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A.C.T. Nabs Five 2016 Theatre Bay Area Awards, Including Honor for CHESTER BAILEY

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)'s world premiere production of Joseph Dougherty's CHester Bailey this past spring was the recipient three 2016 Theatre Bay Area Awards, including Outstanding World Premiere Play, Outstanding Production of a Play and Outstanding Lighting Design (Robert Hand).

Starring Academy Award nominee David Strathairn and lauded Bay Area actor Dan Clegg-and directed by Ron Lagomarsino-CHester Bailey was produced as part of New Strands, A.C.T.'s commissioning and development program created in 2015.

Year-round, A.C.T.'s New Strands offers artists and companies under commission mentorship, feedback, acting talent, time, and space to work in ways that suit each project specifically, with the goal of seeing their creations on one of A.C.T.'s stages and beyond. From translations and adaptations to original work, A.C.T.'s commissions include interdisciplinary projects, San Francisco-inspired stories, and pieces that have an international scope.

As part of New Strands, A.C.T. recently announced the inaugural New Strands Residency that gives emerging and established American Playwrights the opportunity to create and develop new works in residence at A.C.T.'s state-of-the-art Strand Theater. Each year, A.C.T. will partner with a nationally recognized new-work incubator to select three playwrights, who will spend a week in San Francisco. Over the course of their residency, the playwrights will participate in a reading of their work, develop and workshop their plays-in-progress with directors and a shared ensemble of actors, and sit on various panel discussions. The New Strands Residency culminates with a free public presentation of their work during A.C.T.'s annual New Strands Festival, now in its second year, taking place May 19-21, 2017. Featuring new theatrical pieces, works in progress, and readings, as well as experimental work by a variety of artists, the New Strands Festival enables artists to connect and communities to experience theatrical projects as they take shape, all under one roof at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.

Other awards received by A.C.T. at the 2016 Theatre Bay Area Awards Celebration were Outstanding Production of a Musical for last season's production of The Last Five Years starring Margo Seibert and Zak Resnick, Outstanding Lighting Design presented to Robert Hand for CHester Bailey and Outstanding Musical Director presented to Matt Castle for The Last Five Years.

The Theatre Bay Area Awards Celebration, now in its third year, honors the excellence of professionally-oriented theatre in the Bay Area by offering a peer-based adjudication process and awards celebration.

This year, 75 awards were given to recipients out of a pool of over 372 finalists, generated by over 300 adjudicators who cast ballots for over 281 productions at 96 companies across three tiers based on operating budget and use of Actors' Equity Association talent.

Chinaka Hodge and Reggie D. White hosted the Awards Celebration, directed by Rebecca Novick. The evening's entertainment included select performances from Bay Area Children's Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Lamplighter Music Theatre, and San Francisco Mime Troupe.

The evening also included a special performance from The Every 28 Hours Plays: a collection of one-minute plays inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, created and produced by Claudia Alick of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), Dominic D'Andrea of The One-Minute Play Festival (1MPF), with participation of theater artists around the country; produced by FaultLine Theater in collaboration with A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Campo Santo, Crowded Fire Theater and Lorraine Hansberry Theatre.

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