The Flint Journal: “University of Michigan Flint playwright talks Actors Studio, new play”

“(Writing plays) really just utilizes my strengths. I had a good ear for dialogue, and for me, it’s just a matter of being able to tell a story through characterizations. Even though I can do short stories or novels, I seem to be more at home when the characters are more engaged in the situation,” Sean Welch explains. “For me, it’s pretty exciting to see a couple of actors go up there and say the words I’ve written, in the moment. I don’t think there’s anything really like that.”

From The Flint Journal, by William E. Ketchum III

FLINT, MI—These days, Flint native Sean Michael Welch is living in New York, writing plays and earning his masters of fine arts (MFA) at Pace University’s prestigious Actors Studio-sanctioned drama school. His new play, “All An Act,” debuts during week five of the university’s Repertory Season, where Welch’s fellow graduating students will present other plays and scenes.

But before he was studying and working with the country’s elite, the Grand Blanc High School Graduate first explored his skills at University of Michigan Flint. He had grown an affinity for penning short stories in previous years, but after taking an acting class, he saw that writing plays was an experience that made even more sense.

“(Writing plays) really just utilizes my strengths. I had a good ear for dialogue, and for me, it’s just a matter of being able to tell a story through characterizations. Even though I can do short stories or novels, I seem to be more at home when the characters are more engaged in the situation,” Welch explains. “For me, it’s pretty exciting to see a couple of actors go up there and say the words I’ve written, in the moment. I don’t think there’s anything really like that.”

He cites U-M Flint professors Carolyn Gillespie and Professor Lauren Friesen as his primary support at U-M Flint, giving productive feedback and introducing him to other playwrights he would admire. Before graduating in 2000, he snatched up the 1999 Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) John Cauble Short Play Award for “Earl the Vampire,” and the 2000 KC/ACTF Region III Ten-Minute Play Competition for “Charleston’s Finger.” The former, which he considers his first complete play, was about a vampire who begins a political movement to bring minority status to vampires in America. In “Charleston’s Finger,” a family has a dinner table discussion about how their son’s finger fell into his soup.

Welch moved to New York City afterward, and worked a regular job for eight years while writing nightly. He finally decided to attend grad school, and he was accepted into Pace University’s drama school sanctioned by The Actors Studio, a decades-old performers organization that, according to its web site, boasts award-winning actors Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, and Ellen Burstyn as co-presidents. After head playwright Edward Allan Baker explained the benefits of the school, Welch loved the aspect of students engaging in acting classes.

“I always considered (acting classes) a bonus, as I still enjoy acting and still wanted to act,” Welch said. He lists the curriculum, being surrounded by other talent, and feedback from Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham as high points of the experience. “It hit on all points, and it allowed me to do what I was supposed to be doing and what I wanted to do.”

As his graduation nears, this month he participates in the school’s Repertory Season to premier his play “All An Act,” which is about two clowns who have to talk out a drunken night of debauchery to preserve their professional relationship and long-term friendship. After its debut, Welch plans and the play’s crew plan to set their sights on collecting donations to participate in the Edinnburgh French Festival in August.

“I think we’re in a very good place. I have an excellent director and two fine, very skilled actors who…have actually studied clowning, whether while in school or in their own time during the summer months,” Welch says. “I’m anxious to see what an audience makes of it. I think all the work they’ve put into it is worth viewing.”

Flint Journal: “Actors Studio theatre program to premier Flint playwright’s new piece”

Award-winning playwright Sean Michael Welch will premier his new play, “All An Act,” at The Actors Studio Drama School’s 2012 Spring Repertory Season, the only Masters of Fine Arts program officially sanctioned by the Actors Studio.

This month, Former University of Michigan-Flint playwright Sean Michael Welch will present his work with a theatre program that has ties with some of the most accomplished actors, directors and other entertainers in the world.

Welch will premier his new play, All An Act, in week five of the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Repertory Season at Pace University Actors Studio Drama School. The one-act play takes place in Clown Alley, and is about two clowns’ relationship troubles. 

Pace’s program is the only MFA theatre program that is officially sanctioned by The Actors Studio, the decades-old membership organization most known for its Emmy-nominated Bravo TV series “Inside the Actors Studio.” The show’s host, Dean Emeritus James Lipton, has recent interviewed the likes of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, James Cameron, and other Hollywood superstars. 

