Greetings! We are delighted to introduce A.C.T.’s 2016–17 Student Matinee (SMAT) Program. Whether you’re new to A.C.T. or have made our productions a regular part of your school year for decades, we invite you and your students to experience our insightful, engaging, and transformative upcoming season. Read on for your exclusive opportunity to order advance tickets.
One of the first companies in the nation to offer low-cost performance tickets to schoolchildren, A.C.T. has brought the power of live theater to hundreds of thousands of students since the company’s arrival in San Francisco in 1967. Each year, our SMAT Program introduces the joy of theatrical storytelling to young audiences from all over the Bay Area and beyond, many of whom would not otherwise attend theater. Join us for the highest-quality productions and unique ACTsmart workshops customized for your students—all at very affordable prices. Only at A.C.T. can you experience theatrical storytelling in its most dynamic expression as we strive to bring you large-scale, multidisciplinary productions of our culture’s greatest classic and contemporary dramatic literature.
This season we celebrate A.C.T.’s 50th anniversary with a repertoire of timeless classics and bold new contemporary
WORLD-PREMIERE THEATRICAL ADAPTATION OF THE BEST-SELLING NOVEL
Feb 10, 2017, at 1 p.m.
A.C.T.'s Geary Theater
Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini
Adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma
Original music written and performed by David Coulter
Directed by Carey Perloff
The epic story of three generations of Afghan women and their remarkable resilience, A Thousand Splendid Suns is set amid the war-torn streets of modern-day Kabul. Beautiful Laila, unmarried and pregnant, is forced to marry her older neighbor when her family and home are torn apart. After she forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her husband’s first wife, the two women find the hope and strength to raise a new generation in a stunning new production featuring live music from renowned composer and saw player David Coulter. “Hosseini’s writing makes our hearts ache, our stomachs clench, and our emotions reel” (USA Today). Depicts violence and mature themes.
ROBERT LEPAGE’S VISIONARY HIT PLAY
Written and Directed by Robert Lepage
Jazz legend Miles Davis travels to Europe in 1949 to discover the pleasures of Paris, unlock his creativity, and find his heroine in Juliette Gréco. At the same time, French filmmaker Jean Cocteau embarks on his own opium-fueled journey to New York. Individually, the stories are thrilling and heartbreaking, but what elevates this production is the extraordinary storytelling. Visionary Canadian director Robert Lepage mounts his set inside a vast suspended cube, with which he frames interlocking scenes from the different journeys. The result is not only a breathtaking dive into art and exile but also a spellbinding mix of stagecraft and visual storytelling. Depicts mature themes.
THE LATEST HIT FROM THE 2014 PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT
Apr 18, 2017, at 1 p.m.
A.C.T.'s Strand Theater
Written by Annie Baker
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
A haunting story that took off-Broadway by storm, John is the latest hit from American theater’s hottest new voice—2014 Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker (The Flick). Jenny and Elias show up at an old bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—he wants to tour the historic battlegrounds; she wants to be left alone. But in the creaking house they find something unsettling. Is it the spirits of the Civil War dead? The smiling dolls that line the rooms? Or their curious landlady, Mertis, who switches their bedroom because “the Jackson Room can be a little temperamental”? A delicious nerve-jangler hailed as “a true masterpiece!” (Slate), this is a visceral ghost story with a millennial twist that will haunt the intimate Strand Theater. Contains adult language.
LEGENDARY DIRECTOR PETER BROOK RETURNS TO A.C.T.
May 5, 2017 at 1 p.m.
A.C.T.'s Geary Theater
Based on The Mahabharata and the play by Jean-Claude Carrière
Adapted and Directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne
Following his stunning worldwide success with The Suit, which played to standing ovations and sold-out houses at A.C.T. in 2014, legendary director Peter Brook is back. Thirty years after Brook’s groundbreaking adaptation of the Indian epic The Mahabharata, the director has created an intimate new interpretation and staging of this timeless tale in perhaps his finest work. A newly crowned king surveys a postwar battlefield—his army has won him the crown, but at what price? Written almost 2,500 years ago, The Mahabharata’s magical story of finding tranquility in the midst of war and destruction has striking connections to modern times, and has inspired some of Brook’s most beautiful images and most transformative theatrical moments. “Like a zen master, Peter Brook refines and concentrates his theater ever more. He offers us a play that resembles a perfect and suspended movement, light as a breath” (Le Monde).
Mar 6–17, 2017
Written by William Shakespeare
Our popular annual Shakespeare tour to schools continues in the 2016–17 season! If you would like information about availability for this year’s tour, please email email@example.com.
Student Matinee Basic Information
- Student matinees begin at 1 p.m. Following each performance there will be a brief, lively conversation between the cast and students (attendance is optional).
- A.C.T. provides one complimentary ticket for every ten purchased tickets.
- Teachers receive an electronic copy of Words on Plays, A.C.T.'s nationally acclaimed performance guide, approximately two weeks before each scheduled performance. Packed with fascinating articles and interviews, intriguing study questions, and essential background information, these guides are the perfect way to prepare your students to engage with the world of each play.
- If the student matinee you request is sold out, orders may be placed on a waiting list. Waiting list orders will be confirmed at least two weeks before the performance. Payment must accompany waiting list orders but will not be processed unless your seats are confirmed.
- Seating priority is based on receipt of full payment.
- A.C.T. also offers affordable student-group rates for regular performances of these productions.
A.C.T. also offers innovative workshops, led by master teaching artists, designed to enhance your student matinee experience. Whether you want to introduce your students to a play's plot and characters in advance, connect its themes to your classroom curriculum, or prompt discussion and debate after the show, we can create a workshop that addresses your particular classroom needs. Reasonably priced workshops (discounted for Title I schools) are available for groups of up to 30 and can take place at an A.C.T. Venue or in your school.
For more information about workshops, contact Director of Education Elizabeth Brodersen at 415.439.2475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plays, artists, theaters, and schedules subject to change.
© 2016 American Conservatory Theater-a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization. Number 94-6135772.