“Glee” (FOX TV): “Inside the Actors Studio” and The Actors Studio Drama School Incorporated into April 17 Episode – Finn’s Coming to Pace!

Ryan Murphy and the cast incorporated “Inside the Actors Studio,” Bravo and, most important, our school, into a development toward which “Glee” has been building since its first day. At the climax of an episode in which the show’s principals, facing graduation, shared their post-graduate dreams, the final holdout was Finn, who was wrestling with uncertainty about following Rachel to New York. After fifty minutes of music and drama, a scene occurred in which “Glee” reached a significant milestone in Finn’s and Rachel’s – and the series’ – history. As millions of young people in the “Glee” audience watched, “Inside the Actors Studio” and The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University became an organic part of the “Glee” story!

Here’s what TV critics had to say in their Glee “Saturday Night Glee-ver” Recap: Figuring Out Post Graduation Plans which aired April 17, and included a shout-out to both the Inside the Actors Studio and indirectly by association The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University:

From Jen Chaney’s Celebritology blog in The Washington Post:

Finn to decide that he wants to go to New York with Rachel and take classes at the Actors Studio. Yes, the same one from “Inside the Actors Studio” with James Lipton, a show on which, coincidentally, the “Glee” cast recently appeared. (I can’t wait to hear Finn Hudson eventually tell us what he’d like to hear God say when he arrives at the pearly gates.)

Denise Martin wrote in  TV GUIDE:
First he {Finn} sings “More Than a Woman” and then he tells Rachel he’s applied to what he calls that school that James Lipton hosts on Bravo, Inside the Actors Studio (better known as the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University). 
Jeff Dodge, BuddyTV  recapped:
I’m Gonna Be An Actor
After leading on “More Than a Woman” in the choir room, Finn tells Rachel that he knows what he wants to do next year. He ended up identifying with John Travolta’s Tony from Saturday Night Fever. He decides that he wants to go to New York with Rachel, has applied to James Lipton’s Inside the Actors Studio (a nice nod to the fact that the Glee cast were featured in an episode of that show last week). It’s his dream to become an actor, though it comes out of left field because we’ve never seen him have an interest in acting … ever. But you know what? If that’s what he wants to do, I applaud him for finally making a decision regarding his future.
From Becky Kirsch of BuzzSugar:

Rachel and Finn recover from their fight about the future, but Finn’s still having serious doubts about whether or not he can make it in the real world as anything other than a competitive eater. He’s basically convinced that he peaked in high school, but all it takes is one magical viewing of Saturday Night Fever to make him realize his dream of going inside the actors studio. He tells Rachel that he’s ready to go to New York with her, and struts around to “Stayin’ Alive” to show off his newfound confidence.

BroadwayWorld.com: “Photo Flash: Week Two – The Actors Studio Drama School’s MFA Repertory Season”

Check out the production photos from The Bear, Amicable Parting, Snowangel, and The Woolgatherer – Week Two of the Actors Studio Drama School’s MFA Repertory Season – which runs from April 4 – 7. For reservations please call (212) 501-2099 or e-mail: ASDSRep@pace.edu

 

Inspired by recent insight from Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper (ASDS MFA’00), Jennifer Aniston, James Franco, the casts of Mad Men, Glee and Modern Family, as well as other distinguished celebrity guests of their craft class – Dean Emeritus James Lipton‘s Inside The Actors Studio– a new generation of performers and creators have taken the stage at The Theatre at Dance New Amsterdam for a five-week Repertory Season, March 28 – April 28, 2012. 

For a complete list of the season and cast members, visit www.pace.edu/ASDSrep
 
Click here to view the photos from Week Two.

NEWS RELEASE: The Actors Studio Drama School Announces Its 2012 Repertory Season

Inspired by recent insight from Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Aniston, James Franco, the casts of “Glee” and “Modern Family,” as well as other distinguished celebrity guests of their craft class – Dean Emeritus James Lipton’s “Inside the Actors Studio” – a new generation of performers and creators prepare for their five-week Repertory Season beginning March 28.

THE ACTORS STUDIO DRAMA SCHOOL AT PACE UNIVERSITY PROUDLY

ANNOUNCES ITS SPRING 2012 REPERTORY SEASON

Wednesday, March 28 – Saturday, April 28, 2012

15 Productions in Five Weeks; Acted and Directed by Our 36 MFA Candidates; World Premiere of Playwright Sean Michael Welch’s “All An Act”

Selected Plays, Scenes, Books by: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, Lewis John Carlino, Anton Chekhov (translated by Paul Schmidt), Noël Coward, Darlene Craviotto, Cindy Lou Johnson, George S. Kaufman and Leueen MacGrath, John Kolvenbach, William Mastrosimone, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adam Rapp, Christopher Shinn, Nicky Silver, John Van Druten, Craig Wright.

