Showing posts from January, 2020

Student Actors Partner with Pulitzer-Nominated Playwright to Create New Work

By Claire L. Wong Audiences stepping into the Geary Theater for  Wakey, Wakey  will also experience the never-before-seen play  The Substitution  preceding it. Pulitzer Prize–nominated playwright Will Eno wrote this short play specifically for A.C.T.’s MFA Program students. When thinking about the content of  The Substitution  with Eno, director Anne Kauffman says, “One thing that we were interested in was the woman who appears for a brief moment of time in  Wakey, Wakey . She appears at an important place in the piece, and so it felt important that we meet her in a different context. From there, we developed this idea into the first part of the show.” MFA Program actors in the class of 2020 were in the room with Eno and Kauffman as they rehearsed  The Substitution  for the first time. “It was incredibly fun and helpful to get together with Anne and Kathryn [Smith-McGlynn] and the MFA students,” says Eno. “It’s a really important part of the playwriting process to hear things al

Playwright Will Eno on Wakey, Wakey

By Joy Meads There is a strange alchemy in Will Eno’s plays that draws us away from the anxious, racing world outside and into a quiet communion with one another and those solid, undeniable realities that connect us. Almost imperceptibly, he makes us more conscious of the world and more connected to those around us. Eno’s play The Realistic Joneses was performed at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater in 2016, and now his work is back at the Geary with  Wakey, Wakey . We are grateful we have the opportunity to share this play with you.  Wakey, Wakey playwright Will Eno. Photo courtesy Will Eno.  What is it about the Geary that makes it the right home for this piece?   The play, I hope, makes spaces for us to have a human connection, to come together as a group of humans and sit with one another in the experience of larger, maybe scary or sad things. I love the potential ramifications of an audience using that entire space. I love the frank connection that Guy has with the audience, and

Director Anne Kauffman on Wakey, Wakey

By Hannah Clague “The world is a complicated place,” says Anne Kauffman, “and directing theater is my way of facing that.” In two decades working in the American theater, the New York–based director has been unafraid to tackle weighty subjects. In addition to her work on and off Broadway, the Obie Award–winning Kauffman directed  Hundred Days  at Z Space in 2014, a musical that also tackles universal explorations of humanity. Kauffman returns to A.C.T., where she led an MFA Program production of Steve Gooch’s uncompromising drama  Female Transport  in 2005. What excites you about Wakey, Wakey? Growing up in the theater, we’re all taught the Aristotelian way of looking at plays: there’s a beginning, middle, and end. It’s this beautiful arc and all the moments of the play add up to one thing. Each scene is built to take us one step in the direction of the final conclusion. Real life is not shaped that way, and neither is  Wakey, Wakey . It’s messing with the arc. It’s so differen

Humor and Vulnerability: Tony Hale on Wakey, Wakey

By Simon Hodgson “I hope that Bay Area audiences walk away from Wakey, Wakey feeling encouraged,” says two-time Emmy Award winner Tony Hale. Though Hale is best known for his television work in Veep and Arrested Development and recent big screen outing as the voice of Forky in Toy Story 4 , his theater roots run deep. You’ve been working for 20 years in film and television. How did you get started? I was not a sports kid and my parents didn’t know what to do with me. My dad was in the army and he retired in Tallahassee, Florida, where I moved in the seventh grade. By the grace of God, there was this children’s theater nearby, Young Actors Theater, and my parents signed me up. It’s difficult to put into words how supportive and influential that theater was for me growing up. It was a space to be silly and stupid, to be free to discover, and to find what I love to do. I adore going back and talking with students and raising money for the theater. Whether a kid goes into the arts or no

Drinks + Drama Fridays a Bay Area Hit

By Claire L. Wong  “Your new favorite end-of-week go-to spot” –  The San Francisco Chronicle Looking for a social spin on your theater-going experience? Ramp up your Friday night with a $15 advance ticket/ $20 door ticket for an orchestra seat and a drink included! Burst into the weekend with live music before the show, pop-up food from local vendors, and a lively atmosphere. You can even take photos against a backdrop with props. Audience members in the Sky Bar at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater for  Top Girls . Photo by Miranda Ashland. Audiences loved Drinks + Drama for Top Girls at the Geary and Testmatch at the Strand. Join us for the next Drinks + Drama event at the Geary for Wakey, Wakey on January 24. Check out our dates for upcoming Drinks + Drama events below. Wakey, Wakey Geary Theater January 24, 2020 from 6–8 p.m. Gloria Strand Theater February 14, 2020 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. Toni Stone Geary Theater March 6, 2020 from 6–8 p.m. Richa