November 28, 2016

AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER LAUNCHES NEW RESIDENCY PROGRAM



The New Strands Residency gives American playwrights
the opportunity to create and develop new works in residence at A.C.T.’s state-of-the-art Strand Theater

New York City’s acclaimed Ma-Yi Theater Company 
named as inaugural partner 



SAN FRANCISCO - American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)’s Associate Artistic Director Andy Donald recently announced the inaugural New Strands Residency, giving emerging and established American playwrights the opportunity to create and develop new works in residence at A.C.T.’s state-of-the-art Strand Theater, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Central Market neighborhood. Each year, A.C.T. will partner with a nationally recognized new-work incubator to select three playwrights, who will spend a week in San Francisco. Over the course of their residency, the playwrights will participate in a reading of their work, develop and workshop their plays-in-progress with directors and a shared ensemble of actors, and sit on various panel discussions. The New Strands Residency culminates with a free public presentation of their work during A.C.T.’s annual New Strands Festival, now in its second year, taking place May 19–21, 2017.

This year’s partner theater company is the Drama Desk and OBIE Award–winning not-for-profit Ma-Yi Theater Company. Based in New York City, Ma-Yi Theater Company is one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today.

Submissions from Ma-Yi Theater Company Writers Lab (“The Labbies”) are now being accepted. Each playwright is welcome to submit up to two plays for consideration. Only one play per playwright will be accepted. Chosen by A.C.T.’s artistic department, the three selected playwrights from Ma-Yi Theater Company will be announced in February 2017. The A.C.T. residency will take place May 15–22, 2017. For more information on the New Strands Residency visit: www.act-sf.org/home/about/new_commissions


“One thing [A.C.T. Artistic Director] Carey Perloff and I have been eager to do is make A.C.T.’s newest major resource—The Strand Theater on Market Street, which opened in 2015—a place for new work, new audiences and new artists,” says Donald. “With the New Strands Residency, we’re establishing another permanent way of making The Strand an artistic home, teaming up each season with an incubator theater and providing space, time and resources to their artists. We could not think of a better partner than Ma-Yi Theater Company to kick this program off. Its commitment to Asian American voices is unparalleled in our field, and its enviable roster of playwrights is a perfect match for San Francisco’s audiences.”

Adds Ralph B. Peña, Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with A.C.T. to bring the work of the Ma-Yi Lab writers to audiences in the Bay Area. It’s an honor to work with one of the country’s premier institutions for developing new works, and we have every confidence this new alliance will bring greater diversity to American theater.”

Now in its second year, the New Strands Festival features new theatrical pieces, works in progress, and readings, as well as experimental work by a variety of artists, including playwrights, dance companies, musicians, and animation artists. Devoted to supporting local, national, and international artists in the creation and completion of original theater, the New Strands Festival enables artists to connect and communities to experience theatrical projects as they take shape, all under one roof at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater.

The inaugural New Strands Residency with Ma-Yi Theater Company is supported by a Building Demand Grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the new A.C.T. Asian stARTup initiative to bring together Asian/Asian American artists and tech workers in the Bay Area.

The New Strands Festival is made possible by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fund for New Works, Theatre Forward, and the Priscilla and Keith Geeslin New Strands Fund. 

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