World-Premiere Stage Adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS to Hit A.C.T.

World-Premiere Stage Adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS to Hit A.C.T.American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), currently celebrating its 50th anniversary subscription season, presents the world-premiere theatrical adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's international best-selling novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns (February 1-26, 2017).

The epic story of three generations of Afghan women who are bound together by marriage, family, and a secret past, A Thousand Splendid Suns is set amid the war-torn streets of modern-day Kabul. Strong-willed Laila, unmarried and pregnant, is forced to marry her older neighbor when her family and home are torn apart. In her new home, she forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her husband's first wife, and together the two women find the hope and strength to raise a new generation.

Adapted for the stage by acclaimed Irish-Indian playwright Ursula Rani Sarma, this stunning new production will feature live music from renowned composer and saw player David Coulter (who was last seen at A.C.T. in 2004 as the band leader in the acclaimed production, The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets). Hosseini (The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed), who resides in the Bay Area, has been intimately involved in the production.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a coproduction with Theatre Calgary. Press night will be held on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. 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 A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff, A Thousand Splendid Suns features an international cast of actors, including (in alphabetical order) Barzin Akhavan, Denmo Ibrahim, Haysam Kadri, Jason Kapoor, Pomme Koch, Nadine Malouf, Kate Rigg, and Nikita Tewani.

Says Perloff: "Our passion for Khaled Hosseini's beautiful and heartbreaking novel is a long-standing one. The process of adapting this deeply personal story and working with playwright Ursula Rani Sarma has been extraordinary. It has been a joy to bring the voices of one of the great Middle Eastern-American writers to the stage and to invite such a diverse company of actors to re-imagine one of the most beloved and best-selling novels of the past decade. Now more than ever, stories like Hosseini's need to be told. A Thousand Splendid Suns will provide a magical centerpiece to A.C.T.'s 50th-anniversary celebration. It also continues our longtime collaboration with Theatre Calgary and with artists north of the border. We hope the adaptation will have a long life on stages around the globe."

Adds Hosseini: "The real test of a stage adaptation of a novel is not whether the play can 'match' the book, but whether it can enhance appreciation for the book and be valued for its own artistic merits. I feel extremely confident that ACT's adaptation of A Thousand Splendid Suns will ace this test. I am eager to see it come to life under the brilliant guidance of Carey Perloff and playwright Ursula Rami Sarna, whose adaptation is a loving and beautiful tribute to the book."

The creative team for A Thousand Splendid Suns includes Ken MacDonald (Set Designer), Linda Cho (Costume Designer), Robert Wierzel (Lighting Designer), Jake Rodriguez (Sound Designer), David Coulter (Composer/Musician), and Humaira Ghilzai (Cultural Consultant).

In connection with A Thousand Splendid Suns, 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, February 1, 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, February 7, 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, sponsored by KDFC.

• Theater on the Couch:
Friday, February 10, 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, February 14, 7 p.m. | Sunday, February 19, 2 p.m. | Wednesday, February 22, 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, February 15, 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, February 21, 7 p.m.
Before the show, raise a glass at this wine-tasting event featuring the Bay Area's hottest local winery.

• PlayTime:
Saturday, February 25, 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 A Thousand Splendid Suns is made possible by executive producers Sarah and Tony Earley; Kevin and Celeste Ford; Jo S. Hurley; John Little and Heather Stallings Little; Burt and Deedee McMurtry; Kathleen Scutchfield; Jack and Susy Wadsworth; producers Mary and Gene Metz; Donald J. and Toni Ratner Miller; associate producers Gayle and Steve Brugler; Vicki and David Fleishhacker; Betty Hoener; Jon and Barbara Phillips; Katherine Welch. Development of A Thousand Splendid Suns was made possible by The Priscilla and Keith Geeslin New Strands Fund and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fund for New Works. A Thousand Splendid Suns is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

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