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.”
It’s a big week for the Anderson-Gnapp family. Rod Gnapp is currently performing on The Geary as Stan in Sweat, which closes Sunday. His wife Arwen Anderson will soon grace The Strand as Goodman in Men on Boats, which begins previews tomorrow.
Both Gnapp and Anderson are A.C.T. veterans. You may have seen Anderson most recently in Heisenberg (2018) or Gnapp—a graduate of A.C.T.’s M.F.A. Program—in The Realistic Joneses (2016). They met while working on Magic Theatre’s 2009 production of Mauritius, directed by Loretta Greco, who also directed Sweat. Later that year, they were cast in another play at Magic called Mrs. Whitney. Gnapp started flirting with Anderson—who was playing his character’s fifth wife—during that show, and they’ve been together ever since. Last summer, they performed together in Marin Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet as Gertrude and Claudius, and their four-year-old son Rowan was a consistent rehearsal presence, romping through the outdoor amphitheater as…