by Kate Attwell
Originally produced at American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, CA
October 16 - December 1, 2019
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: How can we understand the present, if we won’t acknowledge the past? Pam MacKinnon (in her Strand Theater debut) directs this scorching world premiere by playwright Kate Attwell—a contrast of two time-traveling stories focusing on cricket, a game of strict rules and hidden violence.
It’s 2019 and tensions in the locker room rise during a world-class match between rival women’s cricket players from India and England, as secrets spill about relationships, influencers, and the integrity of the sport. Then in 1800 (or so), Abhi, the Number One Sepoy of the East India Co., struggles to force two bungling, cheating British administrators—absorbed in setting down the rules of cricket—to focus on the famine they have created outside the compound walls. Asking hard-hitting questions about colonialism, gender, and power, Testmatch launches Kate Attwell, an exciting new voice in American theater.
Artistic Statement: Playwright Kate Attwell demands that we examine white advantage. Cricket is the setting, but unpacking the wound of colonialism is the project. The questions raised in this play, while specific to competitive women’s cricket and British colonialism in India, hopefully promote deep conversations about historical legacies reflected in current attitudes and inequities here in the U.S. too. Without understanding our past, how can we understand our present? Attwell’s characters are sharply drawn. Her project and voice are all her own. This is a laugh out loud, highly theatrical play that is so deserving of a production in San Francisco, a city of great privilege and widening disparities, and common discussions of social justice.
Grant Statement: In March 2019 we workshopped this play for a week, digging into the play’s humor and complex themes. An additional week of rehearsal as we lead now to production, allows this world premiere to get its due. The farcical elements along aside the deep pathos need time to get just right. This is a real writer, who has written a big play - entertaining and lacerating. Rehearsal time is a must.
Director: Pam MacKinnon
Set Designer: Nina Bell
Lighting Designer: Amith Chandrashaker
Costume Designer: Beaver Bauer
Sound Designer: Elisheba Ittoop
Movement Coach: Danyon Davis
Voice/Dialect Coach: Lisa Ann Porter
Dramaturg: Joy Meads
Additional funders: Additional support of A.C.T.’s past seasons has been provided in part by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Trust, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.