Rene Auberjonois Joins New A.C.T. Season as The Imaginary Invalid

By Ernio Hernandez
March 22, 2006

Rene Auberjonois stars in The Imaginary Invalid as part of San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater upcoming 40th season, which also features the world premiere of Philip Kan Gotanda's After the War, the west coast debut of David Harrower's Blackbird among classics from Tom Stoppard, Lillian Hellman, Henrik Ibsen and W. Somerset Maugham.

"When I came to A.C.T. 15 years ago, the Geary lay in ruins and the company was in a perilous financial state. Since then, I have witnessed a tremendous period of growth," said artistic director Carey Perloff. "This anniversary season is a chance to celebrate some of the wonderful artists we have had the good fortune to work with at A.C.T., to bring great new works to a region that continues to support and cherish this company, and to look ahead toward an even brighter future."

The company will also present the non-subscription presentation of Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh's adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Dec. 5-24) with new revisions and a new Scrooge: local actor James Carpenter (Aurora Theatre Company's The Master Builder and A.C.T.'s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof).

A.C.T.'s season lineup (subject to change) is as follows:

  • Travesties by Tom Stoppard (Sept. 14-Oct. 5)
    Perloff directs the Zurich, Switzerland-set work where the lives of real-life characters including writer James Joyce, artist Tristan Tzara and revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) are connected by the show's narrator, British consul official Henry Wilfred Carr. A.C.T. core acting company members René Augesen and Gregory Wallace star.

  • The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman (Oct. 27-Nov. 26)
    Laird Williamson directs the work that centers around the rich Southern family of Regina Giddens whom all conspire — against each other — to acquire more riches from a prospective business deal.

  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (Dates TBD)
    A.C.T. core acting company member René Augesen stars in the title role of the classic tale of one woman's struggle to find her own independence.

  • After the War by Philip Kan Gotanda (Dates TBD)
    Perloff directs A.C.T. member Steven Anthony Jones in the new work commissioned by the company about the struggle of San Francisco's Japantown to rebuild itself following the interment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

  • Blackbird by David Harrower (Dates TBD)
    The British playwright pens a tale of a middle-aged office worker who is suddenly visited by a woman he knew 15 years earlier.

  • The Circle by W. Somerset Maugham (Dates TBD)
    Penned before his popular The Constant Wife, this work centers on a woman who left her husband for his best friend only to find herself back in town as her son is about to repeat history.

  • The Imaginary Invalid by Molière (June 7–July 8, 2007)
    Founding A.C.T. company member René Auberjonois is joined by current members René Augesen, Steven Anthony Jones and Gregory Wallace for the actor's first turn on the Geary Theater stage since the company's take on Molière's Tartuffe 40 years ago. Ron Lagomarsino directs the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Boston Legal" actor in the title role of the classic story of an old hypochondriac who insists he is sick.

    Tickets are available by subscription May 15 to the season at A.C.T., 415 Geary St. in San Francisco, CA, by calling (415) 749-2250. Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 6. For more information, visit www.act-sf.org.