Who makes the rules that we obey and take for granted? When are they useful, and when should they be disrupted? Do rules make a playing field level, or does someone always have an advantage?

In our 2019–20 season, we explore the “rules of play”—how we choose to bend or break them. In the universal game of dress-up, we try on different roles to discover how they fit and who we really are.

 

 

2019–20 Season
 

Full-Season Subscriptions now available!


New Subscriber?
Click here to join the full 2019–20 Season!


Currently a 7-Play Subscriber?

Log in to your account to accept your renewal offer, or call us at 415.749.2250.


Currently a Partial Subscriber?

Follow the instructions in your renewal materials, or call us at 415.749.2250.

 

2019–20 Season

Top Girls

by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Tamilla Woodard

A.C.T.’s Geary Theater

The Geary Theater hosts the most unforgettable dinner party you’ll ever attend. In Thatcher’s Britain of the ’80s, Marlene celebrates a promotion with a dinner party full of legendary, historical, and mythical women, from Pope Joan to one of Chaucer’s pilgrims to an imperial Japanese courtesan. As the wine starts to flow, each of these iconic women shares her own stories of sacrifice and success—but where’s the sisterhood?

Written by Caryl Churchill (Love and Information), one of the English language’s greatest living playwrights, and directed by Tamilla Woodard (Men on Boats) in her return to A.C.T., this modern classic dissects feminism and the cost of progress in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, a country divided by class, cruelty, and capitalism.


“Breathtaking . . . a masterful work”
The Washington Post


“One of the most resonant theatrical set pieces of the past 50 years”
The New York Times

 

Testmatch

by Kate Atwell
Directed by Pam MacKinnon

A.C.T.’s Strand Theater

How can we understand the present, if we won’t acknowledge the past? Pam MacKinnon (in her Strand Theater debut) directs this scorching world premiere by playwright Kate Attwell—a contrast of two time-traveling stories focusing on cricket, a game of strict rules and hidden violence.

In the first story, tensions in the locker room rise during a match between rival women’s cricket players from England and India, as secrets spill about relationships, ambition, and the integrity of the sport. In the second, two British administrators in colonial India confront challenges on the field of play that threaten the entire regime.

Asking hard-hitting questions about colonialism, gender, and power, Testmatch launches an exciting new voice in American theater.

 

Wakey, Wakey

by Will Eno
Starring two-time Emmy Award winner Tony Hale

A.C.T.’s Geary Theater


“Is it now? I thought I had more time.”

What if you had just a few more minutes left to live? Obie Award–winning playwright Will Eno (The Realistic Joneses) crafts an intimate comedy drama that takes audiences on a theatrical journey that’s surprising, yet familiar.

Experience the play that has everyone talking—plus the curtain-raiser written especially for A.C.T. by Eno, and a party to follow the show. Starring two-time Emmy Award winner Tony Hale (HBO’s Veep and Fox’s/Netflix’s Arrested Development), Wakey, Wakey is a remarkable combination of the everyday and the extraordinary that invites you to share the pleasure, humor, and sheer absurdity of life.
 

“Glowingly dark, profoundly moving”
The New York Times

 

Gloria

by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Eric Ting

A.C.T.’s Strand Theater

In the editorial office of a Manhattan magazine, competing twentysomethings Ani, Dean, and Kendra are only interested in scoring a book deal to kick-start a career. But after disaster strikes, which one of them will write the story?

MacArthur “Genius” winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Appropriate, Everybody) reunites with Cal Shakes Artistic Director Eric Ting, who directed the playwright’s An Octoroon (2017) at Berkeley Rep. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, this scalpel-sharp dark comedy evolves into a provocative exploration of how we cope with trauma and the tales we tell each other to escape.


“[A] whip-smart satire of fear and loathing”

The New York Times 

“Shocking, hilarious and spectacularly honest”
Chicago Tribune

“A sharply observed satirical comedy . . . a springboard for the playwright to examine the ramifications of our exploitative, media-saturated age”
The Hollywood Reporter

 

Toni Stone

by Lydia R. Diamond
Choreographed by Camille A. Brown
Directed by Pam MacKinnon
A coproduction with Arena Stage

A.C.T.’s Geary Theater

“I had to play . . . I wanted to find the heart of the game.”
—Toni Stone
 

Toni Stone dreams of nothing but baseball. But to become the first woman to play professionally as a member of the Negro League’s Indianapolis Clowns, she must confront hostile crowds, ruthless team owners, and players who slide spikes first. As she negotiates life’s challenges and opportunities on and off the field, Toni stays true to herself and reaches for who she can be.

In this new play, playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Broadway’s Stick Fly and Showtime’s The Affair) uncovers the theatrical journey in Martha Ackmann’s book, Curveball: The Remarkable True Story of Toni Stone. The culmination of a six-year collaboration between Diamond and director Pam MacKinnonToni Stone is the extraordinary, real-life story of a trail-blazing Bay Area athlete.


“One of the best players you have never heard of”
—Negro Leagues Baseball Players Association

 

Richard O’Brien’s

The Rocky Horror Show

Book, music, and lyrics by Richard O’Brien
Directed and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton

A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
 

On a dark and stormy night, Brad and Janet get a flat tire . . . So begins our party at The Geary Theater. Tony Award–nominated director-choreographer Sam Pinkleton (Soft Power and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) reimagines this swirling, sci-fi world for 2020 San Francisco.

Before this cross-dressing classic was ever a midnight movie at The Strand, Richard O’Brien’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Magenta, and Riff Raff started life as a smash rock musical. Experience The Geary as never before in this outrageous celebration of sex, drag, rock’n’roll, and being who you really are. In a dazzling mix of sequins and fishnet stockings, “Let’s do the Time Warp again!”

 

“Delicious nostalgia”
The New York Times

“Thoroughly entertaining”
Broadway World

“A musical that deals with mutating identity and time warps becomes one of the most mutated, time-warped phenomena in show business”
The New York Times

 

Poor Yella Rednecks: Vietgone Part 2

by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Jaime Castañeda

A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
 

After the rollicking success of Vietgone (2018) at The Strand, playwright Qui Nguyen returns to A.C.T. for the second chapter in his kickass, hip-hop trilogy about a Vietnamese family who swap war-torn Saigon for rural ’70s Arkansas. Lovers Tong and Quang are now married, but with low-wage jobs, a son struggling with English, and rumors of old flames, the challenges are only beginning.

Nguyen reunites with director Jaime Castañeda to draw from rap, leap into martial arts, and dig deep into his own family journey. Funny, sexy, and subversive, Poor Yella Rednecks confirms Nguyen as a groundbreaking playwright of the new American story.

 

Dates to be announced. All titles and artists are subject to change.

 

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