NEW YORK, NY, March 14, 2012 –This year’s 36 Actors Studio Drama School MFA candidates have received advice about the craft of acting, directing and writing from some of the most influential bold-faced names in entertainment.  

Those who have recently graced the stage of the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University in New York City and been interviewed by Dean Emeritus James Lipton — the creator, executive-producer, writer and host of “Inside the Actors Studio, which is seen in 89 million American homes on Bravo TV, and around the world in 125 countries – include:

  • Brad Pitt
  • George Clooney
  • Bradley Cooper (Actors Studio Drama School, MFA’00)
  • James Franco
  • James Cameron
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Jim Carrey
  • Sean Combs
  • Kate Hudson
  • Cast of Modern Family (Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara and Eric Stonestreet)
  • Cast of Glee (Creator Ryan Murphy, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer)
  • Legendary rock band, Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan, and Tico Torres)

This bird’s-eye view of industry giants also comes with interview privileges, allowing the graduate students to ask their own individual questions of the Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Golden Globe, Grammy and BAFTA award winners they someday hope to emulate. 

“Our 36 MFA candidates are accomplished and have multiple credits on the big screen, small screen, on stage and in the wings,” said Andreas Manolikakis, chair of the Actors Studio Drama School and a board member of the Actors Studio. “They have founded their own theater companies as well as performed, written and directed for others.  But they have collaborated together these last three years in New York City, united as they pursued their dreams and refined their craft as actors, directors or playwrights in the only Masters’ theater program endorsed by the renowned Actors Studio … two express subway stops from Broadway.

“All have diverse backgrounds, and that’s the beauty of it, because one learns not only from the faculty but from one another,” continued Manolikakis. 

The 2012 Actors Studio Drama School MFA candidates include:

  • U.S. Navy Chef, National Runner-Up in the Season 5 Mad Men Casting Call with recent TV credits on White Collar, Law & Order: SVU, Royal Pains, Humanly Impossible, and I’m Alive.
  • Captain of the Women’s Soccer Team at Connecticut College.
  • Actor in Robert DeNiro’s new crime drama series The 2-2 on CBS-TV.
  • Award-winning playwright (Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival – 1999, 2000) who has authored 140 works – some now being performed Off-Broadway and in regional theaters. 
  • Opera singer who has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
  • International Puppeteer, Fulbright Scholar and American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow.
  • Gymnast, Women’s Gymnastics Team at the University of Michigan on full athletic scholarship.
  • Actor appearing on Lifetime’s Army Wives and the Atlanta soap opera, Love Always Charleston.
  • Gospel mime on the international gospel television network, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
  • NYC Fringe Film Festival Director.
  • Clowning, Syo-Kon-Do (Mixed Martial Arts) and Kyudo (Japanese Archery) expert.
  • Michigan dairy farmer.
  • Silk Road Dance Company member who performed at the 2011 Asia Cup Games in Doha, Qatar.
  • Two members of the Festival of Fools, a NYC based verse-inspired theatre company.
  • Intern at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London.

The 2012 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 March 28 through April 28. 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) 501-2099 and email is ASDSRep@pace.edu

The works are considered educational and may not be reviewed.

Established playwrights with one-act productions or scenes showcased are:

  • Week One: Scenes from Fabuloso by John Kolvenbach; Scenes from Dying City by Christopher Shinn; Scenes from Pizza Man by Darlene Craviotto
  • Week Two: Snow Angel by Lewis John Carlino; Scenes from The Woolgatherer by William Mastrosimone; The Bear by Anton Chekhov, translated by Paul Schmidt; Amicable Parting by George S. Kaufman and Leueen MacGrath
  • Week Three: Scenes from Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks; Brilliant Traces by Cindy Lou Johnson; Scenes from Raised in Captivity by Nicky Silver
  • Week Four: A Scene from: The Voice of the Turtle by John Van Druten; Scenes from Orange Flower Water by Craig Wright; A scene from Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp
  • Week Five: A Scene from Fallen Angels by Noël Coward; A New Play All An Act by Sean Michael Welch; Scenes from The Producers, A New Mel Brooks Musical, Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks.

World Premiere

A published and frequently produced New York City playwright, with 32 plays to his credit, Edward Allan Baker has written for HBO and Showtime, attended Sundance Film Institute and been a faculty member of the Actors Studio Drama School since 2005 as Associate Professor – Playwriting.

