From the Archives

ACID TEST: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass


Written by Lynne Kaufman
Directed by Nancy Carlin
Performed by Warren David Keith

September 21 – November 4, 2018

San Francisco
Fri at 8pm | Sat at 8:30pm | Sun at 5:30pm

“At The Marsh, Ram Dass helps us touch base with the universe, marveling at stories from the other side”- Theatrius

“Mr. Keith embodies with equal amounts of grace and gusto the renowned spiritual teacher and LSD pioneer, Ram Dass.”-Theatre Eddys

“Kaufman succeeds in articulating the feeling of enlightenment”-The Daly Cal

Show Description

ACID TEST is the true story of Ram Dass, renown spiritual teacher and LSD pioneer, as he journeys from ‘be here now’ to ‘still here’ to ‘be love.’ Written by prize winning playwright Lynne Kaufman, featuring acclaimed actor Warren David Keith, and directed by Nancy Carlin, the play explores Ram Dass’ life from being Richard Alpert, and the scion of a wealthy Jewish family and a psychology professor at Harvard, to, along with Timothy Leary, launching the psychedelic revolution. Whether meeting his guru in India or suffering a paralyzing stroke, he illuminates his search for inner peace and lasting truth with humor and humility.

October 7: Talkback with Ralph Metzner. Ralph Metzner is a psychologist, writer and researcher who participated in psychedelic research at Harvard in the early 1960’s with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass).

October 14: Talkback with Don Lattin. Don Lattin is an award winning journalist and author of six books including “The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith and Andrew Weil killed the Fifties and ushered in a New Age for America” and his most recent, “Changing our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy”.

Artist Biographies

Lynne Kaufman (writer) most recently wrote TWO MINDS which premiered at The Marsh last Spring. Her play WILLIAM BLAKE IN HOLLYWOOD  premiered in July as winner of The Neil Simon New Play Contest in Cedar City, Utah. She has had twenty full length plays produced at such venues as The Magic Theatre, Theatreworks, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Florida Studio Theatre, The Abingdon Theatre in N.Y.C. and The Fountain Theatre in L.A.  Her plays have won numerous awards including The Glickman Award for Best New Play in S.F., Theatreworks Award for Best New Play in California, The NEA/Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays and the Otis Guernsey Award for Best New Voice in Theatre from The William Inge Theatre Festival. Her plays are published by Dramatic Publishing, Dramatists Play Service and Smith and Kraus.

Warren David Keith (actor) appeared as Ram Dass in the premiere of “Acid Test: The Many Incarnations of Ram Dass” in September 2012 at the Marsh Theatre in Berkeley. It was extended twice there and subsequently transferred to the Marsh San Francisco, enjoying successful runs in May and October 20, 2013. The piece was performed in front of Ram Dass on December 6, 2012 on Maui where it received his blessing. . Titled “Be Here Now” it ran to full houses at the Ocean Beach Playhouse, SanDi       San Diego in summer 2 015 and also in 2016. In addition to his enlightening journey with Ram Dass, . Mr. Keith has appeared at theatres throughout the Bay Area, most recently as Sims in “The Nether” at the S.F. S.F.Playhouse, Touchstone  in “As You Like It” at California Shakespeare Theatre and Sartorius in G.B> G.B. Shaw’s “Widowers Houses” at the Aurora Theatre. His film credits include “Raising Arizona,” “Fargo,     “The Big Lebowski,” “A Serious Man,” “Haiku Tunnel,” and “Love and Taxes.” He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and The Yale School of Drama.

Nancy Carlin (director) is a director, actor, writer, dialect coach, and acting teacher. A former company member of the American Conservatory Theater and associate artist with Cal Shakes, she has performed and directed extensively in regional theaters, including A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, Aurora Theatre, Shotgun Players, The Jewel Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. A theater arts lecturer for UC Berkeley, UCSC, and San Jose State, she holds a BA in comparative literature from Brown University and an MFA in acting from A.C.T. Ms. Carlin is a member of SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and the Dramatists Guild. Other current directing projects include #GetGandhi by Anne Galjour at Z Below, The Wolvesfor Capital Stage and The Obligation at Potrero Stage.