Science Fiction is Not Far From Fact in A.C.T. Young Conservatory's Futuristic Comedy Moontel Six
Acclaimed playwright Constance Congdon commission features the talents of the Young Conservatory's Junior Young Company.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 14, 2009—The A.C.T. Young Conservatory is proud to present members of its Junior Young Company in Moontel Six, Part 1 by A.C.T. favorite Constance Congdon (world premiere adaptations of A Mother, The Misanthrope, and The Imaginary Invalid at A.C.T.) and directed by Amelia Stewart. Life on the moon isn't easy, especially if you're a mutant teen. In this wacky futuristic comedy, a group of genetically altered teenagers, cast out of normal society, dream of earthly comforts while squatting in an abandoned hotel on the moon. But there's no rest for the weary as the human residents of nearby Moonstead Estates catch wind of their freaky DNA. Written especially for teen actors by famed prolific playwright Constance Congdon, Moontel Six was originally commissioned by A.C.T.'s award-winning Young Conservatory and performed in its full two-act version at London's National Theatre. Moontel Six, Part 1 plays August 2128, 2009, in the newly opened Hastings Studio Theater (30 Grant Avenue, 6th floor, San Francisco, CA 94108). Tickets are $20 (student and senior discounts available) and are available by calling A.C.T. Ticket Services at 415.749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org.
"Genetic engineering and its ramifications on life as we know it are at the forefront of today's news," says Young Conservatory Director Craig Slaight. "Connie's play is at once a whimsical and heartfelt exploration of the issues that surround the future of our race and a probing theatrical journey with young people at its heart. Moontel Six allows us to laugh at the absurdity while at the same time smart from the irony of what could very easily become reality."
Developed by Congdon and Slaight at the 2002 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Connecticut, Moontel Six furthers Congdon's exploration of scientific and intergalactic themes, which began with her most popular play, Tales of the Lost Formicans, hailed by Time magazine as "a travel guide to Middle America conducted by aliens from outer space."
Constance Congdon's best-known play is Tales of the Lost Formicans, which has had more than 200 productions worldwide. Other plays include Losing Father's Body, which premiered at Portland Stage; Casanova and Dog Opera, which both premiered at The Public Theater; Lips (Primary Stages); So Far: The Children of the Elvi (Key City Public Theatre); and The Automata Pietà, Moontel Six,and Nightingales, all commissioned by the A.C.T. Young Conservatory New Plays Program. Her new verse versions of Molière's The Misanthrope and The Imaginary Invalid were produced at A.C.T. and then published by Broadway Plays Publishing, Inc., the latter play also produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Her new version of Tartuffe has just been published by W. W. Norton and will be included in the new Norton Anthology of Drama. A Mother, her A.C.T.commissioned adaptation of Maxim Gorky's Vassa Zheleznova, premiered in 2004. Congdon's libretto for Peter Gordon's opera The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin was performed at the La MaMa Annex in New York in 1994. She also works with composers Ronald Perera, Mel Marvin, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lewis Spratlan (Earthrise, commissioned by San Francisco Opera) and has written eight plays for The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. Congdon has received an NEA playwriting fellowship, two Rockefeller Playwriting Awards (one for the Bellagio Center in Italy), a Guggenheim Fellowship, a W. Alton Jones Foundation grant, Newsday's Oppenheimer Award (for the New York production of Tales of the Lost Formicans), the Berilla Kerr Award, and the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award. She is an alumna of New Dramatists, a member of PEN and the Dramatists Guild, and teaches playwriting at Amherst College.
The cast for Moontel Six features the talents of the Young Conservatory's Junior Young Company, comprised of Bay Area students of middle school age or younger. The cast includes Jacqueline Blaska (Zipper), Leon Gilligan-Steinberg (Emo), Callum Goldfield-Askew (Eebee), Jack Goldfield-Askew (Toyn), William Lanier (Seven), Elizabeth Levinson (Geenoma), Kai Nau (Sark), Stephanie Sloves (Meema), Arda Ungun (Yuseef), and Sarah Withers (Uberbeth).
The A.C.T. Young Conservatory offers a broad range of theater training for young people aged 8 to 19. The ten sessions and four public productions offered throughout the year are designed to develop talent and creativity, as well as communication and cooperation skills, for young people with all levels of theater background. Working professional actors and directors lead students in a spectrum of classes, including acting, directing, voice and speech, musical theater, audition, and improvisation. Call 415.439.2444 or visit act-sf.org/conservatory for applications and information.
Moontel Six, Part 1 is made possible by a generous grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation with additional support provided by the Crescent Porter Hale Foundation and the David B. Gold Foundation.
CALENDAR EDITORS, please note:
A.C.T. Young Conservatory presents
MOONTEL SIX, Part 1
by Constance Congdon
Directed by Amelia Stewart
Life on the moon isn't easy, especially if you're a mutant teen. In this wacky futuristic comedy, a group of genetically altered teenagers, cast out of normal society, dream of earthly comforts while squatting in an abandoned hotel on the moon. But there's no rest for the weary as the human residents of nearby Moonstead Estates catch wind of their freaky DNA. Written especially for teen actors by famed prolific playwright Constance Congdon, Moontel Six was originally commissioned by A.C.T.'s award-winning Young Conservatory and performed at London's National Theatre.
Performances: Friday, August 21, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. (Preview)
Saturday, August 22, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. (Opening)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 27, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, August 28, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Hastings Studio Theater (30 Grant Avenue, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108)
Tickets: $20. Tickets are available through A.C.T. Ticket Services, 405 Geary Street at Mason, 415.749.2228, and online at www.act-sf.org.
Groups: Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts. Please call Edward Budworth at 415.439.2473.