During Week Five of the 2012 rep season, the one-act play All an Act by Baker student Sean Michael Welch will be making its world premiere. The play takes place in a dressing room in Clown Alley in the present day, and is about two clowns with relationship troubles.

“Real” Rep Season: Off-Broadway, Practical Level Experience

“The season is produced, managed, and designed by union member industry professionals, creating an actual Off-Broadway experience that prepares our graduates with practical experience as working professionals before graduation,” said Manolikakis, a Lifetime Member and a member of the Board of Directors of the Actors Studio.

Among the industry professionals who will be supporting the Actors Studio Drama School 2012 MFA candidates during repertory season are:

Brierpatch Productions (General Manager) Brierpatch Productions is the partnership of Laura Janik Cronin and Scott Newsome. Off-Broadway: Triassic Parq (June 2012); 7th Monarch (June 2012); Tennessee Williams’ The Two Character Play; Sex in Mommyville; Lidless (Page 73/Walker Space) Tales From The Tunnel (Bleecker Street Theatre); The Road To Qatar! (The York Theatre); Glimpses of The Moon (The Oak Room).

Shawn Lewis (Supervising Director, Set Designer).  Based in New York City, Lewis has worked as a set designer for more than 50 productions throughout the United States and abroad, designing plays, musicals, opera and film. Lewis’s mentor has been Tony Walton, with whom she started teaching in 1996 at the Actors Studio Drama School.  As a resident scenic designer for ASDS, Lewis has designed more than 500 one-act productions.  She is a member of the League of Professional Theater Women and of United Scenic Artists.

Paul Hudson (Lighting Designer). Design highlights: Synaesthetic Theatre’s The Trial of K (The Culture Project); Mirror Rep’s Shanghai Gesture (The Julia Miles Theater); Oslo Elsewhere’s Sa Ka La (Bleeker Street Theater); Golden Boy (dir. Danny Goldstein), Top Girls (Dir. Janet Zarish), Beyond the Machine 2010-2012 (Juilliard); Dance Anonymous’ Petra (Lefkosia Theater, Cyprus); Clubbed Thumb’s One Thing I Like to Say Is... (Ohio Theater); The Dangers of Electric Lighting (Luna Stage).  

David Pinkard (Sound Designer) has worked as composer, sound designer and musical director in and around New York City since 1995. He has studied orchestral conducting with Louis Lane and Charles Bruck.

Brittany Loesch (Props Designer). Previous designs include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Violet, A Perfect Ganesh, and Iboga. Brittany has also toured with Rent, taking her across the country and to Japan. Other New York credits include sets for Language of Angels at the Abrons Art Center and props for Cosi fan tutte and The Ghosts of Versailles at Manhattan School of Music.

Lara de Bruijn (Costume Designer). Recent and current projects include: The Public (The Flea Theater), A Man in a Black Coat (Target Margin’s Russian Futurist LAB), l’Heure Espagnole & l’Enfant et les Sortilleges (Boston Conservatory), the Commonalities that Bind Us (Dance iQuail!), Animal Love 1 (Charlene Kaye), Kaged (Stockholm Fringe Festival), Measure for Measure (Peterborough Players), Finian’s Rainbow (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Three Penny Opera (Trinity Rep Consortium), Lysistrata (La MaMa), Dog Act (Flux Theatre).

Sydney Maresca (Costume Designer) recently designed costumes for Hand to God (Ensemble Studio Theater), The Lapsburgh Layover (Ars Nova), Buddy Cop 2 (The Debate Society), The Yellow Brick Road (TheatreWorksUSA), The Little Death, Vol. 1 (Incubator Arts Project), Nostradamus Predicts the Death of Soho (Soho Think Tank), The Zero Hour (13P), OMG, I am so Thirsty (Little Lord) and MilkMilkLemonade (The Management).  Film work includes The Wedding Video and Robin’s Big Speed Date starring Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Kristin Bell and Uma Thurman. 

Ron Piretti (Fight Director) is an actor and fight director.  He has staged the fights for the Broadway and National touring productions of West Side Story, In the Heights, has worked on The Miracle Worker with Abigail Breslin, and Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo starring Robin Williams. At Goodspeed Opera House, he was the fight director:  Cutman, Show Boat, City of Angels.  Ron appeared as Officer Krupke in the Broadway production of West Side Story.

Joseph A. Onorato (Production Stage Manager) has been Stage Managing the ASDS Repertory Season since its beginning in 1997. He has been a proud member of both Actors’ Equity Association (29 years) and The American Guild of Variety Artists for (24 years). In that time, he has Stage Managed On Broadway: Romance Romance, Off Broadway: Olympus On My Mind & Mambo Mouth, many Special Events, Industrials, and Award Shows such as the TONY, Daytime EMMY, MTV & GRAMMY Awards as well as The Christmas Spectacular and Cirque Du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall.

