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May 12 – June 17, 2018
(Opening Night: Thursday, May 17)
Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center
Southern California premiere
By Ursula Rani Sarma
Based on the book by Khaled Hosseini
Directed by Carey Perloff
In association with American Conservatory Theater
A sweeping and deeply moving theatrical adaptation of the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner). The epic story of three generations of Afghan women and their remarkable resilience, A Thousand Splendid Suns is set in the war-torn neighborhoods of 1990s Kabul. When battle upends her family, beautiful Laila must seek shelter, first in the home and then in the arms of her older neighbor. Soon she forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her new husband’s first wife. Summoning the strength to defy a tyrannical society, the two women seek hope and the promise of a better future. Adapted for the stage by acclaimed Irish–Indian playwright Ursula Rani Sarma, this breathtaking new production features music from renowned composer David Coulter. The Huffington Post says, “There’s no denying the play’s power as well as the beauty of its staging and its exquisite musical backdrop,” while the San Francisco Chronicle heralds its “epic splendor,” writing that it “dazzles with its opulence and humanity.”
Contains adult content.
Artist Sponsor for Director Carey Perloff
Sue and Edward "Duff" Sanderson
Artist Sponsor for the actor portraying "Laila"
Reneé and Bob Wailes
Ursula Rani Sarma (Playwright, A Thousand Splendid Suns) is an award-winning writer of Irish–Indian descent. She has written plays for Abbey Theatre/National Theatre of Ireland, American Conservatory Theater, Ambassador Theatre Group, Traverse Theatre, Paines Plough, and the BBC, among many other companies. Her recent productions include Joanne (Clean Break/Soho Theatre), Débris (Théâtre La Licorne), The Ripple Effect (Ambassador Theatre Group/London Cultural Olympiad), Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Riot (A.C.T. Young Conservatory/Theatre Royal Bath), The Dark Things (Traverse Theatre), and Birdsong (Abbey Theatre). Ms. Sarma has been writer-in-residence for Paines Plough, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and the National Theatre, among others. She is currently developing plays for Abbey Theatre, Traverse Theatre, and Djinn Theatre Company. For the screen, her work includes Raw, Red Rock, Anywhere But Here, and Judge Dee. She is currently adapting the book Henry’s Demons for BBC One and writing an original drama entitled Guardian for Channel 4.
Khaled Hosseini (Author, A Thousand Splendid Suns) was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. In 1976, his family relocated to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then the Soviet invasion was underway, so the Hosseini family moved to San Jose, California. Mr. Hosseini went on to become a doctor, practicing medicine as an internist between 1996 and 2004. He is the author of three award-winning and internationally best-selling novels: The Kite Runner (2003), A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), and And the Mountains Echoed (2013). In 2006, Mr. Hosseini was named a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency. After a trip to Afghanistan in this position, he was inspired to establish The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Carey Perloff (Director, A Thousand Splendid Suns) is celebrating her 25th season as Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater, where she has overseen a huge growth in the quality and scope of A.C.T.’s work; helped to rebuild the earthquake-damaged Geary Theater and the new Strand Theater in Central Market; and forged collaborations between A.C.T. and theatres across the United States and Canada. Known for innovative productions of classics and championing new writing and new forms of theatre, Ms. Perloff has directed classical plays from around the world, 10 plays by Tom Stoppard (including the American premieres of The Invention of Love and Indian Ink, also at Roundabout Theatre Company, and two productions of Arcadia), and many productions by favorite contemporary writers such as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, José Rivera, and Philip Kan Gotanda. Her favorite productions include Hecuba, Mary Stuart, ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Tosca Café, The Voysey Inheritance, Scorched, and Underneath the Lintel. Ms. Perloff is also an award-winning playwright. Her recent play Kinship premiered at the Théâtre de Paris in 2014; Higher won the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award; and Luminescence Dating premiered in New York at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Ms. Perloff’s book, Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater (City Lights Foundation Books), was selected as San Francisco Public Library’s One City One Book selection for 2016. Before joining A.C.T., she was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company in New York, where she directed the premiere of Ezra Pound’s Elektra, the American premiere of Pinter’s Mountain Language, and many classic works. Named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettresby the French government, Ms. Perloff received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in Classics and Comparative Literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford.
American Conservatory Theater (Co-Producer, A Thousand Splendid Suns), San Francisco’s Tony Award-winning not-for-profit theatre, nurtures the art of live theatre through dynamic productions, intensive actor training, and engagement with the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Carey Perloff, the company embraces its responsibility to conserve, renew, and reinvent its rich theatrical traditions while exploring new artistic forms and communities. Founded by William Ball, A.C.T. opened its first San Francisco season in 1967. It has since performed more than 350 productions to more than 7 million people. Ms. Perloff’s 24-year tenure has been marked by new translations and groundbreaking classical works colliding with exceptional contemporary theatre, Bay Area stories, cross-disciplinary performances, and international collaborations. A.C.T.’s 50-year-old Conservatory features its Master of Fine Arts actor training program; the Summer Training Congress, which attracts students worldwide; and the San Francisco Semester, a study-abroad opportunity for undergraduates. Other programs include the Young Conservatory for students aged 8–19; Studio A.C.T., theatre study for adults; and the Professional Development Training Program for corporate employees’ business performance skills. A.C.T. also brings theatre-based arts education to 12,000 Bay Area students a year. With its increased presence in the Central Market neighborhood marked by the renovation of The Strand Theater, A.C.T. plays a leadership role in securing the future of theatre for San Francisco and the nation.
Afghanistan Then and Now
Friday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Afghan Cultural Consultant Humaira Ghilzai, who worked on the original production of A Thousand Splendid Suns with authors Khaled Hosseini and Ursula Rani Sarma, will discuss the development and creation of the play. Ms Ghilzai will also talk about the history of Afghanistan in the time period of the novel and play.
Celebrating Sister Cities: San Diego and Jalabad
Monday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.
This free evening discussion will focus on the work, and the fruits, of the San Diego Jalabad Sister Cities Foundation. The evening will culminate with a Skype video conference call with a group of Afghan women participating in a program in which they learn English and technological skills. Globe audience members will have the chance to hear from them about their daily lives, ask questions, and participate in conversation.
This series provides Old Globe patrons with an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatre going experience. Each Insights Seminar takes place 90 minutes before curtain time on the Tuesday after performances begin, and includes an informal reception 30 minutes before the start. FREE; no reservations necessary.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast members. Get the "inside story" on creating a character and putting together a professional production. Post-show forums are scheduled after select Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Explore the ideas and issues raised by a production through brief, illuminating post-show discussions with local experts, such as scientists, artists, historians and scholars. Subject Matters will ignite discussion, bring the play's concerns into sharp focus, and encourage you to think beyond the stage! Subject Matters discussions follow select Saturday matinee performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.
Saturday, May 19, 2018, following the 2:00 p.m. matinee