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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: American Conservatory Theater Kicks off Its 2017-18 Season with William Shakespeare's Masterpiece, "Hamlet"

Aug 11, 2017
American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) kicks off its 2017–18 season with William Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece, "Hamlet," performing September 20 through October 15, 2017 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater (415 Geary St.), San Francisco.

Obie Award winner and 2017 Tony Award nominee (Best Featured Actor in a Play, Jitney; Satchmo at the Waldorf, A.C.T.) John Douglas Thompson leads a stellar cast of Bay Area favorites, including stage and screen star Carl Lumbly (TV’s Cagney & Lacey, Southland, and Alias; Between Riverside and Crazy and Let There Be Love at A.C.T.) as Claudius, in Shakespeare’s ghostly tale of revenge, palace intrigue, and madness.

Shattered by the mysterious death of his father, the king, and shamed by the unnatural acts of his mother, Hamlet’s despair has left him a devastated prince. When visited by the ghost of his father, who tells of the treasonous acts by Hamlet’s uncle, Hamlet vows to avenge the death that has brought a cloud of darkness over the castle.

A classic tale of a family haunted by grief, power, and despair, "Hamlet" marks A.C.T.’s first production of Shakespeare in nearly two decades, and a thrilling start to the 2017–18 season.

Joining Thompson and Lumbly onstage are (in alphabetical order): Rivka Borek, Teagle F. Bougere, Peter Fanone, Anthony Fusco, Dan Hiatt, Steven Anthony Jones, Domenique Lozano, Adrianna Mitchell, Vincent J. Randazzo, Teddy Spencer, and Jomar Tagatac.

Helmed by A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff, the creative team for Hamlet includes James F. Ingalls (Lighting Designer), David Israel Reynoso (Scenic and Costume Designer), and Jake Rodriguez (Sound Designer). Original music will be written by composer David Coulter, who recently composed and performed the music for A.C.T.’s acclaimed world-premiere theatrical adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s international best-selling novel, "A Thousand Splendid Suns."

“This will be A.C.T.'s first production of Hamlet in over 20 years and I can’t think of a better venue than the Geary Theater — home to some of the nation’s most distinguished classical actors of the 20th and 21st century—to present it in. I am honored that it will launch my final season as artistic director of A.C.T,” said Perloff.

In connection with Hamlet, A.C.T. will offer numerous InterACT events— many of which are presented free of charge—that will give patrons opportunities to get closer to the action while having an entire night out at the theater. Visit act-sf.org/interact to learn more about subscribing to these events throughout the season:

• Bike to the Theater Night:

Wednesday, September 20, 7 p.m.

Providing a greener alternative to theater transportation, A.C.T. and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offer free valet bike parking, as well as a special discount on tickets, for these select performances.

• Tech Night:

Thursday, September 21, 6 p.m.

Join us at a neighborhood bar for a happy hour with hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and mingling with industry contacts and theatergoers before walking over to A.C.T.’s Geary Theater for the 8 p.m. performance.

• Prologue:

Tuesday, September 26, 5:30 p.m.

Before the curtain goes up, get a sneak peek at the artistic process at this fascinating preshow conversation with the director and artistic staff, sponsored by KDFC Radio.

• Theater on the Couch:

Friday, September 29, following the 8 p.m. performance

Led by Dr. Mason Turner, chief of psychiatry at San Francisco’s Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, this exciting postshow discussion series addresses audience questions and explores the minds, motives, and behavior of the characters.

• Audience Exchanges:

Tuesday, October 3, 7 p.m. | Sunday, October 8, 2 p.m. | Wednesday, October 11, 2 p.m.

After the show, stick around for a lively Q&A session with the actors and artists who create the work onstage.

• OUT with A.C.T.:

Wednesday, October 4, following the 8 p.m. performance

The best LGBT night in town! Mingle with the cast and enjoy free drinks and treats at this popular after-party.

• Wente Vineyards Wine Series:

Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m.

Before the show, raise a glass at this wine-tasting event featuring the Bay Area’s hottest local winery.

• PlayTime:

Saturday, October 14, 12:45 p.m.

Before this matinee performance, get hands-on with the artists who make it happen at this interactive theater workshop.

Single tickets (ranging from $15–$105) are available at the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice.

Photo caption: John Douglas Thompson (Photo credit: Nigel Parry/CPi Syndication)


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BOOK REVIEW: “The Wicked Healthy Cookbook” by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim