Doyle and Felciano Reunite for A.C.T. Caucasian Chalk Circle; Cast Plays Music

News   Doyle and Felciano Reunite for A.C.T. Caucasian Chalk Circle; Cast Plays Music
 
Tony Award-winning director John Doyle's new San Francisco production of a world-premiere translation of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle begins Feb. 18 at American Conservatory Theatre, where Tony nominee Manoel Felciano, of the director's Sweeney Todd, is a company member.
Caucasian Chalk Circle star Omoz
Caucasian Chalk Circle star Omoz Photo by Kevin Berne

The A.C.T. staging of a new translation by A.C.T. associate artist Domenique Lozano plays to March 14 at the company's home at 415 Geary Street. Opening night is Feb. 24.

As in Doyle's rethinking of Broadway's Sweeney Todd (2005), for which Doyle won the Best Direction Tony Award, the entire score of this revival of the 1944 play will be performed by the cast. The new music is by acclaimed San Francisco composer Nathaniel Stookey.

In the tradition of "Stookey's earlier work, the score incorporates objects scavenged from the San Francisco Dump alongside more conventional instruments and voices," according to a production note.

Felciano played Toby in Doyle's Sweeney Todd on Broadway, and was Tony-nominated for his turn. He has since become a permanent company member with A.C.T. The cast will also feature René Augesen, Nick Childress, Anthony Fusco, Rod Gnapp, Caroline Hewitt, Omozé Idehenre, Gregory Wallace and Jack Willis.

Doyle (Broadway's Company and A Catered Affair, and London and Broadway's Sweeney Todd) designed sets and costumes for The Caucasian Chalk Circle. He created the ensemble of The Caucasian Chalk Circle exclusively from A.C.T. core acting company members, A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program students, and graduates.

John Doyle and Manoel Felciano

Doyle said in production notes, "I am always attracted to venues that have resident companies, very much an ethos I grew up with in the U.K. I was interested in doing this production with the company members and with graduating students, as such ways of working make me feel very 'at home.'" *

According to A.C.T., "The play follows the story of a servant girl who saves the life of an abandoned baby boy in wartime. When the wealthy mother returns to claim him, however, their fates lie in the hands of a wily, unpredictable judge whose concern for the poor is rivaled only by his concern for saving his own hide."

The creative team of A.C.T.'s production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle also includes Jane Cox (lighting designer).

For tickets and information, call (415) 749-2228 or visit www.act-sf.org.

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