About Major Barbara

Running time: 
2 hours and 40 minutes with a 15 minute intermission


“Rings with particular clarity and force…[Major Barbara has] intellectual tension that has you on the edge of your seat.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Exuberantly directed…It's hard to understand why this explosive comedy of manners is so seldom staged…Shaw's skewering of human civilization feels as damning as ever.”Bay Area News Group

“The longer we linger with the Undershaft clan, the more we get pulled into the vortex of moral and spiritual dilemma…who needs bullets when you have such sharp, explosive words?”Theatredogs.net

“Impeccable performances, sets and costuming…not much has changed in 109 years, especially if you consider the growing gap between ultra-rich and ultra-poor, the continued cynicism of business (particularly regarding the manufacture of weaponry), and the blind zeal that religious faith can spawn.Berkeley.Patch.com

"Immensely entertaining! A comedy of manners that skewers upper-class pretensions and lower-class dishonesty." San Francisco Chronicle

"Elegant, eloquent, and very funny"
—The New York Times

"A genteel firebomb of a play" —Variety

After 16 years, A.C.T. brings Shaw back to the stage with a sumptuous production of one of his most rich and witty works.  Salvation Army Officer Major Barbara is deeply disillusioned when her struggling church accepts money from her estranged father—a wealthy munitions manufacturer.  The church's new wealth is the poor's ticket to salvation, but was it God or 'gunpowder' that made the difference?  Timely and topical, Shaw's intriguing tangle of morality is a devilishly funny satire exploring themes of business, faith, family, and philanthropy. Coproduced with one of A.C.T.'s favorite Canadian collaborators, Major Barbara will be directed by Theatre Calgary Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and features an international cast of both Canadian and American actors.

M.F.A. Variety

Before select performances of Major Barbara, ticket-holders can attend M.F.A. Variety upstairs in our fifth-floor cabaret space, The Garret. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and drinks will be available for purchase. The 30-minute variety shows will feature student actors from our M.F.A. Program. For more information, and a list of performance dates and times, please visit act-sf.org/variety.