A.C.T.'s award-winning conservatory presents a wide array of productions each year, featuring some of the brightest and most creative performers in the country. From showcasing the talents of students training in the nationally renowned Master of Fine Arts Program, to unveiling the prodigious skills of young actors (ages 8–19) studying in the Young Conservatory, these productions are a place where students put their skills into practice, engage with enthusiastic audiences, and create some of the most dynamic work you'll see onstage.

Join us for the 2015–16 season, which includes vibrant classics, exciting premieres,
and imaginative new productions.

Upcoming M.F.A. Program and YC Shows

The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program presents


May 6–14, 2016

Inspired by The Cardenio Project by Stephen Greenblatt and Charles Mee
Directed by Delia MacDougall

When a young couple marries in San Francisco, love is in the air. A happy ending looks inevitable—until the groom’s parents show up with an unexpected wedding present, an impromptu performance of Shakespeare’s lost play. With the arrival of an old flame, the best man, and a sneaky sister, the plot of our play-within-a-play thickens, and love’s gravity draws the star-cross’d overs in very different directions. Inspired by The Cardenio Project by literary scholar Stephen Greenblatt and playwright Charles Mee (Big Love), Cardenio weds contemporary language to dramatic verse, creating a modern romantic farce that gives Shakespeare a shake-up.

Performances take place at The Rueff at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street, San Francisco.

The Rocky Horror Show

May 12–15, 2016

by Richard O'Brien
Directed by John Carrafa

Meshing B-movie camp and black lingerie with a loving homage to 1950s sci-fi, this costumed cabaret is the original cult musical. It follows young lovers Brad and Janet as they tramp through the rain after their car breaks down. Seeking help at the castle of cross-dressing scientist Frank N. Furter, they stumble on a secret world of muscle men, transvestites, and aliens. The actors of A.C.T.’s M.F.A. Program take on the spectacular show that spawned a subculture—come in costume or just join in the fun. Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Excited for The Rocky Horror Show? So are we! We hope you’ll come in costume, buy a drink (…or two), and get ready to make some noise.

Please note that props (including, but not limited to, newspaper, water guns, toast, confetti, rice, rubber gloves, and lighters) are not allowed in the theater.

Thank you for understanding, and enjoy the show!

Performances take place at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street, San Francisco.

Buy both shows and save!

Visit The Strand this May for a pair of spring flings! The romantic farce Cardenio features love's marvelous messiness, and the cult classic musical The Rocky Horror Show will make you shiver with anticipation.

Buy now and save when you purchase tickets to both shows!


Stage Coach and The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program present

Black Orpheus: Una Historia de Amor

Beginning May 8

Based on the play Orfeo de la Concepcion by Vinícius de Moraes

Adapted by Thom.Green, Adrianna K. Mitchell, and Akilah A. Walker

With additional text by the ensemble

Translated by Beatriz Miranda-Torres and Diana Gonzalez-Morett

Directed by Stephen Buescher

After his beloved Eurydice is stolen by Death, guitar-toting poet Orpheus ventures into the underworld in an attempt to retrieve her. Set in a mythical barrio during Carnival, Black Orpheus: Una Historia de Amor is inspired by the play Orfeo de la Concepcion by Brazilian poet and playwright, Vinicius de Moraes. This Stage Coach production layers Afro-Latino rhythms with visual storytelling to bring this vivid story to life. As they tour communities of the Bay Area, A.C.T.’s M.F.A. Program actors create a classic love story with a Carnival heartbeat.

Sunday, May 8 at 1:30 p.m.: Persia Triangle, Excelsior

With special appearances by Sambaxé Dance Company and Bateria Força Feminina.

Special performance by Cypress String Quartet at 4 p.m.

Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m.: La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley

Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m.: Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m.: Mendell Plaza, Bayview

In collaboration with 3rd on Third, Bayview Opera House, and Carnaval SF.

With special appearances by Sambaxé Dance Company and Bateria Força Feminina.

Saturday, May 14 at 4 p.m.: Yerba Buena Gardens

In collaboration with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, A.C.T. celebrates the new SFMOMA.

With special appearances by Sambaxé Dance Company and Bateria Força Feminina.

Free and open to the public­­­—no reservations necessary!

For more information, call 415.439.2442.


The High School Musical and Cabaret Ensembles perform

Through the Years with Jason Robert Brown

May 20–23, 2016

While A.C.T. brings the remarkable Jason Robert Brown musical The Last Five Years to the Geary stage, the Musical and Cabaret Ensembles join in the celebration upstairs in The Garret with a program of music that has defined Mr. Brown’s career. Featuring songs from his solo work to selections from his award-winning musicals, our Jason Robert Brown cabaret tribute pays homage to one of our great contemporary composers.

All YC Junior Cabaret performances take place at The Garret on the fifth floor of A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary Street, San Francisco.

The A.C.T. Young Conservatory presents

Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting

Book by Craig Slaight
Directed by Domenique Lozano and Craig Slaight
August 16–28, 2016

From the overwhelming success of the rock band Police to his breakout solo career, Gordon Matthew Sumner, known in the music world as Sting, is one of the all-time great singer-songwriters. Part of the ongoing series of musical tributes from the A.C.T. Young Conservatory, Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting features 30 years of music, interwoven with a unique story concerning a group of Amish and non-Amish youth coming of age in the American heartland. With such hits as “Be Still My Beating Heart,” “If You Love Somebody,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Fields of Gold,” “Synchronicity,” and “When We Dance,” Sting has been a favorite of young and old alike. Join us as we celebrate the music of Sting.

Performances take place in A.C.T.’s Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street, San Francisco.

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