ACT 2022

Hello Dear Performers and Fellow Educators,


I hope you are all rested and ready for the big show!


We have some work to do over the next couple weeks, but together I promise we will rise to the occasion and rock the crowd. 


I will be biking as fast as I can on Monday afternoon to run the show with you a couple of times. 


Perhaps you can assemble in the cafetorium some time before I get there, and maybe even sort out three rows.  These rows will be adjusted through the rehearsal process.  The numbers below represent students.  The row directly in front of the stage should be the tallest, and the line in front of the audience should be shorter. 



                                                                                                      STAGE (ONE ROW)


201 201 Dante Marquis Henry Kymani Lola Gerard Calvin Jasai Ramony Elyse Maja Migy Arisha Arkin Maynard Ace Mya Daniel 207 207






     201  201  201  201 201 201 201  201        207 207 207 207 207 207 207 207            202 202 202 202 202 202 202 202

          201  201  201  201 201 201 201            207 207 207 207 207 207 207                  202 202 202 202 202 202 202



       FIRST TWO ROWS OF AUDIENCE (Chaperones, Other Bessie Students Not Performing, and Invited Guests)





Below is the script (with two casts).  Both sets should prepare to perform, but depending on how rehearsals go this week, some actors will be designated as understudies.  The part of “CREW” might be played by one of the ACT crew members, but we will have Daniel play that part until it’s confirmed. 


Mr. Josh and classroom teachers may adjust the cast, depending on how students are performing throughout the week.  Since you spend more time with them, you know better the potential of certain individuals (especially under pressure).  If there are students who aren’t named on the cast list, but you know could rock it, let’s make sure they are on the stage in one of the unassigned places.  We may have them fill in as we do run throughs.  




There are a few options for this.  I’m happy with what’s best/easiest for everyone.


1.  Bessie shirts (if everyone has one) and dark pants.

2.  Multiple bright, solid colors like in the video (no writing, images, brand names, or symbols)

3.  Limited solid colors (green, red, and/or white to reflect the holiday). 

4.  Get dressed up for a special occasion (again no writing or images on clothes)




Everything is to be memorized.  There will be no lyric sheets on stage.


In the past, we’ve positioned music stands with the script taped to them in case actors forgot something.  I hesitate to do this, as students tend to rely heavily on them when they don’t need to.  Since we will be seated in the first two row, perhaps instead teachers can proctor the actors if/when they forget a line.




As much as possible.  If you can find time, run the show a couple times daily in your individual classes.  You can also plan some times to meet together in the cafetorium.  I plan to come again next Monday afternoon at 2:30 (12/5).  I may also come on Wednesday morning (12/7) for a couple of hours if you are free to rehearse (10 – 12 AM).




Let’s try to make sure the tickets are used up.  Best to have Bessie students/family members/staff, but if it looks like we won’t be needing all of them, we should let ACT know by the end of the week.  I believe our matinee is sold out so they could sell the extra tickets.  It will be okay if a few seats are left empty given that some may still be unsure they can attend. 


That’s all for now.  Thanks for all the support.  I know it’s a lot of work, but I guarantee it will be an extraordinary experience that the students will never forget. 


See you Monday,



                                 "Time Machine"

 Preshow performed by the students of Bessie Carmichael

                                        presented before


           "A Christmas Carol"


                                       December 9, 2022



NOTE - Slight changes in lyrics to match "A Christmas Carol"

Video above features "At ACT" and "Why Do the Actors?"


Juan Manzo introduces the students of Bessie.

Opening Song - "At ACT"


Welcome to the theater,

the historic Geary Theater.

Welcome to the theater at A.C.T.


Sit back and relate

to the stories we create,

Let the stage become your gate at A.C.T.


The American Conservatory Theater

is the company that brought us here today,

to this 1910 one thousand forty seater.

It's the place where you are about to see "A Christmas Carol."


Welcome to the theater,

The historic Geary Theater.

Welcome to the theater at A.C.T.


The script is where we start,

then the process shapes the art.

Everybody plays a part at A.C.T.


The American Conservatory Theater,

Imagination can become reality.

Words and sound and light trigger your feelings.

A kind of magic happens here that you will see in London.


Welcome to the theater,

the historic Geary Theater!

Thank you for coming to A.C.T

One student steps forward to bask in the applause.  They bow again. 



