American Conservatory Theater Production of The Normal Heart Begins Limited Run Sept. 13

By Andrew Gans
September 13, 2012

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) presents the West Coast premiere of the recent Broadway production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, which focuses on the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York City in the 1980s, beginning Sept. 13.



Directed by two-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe, performances will continue through Oct. 7 at the San Francisco venue. Opening night is Sept. 19.

The cast features Patrick Breen in the role of Ned Weeks, the fiery writer and activist at the center of the play, with Jordan Baker as Dr. Emma Brookner, Tom Berklund as Craig Donner/Grady, Matt McGrath as Felix Turner, Tony Award nominee Michael Berresse as Mickey Marcus, Sean Dugan as Tommy Boatwright, Jon Levenson as Hiram Keebler/Examining Doctor, Nick Mennell as Bruce Niles, Bruce Altman as Ben Weeks and Patrick Alparone as David.

In a previous statement artistic director Carey Perloff said, “The company that we’ve assembled for this San Francisco outing of The Normal Heart is extraordinary in every way—we’re thrilled to welcome our old friend Matt McGrath back to A.C.T. after his triumph in The Black Rider, and to welcome Patrick Breen and these other remarkable talents to our stage for the first time. We know these wonderful actors will deliver the vivid emotional truth of the play, and we can’t wait to share their work with our audience."

The production reunites members of the Broadway revival’s design team, including scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Martin Pakledinaz, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer and original music composer David Van Tieghem, and projection designer Batwin & Robin. Joining the team is restaging director Leah C. Gardiner.

The story of a city in denial, The Normal Heart, press note state, "unfolds like a real-life political thriller—as a tight-knit group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unspoken epidemic behind a wall of silence. A quarter-century after it was written, this outrageous, unflinching and totally unforgettable look at the politics of New York during the AIDS crisis remains one of the theatre's most powerful evenings ever."

The Normal Heart played a limited, sold-out engagement on Broadway last season at the John Golden Theatre and was produced by Daryl Roth, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment in association with Gregory Rae and Jayne Baron Sherman/Alexander Fraser.

The Normal Heart is presented in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC, by special arrangement with Daryl Roth.

Tickets for the limited engagement of The Normal Heart are available online at act-sf.org and by phone at (415) 749-2228.