BroadwayWorld: “Academy Award-Winning Actress Melissa Leo Welcomes MFA Candidates of The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace to the Profession”

Oscar Winner and Actors Studio Member Melissa Leo offered personal words of encouragement to the 31 MFA candidates (actors, playwrights and directors) of The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University after attending the final performance of their 2011 Repertory Season.

“Welcome to the profession, and don’t let anyone take away your dreams, ” advised Melissa Leo, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the loving yet manipulative mother in The Fighter earlier this year. “Being an actor is a wonderful life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,”

Also on hand and offering their own “words of wisdom” following the last performance of The Actors Studio Drama School’s 2011 Repertory Season were James Lipton, Dean Emeritus and Executive Producer, Writer and Host of Bravo’s Inside The Actors Studio;  Andreas Manolikakis, Director of  The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace (pictured with Melissa Leo); and Nira Herrmann, PhD. Dean, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences.

Click here to read more and view the group photo on BroadwayWorld.

BroadwayWorld.com: “Actors Studio Drama School at Pace Univ Announces Repertory Season”

The 2011 Actors Studio Drama School Repertory Season performances will take place at the Theater at Dance New Amsterdam, 53 Chambers St., just north of City Hall, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m. from April 13 through May 14. The full schedule and information about plays, actors, directors and playwrights can be found online at www.Pace.edu/ASDSRep

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 email is ASDSRep@pace.edu

This year’s 27 Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidates of  The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University include:

  • Young Simba from Broadway’s The Lion King and the originator of the role of Jack Scott in Disney’s stage version of High School Musical (Ruben L. Del Valle, Jr, pictured)
  • Reigning Miss Black USA (2010)
  • Loud Nanny in The Nanny Diaries (The Weinstein Company)
  • Musician featured on the double platinum album The Light & The Shadow, which launched hip hop into Israel’s mainstream
  • Grammy award winner, recognized for her outstanding choral and drama programs in a South Carolina high school
  • Fulbright Scholar
  • Lauded playwright – For the Winter (finalist, 35th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Contest), and Four Sons (winner, Under 20’s Playwriting Contest, Tarragon Theatre).
  • Director of Martha and Me: A Musical, which enjoyed a sell-out run at the New York International Fringe Festival
  • Winner of the State of Ohio Solo Musical Theatre Thespian Competition at age 16
  • Tri-linguist in English, French and Spanish
  • Fortune 500 banker turned actor

Scituate Mariner – “Scituate High grad Chris Barba part of ‘A Christmas Carol’”

Chris Barba (pictured in top hat), a 2009 Scituate High School graduate, acted throughout high school and had other main roles before, but said he has never been a part of a production as big as this one. Barba is starring this week in Pace University’s “A Christmas Carol” as Fred, Scrooge’s optimistic nephew.

Barba explained that Fred continually tries to get Scrooge to see things in a better light then he is able to. And he said that no matter how much Scrooge rejects him, Fred keeps going back to form a relationship with Scrooge.

“Everyone knows the story of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and when I got the role I assumed I knew, but I realized that you can never really know too much,” said Barba. “You have to take to it seriously and get it right and do research and planning and be open to discovery as with any other role that you knew nothing about.”

“I was really heavily involved in acting program at Scituate High School,” Chris Barba said. “I was definitely a drama geek and was always reading plays and working hard all through high school.”

But Barba wasn’t so sure he wanted to pursue acting as a career until Maura Tighe, the drama director his freshman and sophomore year of high school, convinced him otherwise.

Barba said Tighe taught him about building a character.

“You think that performing is getting out on stage and saying lines in the most entertaining way possible, but I started to learn that when you create a character, you create a whole person, someone who may be similar to someone you know,” he said. “It’s something I learned more detail about in college, but she was the first person who planted that seed in my mind.”

http://www.wickedlocal.com/scituate/news/x2012966517/Scituate-High-grad-Chris-Barba-part-of-A-Christmas-Carol-IN-THIS-WEEKS-PAPER

The New York Observer: “Teaching With Passion”

The EDUCATED Observer takes a closer look at how Grant Kretchik, head of Pace’s BFA Acting Program, is bringing his passions into the classroom – and getting results.

Kretchik reminds his students that acting is not merely a “degree or career, it’s a lifestyle.”

Kretchik believes that his position makes him responsible for encouraging his students to contribute to their communities.  To this end, he makes every effort to bridge the gap between the classroom and workplace and also looks into opportunities for outreach programs through partnerships with organizations such as Broadway Green Alliance – – www.scribd.com/doc/41935757/The-Educated-Observer-Winter-2010

Actors Studio MFA Program to be Established at Pace

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.

Contacts:
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.