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CURTAIN GOING UP IN LOWER MANHATTAN … ACTORS STUDIO DRAMA SCHOOL’S INAUGURAL REPERTORY SEASON AT PACE UNIVERSITY OFFERS FOUR WEEKS OF FREE THEATER, APRIL 15 – MAY 11
Intense one-act plays and scenes from Eugene O’Neill, William Mastrosimone, Sam Shepard, Romulus Linney, Caryl Churchill, John Osborne, Edward Allan Baker and others.
World Premiere of two Ellen Orchid plays: PRESCRIPTONS and DREAM WEDDING!
NEW YORK, NY April 13, 2009 – Avid viewers of James Lipton’s “Inside the Actors Studio,” seen in 89 million US homes and 125 countries, know that the young people in the first few rows are advanced students in what is really a seminar on the craft of theater, held in one of the world’s most famous drama schools – the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University.
Now their moment has come to take the leap to center stage.
For the public, the result is four weeks of intense, fully-professional theater – free.
From April 15 through May 11 the 21 actors, three directors and one playwright in the first class to earn their Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) since the school moved to Pace in the fall of 2006 are presenting the school’s noted Repertory Season. The school is the only MFA theater program officially sanctioned by the Actors Studio, whose co-Presidents are Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino.
The rep season audience often includes members of the Actors Studio and other celebrities, including Lipton, the very active Dean Emeritus, as well as casting directors, agents and theatergoers looking, as one newspaper put it, for “the next DeNiro, Streep or Pacino.” The works presented are often frank cauldrons of raw emotions, chosen to challenge actors and directors to push themselves to their limits.
Performances take place at the Theater of Dance New Amsterdam, diagonally across from Pace’s downtown campus and north of City Hall Park at 53 Chambers Street, between Broadway and Centre Streets. Three to four works are performed each evening, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, with Saturday matinees at 3 PM.
The fifth opening night is Monday evening, May 11, for a staged reading of a full-length play – DREAM WEDDING! – written by MFA graduate Ellen Orchid. Mirroring real life, the production comically depicts the lengths a group of graduates fresh out of a New York City theatre conservatory go to in order to remain an ensemble.
The full schedule and information about plays, performers and directors can be found online at www.pace.edu/pace/asdsrep09. Playwrights with work on display this year include Eugene O’Neill, William Mastrosimone, Sam Shepard, Romulus Linney, Caryl Churchill, John Osborne, and Edward Allan Baker.
Admission is free, but reservations must be made in advance by phone or e-mail as seating is limited. The 24-hour reservation line is: 212-613-6209 and the email address is: ASDSRepTickets@gmail.com.
The works are considered “in progress” and may not be reviewed.
Professional production values. The graduating MFA actors, directors, and this year, one playwright, are supported by a full professional stage crew providing set design, props, costumes, makeup, lighting and stage management.
For those on and off stage, the training has been intense and the motivation high.
“Collectively, the Studio’s actors, directors and playwrights have received a spectacular number of Oscar, Tony and Emmy awards,” said Andreas Manolikakis, Chair of the Actors Studio Drama School MFA Program at Pace and a member of the Acting and Directing Faculty. “Alone among America’s drama programs, we offer our students the privilege of personally observing the Actors Studio’s private sessions. In addition, we confer on our graduates the status of ‘Working Finalist’ at the Studio, a privilege that has led to admission to Studio life-membership for many of our alumni,” he added.
The Actors Studio Drama School‘s mission is to translate the 55-year experience of the Actors Studio into a three-year Master’s Degree program that trains its actors, playwrights and directors side-by-side in a coherent program organized around a central principle: The Stanislavski System.
The school is an academic division of Pace University, which is becoming an arts destination for students and the public alike. Its undergraduate performing arts program, and especially its Musical Theater specialty, now draws full houses to the University’s performance spaces and competes successfully for students with drama schools like that at NYU. The Pace Digital gallery and two visual art galleries show work by both students and professional artists; poetry readings and open lectures and seminars in the humanities present current work and thought.
Actors Studio involvement. From the outset of their training, all Actors Studio Drama School students participate in craft seminars, where the most accomplished members of the Actors Studio share their knowledge and experiences. Many Actors Studio artists also teach in intensive Friday Workshop sessions. While the Actors Studio itself – bicoastal, with locations in both New York City and Los Angeles – is a private space, accessible only to members, MFA candidates have the privilege of attending a number of the Studio’s closed-door sessions as observers. Each year, on a dozen or so occasions, the students also spend an evening or Sunday afternoon with some of the world’s most distinguished creative and performing artists in the “Inside the Actors Studio” craft seminars/tapings.
The comprehensive, three-year program is designed and taught by professional actors, writers, and directors to produce professional actors, writers and directors ready to go to work in theater, film and television. The curriculum includes course work in Acting, Playwriting, Directing, Scenic, Lighting and Costume Design, Voice and Speech, Movement, and Theater History as well as the “Inside the Actors Studio” craft seminars.
The Repertory Season represents the culmination of the intensive study. The productions are all directed and acted – and many written — by graduating students in their introduction to the public and the professional community.
About Pace. For 103 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu
Media Contact Samuella Becker Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172 Sbecker2@pace.edu