A.C.T. Sets Spring 2014 Repertory: OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET, THE GIRL FROM MAXIM'S & TEACH FOR AMERICA

A.C.T. Sets Spring 2014 Repertory: OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET, THE GIRL FROM MAXIM'S & TEACH FOR AMERICA

American Conservatory Theater announced today the Spring 2014 Repertory featuring students from A.C.T.'s acclaimed Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program, as well as a coproduction featuring students from A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory (YC) Program. The three works in repertory this May are Stephen Adly Guirgis' scorching comedy, Our Lady of 121st Street; Georges Feydeau's madcap farce The Girl from Maxim's; and Rob Ackerman's hilarious and heartbreaking Teach for America. Tickets for each performance are $20 and are available online at www.act-sf.org or by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228. Two and three-show packages are available. Pick any two shows for $30 (a savings of $10) or purchase all three shows for $40 (a savings of $20). Packages are available for purchase by visiting https://tickets.act-sf.org/online/ (select M.F.A. Program Spring Repertory Package).

After Sister Rose dies of alcoholism, someone steals the nun's body from a Harlem funeral home-kicking off the raucous reunion of twelve of her former students. As they exhume the past, the characters square off in explosive confrontations, brandishing weapons of unrequited love, romantic betrayal, and devastating family secrets. Veering from the hilarious to the tragic, from rage to reconciliation, Our Lady of 121st Street (May 7-17, 2014) presents a dark, insightful riff on the way we grieve and the way we live, capturing characters at their most primal-and human-as they push toward a state of grace. Directed by Edris Cooper, Our Lady of 121st Street features actors from all three years of A.C.T.'s acclaimed M.F.A. Program. They include Josie Alvarez, Matthew Capbarat, Lauren Hart, Dillon Heape, Lateefah Holder, Rafael Jordan, Aaron Moreland, Jarrod Smith, Thomas Stagnitta, Caitlin Taylor and Arthur Wise. The creative team includes Sarah Phykitt (Scenic Design), Karly Tufenkjian (Costume Design), Ted Boyce-Smith (Lighting Design) and Audrey Howard (Sound Design). Performances of Our Lady of 121st Street take place at A.C.T.'s Costume Shop Theater (1117 Market Street, San Francisco).

After a long night of drinking, Dr. Prescott wakes up with a pounding headache and an unwelcome surprise: a showgirl sleeping in his bed. As he sets off to unravel the mystery, the girl cunningly weaves herself into the doctor's high society life, masquerading as his wife as they try to avoid his real one. A new adaptation of French playwright Georges Feydeau's celebrated madcap farce, set in 1980s New York, The Girl from Maxim's (May 8-16, 2014) uncorks a sparkling romp with one of theater's most winning and winsome heroines. Adapted by Carly Cioffi and directed by A.C.T. Associate Artistic Director, Mark Rucker, The Girl from Maxim's features actors from all three years of A.C.T.'s acclaimed M.F.A. Program. They include Joel Bernard, Danielle Frimer, Asher Grodman, Lauren Hart, Lisa Kitchens, Christina Liang, Stefanèe Martin, Michael McIntire, Elyse Price, Ben Quinn, Jennifer Reddish, Dominique Salerno, Glenn Stott, and Ryan Williams French. The creative team includes Sarah Phykitt (Scenic Design) and Ted Boyce-Smith (Lighting Design). Performances of The Girl from Maxim's take place at A.C.T.'s Costume Shop Theater (1117 Market Street, San Francisco).

Hoping to make a difference, a recent college grad goes to a troubled urban school and lands in the crossfire among discouraged students, angry adults and overburdened administrators. Politics, prejudice and sex collide in this story of one girl's good intentions and how they all go wrong. Hilarious and heartbreaking, Teach for America (May 14-17, 2014) takes us to the front lines of our nation's battle over education. Co-commissioned by the M.F.A. and YC Programs, Teach for America is directed by W. D. Keith and will feature students from both programs. They include Matthew Baldiga, Blair Busbee, Kemi Coutinho, Jessica Evans, I'Shannee Ford, Joseph Givens, Louis Kehoe, Chelsea Looy, Rosa Palmeri, Tobiah Richkind and Majesty Smith. Performances of Teach for America take place at The Theater at the Children's Creativity Museum (221 4th Street, San Francisco).

Ranked as one of the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program-under the direction of Melissa Smith-is the only theater training program in the country accredited to award the master of fine arts degree, yet is not affiliated with a college or university. The essence of A.C.T.'s actor training lies in the interplay between the professional company and the Conservatory. Student actors at A.C.T. perform frequently within the program in studio productions, as well as in cabaret and Shakespeare productions that tour to the larger Bay Area. Third-year M.F.A. Program student actors perform in A.C.T.'s mainstage production of A Christmas Carol and also audition for roles in A.C.T. mainstage productions. In recent years, students have played leading roles in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, Once in a Lifetime, Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, as well as performing in new and commissioned works. Many graduates of the program go on to distinguished careers in theater and film and include such celebrated actors as Elizabeth Banks, Annette Bening, Christopher Fitzgerald, Danny Glover, Omar Metwally, Dileep Rao, Anna Deavere Smith, and Denzel Washington. A.C.T. provides a wealth of talented actors for productions across the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond: graduates of the M.F.A. Program have taken on leading roles in productions at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, San Jose Stage, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz, among others. The M.F.A. Program functions as the cornerstone of the A.C.T. Conservatory, which also includes the Summer Training Congress, Studio A.C.T., the Young Conservatory, and the new San Francisco Semester, and trains more than 3,000 students annually. For more information, visit act-sf.org/conservatory.

Spearheaded by Craig Slaight , the Young Conservatory (YC) at A.C.T. is an internationally recognized professional theater training program for young people between the ages of 8 and 19. Young actors from throughout the Bay Area (and often other states) come to the Young Conservatory to develop their creative talent and to grow as young artists, perform in professional-caliber productions, and learn confidence and communication skills. The YC offers dynamic courses throughout the year for both beginners exploring acting for the first time as well as young actors with previous experience. Classes are designed to develop imagination, concentration, character, professionalism, and technique, and to strengthen the student's command of his/her body and voice. Our faculty consists of working theater professionals who are particularly skilled in working with young actors.

The YC stages eight public productions a year, participates in international exchange programs with theater companies in Europe, and is the nation's leader in commissioning new plays written specifically for young actors. Since 1989, the YC has commissioned 48 new plays, including two by Pulitzer Prize winners. Many students who attend the YC go on to include the arts in their college curricula, and alumni are often seen gracing stages in the Bay Area and across the country. Some alumni, like Winona Ryder, Darren Criss and Nicolas Cage, go on to highly successful acting careers. Regardless of their chosen professions, all YC students take with them the creative and communication skills necessary to live successfully.

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