"Imagination is our salvation," said artistic director Carey Perloff in a statement. "As we face this unique time of uncertainty and hope nationally, we thought, who at this moment are the master artists with the depth of experience and passion that can be counted on to make us laugh, make us think and what are the great stories that can help us share and process our world together?”
The season commences with the U.S. premiere of Kneehigh Theatre's production of the Noël Coward classic Brief Encounter. Emma Rice directs the Olivier Award-nominated production that is described as "a jaw-dropping fusion of theater, film, and celebrated songs from the Coward repertoire." (Sept. 11-Oct. 11).
David Mamet's recent Broadway political comedy November, which follows "President Charles Smith, the most corrupt, inept buffoon ever to sit in the Oval Office," follows (Oct. 23-Nov. 22).
A.C.T. will present a co-production of Jean Racine's Phèdre in a new world premiere translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Carey Perloff will direct Seana McKenna, who stars as "Phèdre, a woman caught in an agonizing love triangle with her husband, King Theseus of Athens, and his son by a former marriage." (Jan. 15-Feb. 7, 2010).
Tony Award winner John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company) returns to A.C.T. to stage a new production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle, translated by Domenique Lozano. "In the land of Caucasus, a servant girl saves the life of an abandoned baby boy. But when the wealthy mother returns to claim him, 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." (Feb. 18-March 14, 2010). Playwright Morris Panych will direct his dark comedy Vigil, which stars stage and screen veteran Olympia Dukakis and Marco Barricelli. "Barricelli stars as a self-involved bachelor who is summoned to care for an elderly aunt, whom he hasn't seen since childhood." (March 25-April 18, 2010).
Also on the bill is a new production of Alan Ayckbourn's Round and Round the Garden, starring Manoel Felciano as "Norman, [who] channels Casanova in his fervent attempts to seduce his two sisters-in-law and estranged wife during a weekend family gathering." (April 29-May 23, 2010).
The final offering will be the world premiere of the San Francisco valentine, The Tosca Project, a new collaborative work created by A.C.T.'s Carey Perloff and San Francisco Ballet choreographer Val Caniparoli. Dancers Sabina Allemann and Pascal Molat will appear with actor Peter Anderson in the work that uses "North Beach's legendary Tosca Café as a metaphor for all those magical bars around the world in which the ghosts of a million encounters remain present in the air." (June 3-27, 2010).
The annual seasonal offering, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, will star James Carpenter and feature direction by Domenique Lozano. (Dec. 4-27, 2009).
Season subscriptions, ranging $70-$570, are currently on sale by phoning (415) 749-2250 or by visiting www.act-sf.org. Single tickets begin sale in late August.