This Spring, The Actors Studio continues its 75th Anniversary celebration as the world’s most celebrated and influential membership association for professional actors, directors and playwrights. The legendary studio, located at 432 West 44th Street, will open its doors to the public for two special events, each free and open to the public.
Saturday, March 25 at 7PM
THE PLAYWRIGHT: TALES FROM THE COLOR LINE
To reserve your seats, visit TheActorsStudio.org/75ColorLine
This special one-night-only event celebrates of the Black membership of The Actors Studio and Its award-winning contribution to American Theatre. Actors will present scenes from plays by black members of the Actors Studio, illuminating the varied and often fraught nature of our society’s interracial interactions. A moderator will lead a short Q & A after the presentation, where the audience can ask questions about what they have seen. Plays featured in the program will include:
This Bird of Dawning Singeth All Night Long by Phillip Hayes Dean
Directed by Paul Calderon, the cast features Martha Gehman and Richarda Abrams.
Blues for Mister Charley by James Baldwin
Directed by Patricia Floyd, the cast features Nelson Avidon, Scott McCord, Samuel Pygatt, Delissa Reynolds and Lawrence Stallings.
The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by JoAnna Rhinehart, the cast features Michael Billingsley, Aprella Barule and Omar Ezat
No Place to Be Somebody by Charles Gordone
Directed by Marcus Naylor, the cast features Brittany Chatman, Ronny Clanton, Robert Mobley, Marcus Naylor and Steven Vause
Friday, March 31 & Saturday, April 1 at 7PM
THE ACTORS STUDIO: IN PROCESS
To reserve your seats, visit TheActorsStudio.org/75ProcessMarApr
The Actors Studio continues its news series that open its doors to the public for a rare opportunity to observe representative work from its private sessions. “Actors Studio In Process“ offers audiences a glimpse behind the doors of The Actors Studio, observing curated evenings of advanced work, drawn from acting sessions. At these open rehearsals, audiences may observe a scene from a larger production, a variation on a scene, and/or exploration of work designed by the actors—just as is done every week in session at the Studio. A moderator will lead a short Q & A after the work, where the audience can ask questions about what they have seen.
Seating for these special 75th Anniversary events are free, and extremely limited. Those who would like to attend must reserve seats and receive confirmation of access. For more information about The Actors Studio and upcoming events, visit TheActorsStudio.org.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS
FEATURED IN TALES FROM THE COLOR LINE
JAMES ARTHUR BALDWIN (born August 2, 1924, New York, New York—died December 1, 1987, Saint-Paul, France), was American essayist, novelist, and playwright; eloquent and passionate on the subject of race in America.
PHILLIP HAYES DEAN (born January 17, 1931, Chicago, Illinois–died April 14, 2014 Los Angeles) was an American stage actor and playwright who wrote a number of issue-based plays that play out the struggle for racial equality during much of the Twentieth Century: Sty of the Blind Pig (Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner award, and Drama Desk award, 1972) Paul Robeson (Christopher Award, 1980).
CHARLES EDWARD GORDONE (born Charles Edward Fleming, October 12, 1925, Cleveland, Ohio–died November 16, 1995) was an American playwright, actor, director, educator; devoted much of his professional life to the pursuit of multi-racial American theater and racial unity. With his play No Place to Be Somebody, he was the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
LORRAINE HANSBERRY (born May 19, 1930, Chicago, Illinois—died January 12, 1965, New York, New York), was American playwright best known for A Raisin in the Sun (New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award 1959), the first drama by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway.
Both a place and a philosophy, The Actors Studio is an association of artists who, drawing from this common wellspring, have made enormous contributions to American art. Founded in 1947 in New York City by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford, and Robert Lewis, the Studio began as a place where theatre artists could gather, privately, to explore new and deeper connections to the work. The founding members, a group of actors, writers, and directors, were committed to redefining the art of acting, to developing a series of techniques an actor could use to search for and express the truth onstage in the moment. The workshop went on to become the most powerful influence on American acting in the 20th century and continues today serving new generations of actors who are committed to the same ideal. Founding Artistic Director, Lee Strasberg, developed a series of techniques and exercises that became known as ‘The Method’ and changed the art of acting worldwide.
Membership is free. After successfully completing a series of auditions, the actor is invited into membership for life. Membership is bi-coastal, and to support them there are two locations. New York is The Actors Studio’s birthplace and administrative headquarters. The only branch, Actors Studio West, is located in West Hollywood, CA. All members benefit from having a home with similar activities on both coasts.
Current leadership of The Actors Studio includes Co-Presidents Ellen Burstyn, Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino; Artistic Directors Beau Gravitte (NYC) and Salome Jens (L.A.); Co-Associate Artistic Directors Estelle Parsons, Michael Aronov and Javier Molina (NYC), and Katherine Cortez (L.A.)
Notable members, past and present, of The Actors Studio have included Bea Arthur, Anne Bancroft, Michael Bennett, Marlon Brando, Roscoe Lee Browne, Montgomery Clift, Common, Bradley Cooper, James Dean, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Ben Gazzara, Lorraine Hansberry, Julie Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Celeste Holm, Kim Hunter, William Inge, Elia Kazan, Harvey Keitel, Stephen Lang, James Lipton, Martin Landau, Cloris Leachman, Melissa Leo, Norman Mailer, Walter Matthau, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Clifford Odets, Geraldine Page, Sidney Poitier, Sydney Pollack, Jose Quintero, Jerome Robbins, Mark Rylance, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Stanley, Maureen Stapleton, Rod Steiger, Eli Wallach, Tennessee Williams, Gene Wilder, Shelley Winters and Joanne Woodward, to name a few.