On Saturday, January 9, we will throw open the doors of the American Conservatory Theater from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a FREE daylong celebration of craft, design, and performance. The first half of the day (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) will be dedicated exclusively to A.C.T. subscribers and donors, to honor your generous, steadfast support over the past 40+ years. In the afternoon the festivities will be open to the general public, and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
During both sessions, the entire building will be open from top to bottom for self-directed walk-about tours, with A.C.T. staff on hand at every turn to tell the behind-the-scenes story of San Francisco's grandest playhouse. This is a great chance to explore all the nooks and crannies most never get to see, from the uppermost lighting catwalk to the depths of the trap room beneath the stage-as well as a rare chance to have your moment in the spotlight standing on one of the most glorious stages in U.S. history.
A host of entertaining activities are also scheduled throughout the day, including:
A reading by actors in A.C.T.'s core company and Master of Fine Arts Program of George Ade's Father and the Boys, the play that inaugurated the theater (then known as the Columbia) on January 10, 1910
An inside look at the magic of the theater, featuring demonstrations by A.C.T. professionals of the tricks of the theatrical trade, including stage combat, wigs, makeup, costumes, and stage technology
An open Young Conservatory cabaret rehearsal, where you can observe A.C.T.'s talented young students in the process of creating a musical performance
Historical displays honoring the people, productions, and artistry of the theater over the decades
Prize drawings and other opportunities to win A.C.T. subscriptions and memorabilia
Complimentary light refreshments and birthday treats, served in Fred's Columbia Room in the lower lobby of the theater A.C.T. subscribers and donors will also be treated in the morning to an exclusive sneak peek at our upcoming production of The Tosca Project, as San Francisco Ballet legends Lorena Feijoo and Pascal Molat perform a beautiful pas de deux from this remarkable interdisciplinary work. The performance will be followed by a gathering of all A.C.T. subscribers and donors, who are invited to a group photo and celebratory toast honoring the centennial birthday of San Francisco's splendid dramatic dame.Photo courtesy A.C.T.
Photo courtesy Museum of Performance and Design.
Photo courtesy San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.
Photo by Ganslen Studios; courtesy San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.
Photo by John Sutton; courtesy A.C.T.
Photo by Sherman Takata, Gensler and Associates/Architects; courtesy A.C.T.
Photo by Marco Lorenzetti; courtesy A.C.T.
The interior of the Geary Theater in 1996, after renovations are complete.
With generous support from government, foundation, and individual donors, A.C.T. starts the renovation of the Geary Theater in 1994.
A view of the proscenium and the orchestra seating of the Geary Theater after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
The exterior of the Geary Theater in 1974.
A.C.T.â€™s founding artistic director, William Ball (left), and Mortimer Fleishhacker, one of the San Francisco civic leaders who secured A.C.T.â€™s residency at the Geary Theater in 1967, put up the sign announcing A.C.T.â€™s new home.
The program cover for the 1948 Geary Theater production of Medea, starring Judith Anderson in her most famous stage role, which earned her the Tony Award for Best Actress.
The program cover for the 1948 Geary Theater production of O Mistress Mine, starring the â€œfirst coupleâ€? of American theater, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.
The flyer for the sexually charged 1946 Geary Theater production of Mary Had a Little.
Paul Robeson appears in Othello, with Jose Ferrer and Ferrerâ€™s wife, Uta Hagen, on the Geary Theater stage in 1945.
The program cover for the triumphant 1944 Geary Theater production of The Corn Is Green,starring Ethel Barrymore.
The exterior of the Geary Theater in 1941 during the opening night of Disneyâ€™s Fantasia.
A poster for the 1940 Geary Theater production of Romeo and Juliet starring Laurence Olivier and his wife, Vivien Leigh
The Geary Theater is not only home to Highbrow Entertainment.
The exterior of the renamed Geary Theater in 1930, during the showing of D. W. Griffithâ€™s controversial 1915 film The Birth of a Nation, reissued with a newfangled synchronized soundtrack and one of the first â€œtalkiesâ€? to be seen at the theater.
Acclaimed actress Sarah Bernhardt is among the first of many legendary performers to appear on the new Columbia stage.
The cover of the program for the 1913 Columbia Theatre production of J. M. Barrieâ€™s Peter Pan, starring Maude Adams
The program for George Adeâ€™s Father and the Boys, the production that inaugurates the new Columbia Theatre on January 10, 1910.
The interior of the Columbia Theatre in 1910
The exterior of the Columbia Theatre in 1910.
Construction begins on the new Columbia Theatre on Geary Street in 1909
The original Columbia Theatre in ruins after the 1906 earthquake.