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Showing posts from July, 2019

A Summer of Transformation: Two Student Perspectives on A.C.T.'s Summer Training Congress

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by Elspeth Sweatman

Week One:

How did you come to learn about A.C.T.’s Summer Training Congress?
Lauren Richardson: An actor friend of mine participated in the STC last summer and told me what she learned here changed her life so I knew I had to apply. And I have learned so much in this past week! Just one of the many transformative things is the importance of maintaining awareness of your breath. When you let the breath in, you are relaxed and are more present within your work.

Drew Olvey: A.C.T.’s Summer Training Congress attracted me with the promise of advanced technical training, personal growth, and a better understanding of my role as an actor within a community. And even in week one, the program is providing me with the acting technique I need to advance my career and the understanding of the power of theater as a tool for social, political, and personal transformation.

What has your STC experience been like so far?
LR: One class, my acting teacher assigned us the same neut…

Behind the Scenes at A.C.T.: An Interview with Subscriptions Manager Mark C. Peters

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By Annie Sears

Meet Mark Peters, a master of repurposing thrifted fabric, auditioning for the Amazing Race (he’s submitted four video auditions and attended six open calls), and maintaining a morning routine: meditation, followed by yoga, followed by breakfast and a crossword puzzle—which is surprisingly similar to his work here at A.C.T. as our subscriptions manager. We recently sat down with Peters to hear about his 32 years here at A.C.T.

How would you describe your job to someone that doesn’t know anything about it?
It’s a giant puzzle, and I love puzzles. Our subscribers get to choose their seats, and keep those same seats for each show they attend. So when we get new subscribers or have subscribers who want to change their seats—that’s my favorite part. I have to say, “Okay, this person wants to move to Saturday night, so I can get this person into this space. And what if I shift this person here?” I do my best to take care of every subscriber. The biggest puzzles were after th…

Working Like Dogs

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By Kayla Kaufman

Which member of the Geary backstage crew is known to pee onstage, distract cast members (especially children), and nibble scenery? Much-loved dog Bibingka, who despite clocking in at less than a foot tall, has the whole of The Geary Theater under her paw.

Although A.C.T. has only a few furry coworkers, they are a mighty group, bringing joy, challenge, and inspiration to our work. After being scooped up from Macy’s holiday SPCA windows during a tech break for A Christmas Carol in 2018 by former head carpenter Miguel Ongpin, Bibingka has been a staple in the 1,040 seat space. She is known to rest in her stage-left bed, where she keeps one eye on Miguel, but willingly receives pats from anyone else.


The Artistic team offices are home to two of A.C.T.’s finest, Frannie and Eleanor. Though Frannie only began using public transportation when she first met human pal Janet Foster (our director of casting) a few months ago, she’s now become quite the commuter. Every Tuesday, …

Behind the Scenes at A.C.T.: An Interview with Wig Master Lindsay Saier

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By Annie Sears

You can tell a lot about a person from the way they style their hair. That’s Lindsay Saier’s area of expertise. After growing up in Redwood City, California, she studied at the Make-up Designory in Burbank before moving to New York, earning her barber’s license, and completing a wig and make-up internship at The Juilliard School. After working at some off-Broadway theaters, she returned home to the Bay Area to join the A.C.T. family as wig master. We recently took a trip to the Wig Shop to learn more about the process of creating a character’s look.

How would you describe your job?
Essentially, we give depth to characters. It’s something people don’t really think about because when it’s done right, you don’t notice it. For instance, if the character is supposed to be evil, we can play with their hairline, their part, and the color of their hair to really tell that story. Or in Rhinoceros, we have a character that is flippy and fun and French, but the actor playing the c…

Behind the Scenes at A.C.T.: An Interview with Head Stage Manager Elisa Guthertz

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By Annie Sears

Elisa Guthertz has been stage managing at A.C.T. for 26 years, but as a third-generation San Franciscan, her connections to The Geary started long before that. Her father grew up seeing shows on that stage, and he encouraged his daughter’s love of theater as she grew up. After earning her BFA in stage management at North Carolina School for the Arts, she returned home to San Francisco in 1992 to intern at A.C.T. during Artistic Director Emerita Carey Perloff’s first season. In 2005, she took over as head stage manager. Guthertz has done shows all over the world—from Russia to Broadway, from Washington, DC, to Calgary, Canada. Most recently, she stage managed Rhinoceros at The Geary. We recently sat down with Guthertz to get a backstage glimpse into pulling off a production.


How did you first get into stage management?
When I was about 13, my brother was involved with a community theater. He said, “Hey, do you want to learn how to run light board?” It was a big, old-schoo…