George Hampe, Tom Bloom, Sharon Lockwood Among Players in George F. Walker's New Dead Metaphor at A.C.T.

Canadian dramatist George F. Walker gets a major American spotlight Feb. 28-March 24 with the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) world premiere of his dark comedy Dead Metaphor. Directed by Irene Lewis, the play satirizes "the hypocrisies and politics of postwar living."

Casting was announced Jan. 15. According to A.C.T., "When Dean returns home from the war in the Middle East and hits the job market, he discovers that his superior military skills don't get him very far in the business world. His readjustment to non-bunker life begins by moving in with his aging parents and pregnant ex-(and soon-to-be current) wife. When he is offered a job as poster boy for a crusading politician on her own mission for 'truth and justice,' his military ethics collide with the unscrupulous world of national political campaigns — and he discovers that his unique skill set may be his best asset after all."

Dead Metaphor will feature George Hampe — making his A.C.T. debut — in the role of Dean Trusk, the returning soldier; Tom Bloom ( Cyrano, Henry IV and Racing Demon on Broadway) as Hank Trusk, Dean's father; Rebekah Brockman ( A Christmas Carol at A.C.T.; Blithe Spirit at California Shakespeare Theater) as Jenny Trusk, Dean's ex-wife; and Sharon Lockwood ( 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, The Government Inspector and Hedda Gabler at A.C.T.) as Frannie Trusk, Dean's mother. They are joined by A.C.T. core acting company members René Augesen (recent productions of Elektra, Once in a Lifetime and Clybourne Park at A.C.T.; Blithe Spirit at California Shakespeare Theater) and Anthony Fusco (recent productions of Elektra, The Homecoming and Clybourne Park at A.C.T.; Blithe Spirit at California Shakespeare Theater) in the roles of Helen Denny, the political extremist, and her more mild-tempered husband, Oliver Denny.

Opening night at the Geary Theater, 415 Geary Street, San Francisco, is March 6.

A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff said in a statement, "I read Dead Metaphor all in one sitting — the first scene made me laugh out loud, the second scene was a shocker, and by the third scene I was totally hooked. In the spirit of Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, George Walker has an incredible knack for mining dark humor out of impossible circumstances, deploying a kind of vivid satire to make us listen to our own clichés and become aware of our own hypocrisy. And I can think of no one better than Irene Lewis, who staged a brilliant production of David Mamet's Race for us last season, to bring to life this world premiere by a major Canadian writer. A.C.T. audiences are in for an outrageous ride and a vivid glimpse at the underbelly of modern life and contemporary politics."

Walker's plays include Love and Anger, Nothing Sacred, Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline, Criminals in Love and the Suburban Motel plays, among others. He is a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2009, he received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Irene Lewis is former artistic director of Baltimore's Centerstage. The creative team for Dead Metaphor includes scenic designer Chris Barreca, costume designer Lydia Tanji, lighting designer Alexander V. Nichols and sound designer Cliff Caruthers.

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