Showing posts from 2019

Sharing Our Spaces to Share in Art

By Annie Sears

Part of the beauty of live theater is that it happens in real time and real space, drawing a community to sit next to one another, breathe the same air, and feed off each other’s energy. To access this sort of togetherness, performers need a performance space.

Are you a Bay Area artist whose project could take flight if you only had space? Learn more about ArtShare, A.C.T.’s community space-sharing initiative, and hear from Literary Manager & Associate Artistic Director Allie Moss. The application deadline is January 31.

A.C.T. Goes Global

By A.C.T. Publications Staff

As the applause settled at the final curtain of The Band’s Visit in June 2018, the Broadway audience members started to file out. But for the members of A.C.T.’s New York City tour, the real show was only just beginning. Heading to the front row, A.C.T.’s touring theater lovers spoke with actors from The Band’s Visit, the cast which had swept the board at the Tony Awards the night before. “It was very exciting,” says tour member Milton Mosk, “Those are things you don’t ordinarily get to experience.”

As well as seeing incredible productions, A.C.T.’s theater tours to New York, London, and Ashland, Oregon are packed with unique aspects like this talkback. During the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) tour this past July, guests spoke with Tatiana Wechsler, the lead actor in Oklahoma, as well as OSF Producer Mica Cole. “To have that intense experience,” says longtime A.C.T. subscriber Mary Claugus, “deepens your appreciation as a theatergoer.”

A.C.T. artistic …

Of Special Guests and Animal Instinct: A Non–Human Interest Story

By Kayla Minton Kaufman

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.”

At first sight, the roo…

And The Award Goes To . . .

By Annie Sears

A.C.T. congratulates all the artists recognized in the 76th Golden Globes, particularly Darren Criss, who trained in our Young Conservatory. For his work on FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Criss took home the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television. Many of our alums are working on creative projects all over the world, and several have exciting projects coming up soon.

Disney Channel recently picked up Just Roll With It, starring Tobie Windham (M.F.A. ’10). The show is a hybrid of scripted and improvisational comedy. The four actors begin performing a pre-written scene, but they’ll be interrupted by a ridiculous stunt of the audience’s choosing. Then, the actors will just have to roll with it.

TBS just cast Christina Elmore (M.F.A. ’12) as a co-lead in pilot of their new comedy Twenties. Scheduled to premiere this year, Twenties explores the life of a queer, Black woman …

Getting Personal with Pam MacKinnon and Seascape

By A.C.T. Publications Staff

Sweat was political,” says A.C.T. Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon, “Men on Boats was playful, now we’re going personal with Seascape.” As MacKinnon prepared for her Geary debut, she spoke with cast, creatives, producers, and A.C.T. staff about Edward Albee's Seascape and was both optimistic and reflective.

“The Albee project is very dear to me,” said MacKinnon. The director was a thirtysomething theater-maker in New York when she first spoke with Albee about directing The Play About the Baby at Philadelphia Theatre Company. That production in 2002 was the first of many—Seascape will be her 11th production of an Albee play.

MacKinnon has become the foremost contemporary interpreter of the great American playwright’s work, winning a Tony Award for her direction of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway in 2013. Amid the excitement about Seascape, there was also a note of wistfulness in recalling her 20-year collaboration with Albee. “The last…