A.C.T. to Ring in 2018 with Harold Pinter's THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

A.C.T. to Ring in 2018 with Harold Pinter's THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) rings in 2018 with the first staging of Harold Pinter's mysterious classic drama, The Birthday Party (January 10-February 4, 2018).

In an undisturbed English seaside town, the inhabitants of a ramshackle boarding house react to the arrival of two unsettling strangers. Where do the mysterious Goldberg and McCann come from? Who sent them? And why do they keep asking about the sole boarder, piano player Stanley? As the party guests, including flighty Lula and flirty landlady Meg, gather for Stanley's birthday, the desperate pianist is forced to confront a surreal interrogation.

Featuring A.C.T. favorites Marco Barricelli and Firdous Bamji, two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey, and Stratford Festival star Scott Wentworth, The Birthday Party is seething with mystery, danger, and sudden humor.

A.C.T. has received praise from audiences and critics alike for their previous Harold Pinter productions, which include Old Times (1998), Celebration and The Room (2001), andThe Homecoming (2011).

Press night for The Birthday Party will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Single tickets (ranging from $15-$110) are available at the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice.

Says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff: "There is nothing more invigorating than confronting the unique world of menace, mystery, and mayhem that accompanies the plays of Harold Pinter. I have assembled some of my favorite longtime collaborators, as well as new artists I have been eager to work with over the past 25 years, to explore the hilarious and frightening world of Stanley, hiding out in a postwar seaside bedsit when two strangers come to take him away. I last worked on The Birthday Party with Pinter himself in New York in 1989, and I can't wait to revisit it now, at a moment when terror seems so immediate and safety so elusive."

Under the direction of Perloff, The Birthday Party features (in alphabetical order): Julie Adamo (Lulu), Firdous Bamji (Stanley), Marco Barricelli (McCann), Dan Hiatt (Petey), Judith Ivey (Meg), and Scott Wentworth (Goldberg).

The creative team for The Birthday Party includes Nina Ball (Scenic Designer), Candice Donnelly (Costume Designer), Robert Hand (Lighting Designer), and Darron L West (Sound Designer).

In connection with The Birthday Party, A.C.T. will offer numerous InterACT events-many of which are presented free of charge-that will give patrons opportunities to get closer to the action while having an entire night out at the theater. Visit act-sf.org/interact to learn more about subscribing to these events throughout the season:

• Bike to the Theater Night:
Wednesday, January 10, 7 p.m.
Providing a greener alternative to theater transportation, A.C.T. and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offer free valet bike parking, as well as a special discount on tickets, for these select performances.

• Prologue:
Tuesday, January 16, 5:30 p.m.
Before the curtain goes up, get a sneak peek at the artistic process at this fascinating preshow discussion with the director and artistic staff.

• Theater on the Couch:
Friday, January 19, following the 8 p.m. performance
Led by Dr. Mason Turner, chief of psychiatry at San Francisco's Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, this exciting postshow discussion series addresses audience questions and explores the minds, motives, and behavior of the characters.

• Audience Exchanges:
Tuesday, January 23, 8 p.m. | Sunday, January 28, 2 p.m. | Wednesday, January 31, 2 p.m.
After the show, stick around for a lively Q&A session with the actors and artists who create the work onstage.

• OUT with A.C.T.:
Wednesday, January 24, following the 8 p.m. performance
The best LGBT night in town! Mingle with the cast and enjoy free drinks and treats at this popular after-party.

• Wente Vineyards Wine Series:
Tuesday, January 30, 7 p.m.
Before the show, raise a glass at this wine-tasting event featuring Livermore's Wente Vineyards.

• PlayTime:
Saturday, February 3, 12:45 p.m.
Before this matinee performance, get hands-on with the artists who make it happen at this interactive theater workshop. A.C.T.'s production of The Birthday Party is made possible by company sponsors Burt and Deedee McMurtry; associate producers Paul Angelo; Nancy and Jerry Falk; Mr. Joel Krauska and Ms. Patricia Fox; Linda Kurtz; Lee and Carolyn Snowberg; and Beverly and Loring Wyllie.

Up next, A.C.T. will present Qui Nguyen's irreverent road-trip comedy Vietgone (February 21-April 22, 2018). In spring 2018, A.C.T. will present Simon Stephens's hit play Heisenberg (March 14-April 8, 2018). Hailed as a "masterpiece," by New York Magazine, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) arrives at The Geary next (April 25-May 20, 2018)-Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks's explosively powerful and lyrical new play set against the backdrop of the Civil War. Closing out the 2017-18 season, A.C.T. will present the world-premiere musical A Walk on the Moon (June 5-July 1, 2018), based on the 1999 movie of the same name.

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