ACT and SF Zoo Announce Partnership During Run of RHINOCEROS

ACT and SF Zoo Announce Partnership During Run of RHINOCEROS

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) and San Francisco Zoo & Gardens announced today a partnership during the run of Eugène Ionesco's Rhinoceros, performing at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater May 29-June 23, 2019. As part of this unique partnership, A.C.T. and San Francisco Zoo will host San Francisco Zoo Day at The Geary Theater following the 2 p.m. matinee performance of Rhinoceros on Sunday, June 9. At this special event, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about rhinoceroses and the conservation efforts being made to protect them. San Francisco Zoo representatives will be on hand to meet guests and answer any questions about rhinoceroses. A specialty rhinoceros-themed cocktail will also be available for guests. For more information, visit

Throughout the run of Rhinoceros, two pieces of artwork created by the Zoo's resident rhinoceroses, Boone and Gauhati, will be on display in Fred's Bar. In addition, rhinoceros-themed items will be available for purchase, including an "Adopt-a-Rhino" kit which allows guests to support rhinoceros care at San Francisco Zoo. A.C.T. and San Francisco Zoo will offer a reciprocal discount program for Zoo members and A.C.T. subscribers.

Says A.C.T. Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon: "In Ionesco's play the rhinoceros is a metaphor, but these strong, smart, and beautiful creatures are real. We at A.C.T. felt strongly that we should all learn more about rhinoceroses and how to protect them for future generations. We look forward to this unique and important partnership with San Francisco Zoo."

"We are delighted to partner with A.C.T. on their latest production as it is both a great community-based collaboration and a chance for us to connect with different audiences about our work to protect endangered wildlife such as rhinoceroses," saidTanya M. Peterson, CEO and Executive Director of the San Francisco Zoological Society. "We look forward to developing a long-term relationship with A.C.T and working with them on future projects."

In the opening moments of Ionesco's masterpiece, a rhinoceros rampages through a village square. At the local café, people argue over what they saw. Was it really a rhino, or just fake news? As the eccentric villagers shed refined façades for hides and horns-smashing windows and crushing flowerbeds-rumpled everyman Berenger faces a desperate choice: take a stand against the armored brutes or join the mindless herd? Hailed as "masterful . . . and downright hilarious," this outrageous, comedic story of a civilized community shifting from defiance to compliance is chillingly resonant and riotously funny. From Tony Award-winning director Frank Galati (1776 at A.C.T.) comes an all-new adaptation of this wickedly entertaining comedy about power, conformism, and mass culture.

Rhinoceros is directed by Frank Galati and features David Breitbarth ("A totally alive, searingly real performance"-BroadwayWorld) and Matt DeCaro ("A tour-de-force performance"-Sarasota Herald-Tribune) reprising their celebrated performances as 'Berenger' and 'Gene,' respectively, from the Asolo Repertory Theatre production. Joining them are (in alphabetical order) Rona Figueroa (Wild Goose Dreams at La Jolla Playhouse; Miss Saigon on Broadway) as 'Daisy'; Trish Mulholland (The Mousetrap and Phaedra at Shotgun Players) as 'Mrs. Boeuf';Göran Norquist (A.C.T. M.F.A alum; A Christmas Carol at A.C.T.) as 'Marcel';Danny Scheie (The War of the Roses at California Shakespeare Theater; A House Tour at Z Space) as 'Mr. Papillon'; Lauren Spencer (Men on Boats and King Charles III at A.C.T.) as 'Collette'; Teddy Spencer (Hamlet at A.C.T.; Eureka Day at Aurora Theatre Company) as 'Dudard'; and Jomar Tagatac (Vietgone at A.C.T.; King of the Yees at San Francisco Playhouse) as 'Botard.'

The creative team for Rhinoceros includes Robert Perdziola (Set and Costume Designer), Chris Lundahl (Lighting Designer), and Joseph Cerqua (Sound Designer and Original Music).

A.C.T.'s production of Rhinoceros is made possible by Executive ProducersChristopher and Leslie Johnson and Kenneth and Gisele Miller; Producers Elsa and Neil Pering; Associate Producers Marilee K. Gardner, Mary and Gene Metz,Barbara Phillips, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and Lori Halverson Schryer; and Benefactors Mr. Joel Krauska and Ms. Patricia Fox.

A.C.T. would also like to acknowledge its 2018-19 Season Presenters Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson; Priscilla and Keith Geeslin; James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen-Hormel; Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation; Kenneth and Gisele Miller; Toni Rembe and Arthur Rock; Robina Riccitiello; Mary and Steven Swig; Jeff and Laurie Ubben; and Kay Yun and Andre Neumann-Loreck; and Company Sponsors Lesley Ann Clement and Karl Lukaszewicz; Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund; Frannie Fleishhacker; Kevin and Celeste Ford; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon P. Getty; Kirke and Nancy Sawyer Hasson; Jeri Lynn and Jeffrey W. Johnson; Mr. and Mrs. Robert McGrath; Burt and Deedee McMurtry; David and Carla Riemer; Patti and Rusty Rueff; Aaron Vermut and Adriana López Vermut; Jack and Susy Wadsworth; and Barry Williams and Lalita Tademy. Additional support provided by Hilton Union Square and Parc 55 San Francisco, A.C.T.'s Official Hotel Partner.

Photo credit: Cliff Roles

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