JM/Calvin:           Can you believe all these people came to see us?


Another student steps forward to the mic.


Jasai/Maja:          They didn’t come to see us.


JM/Calvin:           What?


Jasai/Maja:          They came to see “A Christmas Carol”


Another student steps forward.


Dante/Arisha:      Yeah, we’re just the warm up act.


JM/Calvin:           (Hurt, very disappointed) The warm up act?


A crew member enters.


CREW:                How do you think we feel? 

                           At least you get some applause.


Calvin/Ace:         Who are you?


CREW/Daniel:    Backstage crew. 

                           If it weren’t for us, the magic wouldn’t happen.

                           But you actors get all the credit.



Song “Why Do the Actors Get All the Attention?”



CREW/Daniel:     (Singing) So…


                            Why do the actors get all the attention?


EVERYONE:         What about those of us behind the scenes?

                             We do the hair.

                             We do the make up,

                             We do the lighting,

                             Who needs a prop?


                             And we finance the teams,

                             The producers so it seems.



                             Why do the actors get all the attention?

                             What about those of us backstage as well?

                             We dress the characters.

                             We do the sound effects,

                             We build the set.

                             The director directs.


Critic (Maynard/JM):     And I write the reviews.


There is a collective gasp, then silence.  The stage manager appears. 


Stage Manager (Elyse):  (Singing) But, I call the cues.



She approaches the critic, clipboard in hand.  The critic is busy writing when the stage manager approaches.


Stage Manager (Elyse):  (Spoken) We’re not open yet.

                                                        Please exit the stage.

The critic stops writing and looks up.


Stage Manager (Elyse):    (Yelling) Now!


The critic drops their pad and runs off.


Stage Manager (Elyse):  (Singing)I’m the stage manager,

                                         No one likes me,

                                         ‘cause I carry a check list, forget the charm.

                                         If they’re late for their cue,

                                         Tell me, what else can I do?

                                         But raise my voice and sound the alarm.


The stage manager looks sad.  Cast consoles, saying “We like you.”


Stage Manager (Elyse):    FINAL CALL!!!!!!! PLACES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The cast scurries into positions for the kick line.


                       ALL: Why do the actors get all the attention?

                                Where would they be without us at their backs?


                                 Naked and speechless,

                                 Set-less and prop-less,


                                 Lost in the darkness,


                                 So why then does it go?

                                 That the actors steal the show.


After the applause, a student looks down and notices the pad that the critic dropped.  They pick it up.


Gerard/Ramony:        Look, it’s the critic’s note pad.


Migy/Ace:                  What does it say?  What does it say?


Gerard/Ramony:        It says I was brilliant, but you were a flop.


STUDENT 6 grabs the note pad from STUDENT 5


Migy/Ace:                  No, it doesn’t.  It says…


                                 “The students of Bessie Carmichael dazzled the                                                  crowd with a fabulous preshow before Scrooge                                                  and company took the stage?”


Arkin/Mya:                 Whose “Scrooge?”

Henry/Lola:                You know, the old, mean guy!


Elyse/Mariquis:           Hey, no spoilers!

Kymani/Arkin:                 And no "put downs!"

Calvin/Marquis:         Speaking of Scrooge, we should get on with

                                  our last number.  Are we ready to travel to the 



Song - "Time Machine"

Maybe someday you will invent a time machine

and it will take us through the years,

If we want to go visit our older selves,

We will travel to the future.


Maybe someday you will invent a time machine,

The present day will disappear.

If we want to revisit our younger selves,

We will travel to the past.


What was San Francisco like 100 years ago?

How was it different?  How was it the same?


What will San Francisco be like when I’m grandma’s age?

Time flies, so they claim…


Maybe someday I will invent a time machine

and it will take us through the years,

If we want to go visit our older selves,

We will travel to the future.


Maybe someday I will invent a time machine,

The present day will disappear,

If we want to revisit our younger selves,

We will travel to the past.


But for now, let’s make the most of present moments,

While they last…

Maja/Lola:               True, an actual time machine has not yet been


Kymani/Henry:        But we can rely on good old-fashioned theater

                                 to transport us back to 19th Century London. So here

                                 we go!

EVERYONE:            Ready, Set, Action!

"At ACT" Reprise

Sit back and relate to the stories we create,

Thank you for coming to ACT!