A.C.T. to Present LOVE AND INFORMATION as Inaugural Production at Strand Theater
American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Carey Perloff announced today that renowned playwright Caryl Churchill's internationally acclaimed new work, Love and Information, will make its West Coast debut as the inaugural production at A.C.T.'s new Strand Theater, completing the line-up for the 2014-15 season. Churchill's (A Number, Cloud 9, Top Girls) astonishing new play Love and Information is a brilliant exploration of the relationship between our obsession with data and our longing for meaning in a society whose attention is split between the virtual and the actual. Featuring a dozen actors portraying hundreds of characters in 50 interchangeable scenes, Churchill's "thought-churning, deeply poignant new play" (The New York Times) showcases her signature ability to reinvent structure, language, and theatricality. Performance schedule for Love and Information will be announced at a later date.
Located in the revitalized Central Market Street Corridor, The Strand Theater will feature a 285-seat theater, a 120-seat black box theater, and a café, and is a cutting-edge addition to A.C.T.'s theaters in San Francisco, which include The Geary Theater and The Costume Shop Theater, an intimate black-box performance space located near The Strand Theater. The new venue will allow A.C.T. to present new work and emerging artists, expand education programs and produce theater in versatile and innovative ways. The Strand Theater is scheduled to open in Spring 2015.
Says Perloff: "I am thrilled to announce the first production at our new Strand Theater! Sitting as it does at the epicenter of a radically changing neighborhood, The Strand aspires to create a bridge linking longtime neighbors, Bay Area theater lovers, newly arrived tech workers, and first-time audiences in a richly intimate theatrical home. And what better way to begin than with Caryl Churchill's dazzling new play Love and Information, that brilliantly exposes the heart-breaking gap between our longing for love and our relentless acquisition of information. The more numbers we crunch, the more we keep asking: What does it all mean? In a world that seems increasingly virtual, how do we find true human connection? What is a relationship? How do we find language to talk about what will never be quantifiable? The very structure of this wildly imaginative play demands that we rethink our assumptions at every moment. Churchill has been rocking the theatrical world for three decades, and we are honored to open our new space with this utterly unique work by one of theater's greatest pioneers."
Additionally, A.C.T. announced its development of two new works for production at The Strand Theater slated for the 2015-16 season: The Unfortunates, the acclaimed musical that had its first outing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2013 and the A.C.T.-commissioned The Monstress Project, based on the acclaimed collection of short-stories detailing the Filipino-American experience from San Francisco author Lysley Tenorio.
A.C.T. invites Bay Area audiences to take part in the development of these two exciting projects during the 2014-15 season, prior to their full stagings, through A.C.T.'s wildly popular new play reading series, Scripts.
Says A.C.T.'s Director of New Work, Beatrice Basso: "By producing these three works in The Strand Theater's immediate future, A.C.T. is highlighting the pivotal stages of new work development at A.C.T. From presenting the newest work by one of our greatest living playwrights, to providing an all-important second developmental run of a thrilling new musical, to a world premiere staging inspired by a celebrated collection of San Francisco-based Filipino stories, audiences will have an intimate look at the complex process of creating theater in the 21st century. The combination of international pieces, interdisciplinary works, and homegrown projects allows A.C.T. to expand its reach in bold new ways, and gives us the opportunity to collaborate with artists we admire and whose work will resonate in the intimate environment of the Strand Theater."
A beloved hit at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in its first outing last summer, The Unfortunates mixes the heat of a gospel revival with the sweet sorrow of the blues as five prisoners face their execution and search for salvation. Together, this witty, audacious group creates the epic world of Big Joe, a tough bartender who risks everything to save the armless courtesan Rae from a deadly plague. Created by Jon Beavers, Ramiz Monsef, Ian Merrigan, Casey Hurt, and Kristoffer Diaz, this innovative work spins an unforgettable, darkly comic tale with a powerful, eclectic score to create "a funky fever-dream of mortal fear and the longing for salvation" (The Oregonian). A.C.T. has embarked upon further development of this unusual new work, and a public workshop of the latest Unfortunates will be announced at a later date.
The Monstress Project
In anticipation of opening the Strand and becoming part of a neighborhood that includes a sizable Filipino population, A.C.T. decided to commission five remarkable theater artists to respond to Bay Area writer Lysley Tenorio's exquisite short story collection Monstress. The result is four interlocking pieces of theater exploring Filipino immigration, unrealized dreams, loss of youth and place, unrequited love, and generational and cultural clashes, filtered through the imagination of playwrights Colman Domingo, Philip Kan Gotanda, Jessica Hagedorn and Sean San José, and composer Fabian Obispo. The Monstress Project was developed as part of A.C.T.'s "San Francisco Stories" initiative, and Bay Area audiences are invited to attend a free reading of select segments of the production at a one-night-only sneak preview on Sunday, June 22 at 7 p.m. at The Geary Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For more information, or to reserve seats, visit www.act-sf.org/scripts.
Full-season subscriptions (7-play) range in price from $84-$665 and are available now by calling 415.749.2250 or visiting www.act-sf.org. Full-season subscriptions offer incredible savings, unparalleled access, exclusive benefits, and personalized customer service. Subscribers save as much as 50% off single-ticket prices. Students and educators are eligible to save up to half-price on subscriptions, and senior discounts are available for certain series. To make subscriptions more affordable, A.C.T. also offers all subscribers an extended payment plan that allows payment in two easy installments. A.C.T.'s competitive subscriber benefits include free ticket exchanges up to the day of scheduled tickets, guaranteed best seating, ticket insurance, access to convenient prepaid parking one block away from the theater, discounts for neighborhood restaurants, and the opportunity to subscribe to Words on Plays, A.C.T.'s in-depth theater guide for each show. To renew a current A.C.T. subscription, please call 415.749.2250 or visit www.act-sf.org/renew.