The Spring 2012 Repertory Season, which began on March 28, will host 15 productions in five weeks, acted and directed by the school’s 36 MFA candidates. Welch’s fellow candidates have performed opera at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, acted in Robert DeNiro’s new crime drama series The 2-2, and have achieved a variety of other notable achievements. Still, the Flintstone is accomplished in his own right: he won the 1999 Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival John Cauble Short Play Award for Earl the Vampire, and the same festival’s Region III Ten-Minute Play Competition in 2000 for Charleston’s Finger

Welch’s mentor is Edward Allan Baker, an award-winning associate professor/playwright at Pace who has written for HBO and Showtime. At University of Michigan-Flint, Welch studied under the support of Professor Carolyn Gillespie and Professor Lauren Friesen, reported William E. Ketchum III, Entertainment Reporter for The Flint Journal.

 

 

 

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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NEWS ADVISORY: The Actors Studio Drama School Presents The “Graduating MFA Playwrights Staged Reading Series”

Sean Michael Welch, the author of 140 plays, is the only graduating playwright in this year’s MFA program.

NEWS ADVISORY: SATURDAY, MARCH 3 AND SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2012 AT 2 PM

THE ACTORS STUDIO DRAMA SCHOOL (ASDS) AT PACE UNIVERSITY AND PLAYWRIGHT/FACULTY MEMBER EDWARD ALLAN BAKER INVITE YOU TO DISCOVER A PROMISING NEW STORYTELLER:

 Sean Michael Welch, Actors Studio Drama School MFA ’12 Candidate, Playwright

Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Award Winner (1999, 2000)

 Staged Readings of Welch’s two plays – Inventory and Murdertown – performed and directed by his ASDS classmates, are gripping tales of:

  • Corporate greed
  • Lost obsessions
  • Sex industry

WHEN & WHAT (PLAY SYNOPSIS):

  • Saturday, March 3 at 2:00 pm. Inventory: full-length play, cast of 11, about a man tracking down a past infatuation: a woman he worked with at a sex shop/massage parlor 20 years ago. Directed by Ken Urso.
  • Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 pm. Murdertown: one-act play, cast of 5, about a corporation’s desire to turn Flint, Michigan, into the world’s largest amusement park.  Directed by Colleen Britt and Chris Triebel.

WHERE: Pace University, One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038. Black Box Studio Theater, Room W509. Directions: http://bit.ly/eUwAch

RSVP/COST: Email ASDSReadings@pace.edu or call (212) 501- 2177. Tickets are free but space is limited so reservations are strongly advised.

MEDIA CONTACT: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Sean Michael Welch was awarded the 1999 Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival John Cauble Short Play Award for Earl the Vampire, and won the 2000 KC/ACTF Region III Ten-Minute Play Competition for Charleston’s Finger. Past productions of his work include Slab, Try Not to Step on the Naked Man, Rise Up You Bloody Animals, and Boise, Idaho. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Flint (BA 2000, Drama). Learn more about the 140 plays he has written to date at: www.freewebs.com/seanmichaelwelch/theworks.htm

NEWS RELEASE: Pace Celebrates La MaMa’s “Homecomings” Season with Tribute to Playwrights Who Called La MaMa Their Early Home: Maria Irene Fornés, Sam Shepard and Lanford Wilson

These three one-act plays are meant to continue Ellen Stewart’s legacy of “Welcome to La MaMa, dedicated to the playwright and all aspects of the theatre.”

February 2-12, 2012:

◦ “The Conduct of Life” by Maria Irene Fornés, directed by Ruis Woertendyke
◦ “Action” by Sam Shepard, directed by by Grant Kretchik
◦ “The Family Continues” by Lanford Wilson, directed by Cosmin Chivu

PACE at LA MaMa
Three La MaMa Playwrights: Fornes, Shepard & Wilson
Presented by La MaMa in Association with the Performing Arts Students, Pace University, NYC

February 2-12, 2012

NEW YORK, NY, January 19, 2012 – In honor of La MaMa’s 50th Anniversary, Pace University’s Performing Arts (students, alumni and faculty) celebrate La MaMa’s “Homecomings” season with a tribute to three playwrights who called La MaMa their early home:  Maria Irene Fornés, Sam Shepard and Lanford Wilson.

These three one-acts are meant to continue Ellen Stewart’s legacy of “Welcome to La MaMa, dedicated to the playwright and all aspects of the theatre.” 

“The Conduct of Life” by Maria Irene Fornés, directed by Ruis Woertendyke

“Action” by Sam Shepard, directed by Grant Kretchik

“The Family Continues” by Lanford Wilson, directed by Cosmin Chivu

“The Conduct of Life” tells the harrowing story of a Latin American wife who discovers her husband is a child rapist and torturer when he brings his victim and torture into their personal and private life.  The play is directed by Ruis Woertendyke and features Kahlil Gonzalez-Garcia, Lilah Shreeve, Jason Joseph, Julie Robles, Polina Ionina.

