Lauren Schwartz, Pace University, 212-481-7000 x 615
Donna Daniels, The Actors Studio, 212-869-7233
ACTORS STUDIO AND PACE UNIVERSITY
SIGN 10-YEAR AGREEMENT FOR MFA PROGRAM
New York, NY, March 13, 2006 – The Actors Studio and Pace University announced today the signing of a 10-year agreement to establish a three-year Master of Fine Arts program in acting, playwriting and directing at Pace’s downtown Manhattan campus. This agreement builds on The Actors Studio’s existing relationship with Pace, whose Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts is already home to the hit Bravo television program “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” hosted by James Lipton.
The agreement also accelerates the vibrant role private arts institutions are playing in revitalizing lower Manhattan after 9/11.
The program will be known as The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace University.
“We are pleased and proud to join with the legendary Actors Studio,” said Pace University President David A. Caputo. “This marks a thrilling addition to our offerings to downtown New York and the New York metropolitan community, and underscores the University’s growing commitment to arts education.” Over the last five years, undergraduate Performing Arts majors at Pace have increased from 35 to more than 150 and this fall the University expects to add BFA programs in both acting and musical theater.
Ellen Burstyn, one of the three co-presidents of The Actors Studio (the others are Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel) added: “We all are very excited that we found a new home for our Actors Studio drama program. We look forward to this new alliance and to contributing to the development of Lower Manhattan along with Pace.”
The MFA program, which is still subject to approval from the New York State Department of Education, is expected to begin in the fall of 2006 with 60 students and grow to more than 180 by 2009.
“The depth and range of this program will be a significant addition to the culture and vitality that is making Lower Manhattan the most exciting cultural area of New York City,” said Caputo.
By the spring of 2009, the MFA Program will be producing its spring repertory season in Lower Manhattan. The ten-week theater festival consists primarily of premieres of new work by third-year playwrights, directed by third- year directors and performed by third year students. Tickets will be available to the public.
The extraordinary reach of the “Inside the Actor’s Studio” television program, which is seen in as many as 79 million homes in the United States and in 125 countries, has already had an effect on Pace University admissions, with more than 200 students having applied this spring to audition for its undergraduate theater program, twice as many as the year before.
Last week Pace was the recipient of a $500,000 Federal grant through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for refurbishing its principal theater. Earlier, it received a $50,000 grant from the September 11th Fund to plan a mid-size theater to accommodate additional academic, professional and community arts activity, which already outstrips available space in Lower Manhattan.
For more information, please log on to www.pace.edu.