A.C.T. Announces 2009 Gala, Illuminate the Night
A.C.T.'s Singular Gala Features Tony Award Winner Judy Kaye and Benefits A.C.T.'s Acclaimed Conservatory Programs. The Black-Tie Event to Take Place
Sunday, April 19, 2009, at San Francisco's Four Seasons Hotel.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 19, 2009—American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) and gala co-chairs Carla Crane and Chandra Geiger Gordon are proud to announce A.C.T.'s 2008–09 season gala, Illuminate the Night, featuring an exclusive performance by Judy Kaye, Tony Award–winning star of A.C.T.'s Sweeney Todd and Souvenir. The entertainment for this wonderful evening also includes performances by A.C.T.'s own Master of Fine Arts Program and Young Conservatory students, created and directed by John Carrafa, the Tony Award–nominated choreographer of Urinetown, the Musical on Broadway and at A.C.T. One of the most anticipated cultural events of the season, Illuminate the Night benefits A.C.T.'s renowned conservatory, which provides training for children as young as eight to adults and seniors through its Master of Fine Arts Program, the Young Conservatory, Studio A.C.T., and the Summer Training Congress. Join San Francisco's most prominent community leaders in supporting A.C.T.'s award-winning conservatory with this fun and star-studded event on Sunday, April 19, 2009, at San Francisco's Four Seasons Hotel (757 Market Street, San Francisco). Tickets, at individual and table sponsorship levels, are now available. For more information about the gala, please visit A.C.T.'s website at www.act-sf.org/gala, or contact Luz Perez at 415.439.2470 or email@example.com.
Says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff: "After last year's sold-out smash hit gala with Christine Ebersole, we are thrilled to announce that this year's headliner will be the incomparable Judy Kaye, who not only delighted thousands of Bay Area audience members with her riveting Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd last season, but taught a master class to our M.F.A. Program students that inspired them throughout the year. We know that Judy will help create a magical evening celebrating and supporting A.C.T.'s extraordinary conservatory." Illuminate the Night gala co-chairs Crane and Geiger Gordon add: "Illuminate the Night has come to be treasured as an event that is not only deeply meaningful to future generations of the American theater, but also a hugely fun and inspiring landmark on the San Francisco cultural events calendar for all art supporters."
At the black-tie event held at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel in downtown San Francisco, guests never know what stars of stage and screen they may encounter over cocktails. Last year, cast members of the hit T.V. show Heroes were among the crowd. During the elegant dinner in the theatrically transformed Grand Ballroom you may find yourself sitting near the likes of Gavin Newsom, Olympia Dukakis, or such A.C.T. Conservatory's alumni stars such as Anika Noni Rose, Elizabeth Banks, and Annette Bening. It is the exceptional entertainment that is the hallmark of Illuminate the Night, which will include the amazing musical talents of the A.C.T.'s M.F.A. Program and Young Conservatory students, together with a captivating performance by Tony Award–winning artist Judy Kaye.
Judy Kaye originated the title role of Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins on Broadway (Tony Award nomination), a role she has also played at The York Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Brentwood Theatre in Los Angeles (LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award), and Arizona Theatre Company. She appeared as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd on Broadway and at A.C.T. last season. She performed in Face the Music for New York City Center's Encores! series and in Zorba in the Los Angeles Reprise! series. Highlights of her career include Phantom of the Opera (Tony Award; Drama Desk Award nomination), Mamma Mia! (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), On the Twentieth Century (Theatre World Award; Drama Desk Award nomination), and Ragtime (LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award), all on Broadway, as well as La Bohème, Orpheus in the Underworld, and The Beggars Opera at The Santa Fe Opera. Kaye has performed with symphony orchestras around the world and sung at the White House twice. She is the voice of Kinsey Millhone for Random House's audio book series of the Sue Grafton alphabet mysteries.
Proceeds from the gala benefit A.C.T.'s acclaimed conservatory, led by Melissa Smith and George Thompson, which annually serves more than 3,000 students through its heralded actor-training programs, and represents an integral part of A.C.T.'s mission. Ranked as one of the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program functions as the cornerstone of the A.C.T. Conservatory, which also includes the Summer Training Congress, Studio A.C.T., and the Young Conservatory. Elizabeth Banks, Benjamin Bratt, Annette Bening, Danny Glover, Anika Noni Rose, and Denzel Washington are among the conservatory's distinguished former students. With its commitment to excellence in actor training and to the relationship between training, performance, and audience, the A.C.T. Conservatory has moved to the forefront of America's actor training programs, while serving as the creative engine of the company at large. For more information, please visit www.act-sf.org/conservatory.
Now in its 42nd season, American Conservatory Theater is a Tony Award–winning theater and educational institution dedicated to nurturing the art of live theater through dynamic productions, intensive actor training in its conservatory, and an ongoing dialogue with its community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Carey Perloff and Executive Director Heather Kitchen, A.C.T. embraces its responsibility to conserve, renew, and reinvent its relationship to the rich theatrical traditions and literatures that are our collective legacy, while exploring new artistic forms and new communities.
PHOTO EDITORS: Publicity images for the A.C.T. season gala are available at http://www.act-sf.org/press.
CALENDAR EDITORS, please note:
Illuminate the Night
A gala event benefiting the A.C.T. conservatory
Sunday, April 19, 2009, starting at 5 p.m.
The Four Seasons Hotel
757 Market Street, San Francisco
Table Sponsorship Levels: $50,000; $25,000; and $10,000
Individual Ticket Price: $1,000
Featuring a cocktail hour, an elegant dinner and performances by Tony Award winner Judy Kaye (Broadway's Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia! and A.C.T.'s Sweeney Todd and Souvenir) and A.C.T. Young Conservatory and Master of Fine Arts Program students directed by John Carrafa (Urinetown, The Musical), Illuminate the Night has become one of the most anticipated cultural events of the season. A.C.T.'s singular annual gala event is a fundraiser for A.C.T.'s acclaimed conservatory programs and a celebration of A.C.T.'s 42-year legacy in San Francisco.