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 2014–15 season, which includes vibrant classics, exciting premieres,
and imaginative new productions.

M.F.A. Program and YC Shows


A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program performs in repertory


October 16–November 1, 2014
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Nancy Benjamin

Running time: 2 hr 25 min with one 15 min intermission

Caught in the timeless question of "to be or not to be," Hamlet seeks to avenge the death of his father, the King of Denmark, as his father's brother quickly marries his mother and steps in as ruler. Haunted by ghosts and the bonds of family loyalty, the young Prince of Denmark struggles to overcome his own weaknesses in his pursuit of justice. Resonating with themes of love and revenge that have echoed through the centuries, Hamlet showcases some of Shakespeare's most beautiful soliloquies and memorable characters, from the troubled Ophelia to the wryly comic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.


A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program performs in repertory

The Cherry Orchard

October 17–November 1, 2014
by Anton Chekhov
Directed by Mark Rucker

Running time: 2 hr 15 min with one 15 min intermission

In Chekhov's celebrated last play, an aristocratic Russian woman and her family return to their estate to try to save it—and its famous cherry orchard—before it is auctioned off to pay the mortgage. The action spins from comedy to tragedy as family members, family friends, and servants vie to have their say in the proceedings. A heartbreaking, exquisite work from one of theater's most influential playwrights, The Cherry Orchard presents a searing look at a changing social world—and the people caught in its grasp.


Double up on the classics and save!

See both Hamlet and The Cherry Orchard for only $15 each (a savings of $10).
Click here to access this special offer.

Performances for both productions take place at The Costume Shop, 1117 Market Street, San Francisco.

A.C.T. Young Conservatory performs


All Joel: Songs by Billy Joel

November 7–10, 2014
A special cabaret program paying tribute to pop icon and singer/songwriter Billy Joel.  A multigenerational favorite, Billy Joel has had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972.

Singer's Choice: Songs with Special Meaning

January 30–February 2, 2015
Directed by Robert K. Rutt and Craig Slaight
This program is specially chosen by the performers, offering the young artists the challenge of bringing songs that mean so much to them to our cabaret audience. The program is always a popular one for our audience as it embraces multiple styles of music.

Jule, Jule, Jule Styne: The Songs of Jule Styne

March 20–23, 2015
Directed by Robert K. Rutt and Craig Slaight
Our tribute to one of the truly great musical theater composers, Jule Styne, will feature songs from many of his most famous Broadway scores—Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy, and Funny Girl. We will also offer some little-known gems from Styne's amazing catalogue.


Comedy Tonight: Songs that Make Us Laugh

May 15–18, 2015
Directed by Robert K. Rutt and Craig Slaight
Always our favorite, closing the season with a laugh. The song list comes from the repertoire of pop, standards, Broadway, and cabaret.


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


A.C.T. Young Conservatory performs

The Ballad of Bonnie Prince Chucky

November 18–23, 2014
by Wendy Macleod
Directed by Amelia Stewart

In this new play, co-commissioned by A.C.T. and His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, Scotland, celebrated American playwright Wendy Macleod offers a lightning-quick comedy of the battles mostly off the field among a Scottish private school’s rugby team.  Status on the field equals status off the field as these rugged players (boys, girls, and the conflicted) fight for who rules. When two boys named Charles claim to be king, the game is ON! Macleod’s characters are sharply focused, witty, and caustic in this hilarious contemporary story.

Performances take place at Theater at the Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th Street, San Francisco.

A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program performs

Side by Side by Sondheim

A Musical Entertainment

December 10–13, 2014

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
And Music by Leonard Bernstein, Mary Rogers, Richard Rogers, Jule Styne
Continuity by Ned Sherrin
Directed by Nick Gabriel
Produced on Broadway by Harold Prince in association with Ruth Mitchell

Join A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program students for this glorious musical revue of some of Stephen Sondheim’s most romantic and hilarious songs. Cleverly interweaving Sondheim’s unforgettable songs with fascinating backstage stories and scintillating personal anecdotes, Side by Side by Sondheim sparkles with musical gems from the composer’s most-loved shows, from Follies and Company to A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd. Sondheim’s work has redefined the wit and sophistication of musical theater for generations of audiences, and Side by Side by Sondheim offers an intimate look at the brilliant work of one of the most celebrated composers of all time.

Performances take place at The Garret, located on the fifth floor of A.C.T.’s Geary Theater at 415 Geary Street, San Francisco.

A.C.T. Young Coservatory performs

A Stone’s Throw

February 10–15, 2015
by JC Marshall
Directed by Domenique Lozano
A Co-Commission with His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, Scotland

Tomorrow Island is a tiny pebble in the freezing polar sea of the North.
Every year the eccentric islanders dig an ice runway so the supply plane can land.
One day they decide enough is enough. There’s a perfectly decent concrete runway on the abandoned island next door. And all they need to do to use it is declare war on one of the world’s greatest superpowers….
A play about identity, democracy, and ice golf.

Performances take place at Theater at the Children’s Creativity Museum, 221 4th Street, San Francisco.