Every year, each department here at A.C.T. welcomes a Fellow for the season, providing mentorship to young professionals as they transition into the theater industry. For ten months, we Fellows are immersed in the world of San Francisco’s premier regional theater, learning how a nonprofit runs from the inside out. Some of us are on our feet in the rehearsal room, and others are writing for Words on Plays. Some are working with local youth in classrooms,
and others are working with needle and thread in our costume shop.
Within our respective fields, we’ve been growing both personally and
professionally, acquiring all sorts of random and useful skills. Here’s
an authentic peek into what we’re learning here at A.C.T.
Hannah Clague, Education and Community Programs Fellow: I learned when to wear sneakers to work (when you’re rolling around of the floor teaching a group of sixth graders to act), and when to wear heels (when you’re in a board meeting trying to secure fundi…
The cast of Edward Albee’s Seascape slowly filters in to A.C.T.’s William Ball Studio as the morning sun starts to warm the space. Cups of coffee or tea from the green room in hand, their hellos and good mornings fill the room as pages of the script turn for last minute review. All of this is classic rehearsal room sights and sounds—until the elevator dings, and a meow emerges from the lobby.
Enter award-winning playwright Winter Miller, who is shadowing our Seascape rehearsal process from first read to opening night. She rocks a front-wearing, kangaroo-style backpack. Nestled inside is the star of our rehearsal room: her cat, Gato. For a production where tuning into animal instinct is key, having this creature prowling around is surprisingly valuable. “It’s such a collaborative room, it makes sense to draw inspiration from a cat,” says Sarah Nina Hayon, who plays Sarah, a human-sized lizard. “I do watch him during rehearsal sometimes.”
Born in 1897, Joe Glaser was the son of a successful Russian Jewish physician in Chicago. He originally intended to follow a similar career and entered medical school, but after passing out in the operating room, he realized he wasn’t cut out to be a doctor. He started off in business selling used cars, but found better luck managing prizefighters.
In his biography of Al Capone, Laurence Bergreen notes, “Glaser’s power to fix fights earned him a reputation as a sage of boxing, especially among reporters.” With advanced word as to which fights were fixed, Glaser could predict the results—and even the number of rounds—of many bouts in Chicago. His connections with organized crime continued in his next career change, when he began running nightclubs and whorehouses in the South Side for the Chicago Outfit, the powerful underworld gang led by Capone.
Glaser’s tendency toward illegal action nearly ended his career. In 1928, he was sentenced to ten years in prison for the s…