A.C.T. announced that AT&T has awarded the theatre a $75,000 grant as part of the 1999 AT&T: On stage program. The grant is production-based and specified for the support of the world-premiere production of The First Picture Show by the father and son team of Ain Gordon and David Gordon. The show will be staged at CA's Geary Theater from May 6-June 6,m 1999.
A leading corporate sponsor of the arts for more than 50 years, AT&T created the AT&T Foundation in 1984 as the company's principal instrument for philanthropy and its centerpiece for public service in communities where AT&T employees live and work. AT&T: On stage is designed to encourage innovative regional and institutional theatre companies to develop and present new works for the American stage. Past A.C.T. productions supported by AT&T include: The Intiman Theatre in Seattle's production of Ellen McLaughlin's Tongue of a Bird, August Wilson's Seven Guitars, and the 1995 A.C.T. production of Hecuba.
The First Picture Show features book and lyrics by Ain Gordon (Birdseed Bundles and Wally's Ghost) and David Gordon (The Mysteries And What's So Funny?) , music by Jeanine Tesori (Violet), and is directed by David Gordon. A time-bending musical montage about the early years of motion pictures, the piece is told as the story of 99-year-old Anne First, one of the last surviving women directors of silent film. Living out her final years in obscurity in a movie colony retirement home, she is rediscovered by her great niece, who is making a documentary on silent film's golden age -‹ when the artistic possibilities of a revolutionary new medium clashed with the fear and censorship engendered by the emergence of a new technology.
For tickets or more information on A.C.T.'s The First Picture Show , playing May 6-June 6, 1999 call (415) 749-2228.
-- By Sean McGrath