American Conservatory Theater Names Beatrice Basso as Director of New Work
American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Carey Perloff announced today that Beatrice Basso has been named as A.C.T.'s first Director of New Work. Furthering A.C.T.'s mission to provide innovative programming that enriches, educates, and engages with the community, Basso-in her new role-will focus on new work development, season planning, and the commissioning process for all of A.C.T.'s performance spaces: The Geary Theater, The Costume Shop Theater and the soon-to-be-opened Strand Theater.
Says Basso: "I am excited for the work ahead of us at A.C.T. We are inviting artists-playwrights, yes, but also composers, musicians and dancers-who fit our broader aesthetic. We are dreaming up San Francisco stories told through different mediums, and are developing new ways of commissioning pieces. We want to become a team with them while they are in our midst-and beyond-so that each work can develop and be produced and shine in the best of ways. What's particularly fertile about this moment at A.C.T. is that we'll be able to explore projects of all shapes and sizes, projects deeply rooted in the Bay Area and projects coming from all over the world, and find them the venue that truly and specifically fits them. This is an exciting expansion of possibilities.
For the past four years, Basso served as an artistic consultant, artistic associate, dramaturg, and translator for A.C.T. Her work has been seen in recent A.C.T. productions including, Napoli! (translator), Underneath the Lintel (dramaturg), and Stuck Elevator (dramaturg). Basso was also a seminal part of the creation of The Tosca Project, an innovative dance-theater piece that premiered at A.C.T. in 2001 and then toured Canada.
"Beatrice's imaginative approach to developing and curating new work, as well as her rapport with writers, will be an enormous benefit for us as we envision a fully operational Strand Theater, filled with all kinds of new and unique programming," says Perloff. "In the wake of Stuck Elevator and other innovative new works gracing A.C.T.'s stages in recent years, we are now poised to embark upon some thrilling new projects in anticipation of the opening of the Strand in April 2015. We have chosen a rich variety of artists, many from the west coast, to create multidisciplinary work from cultures as diverse as the Philippines, Afghanistan, and Ireland. We look forward to sharing every step of their development with our audience, in preparation for their premieres in the coming years."
Prior to joining A.C.T., Basso served as dramaturg and literary manager at Long Wharf Theatre, collaborating on new works by Julia Cho, Noah Haidle, Craig Lucas, Davind Cale, and Dael Orlandersmith, among others. As a freelance dramaturg, she has collaborated on a number of new-play festivals, including the National Playwrights Conference at the O'Neill Center and New York Theater Workshop's summer residency, and has worked in various theaters like the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre, and Theatre Calgary in Canada. Basso's translations from Italian have been produced by A.C.T. (Napoli!), OSF (Saturday, Sunday, Monday), and Shakespeare Santa Cruz (The Antiquarian's Family), and her experience as a translator has been featured in the publications Tradurre, and Theatre Topics, and on NPR's "All Things Considered."
As an actor, she is an ensemble member with Affinity Project and recently played Catherine in Shakespeare Santa Cruz's production of Henry V. Basso studied acting at Royal Holloway, University of London, wrote her dissertation at UC Berkeley, and graduated summa cum laude in classics and theater studies at the University of Padua, Italy.