Darren Criss, Bill Irwin, Betsy Wolfe Set for A.C.T.'s 2012 Gala, 4/15

The Gala Committee, led by Rueff, includes Lynn Brinton, Mollie Ricker, Carla Riemer, Anne Shonk, and Michelle Shonk. Gala sponsors include Electronic Arts, Fiduciary Trust, Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shops, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Pacific Gas and Electric, Shutterfly, and Wells Fargo Bank. The Gala dinner is provided by McCalls Catering & Events.

Led by Melissa Smith, the A.C.T. Conservatory serves more than 2,200 students through its acclaimed actor-training programs and represents an integral part of A.C.T.'s mission. Ranked as one of the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program functions as the cornerstone of the A.C.T. Conservatory, which also includes the Summer Training Congress, Studio A.C.T., and the Young Conservatory. Elizabeth Banks, Benjamin Bratt, Annette Bening, Danny Glover, Anika Noni Rose, and Denzel Washington are among the conservatory's distinguished former students. With its commitment to excellence in actor training and to the relationship between training, performance, and audience, the A.C.T. Conservatory has moved to the forefront of America's actor training programs, while serving as the creative engine of the company at large. For more information, please visit www.act-sf.org/conservatory.

In addition to the actor-training programs provided in our conservatory, A.C.T. brings the benefits of theater-based arts education to the wider community-reaching more than 8,000 students a year. Central to A.C.T.'s education programs is the longstanding Student Matinee (SMAT) series, which over the past three decades has brought thousands of students each year to A.C.T. performances with low-cost tickets, Words on Plays teacher guides, and lively postshow discussions. A.C.T.'s intensive ArtReach program provides free SMAT tickets, teaching artist residencies, in-school workshops, and in-depth study materials to Bay Area public schools and after-school programs, bringing the experience of live theater directly into the classroom. In addition, each spring students in the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program take a Shakespeare production on tour with Will on Wheels, transporting the words of the Bard to school auditoriums and public spaces in and around San Francisco. With the recent adoption of a new ten-year strategic plan that includes an ambitious arts education component, and the appointment of Elizabeth Brodersen as A.C.T.'s first director of education, A.C.T. is committed to nurturing the artists and audiences of the future while helping the diverse members of our extended community find inspiration in great works of classical and contemporary dramatic literature.

American Conservatory Theater is a Tony Award–winning theater and educational institution dedicated to nurturing the art of live theater through Dynamic Productions, intensive actor training in its conservatory, and an ongoing engagement with its community. A.C.T. embraces its responsibility to conserve, renew, and reinvent its relationship to the rich theatrical traditions and literatures that are our collective legacy, while exploring new artistic forms and new communities. A commitment to the highest standards informs every aspect of A.C.T.'s creative work. Founded in 1965, A.C.T. opened its first San Francisco season at the historic Geary Theater in 1967; more than 320 productions have since been performed to a combined audience of more than seven million people. Today A.C.T. is recognized nationally for its groundbreaking productions of classical works and bold explorations of contemporary playwriting, honored with a Tony Award for outstanding theater performance and training (1979) and the prestigious Jujamcyn Theaters Award (1996). The first actor training program in the United States not affiliated with a college or university accredited to award a master of fine arts degree, A.C.T.'s conservatory has moved to the forefront of America's actor training programs, while serving as the creative engine of the company at large.

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