New Strands Residency

Made possible by Hewlett Foundation’s New Works Endowment and by the Edgerton Foundation Fund for New American Theatre

Launched in 2017, the New Strands Residency gives emerging and established American playwrights the opportunity to create and develop new works in residence at A.C.T.’s state-of-the-art Strand Theater.

Each year, A.C.T. will partner with a nationally recognized new-work incubator to select three playwrights, who will spend a week in San Francisco. Over the course of their residency, the playwrights will participate in a reading of their work, develop and workshop their plays-in-progress with directors and a shared ensemble of actors, and sit on various panel discussions. The New Strands Residency culminates with a free public presentation of their work during A.C.T.’s annual New Strands Festival.


Our 2019 partner is Page 73, a launchpad for promising playwrights at a vital point in their careers.

Our 2018 partner theater company was SPACE on Ryder Farm, a one-of-a-kind artist residency located on the grounds of a 223-year-old working organic farm in Brewster, NY.

Our 2017 partner was Drama Desk and OBIE Award–winning not-for-profit Ma-Yi Theater Company, one of the country’s leading incubators of new work—generated by their in-house Writers Lab—shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today.


A.C.T. New Strands Commissions


by Casey Lee Hurt

When you come from small-town America, it takes courage to leave and strength to stay. Composer Casey Lee Hurt (The Unfortunates) crafts an epic musical about family and first love, the history of the land, and the power of the church.

Casey Lee Hurt
Casey Lee Hurt

Mi Cuba

Featuring Lorena Feijóo and Alfredo Rodríguez
With text written by Caridad Svich
Directed by Dámaso Rodríguez

Inspired by four artists’ personal experiences defecting from Cuba and making their lives in the United States, Mi Cuba is an evening-length,piece that celebrates these artists’ roots, while at the same time, embracing the blending of cultures, artistic mediums, and life stories.

Dámaso Rodríguez
Dámaso Rodríguez
Caridad Svich
Caridad Svich
Alfredo Rodríguez
Alfredo Rodríguez
Lorena Feijóo
Lorena Feijóo

Ufot Cycle Part 8


by Mfoniso Udofia

Mfoniso Udofia continues her epic nine-play Ufot family cycle with a new play for young audiences. This piece follows the third generation of the family, and centers on Kufre, a 14-year old Nigerian-American boy who has just arrived in Harlem and who must figure out how to fit in. Her Portmanteau, the fourth play in the cycle, was produced at A.C.T. in 2019.

Mfoniso Udofia
Mfoniso Udofia


by Elsa Davis

This as-yet-untitled play explores the expansive terrain for self-discovery opened by art education, its transformative effects on the lives of adolescents, and the impact of inequality of access.

Elsa Davis
Elsa Davis

M.F.A. Program Commissions

Both Your Houses

by Susan Soon He Stanton
Directed by Mina Morita
Co-commissioned by Crowded Fire

Romances blossom, resentments fester, and rumors spread at a performance of Romeo and Juliet. And that’s just onstage. In this co-commission with Crowded Fire Theater playwright Susan Soon He Stanton shines a spotlight on life in a regional theater, the #MeToo movement, and how risky it can be to speak up.

Susan Soon He Stanton
Susan Soon He Stanton
Mina Morita
Mina Morita

Malicious Animal Magnetism

by Dipika Guha and Jeremy Cohen
Directed by Jeremy Cohen
Co-commissioned by Z Space

In 1973, amid men in suits, men weeping, and one psychiatrist in a Nixon mask, ten-year-old Peter witnesses a landmark moment in gay rights and reaches out to grab the hand of Oakland boy Deshawn. An epic story about love, queerness, and what we can't help looking at.

Dipika Guha
Dipika Guha
Jeremy Cohen
Jeremy Cohen

Young Conservatory Commissions

The Code

Book, music, and lyrics by Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses

One of them stole the final exam and must face expulsion. No one has confessed. All seven members of St. Jude Prep’s Senior Seminar are sequestered in the library, where the school’s mysteries emerge and history comes alive as stories of the past and present intertwine.


Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses
Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses

Recent Commissions and Residencies


Produced at A.C.T. 2018

A Place To Belong

by Marisela Treviño Orta
Directed by Elizabeth Carter


Produced at A.C.T. 2017

A Thousand Splendid Suns

by Ursula Rani Sarma
based on the novel
by Khaled Hosseini
Directed by Carey Perloff


by Lachlan Philpott
Directed by Becca Wolfe

Produced at A.C.T. in 2016

Crack. Rumble. Fly:
Bayview Stories Project

(formerly The Hill)

by Aleshea Harris
Directed by Tyrone Davis

Top of the Pyramid

by Nikkole Salter
Directed by Tyrone Davis   

Produced at A.C.T. in 2015


by Philip Kan Gotanda
and Sean San Jose
Directed by Carey Perloff

Other Recent Commissions & Residencies

Carlo At The Wedding

by Bryna Turner
Directed by Jenna Worsham

Mozilla Hot Desk Playwright in Residence

David Adjmi                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Buy Tickets Season Passes Donate Now Log In
© 2019 American Conservatory Theater-a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization. Number 94-6135772.
Privacy Policy | Contact Us