Rendering of Strand Theater
Rendering of American Conservatory Theater’s Strand Theater. (Photo courtesy of SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP))

ACT Unveils Lineup for Inaugural New Strands Festival

Participants in the new works festival include Zaccho Dance Theatre, puppeteer Basil Twist, composer David Coulter, and playwright Christina Anderson.

SAN FRANCISCO: American Conservatory Theater has announced its first New Strands Festival, to take place in the Strand Theater, which opened earlier this year. The festival, which runs Jan. 21–24, 2016, will include new theatrical pieces, works in progress, and readings. Among the lineup are Zaccho Dance Theatre, puppeteer Basil Twist, composer David Coulter, and playwright Christina Anderson. Performances will be free and open to the public.

“The New Strands Festival was created as a way for local and national artists to present their works in progress and experiments to Bay Area audiences in an atmosphere of openness and collaboration,” said ACT director of new works Beatrice Basso in a statement. “At its heart, the New Strands Festival is about sharing the artistic process with each other and the community and embracing diverse disciplines and perspectives. For four days this January, the Strand Theater will be activated from top to bottom, morning to night, with performances ranging from contemporary music experiments to readings of new works and everything in between. We look forward to offering this free event to audiences who are interested in seeing the artistic process come alive!”

The lineup for the New Strands Festival will include:

  • Works in progress by Zaccho Dance Theatre
  • A new collaboration by Sheldon Smith, ACT artistic director Carey Perloff, and performers Stephen Buescher, Gregory Wallace, Peter Anderson, and Basil Twist
  • An excerpt of the adaptation of A Thousand Splendid Suns with novelist Khaled Hosseini and composer David Coulter, being adapted for the stage by Ursula Rani Sarma.
  • Contemporary music experiments by Byron Au Yong, Luciano Chessa, and Dohee Lee
  • Readings of plays by Christina Anderson and Melinda Lopez
  • An open lab with choreographer Keith Hennessy
  • Solo animation show and LED screen video work by Miwa Matreyek
  • After-hours music by Banda Sin Nombre and Bay Area DJs

Additional performers will be announced in early January.

The New Strands Festival is part of A C T’s New Strands, a year-round commissioning and development program dedicated to supporting artists in the creation and completion of original works for ACT.

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