In Action” four friends confront the circumstances that force them together and the “action” that force them apart as they wait for the end of the world and the beginning of time.  Symbolic, absurd and humanizing “Action” propels its characters into a disturbing one-act journey. Directed by Grant Kretchik, with Xavier Reminick, Ian Cherry, Gina DeMay, Emily Asaro. A.D. Delaney Yeager.

“The Family Continues” by Lanford Wilson evokes the panorama of a young man’s life-birth, army service, marriage, job, parenthood, old age-within the brief span of its action. Highly innovative in its theatricality, the play illuminates not only the continuity of human life, but also the poignancy and bitterness which can infuse it. Directed by Cosmin Chivu, co-directed by Chad Chenail; with: Niko Papastefanou, Spencer Bazzano, Lauren Morra, Nicole Madriz, Turquoise Olezene, Courtney Taylor, Kaleb Wells, Matthew Curiano, and Patrick Pribyl. Stage manager Lizzy Caplan.

Set Design: Jeffrey Perri

Costume Design: Megan Smith

Performance Schedule:
February 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11 at 10pm
February 5 & 12 at 5:30pm
La Mama’s The Club
Address: 74A East 4th Street (between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery), 2nd Floor, NY, NY 10003
By Subway: F/V to 2nd Avenue, #6 to Astor Place, N/R to 8th Street
Tickets $15; student and seniors $10
For tickets and information, contact Box Office (212) 475-7710 or www.lamama.org

About La Mama E.T.C.

Ellen Stewart founded La MaMa in 1961 in a tiny basement on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She dedicated it to the playwright and all aspects of the theater. Today, La MaMa is a world renowned cultural institution recognized as the seed bed of new work by artists of all nations and cultures.

About Dyson College of Arts and Science’s Performing Arts Programs at Pace University:

Undergraduate: Dyson’s Performing Arts Department (PAD) offers Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Acting and in Musical Theater and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts with specialized focuses in Acting, Directing, Commercial Dance or Design/Technical Theater. On average, there are 1,000 applicants for every 100 new openings each year. PAD presents over 50 performances every year. Performance spaces range from the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Schaeberle (black box) Theater, and Studio 501, home to many student-directed productions. http://www.pace.edu/dyson/academic-departments-and-programs/performing-arts

Graduate: The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, also located in Dyson College, is the only MFA (Acting, Directing and Playwriting) theatre program officially sanctioned by the legendary Actors Studio (co-presidents Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino). All MFA students participate in the Craft Seminars known to the world as the Bravo Network television series Inside the Actors Studio (taped at Pace’s Schimmel Theater and open to students), hosted by James Lipton, Dean Emeritus and Co-Founder of the Actors Studio Drama School. www.Pace.edu/ASDS

About Pace University:

For 105 years, Pace University has educated 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 

Pace Media Contact: Samuella Becker, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172, sbecker2@pace.edu

 

 

 

MEDIA EVENT ALERT, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5: Go INSIDE The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University for a FREE Master Class on The Method and The Stanislavski System

The Theater Master Class will be conducted by Andreas Manolikakis, Chair of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University and members of the MFA program’s faculty. For more information or to be considered for participation, send your resume and contact information to actorsstudiomfa@pace.edu or call 212-346-1531.

CALLING ALL ASPIRING ACTORS, DIRECTORS, PLAYWRIGHTS …

MEDIA EVENT ALERT: FREE THEATER MASTER CLASS

Saturday, November 5, 2011, 1- 4 PM

Go INSIDE The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University for a FREE Master Class on The Method and The Stanislavski System.

The Master Class will be conducted by Andreas Manolikakis, Chair of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University and members of the MFA program’s faculty.

Unique Aspects of The Actors Studio Drama School:

  • The Actors Studio Drama School is the only MFA program officially sanctioned and supervised by the legendary Actors Studio.
  • It is the only school that offers the authenticity, continuity and authority of the Stanislavski System and the Method.
  • The curriculum has been designed and supervised by the leadership of the Actors Studio, including the Presidents of the Actors Studio, Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino.
  • Faculty members include major figures at the Actors Studio, many of them Moderators, Board Members and Associate Artistic Directors of the Actors Studio.
  • All 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 TV series “Inside the Actors Studio,” hosted by James Lipton.
  • In Friday Workshops the MFA candidates are exposed to different elements of the theater, such as script analysis, design, stage combat, directing, and auditioning for plays, musicals, film and television.
  • All MFA dance courses are taught by the famous and prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at their uptown studios.
  • All students participate in an Observership Program at the Actors Studio.
  • All MFA black-box studios for professional training are designed and equipped according to state-of-the-art standards.
  • Located at prominent and easily reached campus in downtown New York City.

