The American Conservatory Theater, a thriving community of artists and audiences, celebrates a tradition of live theater in San Francisco. A.C.T. was the first theater to win a Tony Award for the quality of its training program, as well as for its performances. It was also the first independent theater in the country to achieve academic accreditation and the ability to grant Master of Fine Arts degrees in acting. Its calendar of classical and contemporary productions are mounted at the historic Geary Theater (called the Columbia Theater when it was built in 1910). In 2015, A.C.T. expanded to open the 283-seat Strand Theater near the Civic Center, complete with a basement cabaret space, acting workshops, and productions connected to the conservatory’s M.F.A. program which admits only eight students per year.