ACT Presents 'Curse of the Starving Class'

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) artistic director Carey Perloff today announced the final casting and design team for A.C.T.'s 30th anniversary production of Sam Shepard's classic interrogation of the American dream, Curse of the Starving Class. Featuring brand-new revisions by Shepard himself, Curse of the Starving Class is directed by Peter Dubois and plays A.C.T. April 25 through May 25. Press night is May 30. Tickets-starting at $14-are available by calling A.C.T. Ticket Services at 415.749.2228, or by logging on to
Pamela Reed, who first appeared at A.C.T. in Pinter's Old Times in 1998 and later starred in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, originated the role of Emma in the play's 1978 world premiere and appears in this production as Ella.

The cast of Curse of the Starving Class features a number of renowned local and national performers, including Pamela Reed. Reed has performed on Broadway in Fools and The November People and off Broadway in Getting Out at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (Drama Desk Award) and many others. Her extensive film credits include the upcoming Descending from Heaven (with Sam Shepard), Proof of Life, Junior, Passed Away, Kindergarten Cop, Cadillac Man, and The Right Stuff (also with Shepard). Reed received an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.

Playing the role of the furious and befuddled patriarch Weston, Jack Willis has appeared in more than 200 productions throughout the United States, including recent performances at A.C.T. in Blood Knot, The Rainmaker, Hedda Gabler, A Christmas Carol, The Little Foxes, Happy End, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Black Rider. An A.C.T. associate artist and core acting company member, he is also an associate artist at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. On Broadway, Willis has appeared in Julius Caesar, The Crucible, Art, and The Old Neighborhood.

Appearing here as Wesley, A.C.T. associate artist and core acting company member Jud Williford has acted at A.C.T. in The Government Inspector, The Imaginary Invalid, Happy End, The Rivals, The Time of Your Life, and six seasons of A Christmas Carol. Other theater credits include Mark Jackson's American $uicide with Z Plays and Encore Theatre Company; The Imaginary Invalid at The People's Light Theatre; and All's Well That Ends Well, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and Trinculo in The Tempest at California Shakespeare Theater.

Playing Taylor, Dan Hiatt has been seen at A.C.T. as the Magistrate in The Government Inspector, Bob Acres in The Rivals, Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Smith in The Threepenny Opera, and many others. Other Bay Area credits include Dinner with Friends and Menocchio at Berkeley Repertory Theatre; The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby and numerous other plays at California Shakespeare Theater; Spinning into Butter at TheatreWorks; and The Real Thing and Lifex3 at Marin Theatre Company.

Rod Gnapp (playing Ellis) is a long-time veteran of Bay Area stages, having appeared at A.C.T. in The Government Inspector, The Rainmaker, Happy End, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Time of Your Life, and others. He was recently seen in the Magic Theatre production of Territories, Marin Theatre Company's production of Frozen, and in TheatreWorks's production of The Elephant Man.

Making her A.C.T. debut as Emma, Nicole Lowrance's New York credits include Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate at Primary Stages and upcoming at Lincoln Center; The Merchant of Venice; All's Well That Ends Well, Engaged, and Don Juan, all with Theatre for a New Audience; Columbinus with New York Theatre Workshop; and Tatjana in Color with Culture Project. Television credits include Whoopi, Guiding Light, and American Masters (PBS). 

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