Don’t Just Sit There . . . InterACT!
Phèdre Audience Exchanges
Pulitzer Prize–Winning Composer David Lang
and UC Berkeley Professor Timothy Hampton
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 20, 2010—American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) offers two special guest appearances at the Audience Exchanges scheduled in conjunction with Jean Racine’s Phèdre:
Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang (Phèdre, Hecuba, the difficulty of crossing a field, The Tempest, Mary Stuart, and Antigone at A.C.T.) will appear in conversation with A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff and members of the cast following the performance on Tuesday, January 26, at 7 p.m.
Timothy Hampton, professor of French and comparative literature at UC Berkeley, will join A.C.T. Dramaturg and Director of Humanities Michael Paller and members of the cast for a conversation following the matinee performance on Sunday, January 31, at 2 p.m.
For more on the world premiere of Phedre tonight, Wednesday, January 20: Phedre
A.C.T. offers three Audience Exchanges for each mainstage production as part of its InterACT program. After the show, the audience is invited to join actors, designers, and creative teams who develop the work onstage for a lively onstage chat. The final Audience Exchange for Phèdre will be held following the performance on Wednesday, February 3, at 2 p.m. A.C.T.’s InterACT program offers events for all tastes at no additional cost, from free afterparties to in-depth discussions with the artists. For more information about the various offerings and a full schedule of InterACT events, please visit www.act-sf.org/interact.
Racine’s grand tragedy Phèdre runs at A.C.T. through February 7 in a world premiere translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good, A.C.T.’s Antigone and Hecuba). This first-time coproduction with the internationally renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival gives local theater lovers a rare opportunity to witness exquisite classical acting from this Canadian company in its Bay Area debut. A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff directs Stratford star actor Seana McKenna as she takes on the title role, joining a long legacy of great dramatic actresses who have appeared in tragic roles on the A.C.T. stage. Hailed by critics as “brilliant and dazzling . . . work of the highest caliber” (Toronto Star), Phèdre is a potent mix of visceral sexuality and rich poetry. Tickets—starting at $10—are available by calling A.C.T. Ticket Services at 415.749.2228 or at www.act-sf.org.
DAVID LANG, one of America’s most performed and honored composers, is the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music for the little match girl passion, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the vocal ensemble Theater of Voices and directed by Paul Hillier. His recent works include writing on water for the London Sinfonietta, with libretto and visuals by English filmmaker Peter Greenaway; the difficulty of crossing a field—a fully staged opera for Kronos Quartet, staged by Carey Perloff at A.C.T.; loud love songs, a concerto for the percussionist Evelyn Glennie; and the oratorio Shelter, with cocomposers Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe, at the Next Wave Festival of Brooklyn Academy of Music, staged by Ridge Theater and featuring the Norwegian vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval. Lang is cofounder and coartistic director of New York’s legendary music festival Bang on a Can.
Professor TIMOTHY HAMPTON’s research interests include the relationship between literature and politics, the philosophy of history, and the transmission of culture in the Renaissance and early modern periods. He has written widely on literature in its many forms (epic, lyric, dramatic, novelistic), across several languages and national traditions. He is currently working on three projects: a book about Rabelais, a research project on jazz in modern France, and a study of the history of cheerfulness. Publications include Fictions of Embassy: Literature and Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe (Cornell University Press, 2009), “The Diplomatic Moment: Representing Negotiation in Early Modern Europe” in Modern Language Quarterly (2006), “Monstrous Signs: Monstrosity and the Rhetoric of Description in Rabelais and Montaigne” in Monstrous Bodies/Political Monstrosities (Cornell University Press, 2004), Literature and Nation in the Sixteenth Century: Inventing Renaissance France (Cornell University Press, 2000; winner of the Modern Language Association’s Scaglione Prize for the best book in French and Francophone Studies), and Writing from History: The Rhetoric of Exemplarity in Renaissance Literature (Cornell University Press, 1990).
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