A.C.T.'s New Season Includes Venus in Fur, Frank Galati's 1776, B.D. Wong in The Orphan of Zhao
By Kenneth Jones
American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) revealed four of its seven 2013-14 season titles, including a new production of the musical 1776, directed by Tony Award winner Frank Galati, and B.D. Wong starring in a new adaptation of the Chinese epic The Orphan of Zhao.
Artistic director Carey Perloff announced some of the 47th subscription season on Feb. 19. Additional productions for the 2013-14 season, as well as the complete show order and performance schedule, will be announced at a later date.
Also planned for the San Francisco company's coming schedule are David Ives' Venus in Fur and a revival of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, a coproduction with Canada's Theatre Calgary.
Here's A.C.T.'s plan so far:
The West Coast premiere of Tony Award-winning director Galati's new staging of the musical 1776, seen earlier in Florida. The 1969 Tony-winning musical by Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards charts the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The Northern California premiere of Venus in Fur, Ives' sexy and darkly comic two-hander about an actress' audition for a new play about sex, power and domination — and the director-writer who controls it. Or does he? California Shakespeare Theater artistic director Jonathan Moscone (who staged A.C.T.'s acclaimed production of Clybourne Park in 2011) directs.
The Orphan of Zhao, James Fenton's "beautiful reinvention of a classic Chinese legend that has its roots back in the fourth century BCE." Stage and screen star B.D. Wong (M. Butterfly, Pacific Overtures, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") will make his A.C.T. debut. According to A.C.T., "In the aftermath of a violent coup, an epic story of self-sacrifice and revenge plays out as a young orphan discovers the shattering truth behind his origins. Often described as the Chinese Hamlet, this gripping tale was the first Chinese play to be translated in the West nearly 300 years ago and has inspired countless operas, plays, and movies."
Shaw's political comedy Major Barbara — about a Salvation Army officer who becomes disillusioned when her church accepts money from a morally questionable source (her father!). Theatre Calgary's artistic director Dennis Garnhum directs. It will feature an international cast of both Canadian and American actors.
The Bay Area's holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol, adapted from the Charles Dickens story by Paul Walsh and Carey Perloff.
For more information, visit act-sf.org.
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