Repertory Season and Industry Showcase:

  • In their final year, all Actors Studio Drama School students present their work to the professional world and the public, in a fully-produced professional Repertory Season at a theater in downtown Manhattan. 
  • In addition, after the Repertory Season, our actors present their work to representatives from the theater, film and television industries in an Industry Showcase at the Actors Studio itself in midtown Manhattan.

After Graduation:

  • All students have the privilege, for one year, of the status of Working Finalist at the Actors Studio itself, which means they are eligible to attend weekly sessions and take a Final Audition for Studio Membership, bypassing the usual Preliminary Audition. Some of these students, if they successfully pass their Final Audition, will become Lifetime Members of the Actors Studio.
  • All directing and playwriting students are invited, for at least one year, to be part of the Playwrights and Directors Workshop of the Actors Studio, a unit especially created for the continuation of the training of our directing and playwriting graduates.

Next Steps:

For more information or to be considered for participation, send your resume and contact information to actorsstudiomfa@pace.edu or call 212-346-1531. Attendees must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or be within one semester of graduation. Admissions representatives will be available to answer your questions.

Media Contact:

Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172

BroadwayWorld.com: “WITH A SHRUG” Made Semi-Finalist in Samuel French Off Off B’way Short Play Fest”

WITH A SHRUG by Playwright Nicholas Priore will be presented at the 36th Annual Samuel French Inc. Off Off Broadway (OOB) Short Play Festival on Friday, July 22 at 8 pm, at The Lion Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, NYC). It is one of 40 plays chosen from over 1,000 submissions by playwriting workshops, university theatre programs and professional companies across the country. Running time: 30 minutes.

“It’s a great honor to be involved with the Samuel French OOB Festival this summer…our team is very excited to share this work,” Playwright Nicholas Priore told BroadwayWorld.com.
 
“All in the Family” – The Actors Studio Connection
 
“Everyone involved With a Shrug is associated in some way with The Actors Studio,” said Priore, who studied playwriting at The Actors Studio Drama School, where he graduated with an MFA in Theatre (’10).  He has spent the last year as a Working Finalist in The Actors Studio’s Playwright Directors Workshop and Playwright Directors Unit.
 
Synopsis.  Gina Bonati, a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio, stars as Shelley, who is cleaning out her old childhood home after the death of her reclusive father when David Holmes, currently an intern at The Actors Studio who plays Chris, pays a visit to retrieve something he had her father borrow.  Robert Haufrecht, a member of The Actors Studio’s Playwright Directors Workshop, directs.

NEWS RELEASE: “With a Shrug” by Playwright Nicholas Priore (MFA ’10, The Actors Studio Drama School) Among 40 Elite Semi-Finalists in Samuel French’s 36th Annual Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival – Will Be Presented July 22 in NYC

Chosen from over 1,030 submissions by playwriting workshops, university theatre programs, and professional companies nationwide, “With a Shrug” by Playwright Nicholas Priore (MFA ’10) will be presented at the 36th Annual Samuel French, Inc. Off Off Broadway (OOB) Short Play Festival at 8 pm on July 22nd at The Lion Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, NYC). Powerhouse theatrical publisher Samuel French is one of the largest and most prestigious publishing houses in the world.

Pace Media Contact: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172

With a Shrug by Playwright Nicholas Priore (Actors Studio Drama School MFA ’10) Semi-Finalist in

Samuel French’s 36th Annual Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival

– July 22, 8 pm at The Lion Theatre on Theater Row, New York City

NEW YORK, NY, July 13, 2011 – Chosen from over 1,030 submissions by playwriting workshops, university theatre programs, and professional companies nationwide, With a Shrug by Playwright Nicholas Priore (MFA ’10, The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University) and produced by Pamela Scott/Aching Dogs Theatre Company will be presented at the 36th Annual Samuel French, Inc. Off Off Broadway (OOB) Short Play Festival at 8 pm on July 22nd at The Lion Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, NYC).

The week-long festival features a full program of 40 selected plays performed for a panel of judges comprised of established playwrights, agents and Samuel French editorial staff.  Six finalists are chosen to have their plays licensed and published by Samuel French, Inc.

