A.C.T. Opens New Performance Space, The Costume Shop

by Jacob Coakley

A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff (left), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and A.C.T. Artistic Director Ellen Richard at the opening celebration of The Costume Shop, A.C.T.
A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff (left), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and A.C.T. Artistic Director Ellen Richard at the opening celebration of The Costume Shop, A.C.T.'s new performance space in San Francisco's Mid-Market neighborhood. Photo by Orange Photography.
A.C.T. in San Francisco has opened a new performance space in San Francisco’s mid-Market district. The Costume Shop is a black box space that seats 49. It will be used to present professional shows from A.C.T. as well as productions from A.C.T.’s MFA program and is available for rental as well. The theatre is called The Costume Shop because it is located in the space below A.C.T.’s longtime costume shop.


San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee attends The Costume Shop opening celebration on Wednesday, December 7.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, December 7, 2011—American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) is proud to open a new performance space, The Costume Shop. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee helped celebrate this momentous occasion at the opening celebration event, which took place today from 4:30 to 6  p.m., and was attended by A.C.T.’s family of artists and supporters, as well as representatives from numerous arts organizations around the Bay Area. Located at 1117 Market Street (at 7th Street) in the heart of San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood in the space below A.C.T.’s longtime costume shop, this flexible, 49-seat venue will be home to an eclectic lineup of professional and A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program productions. Solidifying A.C.T.’s presence in the rapidly developing and artistically vibrant Mid-Market neighborhood, The Costume Shop will connect A.C.T. to a community with a long, rich history as a center for the arts in San Francisco. Also available for rent, The Costume Shop will enable A.C.T. to partner with exciting local artists and performing arts companies, propelling the creation of transformative new work for years to come. With approximately 2,400 square feet, including a lobby space, backstage area, and dressing rooms, and located only steps from the Civic Center BART and MUNI stations, The Costume Shop is an ideal black-box theater and a very exciting addition to A.C.T.’s performance venues. The Costume Shop is made possible by a generous grant from The James Irvine Foundation. For more information on The Costume Shop and for a list of upcoming productions, please visit www.act-sf.org/costumeshop.

“A.C.T.’s new Costume Shop performance space is a wonderful example of the spirit that has taken hold on Central Market to transform and infuse the area with art, performance, and gathering spaces,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “I commend A.C.T. for creatively repurposing this space and creating local jobs, and I look forward to supporting their continued efforts to develop a larger presence on Central Market.” A.C.T. General Manager Don-Scott Cooper added: “The launch of the new Costume Shop space has been a huge success for A.C.T. We’ve wanted for years to have a stronger presence in the Mid-Market neighborhood and to create a storefront theater space that allows us to be a part of that community will pay back in dividends for our artists and conservatory students. We are thrilled to be side by side with all of the amazing arts organizations that call this burgeoning neighborhood their home.”

The event included remarks from Mayor Ed Lee, A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff, A.C.T. Board of Trustees Chair Nancy Livingston, and A.C.T. Board of Trustees President Rusty Rueff. The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2013 performed two selections from A Musical Revue, which is performing at The Costume Shop this weekend.

For more info about A.C.T., please visit www.act-sf.org