Bill Irwin and Geoff Hoyle Clown Their Way Through Scapin in San Fran; Cast Announced

By Kenneth Jones
August 5, 2010

The eclectic cast of Bill Irwin's new American Conservatory Theatre production of Molière's Scapin, co-adapted with Mark O'Donnell, will include Pickle Family Circus veteran Geoff Hoyle, plus students and core A.C.T. company members.



The 2010-11 A.C.T. season opens Sept. 16–Oct. 10 in San Francisco with two-time Tony Award winner Irwin (Fool Moon, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf) starring in the title role, and also directing.

"In this lively baggy-pants comedy, the rascally title character balances his penchant for mayhem and mischief with a promise to help two pairs of wide-eyed lovers. Irwin whips commedia dell'arte, live music, and his trademark sophisticated clowning into a frenzy, transforming this 17th-century farce of mistaken identities and mishaps into a sparkling theatrical event perfect for all ages."

This show reunites Irwin with several of his former pals from San Francisco's Pickle Family Circus: Celebrated Bay Area actor Geoff Hoyle takes on the role of Scapin's curmudgeonly master, Geronte; Randy Craig (who works with the San Francisco Mime Troupe) will compose the music and perform in the show; and San Francisco choreographer Kimi Okada will serve as movement consultant.

A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff said in a statement: "The incomparable Bill Irwin has made comic mischief with Bay Area clowns for decades and is reuniting with some of his favorite artists from his early days in San Francisco, so it feels like a delightful family effort and a gift to Bay Area audiences of all ages. This production of Scapin is the perfect fusion of so many aspects of A.C.T.: a collaboration among our extraordinary core company and extended family, along with three of our finest comic M.F.A. Program actors."

The cast includes René Augesen and Gregory Wallace, A.C.T. core acting company members; Ashley Wickett, Patrick Lane, and Richardson Jones, members of the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program class of 2011; Omozé Idehenre and Jud Williford, A.C.T. M.F.A. Program graduates; and Steven Anthony Jones, a longtime member of the A.C.T. artistic family. Keith Terry, a celebrated percussionist and clown, will round out the show's musical accompaniment along with Randy Craig.

"In this adaptation of Scapin — an irreverent and self-referential adaptation he created with Mark O'Donnell (who won a 2003 Tony Award for co-writing the book of the musical Hairspray) — Irwin creates a theatrical rollercoaster ride featuring live music, chase scenes, and a big dance number, as well as playful barbs at A.C.T."

For tickets and information, visit www.act-sf.org.