A.C.T.'s Master Of Fine Arts Program & Young Conservatory Announce 2018–19 Production Lineup

A.C.T.'s Master Of Fine Arts Program & Young Conservatory Announce 2018–19 Production LineupAmerican Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Conservatory Director Melissa Smith and Young Conservatory Director Jill MacLean announced today the 2018-19 production lineup and schedule for the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program and Young Conservatory. Tickets for all performances are available online at www.act-sf.org/csvshows or by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415-749-2228.

Says Conservatory Director Melissa Smith: "We aimed for diversity and breadth in the 2018-19 Master of Fine Arts season. In addition to a wide range of genres, styles, and cultures, we are especially pleased to have a lineup of five accomplished and innovative directors-all of whom identify as women and/or artists of color-working with our students. It is a panoply of theater that will challenge and grow the students in each year of the program."

The Master of Fine Arts Program 2018-19 season kicks off with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's tragicomic masterpiece, Three Sisters (September 27-29, 2018). If you had the opportunity to live your life again, would you make the same choices? Stuck in a provincial town and working jobs they don't enjoy, sisters Olga, Masha, and Irina are leading lives they never could have imagined. From former Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Libby Appel comes a translation that "opens [Chekhov] up to modern audiences" and brings to life the everyday moments that inspire and bind us. Three Sisters will be directed by Lavina Jadhwani. Performances of Three Sisters will take place in The Rembe at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.

It's fun to gossip, until the gossip becomes about you. Next, the M.F.A. Program will present Richard Brinsley Sheridan's School for Scandal (November 8-10, 2018; November 15-17, 2018). In a society that's fueled by scandal, the slightest look or whisper can turn a spark into a flame. Husbands suspect wives, uncles question nephews, and no one is safe when the slightest rumor can make or break you. Filled with illusion and intrigue, this fast-paced, contemporary adaptation of Sheridan's most famous play pits truth against fiction and reveals that virtue can hide all manner of sins. The School for Scandal is adapted and directed by Christine Adaire. Performances of The School for Scandal will take place in The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.

The M.F.A. Program will next present Susan Soon He Stanton's Both Your Houses (February 21-23, 2019; March 1-2, 2019). Romances blossom, resentments fester, and rumors spread at the last performance of Theater Right Now's Romeo and Juliet. And that's just onstage. Last minute changes and inflated egos-as well as the artistic director's inappropriate advances-reveal that in the 21st century, accountability and complicity are the two warring factions. In this co-commission with Crowded Fire Theater that was workshopped at the 2018 New Strands Festival, playwright Susan Soon He Stanton shines a spotlight on life in a regional theater, the #MeToo movement, and how risky it can be to speak up. Both Your Houses will be directed by Mina Morita. Performances of Both Your Houses will take place in The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.

In spring 2019, the M.F.A. program will present William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream as part of A.C.T.'s Will on Wheels program, which tours works of William Shakespeare to schools around the San Francisco Bay Area. Love is complicated. Helena loves Demetrius, but he loves Hermia, who is in love with Lysander but is being forced to marry Demetrius. And if that isn't convoluted enough, just wait until mischievous fairies, love potions, and bumbling actors get involved. A comedic, fantastical take on the affairs of the heart from western theater's most esteemed playwright. A Midsummer Night's Dream will be directed by Dawn Monique Williams. Performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream will take place on March 8, 2019 in The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater. The Will on Wheels tour of A Midsummer Night's Dream will commence on March 11, 2019 and conclude on March 22, 2019.

Closing out the 2018­-19 season, the M.F.A. Program will present Kate Hamill's adaptation of Sense and Sensibility (May 8-11, 2019). The Dashwood sisters-sensible Elinor and starry-eyed Marianne-have very different approaches to finding love. But when their father's death leaves them penniless, homeless, and vulnerable to gossip, they must rely on each other to discover what it takes to follow their hearts. Playwright Kate Hamill (Vanity Fair) celebrates the power of sisterhood in this joyful, witty adaptation of the beloved Jane Austen novel. Sense and Sensibility will be directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. Performances of Sense and Sensibility will take place in The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater. Hamill's rollicking new stage adaptation of Vanity Fair, William Thackeray's classic 19th-century novel, will be presented at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater April 17-May 12, 2019. A second spring repertory production directed by A.C.T.'s new associate conservatory director Peter J. Kuo will be announced at a later date.

Says Young Conservatory Director Jill MacLean: "The 2018­-19 Young Conservatory season provides opportunities for students to work with two contemporary playwrights who create worlds that turn out to be not quite what we originally thought. I am particularly excited for the two professional directors coming in to lead our YC actors. It is through the tremendous collaboration of these professional artists along with our production resources at A.C.T. that our students improve their acting craft, increase their understanding of the larger theater industry and practice the professional standards that the YC strives to model at every level of training."

The Young Conservatory 2018-19 season begins with Lauren Yee's Hookman (October 24-27, 2018). College freshman Lexi thinks the Hookman legend is just a cautionary tale her paranoid mom tells her so she'll stay alert. But what if it's not just a story? From Bay Area playwright Lauren Yee (The Great Leap) comes a psychological thriller about grief, guilt, and growing up. Hookman is a 21st-century slasher comedy that will have you hunting for the truth . . . and unsure if you ever find it. Hookman will be directed by Allie Moss. Performances of Hookman will take place in The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater. Yee's exploration of cultural identity, global politics, and basketball, The Great Leap, will be presented at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater March 6-31, 2019.

Next, A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory will present Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves (April 17-20, 2019). Try to keep up with teenage soccer team the Wolves as they stretch, run drills, and size up the opposition. But in between their passes are performance anxieties, family tensions, and complex conversations . . . Left lunge. Global genocide. Tampons. Do they have Skype in Cambodia? Right lunge. She got Plan B? There's the college recruiter! You're coming to the party this weekend? For these nine young women, becoming an adult doesn't always come with a game plan. The Wolves will be directed by Jessica Holt. Performances of The Wolves will take place in The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.

In addition to the 2018-19 season productions, the Master of Fine Arts Program and Young Conservatory will present a series of unique cabarets throughout the season.

The 2018-19 season M.F.A. Program cabarets include:

Songs in Living Color
Presented by the Third-Year M.F.A. Actors
October 18­-20, 2018
Directed by Milissa Carey
The Garret at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater

Fascinating Rhythms-Jazz and Blues on Broadway
Presented by the Second-Year M.F.A. Actors
December 13-15, 2018
Directed by Darryl Jones
A.C.T.'s Costume Shop Theater

The 2018-19 Young Conservatory's High School Cabaret Program and Actors Ensemble season include:

The Last Hundred Years: Musical Theater Through the Decades
November 1-4, 2018
High School Cabaret & Musical Ensemble
November 9-10, 2018
Middle School Cabaret

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill
November 10, 2018
High School Actors Ensemble
Directed by WD Keith

Sharing the Spotlight: Broadway Duets & Trios Take the Stage!
March 7-10, 2019
High School Cabaret & Musical Ensemble
April 5-6, 2019
Middle School Cabaret
April 6, 2019
Spring Actors Ensemble Performance

#HotOffTheKeyboard: A Night of New Musical Theater
May 9-12, 2019
High School Cabaret & Musical Ensemble

Best of the Best, One Night Only: All Three Cabaret Ensembles Celebrate the Season
June 2019
Directors: Jill MacLean & Kimberly Braun
Music Directors: Kimberly Braun & Krista Wigle
Accompanist: Thaddeus Pinkston
All Cabaret & Actors Ensemble performances will be held in The Garret at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater.

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