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.”
Sixteen years ago, Sharon Boyce applied for a finance associate position at A.C.T. She didn’t get it, at least not right away. The general manager promised he’d call if something opened up. Boyce said, “That sounds great!” But she was really thinking, “Yeah right.”
Sure enough, six months later, A.C.T. offered her a different position: donor systems coordinator. She accepted. Having constructed props and sets throughout high school and college, she knew she wanted to be a part of a theater. Three years later, the finance position she’d originally applied for reopened. This time, she was hired.
Boyce, who was recently promoted to accounting manager, has now worked at A.C.T. for 15 years, which grants her a unique perspective on where A.C.T. has been and where A.C.T. is going. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy reconciling our accounts. It’s a lot of work because there’s so much to look through, and it sometimes takes three or four days to complete. But I…