A.C.T. to Stage West Coast Premiere of Tom Stoppard's THE HARD PROBLEM

A.C.T. to Stage West Coast Premiere of Tom Stoppard's THE HARD PROBLEM

Following a sold-out run at the acclaimed National Theatre in London, American Conservatory Theater-currently celebrating its 50th anniversary subscription season-will present the West Coast premiere of Tom Stoppard's newest work, The Hard Problem (October 19-November 13, 2016).

Razor-sharp psychology grad Hilary wins a prestigious brain research position that forces her to confront her lover (and academic advisor) in a fight to defend the soul, altruism, and even God from modern science. But as she competes for funding against a rival project racing to unlock the mathematical secrets behind stock market risk, Hilary realizes that her biggest threat is closer to home-her own genetic secret. From one of theater's greatest voices, The Hard Problem shows Stoppard at his best as he dives deep into this compelling conflict of mind versus matter. A provocative drama of sex, science, and supercomputing, The Hard Problem marks the first play from Stoppard in a decade.

This marks the tenth collaboration between Carey Perloff and Stoppard during her 24-year tenure at A.C.T. Other productions include The Invention of Love (American premiere in 2000), Travesties (2006), Rock 'n' Roll (2008), Indian Ink (American premiere in 2009, as well as an all-new production in 2015), and Arcadia (1995 and 2013).

Press night will be held on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. Single tickets (ranging from $20-$105) 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.

Under the direction of Perloff, The Hard Problem features Brenda Meaney, last seen at A.C.T. in Perloff's production of Stoppard's Indian Ink, as Hilary, Anthony Fusco as Leo, Mike Ryan as Jerry, Vandit Bhatt as Amal, Narea Kang as Bo, Dan Clegg as Spike, Stacy Ross as Ursula, Safiya Fredericks as Julia and Carmen Steele as Cathy.

Says Perloff: "A 50th anniversary celebration of A.C.T. without Tom Stoppard would be unthinkable! And it's particularly exciting to bring a brand-new Stoppard play to The Geary, a play that wrestles with faith, technology, altruism, brain science and the irrationality of love. Like many Stoppard plays, The Hard Problem collides ideas and passion in surprising ways, as a young woman struggles to understand the life choices she has made. To have Brenda Meaney back after her triumph in Indian Ink is an added bonus, and with Tom in residence here for the whole rehearsal process, we know we're in for a richly rewarding experience."

The creative team for The Hard Problem includes Andrew Boyce (Set Designer), Alex Jaeger (Costume Designer), Russell H. Champa (Lighting Designer), and Brendan Aanes (Sound Designer).

On Monday, October 3 at 7 p.m., Tom Stoppard will join Carey Perloff at The Geary Theater for an intimate conversation where he will discuss his significant contribution to A.C.T.'s 50-year history. A limited number of general admission tickets will be available to this one-night-only special event. To reserve tickets, visit www.act-sf.org/stoppard.

In connection with The Hard Problem, A.C.T. will offer numerous InterACT events-many of which are presented free of charge-giving 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, October 19, 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, October 25, 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, October 28, 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, November 1, 7 p.m. | Sunday, November 6, 2 p.m. | Wednesday, November 9, 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, November 2, 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, November 8, 7 p.m.
Before the show, raise a glass at this wine-tasting event featuring the Bay Area's hottest local winery.

• PlayTime:
Saturday, November 12, 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 Hard Problem is made possible by executive producers Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson, Christopher and Leslie Johnson, and Aaron Vermut and AdriAna Lopez Vermut; producers Linda Jo Fitz, Rose Hagan and Mark Lemley, Kirke and Nancy Sawyer Hasson, Mrs. Cheryl Sorokin; and associate producers Paul Angelo and Cindy Low, Marcia and Geoffrey Green, Ms. Linda Kurtz, Terry and Jan Opdendyk, Elsa and Neil Pering, Marjorie Perloff, and Emmett and Marion Stanton.

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