A.C.T. to Offer Free Rehearsal and Performance Space to Local Arts Organizations

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A.C.T. to Offer Free Rehearsal and Performance Space to Local Arts Organizations

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Executive Director Ellen Richard has announced that A.C.T. is the recipient of two grants-one from San Francisco Neighborhood Arts Collaborative and one from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation. The funding provided from both grants will cover the necessary facilities, maintenance, and staffing costs to enable A.C.T. to provide no-cost rehearsal and performance space to local arts organizations at The Costume Shop theater, A.C.T.'s 49-seat black-box venue located in San Francisco's Central Market corridor.

As a component of A.C.T.'s expanded community engagement initiatives and audience building efforts, A.C.T. opened The Costume Shop theater at 1117 Market Street near San Francisco's Civic Center in a storefront within A.C.T.'s actual costume shop, a space the company has leased for 13 years. The black-box theater provides A.C.T. with a stronger presence in the neighborhood, as well as a flexible stage perfect for producing a rich and eclectic variety of artistic work, from innovative A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program productions, to exhilarating work by local artists and performing arts companies. In addition to furthering A.C.T.'s own artistic initiatives, the capital investment in The Costume Shop fulfills A.C.T.'s broader commitment to promote and reinvigorate the thriving arts landscape in San Francisco.

Says Richard: "Since its opening in December 2011, many performing arts groups have expressed great interest in using The Costume Shop. Though enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand their work and engage new audiences in the Central Market region, these organizations are unable to incur the costs of renting and staffing the space. Through these new grants, A.C.T. will be able to provide a no-cost performance venue to a variety of partnering arts organizations and reinforces our commitment to reinvigorating the neighborhood. We will also work with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and San Francisco's Community Benefit District to create partnerships with local businesses and organizations, promoting their services to ticket buyers and bringing local business patrons and residents into The Costume Shop theater. We welcome this new opportunity to demonstrate how the arts can be an asset to the community and a vital force in the Central Market neighborhood and more broadly, the thriving arts landscape in San Francisco."

Although A.C.T.'s plans for the coming season at The Costume Shop are robust, there are openings in the schedule in which the space will be made available to other groups. Opening the space to non-A.C.T. productions not only provides opportunities for more San Francisco residents to attend innovative artistic events but is also a valuable opportunity to increase foot traffic in the neighborhood and keep the Central Market corridor active.

A.C.T.'s partnering arts organizations will present a wide range of programming that will expand their artistic and audience development initiatives in ways not possible without subsidized community rehearsal and performance space like The Costume Shop.

Some of the already-confirmed partnering arts organizations include:

· Campo Santo Theatre Company
· Magic Theatre
· Lorraine Hansberry Theatre
· Playwrights Foundation
· PlayGround
· Theatre Rhinoceros

For more information about upcoming productions at A.C.T.'s Costume Shop theater, please visit www.act-sf.org/costumeshop. If you are interested in using the space for rehearsal or performance, please email hcohen@act-sf.org.

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 dialogue with its community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Carey Perloff and Executive Director Ellen Richard, A.C.T. embraces its responsibility to conserve, renew, and reinvent the rich theatrical traditions that are our collective legacy, while exploring new artistic forms and new communities. A.C.T.'s conservatory is 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, and has moved to the forefront of America's actor training programs.

For more information about A.C.T., go to www.act-sf.org.

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