Smuin Ballet presents Stabat Mater, Michael Smuin’s powerful response to 9/11, and which evokes the timeless message of love, loss, and eternal hope in the face of challenges. The ballet will be performed in observance of that event’s 15th anniversary and is featured in Smuin’s 23rd season, Dance Series 01 (Sept. 23–Oct. 2). The ballet will also perform Madness, Rack, and Honey, a world premiere by acclaimed choreographer Garrett Ammon and set to Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra. Also on the program is the sensuous, energetic, and critically acclaimed Indigo, by celebrated choreographer Stanton Welch, which follows four couples through love, break-ups, and reconnections all set to Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in B minor and Cello Concerto in G minor (415-912-1899, smuinballet.org).
The American Conservatory Theatre opens its 2016–17 season with King Charles III (Sept. 14–Oct. 9), a speculative Shakespearean comic tale about Prince Charles’s ascension to the throne, a sold-out hit on Broadway and London’s West End. … Tom Stoppard’s first new play in nearly a decade, Hard Problem (Oct. 19–Nov. 13), combines sex, science, and supercomputing in a provocative drama (415-749-2228, act-sf.org).
San Francisco Playhouse continues its new season with All of What You Love and None of What You Hate (through Sept. 24), which follows a young girl’s emotional journey after her world explodes. … Seared (Sept. 27–Nov. 12) tells the story about a chef’s popular New York restaurant and an investor who wants to cash in against the chef’s wishes (415-677-9596, sfplayhouse.org).
Fort Mason’s Magic Theatre opens with Nogales (Oct. 12–30), which explores personality conflicts in a border town while telling the contemporary story of a country that has “lost its moral center” (415-441-8822, magictheatre.org).
42nd Street Moon Theatre starts their season with Baker Street (Nov. 2–20), based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about Sherlock Holmes characters (415-255-8207, www.42ndstmoon.org).
SHN presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I (Nov. 15–Dec. 11) about the stubborn king of Siam and his feisty governess (888-746-1799, shnsf.com).
In one of the premier art festivals in the country, the 64th annual Sausalito Art Festival (Sept. 3–5) features fine art, music, food, and wine along the scenic Sausalito waterfront (415-332-3555, sausalitoartfestival.org).
At the Asian Art Museum is The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe (Oct. 21–Jan. 15, 2017), which explores the 2,500-year-old literature classic through an international survey of 135 artworks (415-581-5000, asianart.org).
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will present The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of 17th-Century France (Oct. 8–Jan. 29), the first major U.S. exhibition devoted to the brothers with over 40 works from international lenders including those of peasants, for which they are best known (415-750-3600, famsf.org).
… Following Ed Ruscha and the Great American West (through Oct. 9) is Frank Stella: A Retrospective (Nov. 5–Feb. 26) and Frank Stella’s Prints (Nov. 5–June 25), the first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of the Minimalist artist’s work and the highlights of his 25-year printmaking period.
S.F. Museum of Modern Art will feature a retrospective of Anthony Hernandez (Sept. 24–Jan. 1), which surveys his evolution of style from street photography to scenes of abandonment and desolation (415-357-4000, sfmoma.org).
The San Francisco Symphony features The Beauty and Drama of Italy (Sept. 7–June 1) beginning with Rossini’s William Tell Overture (Sept. 7), followed by Verdi’s Te Deum (Sept. 22–24), then music by Berio and Marcello featuring the Grammy Award-winning The Swingle Singers and Allegri’s Miserere (Oct. 27–30). … Internationally acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang takes the stage for two programs: Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with music from Stravinsky’s ballet Firebird inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Nightingale (Sept. 28–Oct. 1) and Chopin’s Piano Concert No. 2 with Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 to round out the fall season (415-864-6000, sfsymphony.org).
At the San Francisco Opera, find two tales of love: Giordano’s Andrea Chénier (Sept. 9–30) and the much-anticipated world premiere of Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber (Sept. 12–29) … Donizetti’s comedic Don Pasquale (Sept. 28–Oct.15) … Janáček’s The Markopoulos Case (Oct. 14–29) about a seductive age-defying over-300-year-old diva … Verdi’s grand Egyptian epic Aida (Nov. 5–Dec. 6) and Puccini’s heartbreaking love story, Madame Butterfly (Nov. 6–Dec. 4) for the fall season (415-864-3330, sfopera.org).
The West Wave Dance Festival (Sept. 14–18), in its 25th season, will bring together veteran and emerging choreographers across cultures and disciplines to present a shared-program format (415-518-1517, safehousearts.info).
The 23rd Annual Dancing Poetry Festival (Sept. 17) features prize-winning poetry and art with choreographed performances (415-681-0618, dancingpoetry.com).
Grace and Delia are Gone (Sept. 22–Oct. 2), the site-specific premier by the apparatus-based Flyaway, explores violence against women and celebrates the dance group’s 20th anniversary (415-672-4111, flyawayproductions.com).
The Push Dance Company presents Pushfest (Sept. 23–25), a mixed-genre festival of 18 choreographers, two programs, and three world premieres (415-863-9833, odcdance.org).
Mark Morris Dance Group will perform Layla and Majnun (Sept. 30–Oct. 2), based on the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi’s story of forbidden love and accompanied by the musical virtuosity of The Silk Road Ensemble (510-642-9988, calperformances.org).
Hope Mohr Dance Bridge Project will present Ten Artists Respond to Locus (Oct. 14–15), inspired by renowned dance pioneer Trish Brown, and will feature her iconic dance solo, Locus Solo (hopemohr.org).
The California Independent Film Festival (Sept. 8–14) will present dramatic and comedy features, shorts, and documentaries (925-388-0752, caiff.org).
At the Dance Film Festival (Oct. 8–11) over 70 films from around the globe featuring the varied forms of dance will be screened.
Internationally recognized, the 38th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival (Oct. 8–18), will showcase the best in independent and world cinema (877-874-6833, mvff.com).
The San Francisco International Festival of Short Films (Oct.15-17) will feature six programs of mixed genre films and music videos (sfshorts.com).
Documentary films dealing with human rights are the focus at the United Nations Association Film Festival (Oct. 20–30), with topics about the environment, refugees, famine, homelessness, racism, disease control, women’s issues, children, universal education, war, and peace (unaff.org).
At the Arab Film Festival (Oct. 16–25), find films that provide insight into the Arab world, with realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history, and politics (arabfilmfestival.org).