ACT’s new season

We knew there would be plays in American Conservatory Theater’s 41st season. What we didn’t know was that the core company would welcome three new actors.

ACT artistic director Carey Perloff announced the new season lineup Wednesday, and mixed in with all the vital data about the plays was some key information about the players.

The core company, which includes Rene Augesen, Gregory Wallace and Steven Anthony Jones (ACT MFA graduate Alison Jean White spent last season as a temporary core company member), has been expanded to include some familiar faces.

Joining the ranks are Anthony Fusco and Jack Willis, both veterans of the ACT stage, most recently in Hedda Gabler.

White’s slot as the younger, one-year company member will be filled by Jud Williford, seen most recently in the memorable American $uicide at the Thick House in San Francisco.

The season opens with the previously announced Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a touring production of the recent hit revival on Broadway in which the orchestra and the actors are the same thing. The musical begins performances Aug. 30 and runs through Sept. 30.

Next up, Oct. 25 through Nov. 25, is N. Richard Nash’s The Rainmaker directed by Mark Rucker and starring Augesen as Lizzie, a spinster in a drought-ridden town. Fusco and Willis will also be in the cast.

James Carpenter returns to the role of Scrooge in the company’s annual A Christmas Carol in December, and the season continues in January with David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, best known as the Hollywood insider play that allowed Madonna to make her much-maligned Broadway debut.

In February comes Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, a South African drama about Apartheid that will star Jones and Willis as brothers.

Perloff directs Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector, featuring Augesen, Fusco, Jones and Wallace March 20 through April 20.

The season winds down with Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class (featuring Williford and Willis) in April 2008 followed by John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore in June.

Two non-subscription events are also part of the season: The Tosca Project, Perloff’s collaboration with Val Caniparoli in October, and Jose Rivera’s Brainpeople in January.

Season subscriptions range from $101 to $570. Call (415) 749-2250 or visit www.act-sf.org.

One thought on “ACT’s new season

  1. I’ve always wanted to see “Speed the Plow.” I’m a huge Madonna fan and I’ve always been curious about that play.

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