A.C.T. Awards Honor Elizabeth Banks And Annette Bening

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San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater honored Oscar-nominated Annette Bening and Emmy-nominated Elizabeth Banks Tuesday at it’s inaugural awards luncheon.

Bening, who was honored with a lifetime achievement award, is a long-time A.C.T. actor and supporter. She appeared on San Francisco’s main stage from 1984 to 1986 and she even taught at the conservatory.

“My years as a student and actress at A.C.T. gave me rigorous training and the chance to spread my wings working as a member of a top-notch repertory company,” she said in a press release. “It was an intellectual, spiritual, psychological hotbed of theater passion, and I will always be grateful. For me, A.C.T. will always be home.”

Banks was honored with the Conservatory’s Rising Star award. She is a recent graduate of A.C.T. and she studied under Melissa Smith, the current director.

“She is a smart cookie,” Smith said about Banks. “It’s no surprise to me that she is building a career for herself as a producer as well as becoming a bona fide star.”

Also awarded at the ceremony: Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, founders of the 20-year-old A Noise Within theater company; A.C.T. supporters Frannie and the late Mort Fleishhacker; and the Willaim Randolph Hearst Foundation.

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