Fran Rubenstein (Production Stage Manager) spent her fall working on The Fartiste and the past two summers at the Dorset Theatre Festival: 2011- Dial M for Murder and Mauritius, DTF 2010- Fallen AngelsThe Novelist and When Something WonderfulEnds. Recent credits: Reading Under the Influence at the DR2, Honey Brown Eyes for The Working Theater & This at Dreamcatcher Rep. Member AEA.

Shannon O’Connor (Assistant Stage Manager). Off-Broadway/New York: Lyric is Waiting (Kef Productions), Convenience Theatre (Desipina),The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Regional: My Way, Forbidden Broadway, The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Gateway Playhouse).

Christine Lemme (Assistant Stage Manager). Broadway: Reasons to be Pretty, Swan Lake. Off-Broadway: Red Bull, MCC, Irish Repertory Theatre, Vineyard, TBG, Primary Stages, AJT, John Houseman, TFANA, and Working Theater.

Scott Wynn (Photographer) has worked for and been published multiple times in Variety and has also been published in New York Magazine, Where Magazine, The New York Times, The Daily News, Newsday, Time Out, Quest, The Conservationist, The Villager, American Theatre, Theatre Week, Backstage and numerous others. Scott is a seasoned photographer of Broadway and Off Broadway shows, as well as the Drama Desk Awards.

“The Actors Studio Drama School Repertory Season is real repertory where our students work as a repertory company – acting, directing and writing the material – creating collaborations that can last a lifetime,” underscored Manolikakis. “Unlike other MFA programs’ productions, we provide each and every student actor with the opportunity to be the ‘lead’ in a production. In many other programs, a few students carry those roles while the rest play secondary roles.”

The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University is the only MFA theater program officially sanctioned by The Actors Studio. The entire faculty is chosen and approved – and the curriculum is designed and supervised – by the leadership of The Actors Studio through its Curriculum Advisory Committee, including the Presidents of The Actors Studio, Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino. All of the students — actors, directors, playwrights – train side-by-side as actors. All students participate in the Craft Seminars known to the world as the Bravo Network television series, “Inside the Actors Studio,” hosted by James Lipton. Upon graduation students receive the title of Working Finalist at The Actors Studio and are invited to attend sessions of The Actors Studio for one year and audition for membership.  For further information about the program, go to www.pace.edu/actorsstudiomfa

About Pace University For 105 years Pace 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, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Media Contact: For photos, interviews and more contact: Samuella Becker, Pace Performing Arts Publicist, (212) 346-1637 or 917-734-5172, sbecker2@pace.edu

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The Christian Science Monitor: “Tony Awards 2011: It’s a boy’s life?”

Male-focused and male-written shows dominate this year’s Tony nominations. Most went to Americans who have won before, changing trends that rewarded Brits and newcomers.

But despite the glaring deficit of women, particularly in the writing category, the Tony nominations reveal heartening trends, especially in the musical theater realm, says Robert Meffe, director of the BFA musical theater program at Pace University.

For one, they’ve gone native.

In the musical categories, especially for best musical, Professor Meffe sees a new and exciting trend in that the four new musicals were written by established American musical theater composers. Each of these composers has won Tony Awards for their previous shows, he said.

“This was commonplace in the 1950’s and 1960’s during the age of Rodgers & Hammerstein, but it has mostly been supplanted in the 1980’s by British productions (like the Andrew Lloyd Webber behemoths) and then more recently, by composers taking their first crack at Broadway shows,” he says, pointing to “In the Heights,” and “Avenue Q.” He notes that while the favored winner (“The Book of Mormon”) is partially written by the South Park crew of TV fame, Robert “Bobby” Lopez, composer of “Avenue Q,” is their third co-writer. The very short list of revivals – only two, this year – is a sharp departure from the conventional wisdom that audiences only support what they know, notes Meffe.

Musical theater will always have to argue for its relevance, Robert Meffe says in an article in The Christian Science Monitor, but Fox’s “Glee” and Disney’s “High School Musical” have brought a new high point of popularity. The audience for musical theater is younger than it has been in decades, he adds, and the box office bears that out: gross revenues have broken records in most of the previous eight seasons.

Furthermore, musical theater college programs have witnessed a sharp increase in demand and enrollment in over the past few years, he says.

“This spring at Pace we auditioned over 300 people for the 25 open slots in our class of 2015,” says Meffe, director of Pace’s BFA musical theater program. “This is in a program that started out eight years ago with six students.”