The Sacramento Theatre Company will kick off its new season on September 26 with a celebrity fund-raiser featuring actor and social activist Danny Glover. Hollywood thinks of Glover as a star in action films. After all, he made four hugely popular Lethal Weapon movies, and he was in one of the Predator films. Still, Glover established himself as a serious actor long before he became a box-office draw, and he continues to appear in dramatic roles and literary productions.
Glover’s breakthrough came in 1982, when he gained acclaim for his role in a New York stage production of Athol Fugard’s Master Harold … and the Boys, a tense drama about racial attitudes in South Africa. Glover has been associated with Fugard’s work ever since, appearing in stage productions of The Blood Knot: A Play in Seven Scenes and Sizwe Banze is Dead, and a film version of Boesman and Lena—all dramas built around black South African characters.
Glover even played Nelson Mandela in a TV miniseries about the South African leader. He also appeared in the film The Color Purple and in a stage production about the life of singer and actor Paul Robeson. He recently filmed a TV miniseries called Earthsea, based on Ursula K. Le Guin’s popular series of literary fantasy novels.
For his September 26 appearance at the Wells Fargo Pavilion, Glover will be interviewed by the Sacramento Theatre Company’s artistic director, Peggy Shannon. He will talk about his teenage years in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood during the 1960s, his training in the American Conservatory Theater’s Black Actors’ Workshop, his transition in his 30s from the stage to film (which will be illustrated by a number of movie clips), and his continuing political activism.
Glover likely will mention his voluntary arrest on August 26, when he was handcuffed at a protest on the steps of the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C. Glover was protesting the refugee crisis in Sudan’s embattled Darfur region, where 1 million people are homeless. Glover’s arrest netted newspaper stories in New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere around the world.
“The man completely stands up for what he thinks is important,” Shannon said of Glover. “He’ll be talking about his life, about the choices he made in becoming an actor, and his career.”
Glover’s visit to Sacramento will include a pre-show mixer at 5:30 p.m., the main event in the Wells Fargo Pavilion at 7 p.m., and a post-show dessert reception. The pre-show mixer will feature live music, food from area restaurants and local wines. Tickets to the main event are $30 for third-tier seating; $75 for the pre-show mixer and second-tier seating; and $125 for the pre-show mixer, first-tier seating and the post-show reception. Proceeds will benefit the Sacramento Theatre Company’s education and literary programs, as well as scholarships for young actors.
The theater company’s formal season will get under way on October 13 with the opening of Dirty Blonde, a play about Mae West. The recently announced cast includes Matt K. Miller (fondly recalled for his appearance in the Sacramento Theatre Company’s one-man show Fully Committed, among other shows) and Jamie Jones (who’s not a natural blonde and is familiar from many appearances at the B Street Theatre). Also in the cast is Peter Story, fresh from his appearance in the B Street Theatre’s summer comedy The Underpants.
Other shows include a return—after a four-year absence—of Richard Hellesen and Dave de Barry’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which opens November 24. A modern dress production of Molière’s Tartuffe opens on January 26. On March 16, look for a new Obie award-winning drama set in South Africa, The Syringa Tree. And April 27 brings the West Coast premiere of a new musical by Sacramento’s own Gregg Coffin, Five-Course Love. Coffin’s first musical, Convenience, was a hit for the theater company last season and enjoyed an extended run.
Also scheduled are three shows by the Sacramento Theatre Company 2 young people’s company: a fall production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a midwinter cabaret-style revue, and a spring showcase for young talent.
The theater’s season-ticket plans run from $80 to $124 for full packages. There are also mini-series subscriptions covering three shows, ranging from $60 to $99. Call (916) 443-6722 or visit the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, for tickets to the fund-raiser with Danny Glover or any of the upcoming shows.