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In early 2021, A.C.T. launches A.C.T. Out Loud, a new series of play readings featuring enduring works by some of the greatest minds of generations past. These plays have the power to reach across time, speaking both to the age in which they were written and the ever-changing currents of today and include works that have been long-celebrated as well as those that never received the attention they are due. Upcoming readings include:
Directed by Awoye Timpo
Mar 1–7, 2021—On-Demand
Mar 5, 2021— Watch Party
Time: 1957. Place: New York City. Six actors gather in a Broadway theater to rehearse an anti-lynching play, written and directed by white artists. Newcomer John believes in the sanctity of theater, ingénue Judy insists there’s only the human race, and veteran actress Wiletta is torn between getting along and delving into the authentic truth of her character. As the actors get on their feet and small talk turns into discussion on motivation and theme, tension begins to run high, ultimately reaching a point of no return. A boulevard comedy with undeniable dramatic force, Alice Childress’s masterpiece would have been the first play by a Black woman produced on Broadway if she had agreed to the producers’ demands that she soften its message. Funny, incisive, and poignant, this play-within-a-play is an unflinching examination of white fragility and liberalism in the theater industry.
Directed by Colman Domingo
Mar 22–28, 2021—On-Demand
Mar 26, 2021—Watch Party
Between a hero and a mercenary, who would you choose? In 1885’s Bulgaria, young heiress Raina finds herself in the thrillingly romantic situation of finding Bluntschli, a fleeing enemy soldier-for-hire, in her room. Raina is engaged to a Bulgarian war hero but risks her reputation to shelter Bluntschli, despite his annoying habit of undercutting her grand speeches with inveterate pragmatism. When the conflict ends, Raina’s fiancé comes home just as the mercenary reappears. Will Raina choose the hero or the cynic? Set against the backdrop of the Serbian-Bulgarian War, Arms and the Man is a comedy of manners about the limits of romance and the unexpected allure of practicality.
Directed by Dawn Monique Williams
Apr 26–May 2, 2021—On-Demand
Apr 30, 2021—Watch Party
“Money, I’ve always felt, money – pardon my expression – is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread about encouraging young things to grow.”—Dolly Levi
Matchmaker Dolly Levi has promised to help wealthy widower Horace Vandergelder find his next wife and whisks him away to Manhattan to meet his dream woman. But Dolly has an agenda of her own, and Horace soon finds himself embroiled in a comedy-of-errors involving his niece and her lover, as well as two clerks who long for adventure in the city. From one of America’s most beloved playwrights Thornton Wilder, this charming farce inspired the popular musical Hello, Dolly!, and is an uproarious exploration of the necessity of generosity, the limits of wealth, and the pursuit of the good life.
All titles, schedules, and artists are subject to change.
© 2019 American Conservatory Theater-a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization. Number 94-6135772.