A Homecoming: The First Rehearsal of A.C.T.'s Father Comes Home from the Wars
By Taylor Steinbeck
When the cast and creative team of Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) flew in to San Francisco from Yale Repertory Theatre last week, their meet and greet at A.C.T. was more like a reunion than a first rehearsal. In a case of life imitating art, A.C.T. and Yale Rep’s co-production of Suzan-Lori Parks's Father Comes Home—beginning performances tomorrow at The Geary Theater—is a homecoming story not just for the characters in the play, but also for the artists involved.
The idea for A.C.T. and Yale Rep to team up arose when Perloff was guest lecturing Diamond's class at Yale School of Drama. One of Diamond’s directing students asked Perloff if there were any productions she wished she could produce at A.C.T. “I said, ‘I desperately want to do Suzan-Lori’s Father Comes Home from the Wars, but I can’t figure out how to make it work—it’s big and expensive,” Perloff recalled. Also in the room was Yale Repertory Theatre Artistic Director James Bundy. Just as Perloff mentioned the play’s name, Diamond shot a look at Bundy. “I had pitched that show six ways to sundown at Yale Rep and it was an extraordinary coincidence that James happened to wander into the room at that moment,” said Diamond. “When Carey made this declaration, I said ‘I want to do it—we’ll produce it together!’ And then it went from never to when can we start?”