 “It’s a great honor to be involved with the Samuel French OOB Festival this summer…our team is very excited to share this work,” said Priore.  “Everyone involved With a Shrug is associated in some way with the Actors Studio, “he added. “Gina Bonati, a Lifetime Member of the Actors Studio, stars as Shelley, who is cleaning out her old childhood home after the death of her reclusive father when David Holmes, currently an intern at the Actors Studio who plays Chris, pays a visit to retrieve something he had her father borrow.  With a Shrug is directed by Robert Haufrecht, a member of the Actors Studio’s Playwright Directors Workshop.” 

For additional insight into the play and Priore’s thought process in creating it, go to http://oob.samuelfrench.com/index.php/the-final-forty/with-a-shrug-by-nicholas-priore

About the Playwright

Nicholas Priore was born and raised in Utica, NY, where he endured a Catholic education and graduated from Notre Dame High School.  He studied fiction and poetry for four years at SUNY-Purchase, earning a BA in Creative Writing, and went on to study playwriting at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, where he graduated with an MFA (May ’10).  He spent the past year as a finalist at the Actors Studio, and as a member of their Playwright Directors Workshop and Playwright Directors Unit.  Some of his plays include Unearthing the Tramp (ASDS Rep), Better than Nothing (Manhattan Rep), Beanie (Actors Studio PDU), Stuck (American Global Theatre), With a Shrug (Gallery Players) and Broken Record (Actors Studio PDW).  

About the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival

For more information about the festival, plays, playwrights and participating companies, please visit the official festival website at www.samuelfrench.com/oobfestival. By requiring authors to collaborate with a producing organization and present their work in performance, Samuel French seeks to encourage the collaborative and creative process of playwriting.

All tickets are $18.  For more information and ticket purchase, call Telecharge 800-432-7250 or log onto www.telecharge.com. The 36th Annual Off Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival will run July 19th – July 24th at The Lion Theatre, Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY). 

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 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.

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BroadwayWorld.com: Manhattan Repertory Theatre One-Act Play Competition 2011 Features “CRIMINAL MISCHIEF” by Ellen Orchid, ASDS MFA ’09 (Playwright); Starring Melinda Graham, ASDS MFA ’10 (Acting)

This Spring, Manhattan Repertory Theatre will be presenting 36 new plays featuring some of this country’s finest playwrights, actors and directors in a theatrical celebration of new work – MRT’s ONE ACT PLAY COMPETITION 2011.

Teaming up on May 21-24 are two Actors Studio Drama School MFA graduates: Ellen Orchid (’09, Playwright -pictured) and Melinda Graham (’10, Acting) in the courtroom drama “Criminal Mischief.”

Ellen Orchid (Actors Studio Drama School MFA ’09, Playwright) debuts her somewhat autobiographical play, a courtroom drama with comic moments, at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s 2011 One-Act Play Competition, May 21-24. Starring former classmate Melinda Graham (Actors Studio Drama School MFA ’10, Acting), Criminal Mischief  is about a widowed mother of two who is taken for quite a ride by her new boyfriend…and the wife he hid from her.

Criminal Mischief will be performed at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre, 303 W. 42nd Street at 8th Avenue, on the third floor. Show times are Saturday, May 21 at 9 p.m.; Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 24 at 9 p.m.

The show is part of a one-act play competition, and two other plays will be performed at the same time. Reservations are required, tickets are $20 and the phone number is 646-329-6588.

Downtown Express: “Pace’s Actors Studio stages repertory season”

The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University is in the second week of its five-week MFA repertory season during which this year’s graduating class performs plays and excerpts from plays in order to earn their degrees. This year’s graduating class has 27 members. They have interesting and diverse backgrounds. One played Young Simba in “The Lion King” on Broadway. Another is a Fulbright scholar from Ecuador. A Grammy award winner is in the class as are a woman with a chemistry degree, a former Fortune 500 banker and a musician with a Double Platinum album.

“We have all kinds of ages, all kinds of backgrounds,” said Andreas Manolikakis, chair of the Actors Studio Drama School and a board member of the Actors Studio. “And this is the beauty of it, because one learns from the other.”

The curriculum was designed by Actors Studio leaders, including Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino. In weekly workshops, students learn about script analysis, design, stage combat, directing and auditioning for plays, musicals, film and television. A new workshop this year covers writing for film and television. The students take weekly dance classes at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

Shariffa Wilson (pictured in a scene from Edward Allan Baker’s play, “Face Divided”),  has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard University and was planning to go to law school.  She told the Downtown Express: “Coming into this I knew the sacrifice that I would make,” she said. “I left a job where I was getting paid every two weeks and I had amazing medical coverage but I didn’t want to have any regrets. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.”