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SWEAT | SEPTEMBER 26–OCTOBER 21, 2018

In Reading, Pennsylvania—the blue-collar heart of America’s steel industry—a tight-knit group of factory workers has gathered in the local bar for generations to share laughs, hopes, and cold beers. But as the country heads into a new millennium, recession looms, and a union lock-out turns assembly line into picket line, one event will send shockwaves through these lifelong friends, pitting them against each other in the struggle to survive. Inspired by the stories of Rust Belt workers, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Ruined) unites heart and humor and “goes where few playwrights have dared to go” (Variety) to forge a searing drama of the grit, drive, and resilience of our conflicted American dreams.

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MEN ON BOATS | OCTOBER 17 – DECEMBER 16, 2018

Spinning historical, theatrical, and gender conventions on their heads, this subversive tale of ten men, four boats, and two rivers contains none of the above. Pack your gear for this 21st-century telling of 19th-century American explorer and one-armed Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell, who assembles a brawny band of soldiers, trappers, and adventurers to explore Wyoming’s waterways. Inspired by Powell’s actual travel log from 1869, Jaclyn Backhaus’s nimble and ingenious script is provocative, laugh-out-loud theater, performed by a cast of women who infuse America’s historic myths of male conquest with a sly blast of subtext. With the speed and force of Powell’s white-water rapids, Backhaus conjures her epic story—in which simple materials are transformed into perilous canyons and death-defying cliffs—out of sheer imagination, shaping an innovative and innately theatrical play, which became an off-Broadway sensation.

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JENNIFER BIELSTEIN NAMED A.C.T.'s NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Following an extensive nationwide search, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Board of Trustees today named Jennifer Bielstein the new executive director of San Francisco’s premier nonprofit theater organization.

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A.C.T. Announces 2018–19 SEASON

Tony, Obie, and Drama Desk Award winner Pam MacKinnon, the incoming artistic director of American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), has unveiled her inaugural season at the helm of San Francisco’s premier nonprofit theater company. The 2018–19 season includes Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize–winning drama, SWEAT; Jaclyn Backhaus’s ingenious and provocative telling of 19th-century American explorers, MEN ON BOATS; Edward Albee’s wildly imaginative and satirical Pulitzer Prize–winning comedy, SEASCAPE; Mfoniso Udofia’s achingly poignant drama HER PORTMANTEAU; Lauren Yee’s exploration of cultural identity, global politics, and basketball, THE GREAT LEAP; and Kate Hamill’s rollicking new stage adaptation of William Thackeray’s classic novel, VANITY FAIR. The final production of the 2018–19 season will be announced at a later date.

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PAM MACKINNON NAMED A.C.T.'S NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Following an extensive nationwide search, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Board of Trustees and Executive Director Peter Pastreich today named Tony, OBIE, and Drama Desk Award winner Pam MacKinnon the new artistic director of San Francisco’s premier nonprofit theater organization. MacKinnon succeeds Carey Perloff who will depart from American Conservatory Theater at the end of the 2017–18 season after 25 years at the helm. MacKinnon will begin planning the 2018–19 season alongside Perloff effective immediately. In addition, she will begin partnering with the leaders of A.C.T.’s world-class actor training programs and ever-expanding community programs, ensuring A.C.T. continues its role as the Bay Area’s leading theater arts educational organization.

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