ACT announces 2008-09 season

There’s some juicy-good stuff in American Conservatory Theater’s newly announced 2008-09 season.

Here’s the rundown:

Rock ‘n’ Roll by Tom Stoppard (Sept. 11-Oct. 12) — Surprising no one, especially after Stoppard’s visit to ACT in January, the West Coast premiere of this London and New York hit will be directed by ACT artistic director Carey Perloff. The drama, Stoppard’s most autobiographical, follows a Czech man in England drawn back to the fight against the Soviets in his native Prague — and it’s all set to a suitably rocky soundtrack full of the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.

The Quality of Life by Jane Anderson (Oct. 24-Nov. 23) — Celebrity casting makes this already intriguing play even more so. Laurie Metcalf (worth seeing in just about anything) and JoBeth Williams (gone too long from movie screens) play cousins, one from the Midwest, one from the liberal Bay Area. When serious illness and the ravages of the Oakland hills fire bring them together, it turns out family and ideology aren’t such a good mix. A co-production with the Geffen Theatre and Jonathan Reinis Productions.

Rich and Famous by John Guare (Jan. 8-Feb. 8, 2009) — This marks the first major revival of Guare’s comedy about a playwright sruggling toward fame and fortune since its 1976 New York premiere.

Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins by Stephen Temperly (Feb. 13-March 15, 2009) — If you want a sneak peek at this off-kilter musical biography, head down to San Jose Repertory Theatre, where the regional premiere of Souvenir opens this week starring Patti Cohenour. The ACT production will star Judy Kaye, right, (Mrs. Lovett in the Sweeney Todd that stopped at ACT last fall), who was nominated for the role in 2006. She plays Jenkins, a New York socialite who fancied herself an opera diva though she could hardly carry a tune.

War Music by Lillian Groag (March 26-April 26, 2009) — Poet Christopher Logue’s translation of Homer’s Iliad is adapted for the stage and directed by Groag, a regular player in the Bay Area theater scene (especially at California Shakespeare Theater of late). This world-premiere production re-tells the story of Achilles and his rival Agamemnon.

Boleros for the Disenchanted by Jose Rivera (May 7-June 7, 2009) — Rivera, the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter (The Motorcyle Diaries) pens the tale of four decades in the life of a Puerto Rican girl whose life ranges from her native land to American shores.

Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee (June 12-July 12, 2009) — Albee’s one-act The Zoo Story, his first play, written in 1958, is revisited and appended with a new first act, called Homelife. Rebecca Taichman directs the West Coast premiere of this revised version.

Also on the ACT stage, it almost goes without saying, is A Christmas Carol (Dec. 4-27). James Carpenter returns in the role of Scrooge.

Season subscriptions range start at $101 for all seven plays. Single tickets go on sale in August.
Call 415-749-2250 or visit for information.

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