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A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory Presents DARLING, A NEW MUSICAL, 6/14-29


American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Young Conservatory Director Craig Slaight has announced Darling, A New Musical June 14-29, 2013, at The Theater at the Children's Creativity Museum (221 4th Street, San Francisco). Tickets are $20 and available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or going online to

With music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver and book by Brett Ryback, this lively jazz-age musical follows upper-crust teenager Ursula Morgan in 1929 Boston in the turbulent weeks before the stock market crash. Neglected by her excessive, self-absorbed parents, Ursula encounters a boy named Peter, who is being pursued by the captain of police for a heinous crime he may or may not have committed. When Peter offers Ursula the opportunity to run away with him, she finds herself swept into a seedy underground world of jazz, sex, and a mysterious white powder called Fairy Dust.

Says Slaight: "I became interested in this work after exploring Ryan Scott Oliver's extraordinary music in YC classes. Although set in Boston in 1929, the themes of the abandonment of young people by adults and the adolescent quest for place are timeless. Rebellion, the budding of first love, danger, and finally redemption lead these characters through a story inspired by J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan."

Directed by Slaight and Domenique Lozano, Darling, A New Musical features a talented young cast from across the San Francisco Bay Area: Abby Arora, Kemp Atkinson, Aidan Elsesser, Christina Euphrat, Leah Gallagher, Carson Harvey, Hannah Herbert-Hunt,Zach Hollander, Kyleigh Hoye, Preston Kerwin-Battaglia, Oliver Klein, Chelsea Looy, Alexa Martinez, Michaela Marymor, Lucy Murphy, Meg Nakamura, Seana Nicol, Veronica Ortiz, Tobiah Richkind, Emma Roos, Peter Scattini, Fiona Scott, and Julian von Nagel.

The creative team for Darling, A New Musical includes Robert K. Rutt (music director), Christine Mattison (choreography), Slaight andSarah Phykitt (set design), Krista Smith (lighting design), and Michael Creason and Ashley Hanson (sound design).

Slaight is a resident artist at A.C.T. and the director of the YC. He assumed the leadership of the YC in 1988. During his time at A.C.T., he has taught in all of the conservatory programs and served as a director on A.C.T. mainstage productions and as a member of the artistic team of the company. Slaight began the YC's New Plays Program in 1989 with the mission to develop plays by outstanding professional playwrights that view the world through the eyes of the young. To date 45 new plays by leading American and British playwrights have been developed and produced. With A.C.T.'s director of academic affairs, Jack Sharrar, Slaight has edited numerous anthologies of scenes and monologues for actors and is the editor of five volumes of New Plays from A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. Before coming to A.C.T., Slaight was an award-winning professional director in Los Angeles. He has also directed in England at The National Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath and His Majesty's Theatre in Scotland.

Lozano, a resident artist at A.C.T., has directed many projects with A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory and M.F.A. Program, most recentlyHappy to Stand at A.C.T.'s new venue The Costume Shop. Other shows include the world premieres of Homefront and Beautiful Child: The Music of Rufus Wainwright, the American premiere of After Juliet, the world premieres of Sarah Daniel's Dust and Constance Congdon's Nightingales, a coproduction with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zürich of Paul Steinmann's Only Victory, the West Coast premieres of Jeffrey Hatcher's Korczak's Children and Wendy MacLeod's Schoolgirl Figure, Caught with Her Pants Down, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, Amy Herzog's The Wendy Play, and numerous graduating class showcases and the Will on Wheels touring productions of Othello, The Comedy of Errors, and Twelfth Night. She has directed A Christmas Carol at A.C.T. for the past seven years and translated The Caucasian Chalk Circle, which premiered at A.C.T. in 2010. Other directing credits include The Drawer Boy andWelcome Home, Jenny Sutter with TheatreFIRST; The Countess with Center REPertory Company; Two for the Seesaw with Marin Theatre Company; Inspecting Carol and the West Coast premiere of Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business with San Jose Stage Company; and The Norman Conquests, Holiday, The Real Thing, and She Loves Me with Napa Valley Repertory Theatre, of which she was a founding member and associate artistic director. Acting credits include work with such theaters as California Shakespeare Theater (artistic associate), A.C.T., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Jose Stage Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

At A.C.T.'s Tony Award-winning YC, students ages 8 to 19 develop their talents, perform in professional-caliber productions, and gain the confidence to succeed-all in a creative, fun, and encouraging environment. The ten sessions of classes and eight public productions offered throughout the year are designed to develop talent and creativity, as well as communication and cooperation skills, for young people with all levels of theater background. Working professional actors and directors lead students in a spectrum of classes, including acting, directing, voice and speech, musical theater, audition, and improvisation. Call 415.439.2444 or visit for applications and information.

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