American Conservatory Theater

BD Wong, left, and Arye Gross appear in American Conservatory Theater’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Great Leap.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

‘Great Leap’ mixes hoops and hopes at ACT

Politics, culture clashes and generational divides are recurring themes for playwright Lauren…

 

From left, Kimberly Scott, Aneisa Hicks and Eunice Woods appear in American Conservatory Theater’s affecting production of “Her Portmanteau.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Nigerian family’s conflicting emotions fuel ‘Her Portmanteau’

There’s an exquisite scene in the middle of “Her Portmanteau,” playwright Mfoniso…

 

James Carpenter and Ellen McLaughlin play a couple startled by human-sized lizards (Sarah Nina Hayon and Seann Gallagher) in American Conservatory Theater’s “Seascape.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

MacKinnon kicks off ACT tenure with Albee’s striking ‘Seascape’

What longtime American Conservatory Theater artistic director Carey Perloff was to British…

 

Liz Sklar, left front, plays John Wesley Powell, who leads a 19th century river expedition in American Conservatory Theater’s production of Jaclyn Backhaus’ subversive comedy “Men on Boats.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Wild, wonderful women take charge in ACT’s ‘Men on Boats’

The high points of history have always tended to feature men –…

Liz Sklar, left front, plays John Wesley Powell, who leads a 19th century river expedition in American Conservatory Theater’s production of Jaclyn Backhaus’ subversive comedy “Men on Boats.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Tonye Patano, left, and Lise Bruneau appear in American Conservatory Theater’s “Sweat.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

ACT’s ‘Sweat’ compassionately deconstructs American Dream

“Three generations of loyalty to the same company,” says Stan (Rod Gnapp),…

Tonye Patano, left, and Lise Bruneau appear in American Conservatory Theater’s “Sweat.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
From left, Molly Hager, Monique Hafen, Ariela Morgenstern and Katie Brayben, and Kerry O’Malley in the background, appear in American Conservatory Theater’s premiere of “A Walk on the Moon.”  (Courtesy Alessandra Mello)

ACT’s musical ‘Walk on the Moon’ resembles the movie

American Conservatory Theater’s new musical “A Walk on the Moon” sticks closely…

From left, Molly Hager, Monique Hafen, Ariela Morgenstern and Katie Brayben, and Kerry O’Malley in the background, appear in American Conservatory Theater’s premiere of “A Walk on the Moon.”  (Courtesy Alessandra Mello)
Screenwriter Pamela Gray was thrilled to collaborate on the premiere musical based on the movie “A Walk on the Moon.”  (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)

‘Walk on the Moon’ ripe for musical treatment

When screenwriter Pamela Gray was approached about turning her 1999 film “A…

Screenwriter Pamela Gray was thrilled to collaborate on the premiere musical based on the movie “A Walk on the Moon.”  (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)
Eboni Flowers and James Udom, foreground, give moving performances in “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts I, II and III.” (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)

ACT’s ‘Father Comes Home’ a gripping Civil War epic

In Suzan-Lori Parks’ engrossing drama “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts…

Eboni Flowers and James Udom, foreground, give moving performances in “Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts I, II and III.” (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)
James Carpenter and Sarah Grace Wilson play the presumably odd couple in American Conservatory Theater’s production of “Heisenberg.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Much about ACT’s ‘Heisenberg’ feels very familiar

You don’t need to know anything about early-20th-century German physicist Werner Heisenberg’s…

James Carpenter and Sarah Grace Wilson play the presumably odd couple in American Conservatory Theater’s production of “Heisenberg.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
James Seol, front, and Stephen Hu play pals who go on a cross-country motorcycle trip “Vietgone.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

‘Vietgone’ a funny, touching immigrant experience tale

Immigration is such a hot-button issue these days, it’s hard to find…

James Seol, front, and Stephen Hu play pals who go on a cross-country motorcycle trip “Vietgone.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Weightless, a world-premiere rock opera by The Kilbanes (Bay Area couple Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses) , opens at Z Space in February. [Courtesy Emily Sevin)

