A.C.T. Goes Global

By A.C.T. Publications Staff

A.C.T.'s London theater tour members enjoy a visit to Windsor Castle.

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 and administrative staff are on hand to take care of participants’ needs and to enhance their experience. Conservatory Director Melissa Smith accompanied a recent OSF tour, and Claugus found her to be “a fantastic addition, not only in interviewing some of the company, but just her comments on theater and the productions. She's really knowledgeable.”

Participants also enjoy getting to know one another. “Camaraderie developed right from the bus ride up to Oregon,” says Kathy Shubin. “Even the bus driver was part of it! It was an all-round enjoyable week of entertainment and great theater.”

On the London tour, which returned home to San Francisco this October, guests were treated to exclusive discussions with Christopher Hampton (Oscar-winning writer of Dangerous Liaisons), theater critic Mark Shenton (The Stage), and Sir Ian McKellen. The shows were of the same caliber, including Martin McDonagh’s new play, A Very Very Very Dark Matter, starring Jim Broadbent; Company, with Patti LuPone; and King Lear, with McKellen in the title role. “My wife Gisele and I have been watching Ian McKellen for years,” says tour member Ken Miller. “He was so generous in speaking with us. He was extraordinarily gracious and could not have been nicer.”

Rubbing shoulders with actors and theater-makers from great productions is just one part of the experience. Guests stay at first-class hotels. They appreciate memorable meals—Ocean Prime on New York’s 52nd Street and The Ivy in London’s West End are two recent highlights. And they enjoy cultural visits on the side, whether that’s to an award-winning chocolatier, an intriguing city neighborhood, or the day-trip our London tour group just completed to Highclere Castle, with a private tour of the home of Downton Abbey.

Next year’s tours are being planned now. Don’t miss out! Click here to learn more about A.C.T.’s upcoming theater tours to New York, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ireland, and London.

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