American Conservatory Theater's 2014 Season Gala to Honor Three Founding Fathers, 5/18

American Conservatory Theater's 2014 Season Gala to Honor Three Founding Fathers, 5/18

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) and Gala Co-Chairs Nancy Sawyer Hasson and Fred M. Levin are proud to announce its 2014 season gala, FLEISHHACKER, MAGNIN, SWIG - A.C.T.'S MAD, MAD MEN, honoring the three founding fathers of A.C.T.-- Mortimer Fleishhacker, Cyril Magnin, and Melvin Swig--and celebrating the past, present, future of the organization. The gala will be held on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at the historic Regency Ballroom (1300 Van Ness Avenue) in San Francisco. Individual tickets range in price from $1,250 to $2,750. Patron level tables range from $10,000 to $25,000. For more information and to purchase tables or tickets, visit www.act-sf.org/gala or contact A.C.T. Director of Special Events Luz Perez at 415.439.2470 or lperez@act-sf.org.

The black-tie evening begins at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception. At 6 p.m. guests will be treated to an original musical production titled Mad Mad Men: The Untold Story of A.C.T.'s Founding, featuring students from A.C.T.'s Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program and Young Conservatory (YC), as well as a special performance by Ellen Magnin Newman. Attendees are encouraged to dress in the glamorous 1960s style of the hit television series Mad Men. Proceeds from the gala support A.C.T.'s actor training and arts education programs.

"As a fourth-generation San Franciscan, I am honored to co-chair this specific gala," said Levin. "A.C.T., its founding fathers and their families have always been a part of my life. Today it gives me immense pleasure to call their children my friends and to know that, together, we all strongly support A.C.T.'s extraordinary work."

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 engagement 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 our relationship to the rich theatrical traditions and literatures that are our collective legacy, while exploring new artistic forms and new communities. A commitment to the highest standards informs every aspect of A.C.T.'s creative work. A.C.T. opened its first San Francisco season in 1967. Since then, A.C.T. has performed more than 350 productions to a combined audience of more than seven million people. A.C.T. reaches more than 250,000 people through its productions and programs every year.

The A.C.T. Conservatory serves 3,000 students each year through its acclaimed actor-training programs and represents an integral part of A.C.T.'s mission. Ranked as one of the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program functions as the cornerstone of the A.C.T. Conservatory, which also includes the Young Conservatory, the Summer Training Congress, and Studio A.C.T. Elizabeth Banks, Benjamin Bratt, Annette Bening, Darren Criss, Danny Glover, Elizabeth McGovern, Anika Noni Rose, and Denzel Washington are among A.C.T.'s distinguished former students. With its commitment to excellence in actor training and to the relationship between training, performance, and audience, the A.C.T. Conservatory has moved to the forefront of America's actor training programs, while serving as the creative engine of the company at large. For more information, visit www.act-sf.org/conservatory.

Each year A.C.T.'s multifaceted ACTsmart theater education programs provide more than 9,000 students from the San Francisco Bay Area, many from low-income households, with access to live theatrical experiences through low- to no-cost student matinee performances, customized workshops facilitated by master teaching artists, touring productions of Shakespeare classics, and stimulating, in-depth study guides developed for the classroom. The core of the program consists of low- to no-cost Student Matinee performances of A.C.T.'s mainstage and Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program productions; Will on Wheels, the annual touring production of William Shakespeare classics performed in Bay Area schools by A.C.T. M.F.A. Program students (enhanced by pre- and postshow workshops); and the ACTsmart (formerly known as ArtReach) workshop and residency program. The ACTsmart Partnership Program offers free student matinee tickets and theater-based pre- and postshow workshops at no cost to more than 40 public schools (including all San Francisco public high schools) and community-based organizations (CBOs) in the Bay Area serving low-income students who otherwise would have little exposure to the arts. A.C.T. has established year-long collaborative residencies in two San Francisco continuation schools serving high percentages of socioeconomically disadvantaged youth (SDY) who have not experienced success in traditional comprehensive public schools-Downtown High School (71.8% SDY) and Ida B. Wells High School (71.5% SDY)-and the Tenderloin Boys & Girls Club. A.C.T. also offers 8-10-week residencies at certain partner schools and CBOs, most recently Galileo Academy of Science and Technology (67.2% SDY). More than 50 percent of all students attending schools participating in the ACTsmart Partnership Program receive free or reduced cost lunches.

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