their way to our first-ever Halloween fundraiser, Revamping The Strand, which raised money for the renovation of The Strand Theater in San Francisco's Central Market neighborhood. A.C.T. purchased The Strand as a second stage, and it is scheduled to open in 2014. The event, underwritten in large part by interior designer Ken Fulk and patrons Jeff and Laurie Ubben, was held in Fulk's SOMA studio and featured a four-course dinner with celebrity chefs, a flash-mob performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show's "Time Warp," and a concert by Bay Area native Stevie Nicks, who opened her set with a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock 'n' Roll."

In addition to longtime A.C.T. loyalists, the benefit attracted a number of young social media leaders and philanthropists, many of whom are also going to be calling Central Market home. The costumes ranged from famous Hitchcock cha…

M.F.A. Program Students in Moscow: Lisa Kitchens

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The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2014 recently returned from Moscow, where they were honored as the only U.S. acting school invited to attend the prestigious Stanislavsky Festival. They performed Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, were featured on the evening news, and interacted with students from England, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Russia.

We asked the students to share their photos and reflections from this unforgettable trip. To read more about their experiences, search for hashtag #ACTinMoscow on Facebook and Twitter.

Lisa Kitchens
Our second morning in Moscow, we took a tour of Stanislavsky's home. We were elated to find out that the person giving our tour, Nikita, is actually Stanislavsky's great-great grandson. . .

Meet the Cast of "Elektra": Titus Tompkins

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Meet Titus Tompkins, a third-year student in the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program who plays Pylades in Sophocles’ Elektra.

What are your preshow/postshow rituals?
Pre: That's a secret! Post: Sleep!

What's your favorite thing about San Francisco?
The people. Growing up in the south, people always ask, "Who's your kin?" Out here, I get asked, "What's your sign?" I love the energy in the communities here.

If you weren't an actor, what would you be?
A construction worker.

What was your most memorable Halloween costume?
A John Deere tractor.

What is your favorite moment in Elektra?
The first prayer in Greek . . .

What is the most outrageous thing you've done to take revenge on someone?
When I was a child, I cut the yarn in my grandmother's crochet project when she was nearly finished with a piece. I learned my lesson that day!


Related Posts

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Meet the Cast of "Elektra": Allegra Rose Edwards

Wednesday, October 17…

Hovering "Between Wild and Tame": The Role of Women in "Elektra"

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Posted by Cait Robinson, Publications Fellow

To understand the role of women in Elektra, it is valuable to consider the classical concept of feminity. The Greeks viewed women ambiguously: though responsible for bearing children and propogating the human race, they were also descendents of Pandora and therefore members of a separate "race of women," less physically and mentally capable than men. Women were also considered more sexually voracious and predisposed to infidelity, naturally threatening to the order of the household, or oikos, which was their domain. Many texts from antiquity compare women to domesticated dogs—though they serve man and share his household, they forever hover between wild and tamed.

Athenians were preoccupied with dividing women by their social status and sexual availability. When she went out in public, a woman's appearance helped to identify her: respectable women rarely left their homes (lest they tempt men or be tempted themselves), so their…

M.F.A. Program Students in Moscow: Asher Grodman

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The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2014 recently returned from Moscow, where they were honored as the only U.S. acting school invited to attend the prestigious Stanislavsky Festival. They performed Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, were featured on the evening news, and interacted with students from England, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Russia.

We asked the students to share their photos and reflections from this unforgettable trip. To read more about their experiences, search for hashtag #ACTinMoscow on Facebook and Twitter.

Asher Grodman

We’re back home in San Francisco after a long flight, and I started thinking about how this incredible trip began.

Meet the Cast of "Elektra": Allegra Rose Edwards

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Meet Allegra Rose Edwards, a third-year student in the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program who plays Chrysothemis in Sophocles' Elektra.
What are your preshow/postshow rituals? Pre: Water. Post: Beer.
What’s your favorite thing about San Francisco? Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the free bluegrass festival every fall in Golden Gate Park!
If you weren’t an actor, what would you be? A weather girl or a ballerina.
What was your most memorable Halloween costume? I was a swimming pool in fifth grade. Blue wig, depth markers in puff paint (1–5 feet) all the way up my body, pool rules on my back, and to finish it off, a diving board (roof shingle) stapled to my headband with a Ken doll hot glued to the edge. So theatrical.
What is your favorite moment in Elektra? The Tutor’s speech [delivered by Anthony Fusco as The Tutor] and the beautiful music Theresa [Wong, the onstage cellist] plays underneath it.
What is the most outrageous thing you’ve done to take revenge on someone? Poisoned gazpacho. A d…

M.F.A. Program Students in Moscow: Philip Estrera

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The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2014 recently returned from Moscow, where they were honored as the only U.S. acting school invited to attend the prestigious Stanislavsky Festival. They performed Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, were featured on the evening news, and interacted with students from England, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Russia.

We asked the students to share their photos and reflections from this unforgettable trip. To read more about their experiences, search for hashtag #ACTinMoscow on Facebook and Twitter.

Philip Estrera: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I am dreaming. I must be. I am sitting in an auditorium with students from all over the world looking at a monochromatic stage with a man speaking German sitting next to a woman translating in Russian. The delayed quiet murmur of an English translator is heard somewhere off in the distance. Like all dreams, I understand nothing. Due to technical problems, my headset with t…