A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory Presents AFTER JULIET, Now thru 8/4

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American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Young Conservatory Director Craig Slaight presents After Juliet, a play that explores what happened after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Written by Sharman Macdonald, After Juliet is based on an original idea by MacDonald's daughter, Keira Knightley, who asked "What happened after they died?" after seeing a production of Romeo and Juliet at the age of 13. Presented in stunning blank verse, After Juliet follows the friends of the famous star-crossed lovers as they grapple with love and loss.

After Juliet performs July 20–August 4, 2012, at Hastings Studio Theater, located at 77 Geary Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org.

When After Juliet opens, the Montagues and Capulets- saddened by the tragedy that has befallen their children-declare peace between the families, but the feud simmers as Rosaline plots to avenge her beloved Romeo's death and several characters stand on trial for their involvement in the horrific events. Inventively mixing the classical with the modern, After Juliet presents a fresh look at characters from Shakespeare's famous work.

Says Slaight: "I've always felt that Romeo and Juliet, along with Sophocles' Antigone (which we produced in the fall), is one of the all-time great teen dramas. Here Macdonald, who has previously written for the A.C.T. Young Conservatory (BroKen Hallelujah), extends the drama's complexities as the friends must grapple with untimely death and lingering feelings that still divide the two families. The rich, heightened language pushes our young actors to stretch their techniques, and the bracing muscular tension among the characters rings true to our contemporary world, reminding us that the egregious acts of senseless adults are reflected in the actions of the youth."

Featuring direction by Domenique Lozano, this provocative play features a talented young cast from across the Bay Area. The cast includes Bonnie Castleman (Livia), Michael Dinardo (Lorenzo), Diyar Eyuboglu (Alice), Dori Goldberg (Gianni), Alexandra Hearn (Juliet), Ethan Haslam (Valentine), Marc Hills (Benvolio), Owen Keith (Petruchio), Alexandra Lee (Bianca), Isabel Schroedel (Rosaline), Amy Shapiro (Angelica), and Janie Weaver (Helena).

Craig Slaight is a resident artist and the director of the Young Conservatory at American Conservatory Theater. Slaight assumed the leadership of the Young Conservatory in 1988. During his time at A.C.T., he has taught in all of the conservatory programs and served as a director on A.C.T. mainstage productions and as a member of the artistic team of the company. Slaight began the Young Conservatory's New Plays Program in 1989 with the mission to develop plays by outstanding professional playwrights that view the world through the eyes of the young. To date 37 new plays by leading American and British playwrights have been developed and produced. With A.C.T.'s Jack Sharrar, Slaight has edited numerous anthologies of scenes and monologues for actors and is the editor of five volumes of New Plays from A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. Before coming to A.C.T., Slaight was an award-winning professional director in Los Angeles. He has also directed in England at The National Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath.

Domenique Lozano has directed A Christmas Carol on the A.C.T. mainstage for the past five years. A resident artist at A.C.T., Lozano teaches in numerous programs and has directed many projects with the Young Conservatory and M.F.A. Program. Her Young Conservatory projects include the world premiere of the new musical Homefront; the American premiere of After Juliet; the world premieres of Sarah Daniel's Dust and Constance Congdon's Nightingales; a coproduction with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zürich of Paul Steinmann's Only Victory; and the West Coast premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher's Korczak's Children and Wendy MacLeod's School Girl Figure. Her directing work with the M.F.A. Program includes Caught with Her Pants Down, Richard III, and numerous graduating class showcases and Will on Wheels touring Shakespeare productions, as well as the M.F.A. Program/Young Conservatory coproduction of Amy Herzog's The Wendy Play. Other directing credits include The Countess with Center REPertory Company; Two for the Seesaw with Marin Theatre Company; Inspecting Carol and the West Coast premiere of Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business with San Jose Stage Company; and The Norman Conquests, Holiday, The Real Thing, and She Loves Me with Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, of which she was a founding member and associate artistic director. Acting credits include work with such theaters as California Shakespeare Theater, where she is an artistic associate, A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Lozano has also taught throughout the Bay Area at such institutions as Saint Mary's College, UC Davis, California Shakespeare Theater, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The A.C.T. Young Conservatory offers a broad range of theater training for young people aged 8 to 19. The ten sessions of classes and eight public productions offered throughout the year are designed to develop talent and creativity, as well as communication and cooperation skills, for young people with all levels of theater background. Working professional actors and directors lead students in a spectrum of classes, including acting, directing, voice and speech, musical theater, audition, and improvisation. Call 415.439.2444 or visit act-sf.org/conservatory for applications and information.

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