ACT’s 44th season boasts big heart, big ideas

American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff has one answer to two questions about the company’s upcoming 44th season, which was announced today.

The questions are: What is different about the season — running Sept. 16 through July 10, 2011 — and how does the current vitriolic political climate influence her choice of plays?

Her purpose, Perloff says, is to confront “our fractured and hostile climate by producing plays with big heart, big ideas, rich language and as large casts as possible, so that we can see ourselves reflected back in lovely, complex, fully realized ways.”

She cites highly theatrical plays, filled with music, such as Moliere’s “Scapin” directed by and starring Bill Irwin (Sept. 16 to Oct. 17); a world premiere musical by the “Avenue Q” team based on Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City” (May 17 to July 10, 2001); and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet,” part of the “Brother/Sister Plays Trilogy” (Oct. 29 to Nov. 21).

There also are mystery plays on the order of Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming” (March 3 to 27, 2011) and Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” (April 7 to May 1, 2011).

Calling the plays “international” and “intensely local,” Perloff says they offer opportunities for the core company and talented recent alumni to collaborate with major artists.

She’s particularly thrilled about the “Tales of the City” musical. “I love Armistead’s stories so much and have wanted to bring them to the stage for a long time,” she says.

The Pinter play is of great personal interest to her. “He is a favorite writer of mine and this, his greatest play, is the one I have been waiting to direct,” she says. Her interest in Pinter goes back to when, at 19 years old and a Stanford freshman, she took Martin Esslin’s class on theater of the absurd.

“No Exit” — the play with the famous line “hell is other people” — comes in a production by Canada’s Virtual Stage and Electric Co. Theatre combining film and theater.

IF YOU GO
American Conservatory Theater 2010-11 season
Where:
415 Geary St., San Francisco
When: Sept. 16 through July 10, 2011
Tickets: $60 to $513 for subscriptions, on sale now; single tickets for most shows on sale in August
Contact: (415) 749-2250 for subscriptions, www.act-sf.org

American Conservatory TheaterartsCarey Perloffentertainment

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faced with surge in shootings, Chief Scott reenvisions SFPD’s Gang Task Force

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Stores including Walgreens and Safeway are required to pay their employees additional hazard pay under a city ordinance that is currently set to expire later this month. (Shutterstock)
Grocery workers could gain additional weeks of $5 per hour hazard pay

San Francisco will vote next week on whether to extend a law… Continue reading

The fatal shooting of San Francisco resident Roger Allen by Daly City police on April 7 prompted protests in both cities. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Daly City approves body-worn and vehicle cameras for police after fatal shooting

Daly City officials on Wednesday approved body and vehicle cameras for police… Continue reading

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

Most Read