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A Contemporary Theatre announces its summer production of The Year of Magical Thinking written by acclaimed reporter, essayist, and literary icon, Joan Didion.

In this dramatic adaptation of Didion's award-winning, best-selling memoir, the stages of grief are laid bare offering audiences a lens through which to view Didion's powerful account of the sudden death of her husband. The Year of Magical Thinking intimately chronicles Didion's frank examination of the many levels of bereavement and her discovery that "grief has its place but also has its limits." Known for her grit as a writer and penchant for tackling controversial subjects, The Year of Magical Thinking tests Didion's own call to writing and personal ethos: "I have always found that if I examine something, it's less scary."

ACT is thrilled to welcome back to its stage Seattle veteran actor Suzanne Bouchard and director Victor Pappas. "It's a privilege to return to ACT to direct The Year of Magical Thinking," says Pappas. "This beautiful meditation on loss, grief and finding one's way forward has spoken to me since I first read Didion's memoir. So many of us have lived in the land of Magical Thinking-I know I have, and it's an honor to share this story with Seattle audiences. And that honor is doubled by having Suzanne Bouchard as the play's sole character, Joan."

ACT's Artistic Director, John Langs adds, "This play is a meditation on how quickly life can change. Something I've been thinking about over the last few years. It happens to all of us, but there are few artists who have had the ability to dig so deeply and show us the truth of our common experience in a new light. Didion does just that."

The creative team of The Year of Magical Thinking also includes Catherine Cornell (Scenic Designer), Constanza Romero (Costume Designer), Robert Aguilar (Lighting Designer), and Erin Bednarz (Sound Designer).

The Year of Magical Thinking runs July 19 - August 11, 2019

  • Tickets are on-sale now at
  • ASL performance is Friday, August 9 at 8:00pm
  • Closed captioning devices are available at all Mainstage performances.

ABOUT DIRECTOR Victor Pappas: Previously at ACT, Victor Pappas directed The Price, Old Times, Other Desert Cities, Mary Stuart, The Trip toBountiful, and Stuff Happens, and portrayed Ahmed Qurie in Oslo. He served as Associate Artistic Director of Intiman Theatre for seven years, directing the productions of The Importance of Being Earnest, Playland, Betrayal, Smash (world premiere), The Turn of the Screw, The Glass Menagerie, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, A Question of Mercy and Skylight. In addition, he directed ten developmental workshops for the "New Voices at Intiman" series. Other directing credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, Mrs. Warren's Profession, All's Well That Ends Well (Seattle Shakespeare Company); The Picture of Dorian Gray (Book-It Repertory Theatre); Two By Pinter (ACTLab); I Am My Own Wife (Portland Center Stage);An Ideal Husband (Pioneer Theatre Company); Othello (Idaho Shakespeare Festival); Ghosts (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Falsettos, Follies, andAnyone Can Whistle (Showtunes Theatre Company); the world premiere of Mark Jenkins' All Powers Necessary and Convenient for the University of Washington, and developmental workshops of Jenkins' Red Earth, Gold Gate, Shadow Sky at ACT and the University of Washington. He received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Direction for his work on the world premiere of Jamie Baker's South Central Rain, and several of his productions have received Footlight Awards from the Seattle Times. As an actor, he appeared in the Broadway production of Brecht & Weill'sHappy End, and has acted at The American Conservatory Theatre, California Actors Theatre, and the Oregon, Marin, and Sherwood Shakespeare Festivals, as well as on television and in film. He is a proud member of SDC, AEA & SAG/AFTRA.

ABOUT AUTHOR Joan Didion: Known best for her work as a literary journalist, essayist and autobiographical writer, Joan Didion also produced 6 screenplays, including A Star is Born (1976) and 5 fiction novels. The central themes of her work are personal explorations on the decay of American morals, cultural fragmentation, and dissecting American subcultures where she often rejected conventional journalism in exchange for a more subjective approach in her writing which received both the ire and acclaim of critics. Born in Sacramento, California in 1934, Didion's childhood was one of constant relocation due to her father's career as an Army Air Corps officer. This lead the young, shy Didion feeling like perpetual outsider who read everything that she could get her hands on. She first began writing at the age of 5 when her mother gave her a notebook to "stop whining and learn to amuse herself by writing down her thoughts." She went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Berkeley, won Voguemagazine's Prix de Paris essay contest in her senior year - where she was awarded a research position after graduating. After working her way up to an associate feature editor at Vogue, she met John Gregory Dunne, a writer for Time magazine who helped her edit her first novel, Run River. A year later, the two were married and returned to California where they spent the next forty years working closely together for most of their careers until his sudden heart attack in 2003.

ABOUT ACT: Located in Seattle's Downtown Historic Theatre District, ACT is home to five performance spaces under one roof. Since 1965, ACT has been a destination for experiencing new voices, stories, and art. ACT is steadfast in its dedication to producing work with contemporary playwrights and local performing artists through its Mainstage Play series, ACTLab producing partnerships, and Young Playwrights Program. With more than 450 performances a year, ACT is a community hub where artists and the public connect about today's issues and ideas and celebrate the shared experience.

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