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  • Jessica Holt

Long-delayed A.C.T. musical set to premiere at San Francisco's Strand Theatre

"It's an exciting time for San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre as they prepare for the world premiere of "The Code," a musical that will feature its Youth Conservatory.

The A.C.T. production has been three years in the making after being sidelined due to COVID. Although it wasn't how they planned the project, the long pandemic delay ended up being a blessing in disguise.

"It gave us the gift of more time to really develop a very large and inspired and sprawling piece of work," director Jessica Holt said.

The cast members range in age from 14-21, with a couple of adult actors. Many of them have been part of the group through the entire development process.

Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses, also known as the Kilbanes, wrote the musical. They said the extra time was a unique opportunity to really get to know the actors and find out about the issues that mattered to them.

"The thing that came up in almost all of the interviews, over and over again, was that they were feeling so much pressure from their schools to be perfect at everything," Kilbane said.

The Kilbanes were so moved by the conversations with the young artists that it really helped shape the ideas and narrative of "The Code," making it a unique and collaborative experience.

Janelle Soriano, who is a performer in the musical, said the process really made a big difference.

"It's really nice to have a show that's kind of catered to this generation. Having our voices heard and having actual actors in this age range play these types of roles," explained Soriano. "It's really nice to be seen and recognized in this way"

She is thrilled to see "The Code" come to life, as are all the cast members and people involved in the production.

The musical premieres on August 4th and runs through August 7th at the Strand Theatre. For more information, visit the A.C.T. website.

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