Winter 2018 Arts Preview: Theater

The theater season serves up major tours, offbeat experiments, musicals, comedy and…

Weightless, a world-premiere rock opera by The Kilbanes (Bay Area couple Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses) , opens at Z Space in February. [Courtesy Emily Sevin)
Judith Ivey and Firdous Bamji are excellent in American Conservatory Theater’s “The Birthday Party.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

ACT masters nuances in Pinter’s ‘Birthday Party’

The second act of the late British playwright Harold Pinter’s three-act play…

Judith Ivey and Firdous Bamji are excellent in American Conservatory Theater’s “The Birthday Party.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Louie Anderson brings “Dear Dad,” a show based on his best-selling memoir, to the Strand. (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)

Louie Anderson moves memoir from page to stage

When comedian Louie Anderson decided to bring his bestselling 1989 memoir “Dear…

Louie Anderson brings “Dear Dad,” a show based on his best-selling memoir, to the Strand. (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)
Bess Wohl’s “Small Mouth Sounds” runs through Dec. 10 at ACT’s Strand Theater. (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)

Silent retreat inspires Bess Wohl’s ‘Small Mouth Sounds’

At first, playwright Bess Wohl was a spy in the house of…

Bess Wohl’s “Small Mouth Sounds” runs through Dec. 10 at ACT’s Strand Theater. (Courtesy American Conservatory Theater)
John Douglas Thompson and Domenique Lozano are among the notable ensemble in American Conservatory Theater’s “Hamlet.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne/American Conservatory Theater)

John Douglas Thompson scores with subtlety in ACT’s ‘Hamlet’

Recent performance practice seems to demand that every Hamlet go ballistic. No…

John Douglas Thompson and Domenique Lozano are among the notable ensemble in American Conservatory Theater’s “Hamlet.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne/American Conservatory Theater)
From left, Sylvia MacCalla, Kacee Clanton and Ashley Tamar Davis appear in “A Night with Janis Joplin.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

‘Night with Janis’ doesn’t get to the heart of Joplin

Minutes into “A Night with Janis Joplin,” the title character says she’s…

From left, Sylvia MacCalla, Kacee Clanton and Ashley Tamar Davis appear in “A Night with Janis Joplin.” (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Wellesley Robertson II, left, and Olivier Normand appear in American Conservatory Theater’s technically amazing production of “Needles and Opium.” (Courtesy Tristram Kenton)

Dazzling stagecraft outshines story in ‘Needles and Opium’

The visual imagery in writer-director Robert Lepage’s “Needles and Opium” at American…

Wellesley Robertson II, left, and Olivier Normand appear in American Conservatory Theater’s technically amazing production of “Needles and Opium.” (Courtesy Tristram Kenton)
From left, Haysam Kadri, Nadine Malouf and Kate Rigg are excellent in American Conservatory Theater’s premiere of “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” based on the best-selling book. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ a searing portrait of Afghan women

Cruelty, oppression, despair, grief, rage and yes, redemption, are only some of…

From left, Haysam Kadri, Nadine Malouf and Kate Rigg are excellent in American Conservatory Theater’s premiere of “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” based on the best-selling book. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Tony Award-winner Bill Irwin has an invigorating show at The Strand. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)

Bill Irwin clowns around in ‘On Beckett’

If only all university lectures could be as enlightening, as engrossing as…

Tony Award-winner Bill Irwin has an invigorating show at The Strand. (Courtesy Kevin Berne)
Dan Clegg and Brenda Meaney appear in American Conservatory Theater’s West Coast premiere of Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem.” (Courtesy Kevin Bern)

Plentiful ideas, little heat in ACT’s ‘Hard Problem’

How engaging you find Tom Stoppard’s latest play, “The Hard Problem,” now…

Dan Clegg and Brenda Meaney appear in American Conservatory Theater’s West Coast premiere of Tom Stoppard’s “The Hard Problem.” (Courtesy Kevin Bern)