American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)

Theater Review: Hamlet at A.C.T. San Francisco

Stars align for a memorable ‘Hamlet’ at the ACT

The American Conservatory Theater’s Hamlet marks the debut of two greats who somehow (strangely) have never tackled this great play. John Douglas Thompson premieres his Hamlet, direct by A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff. The results make me thank whatever theater gods brought these two together to work on Shakespeare’s...
Theater Review: Needles and Opium at A.C.T. San Francisco

Lepage makes high-tech magic at the ACT

The production’s deft use of technology gives 'Needles and Opium' a major “wow” factor.
The Strand Theater - Hardhat tour with Carey Perloff

End of a Magical Era: Carey Perloff to depart American Conservatory Theater

Big news today in the world of theater. American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) has announced that after 25 years at the helm as artistic director Carey Perloff is departing. A.C.T. is one of the largest and most widely regarded theaters (and non-profits) in the country. It is also a member of the...

‘John’ provokes yawns at A.C.T. San Francisco

The American Conservatory Theater’s newest offering, John, is almost a ghost story. Creepy dolls, spooky stories, battlefield lore, flickering lights, and temperamental rooms all feature, but the story stays within the natural (no “super”). That’s not a bad thing: there are plenty of good shows about crumbling relationships. Pulitzer...
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Review at A.C.T. San Francisco

‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ breaks hearts in spite of its flaws

Khaled Hosseini’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the story of two Afghani women, Laila and Mariam. Both end up married to the abusive Rasheed during the oppressive reign of the Taliban, but their friendship flourishes in these harsh conditions. Ursula Rani Sarma’s theatrical adaptation, currently receiving its world...
A Christmas Carol - Review - A.C.T. San Francisco

Must-See Theater: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at A.C.T. (Review)

Of all the Christmas pageants performed in the Bay Area during the holiday season, A.C.T.’s annual offering of A Christmas Carol has evolved into a must-see event, required viewing for the entire family. Some have called Charles Dickens “the man who invented Christmas.” After experiencing his novella adapted for...
The Hard Problem Review - San Francisco A.C.T.

Stoppard’s ‘The Hard Problem’ has problems

Tom Stoppard, one of the most acclaimed living playwrights, jokes about being “the house playwright” for the American Conservatory Theater. Program notes inform me that he is second only to Shakespeare in number of productions mounted here (17 to Shakespeare’s 21). Stoppard’s fame is rightly deserved, and we’re lucky...
Chester Bailey @ A.C.T. - Review

Must-See Theater: ‘Chester Bailey’ is best world premiere in recent memory (Review)

"This is why you see live theater. It sticks with you, haunting, and beautiful. At its best, it shines an inspiring, if not at times challenging, light on our own lives." Chester Bailey is the kind of play you wish everyone had the opportunity to see. At its core, this...

‘Last Five Years’ a sleeper hit at A.C.T. San Francisco (Review)

The imaginative geometries created by Roberts Wierzel’s lighting design are so striking that whole dissertations could be directed at explicating how their crisp precision advances the plot in ways that hold one’s attention without being intentionally attention-getting.

The Lion, a roaringly good new musical

“What makes a lion a lion?” Alone onstage with seven guitars, Benjamin Scheuer sings, “My father has an old guitar, and he plays me folk songs.” That’s the start of Benjamin’s passion for music, but it’s also a cause for his troubled relationship with his father. Depressed and quick to...