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American Conservatory Theater Will Present In-Person Reading of Shakespeare's CYMBELINE

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Performances of Cymbeline will take place November 4–6, 2021 at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.

Today, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon and Executive Director Jennifer Bielstein announced that William Shakespeare's Cymbeline will be the next production for A.C.T. Out Loud, a series of play readings featuring enduring works by some of the greatest minds of generations past. This reading marks the first in-person performance for American Conservatory Theater since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Performances of Cymbeline will take place November 4-6, 2021 at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater. Tickets are free, but RSVPs are required. For more information or to reserve seats, visit www.act-sf.org/cymbeline.

With her lover banished and her family torn apart, princess Imogen journeys across Britain to fight to clear her name. Disguised as a man, she befriends a Roman ambassador and two hunters who look all too familiar. As war between Rome and Britain throws the nation into chaos, Imogen must return to court in time to reconcile her family as well as her country. Action-packed and full of twists and turns, Cymbeline is an epic adventure with Shakespeare's most ambitious plot. Featuring live Foley sound by James Ard, a company of fifteen actors, and some crucial audience participation, this staged reading invites you to share in the theater making process and essential storytelling.

Cymbeline was selected as the next A.C.T. Out Loud production via crowdsourcing earlier this summer. MacKinnon and the A.C.T. artistic team selected seven Shakespeare plays that fit the organization's mission and suited the current cohort of MFA students. Those seven potential titles were presented to the public via email and social media to vote on which production they wanted to see produced.

"I'm excited to present the culmination of ten days of exploration," said MacKinnon. "Cymbeline is a play of storybook tropes and revelations, lovers, villains, conflicted servants, and ultimately one of greatest reunion scenes ever written. I am excited to fold the audience into the company, asking them to co-create the soundscape with Foley artist and composer James Ard and perhaps even read a few lines with the inestimable actor Ken Ruta. We're stepping into free-for-all in-person programming and inviting the audience to help us make it. It's a dress rehearsal of sorts for Freestyle Love Supreme in January. Be a part of something!"

Directed by MacKinnon, Cymbeline features Hernán Angulo, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Zoe Chen, Evangeline Edwards, Anthony Fusco, Gracie Fojtik, Nick Giovannoni, Wesley Guimarães, Morgan Gunter, Cassandra Hunter, Breezy Leigh, James Mercer II, Nicola Rinow, Ken Ruta, and Madeline Isabel Yagle.

The creative team for Cymbeline includes Ely Sonny Orquiza (Assistant Director), Joy Meads (Dramaturg), Allie Moss (Casting Director), Christine Adaire (Voice/Dialect Coach), Lisa Anne Porter (Voice/Dialect Coach), James Ard (Sound Designer and Composer), Danyon Davis (Movement Coach), Jessie Amoroso (Costume Consultant), Janice Gartin (Props Manager), and Mike Anderburg (Production Manager/Lighting Consultant).

A.C.T. cares deeply about the safety of our guests, artists, technicians, and staff. Since March of 2020, A.C.T. has updated HVAC systems at the historic Geary Theater and has optimized safety protocols across our venues in alignment with COVID-19 health orders and guidelines. A.C.T.'s safety protocols will be updated in accordance with any relevant changes to San Francisco, county, and state guidance.

A.C.T. is joining with Theatre Bay Area and performing arts groups across the Bay Area to adopt a shared set of safety protocols to protect audiences, performers, staff members, and volunteers, including requiring proof of full vaccination and masks indoors. For more information, please visit act-sf.org/covid19.


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