Kwame Kwei-Armah's LET THERE BE LOVE to be Featured in A.C.T.'s 2014-15 Season
American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Carey Perloff announced today that Kwame Kwei-Armah's acclaimed play, Let There Be Love, has been added to A.C.T.'s 2014-15 season. Let There Be Love joins the five previously announced productions, including the West Coast premiere of the Signature Theatre production of Old Hats, starring Tony Award winners Bill Irwin and David Shiner; the West Coast premiere of Colm Tóibín's fiercely lyrical solo play Testament starring Seana McKenna; Tom Stoppard's great time-travel romance Indian Ink; the West Coast debut of the outrageous and acclaimed new comedy, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play; and Stephen Sondheim's most rapturous and seductive musical, A Little Night Music. In addition, this December A.C.T. welcomes the return of A Christmas Carol, the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition. The inaugural production at the brand-new, state-of-the-art Strand Theater, located in the revitalized Central Market Street Corridor, will be announced at a later date.
A.C.T. kicks off its 2014-15 season with the West Coast premiere of the Signature Theatre production of Old Hats (September 10-October 5, 2014), starring Tony Award winners Bill Irwin and David Shiner. Using music, technology, and movement - plus a few other tricks up their sleeves - Old Hats combines the inimitable magic, slapstick and hilarity of Irwin and Shiner into a wild and remarkable outing of theater for generations old and new. Directed by Tina Landau, Old Hats was the recipient of the 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Alternative Theatrical Experience and the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue. Old Hats marks the first collaboration for Irwin and Shiner since the smash Broadway hit Fool Moon, which set A.C.T. box office records during its sold-out 1998 run and their return engagement in 2001. Press night for Old Hats will be on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.
In the fall, Carey Perloff will direct Testament (October 29-November 23, 2014), Colm Tóibín's fiercely lyrical solo play originally staged at the Dublin Theater Festival in 2011, and retitled for Broadway in 2013 as The Testament of Mary. Hailed as "beautiful and daring" by the New York Times, this incisive, intelligent, and deeply human work-a 2013 Tony Award nominee for Best New Play-recounts in riveting detail a mother's experience as she grieves for the child who has been taken from her by men she regards as fanatics. Variety raved that "you've never seen anything like it," and you won't want to miss the sensational Canadian leading actor Seana McKenna in this powerful, tour-de-force role that is as heartbreaking as it is immediate and vividly alive. Press night for Testament will be on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.
After its record-breaking run last season, A.C.T. will welcome the return of the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition, the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol (December 5 -28, 2014). Featuring a lively cast of dozens, delightful music, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts, this version of A Christmas Carol, adapted by Paul Walsh and Carey Perloff, stays true to the heart of Dickens's timeless story of redemption and brings a playful sensibility to his rich language. A Christmas Carol -which played to sold out houses this past holiday season and now in its 38th year-is a cornerstone of the A.C.T. repertory and has become a holiday tradition for families around the Bay Area. Press night for A Christmas Carol will be on Wednesday, December 10.
Continuing its exploration on the power of memory and storytelling, A.C.T. will kick off 2015 with an all-new production of Tom Stoppard's great time-travel romance Indian Ink (January 14-February 8, 2015), directed by Carey Perloff. Stoppard's exquisitely romantic play tells the story of a contemporary English biographer and a young Indian man, who separately attempt to explore the mysteries of the erotic artwork and poetry left behind by a racy, freethinking English poet from the 1930s and the Indian painter whom she has come to love. Through the passion of the poet's writing and letters, they each discover that she held many more secrets in Jummapur, India, than ever before known or imagined. Full of tender moments, Indian Ink is a brilliant study of the after-effects of British colonialism and how two cultures can physically and emotionally clash as they try to navigate their common territories. Press night for Indian Ink will be on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.
Next, A.C.T. Associate Artistic Director Mark Rucker will direct the West Coast debut of the outrageous and enthusiastically acclaimed new comedy Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play (February 18-March 15, 2015), by Bay Area-born playwright Anne Washburn. Hailed by the New York Times as one of the Top Ten Plays of 2013 and "downright brilliant," Mr. Burns begins in a dark dystopia where a group of surviving strangers bond by recreating from memory the iconic "Cape Feare" episode of The Simpsons. As the story moves decades later, the recollection becomes an almost religious-like fable, elaborately staged for adoring crowds through live theater and opera. The New York Times raves, "Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play has arrived to leave you dizzy with the scope and dazzle of its ideas." A marvelously meta tribute to the pop-culture phenomenon The Simpsons and a paean to the power of storytelling, Mr. Burns is an ingenious exploration of how we share recollection, memory, and truth. A sold-out hit when it premiered at New York's Playwrights Horizons, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play was one of the most in-demand tickets of last fall's theater season in New York City. Press night for Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play will be on Wednesday, February 25, 2015.
Directed by Maria Mileaf, Let There Be Love (April 8-May 3, 2015) tells the story of Alfred, a gruff and complicated West Indian immigrant, recently transplanted to London. Struggling with his new surroundings and estrangement from both his daughters, he finds a kind of new awakening, and a new reckoning with his past, when he comes to know a young Polish caregiver assigned to his case. Filled with the sumptuous jazz standards that pour forth from his beloved record player, Let There Be Love explores the forces of memory and mystery that lie at the heart of all immigrant experiences-and what can happen when, at any age, we open our minds to the possibility of change. Press night for Let There Be Love will be on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.
To close out the 2014-15 season, Stephen Sondheim's most rapturous and seductive musical, A Little Night Music (May 20-June 14, 2015), will waltz onto the Geary stage in a sumptuous, all-new production directed by Mark Lamos. Filled with Sondheim's signature wit and some of his most gorgeous melodies-including the beloved and haunting treasure "Send in the Clowns"-A Little Night Music presents a beguiling and bittersweet tale of lost love, scandalous infidelity, and young passions that intertwine over a midsummer's eve at a country home in 1900s Sweden. The Wall Street Journal raves that "no score of Sondheim's is as buoyant and thoroughgoing an example of musical comedy as A Little Night Music." This ravishing production will sweep audiences away with mesmerizing theatrical storytelling that ignites the senses. Press night for A Little Night Music will be on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
2014-15 subscribers will have the first opportunity to experience A.C.T.'s brand-new, state-of-the-art Strand Theater with exclusive tours and invitations to a host of exciting events plus guaranteed tickets to the premiere production in 2015. The beautifully renovated, 285-seat theater will allow A.C.T. to take more artistic risks, collaborate with a wide range of new artists, expand education programs in valuable ways, and create intimate theatrical experiences in a versatile and welcoming new space.