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"Vietgone" by Qui Nguyen, at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, through April 22.Pictured: James Seol, Stephen Hu, and Jomar Tagatac. (Photo by Kevin Berne)
James Seol, Stephen Hu, and Jomar Tagatac in "Vietgone" at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. (Photo by Kevin Berne)

‘Rules of Play’ Are Common Theme of ACT’s Upcoming Season

The season will feature a world premiere, a cult classic, and a sequel to Qui Nguyen’s ‘Vietgone.’

SAN FRANCISCO: American Conservatory Theater (ACT) has announced the full lineup for its 2019-20 season, including works by Caryl Churchill, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and Will Eno. Performance dates for each production is forthcoming.

“ACT’s 2019-20 season is united by what I am calling ‘rules of play,’” artistic director Pam MacKinnon said in a statement. “Who makes the rules that we obey and take for granted? Who makes the rules that we fight against, when and why? How are rules made and when are they enforced? Told with decorum, rage, spirit, and a wink, this season’s offerings continue ACT’s tradition of telling stories that provoke responses and lead to debates, dreams, and even action.”

Opening the season will be Top Girls, by Caryl Churchill. Top Girls tells the stories of several iconic women throughout history, all of whom are gathered for a dinner party in 1980s Great Britain. Tamilla Woodard will direct.

The world premiere of Kate Attwell’s Testmatch will follow.  Two time-traveling stories about cricket, Testmatch exposes the sport’s strict rules and hidden violence. Pam MacKinnon will direct.

Next up will be Wakey, Wakey, starring Emmy-winning actor Tony Hale. Will Eno’s new play is an intimate comedy drama about the sheer absurdity of life.

The season will continue with Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Eric TingGloria, an evocative dark comedy, is about three 20-somethings competing for a book deal in the aftermath of a traumatic disaster.

Following will be Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone.  Also directed by Pam MacKinnon, Toni Stone is based on the life of the titular athlete, the first woman to play professionally as a member of the Negro League’s Indianapolis Clowns.

Richard O’Brien’s cult classic The Rocky Horror Show will be next, directed and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton.

The second installment of Qui Nguyen‘s hip-hop trilogy about a Vietnamese family who swap war-torn Saigon for rural ’70s Arkansas, Poor Yella Rednecks: Vietgone Part 2, will follow. Jaime Castañeda will direct.

Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol will also be featured at ACT this season for its 43rd year at the theatre. Peter J. Kuo will direct, with choreography by Val Caniparoli.

Founded in 1967, American Conservatory Theater strives to explore new artistic forms and new communities to create a diverse aesthetic and an inclusive organization while continuing a dedication to theatrical traditions.

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