SAN FRANCISCO: American Conservatory Theater has announced four out of seven shows that will comprise its 2016–17 season, the company’s 50th. The line-up will include Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III, Annie Baker’s John, and a new interpretation of The Mahabharata from Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne.
“It is hard to believe that almost 50 years ago, Bill Ball brought his astonishing company to the Geary Theater in San Francisco, taking the city by storm,” said artistic director Carey Perloff in a statement. “As we look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary throughout 2016 and 2017, we have spent the last few months in dialogue with artists from around the world to help us create a season of theatre that celebrates the vision that first inspired A.C.T.: a vision of vigorous, challenging repertoire from many cultures, a deep commitment to training and to the highest levels of artistry, and a passion for engaging with community.”
Bartlett’s Olivier-winning play King Charles III, which is currently running on Broadway, will open the season. Dubbed a “future history” play, the story explores British royalty after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, with her son, Prince Charles, ascending the throne.
Next will be the world premiere of Ursula Rani Sarma’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, based on Khaled Hosseini’s novel about three generations of Afghan women. David Coulter will write original music for the piece. Perloff will direct.
Following will be John by Baker, about a young couple who stay at a bed and breakfast in Gettysburg, Pa., that may or may not be haunted.
Brook and Estienne’s production of Battlefield, based on the Indian epic poem The Mahabharata and the play by Jean-Claude Carrière, will follow. Brook originally adapted The Mahabharata 30 years ago; Battlefied is a new interpretation and staging of that tale of war and power.
Founded in 1965, ACT produces re-imaginings of classic texts, and contemporary plays.