The Soul of the American Actor

INTERVIEWS with ARTISTS

BEN VEREEN

JEANINE TESORI

PSALMAYENE 24

SYLVIA MCNAIR

MICHAEL McELROY

DEIDRE KINAHAN

BOB ARI

PAUL TAZEWELL

PATRICIA ROZARIO

NANCY RHODES

MAIA DANZIGER

EARL “PEANUTT” MONTGOMERY

WILLIE RUFF

DENNIS D’AMICO

GRACE CACHOCHA

KAREN SAILLANT

JENNIFER HORNE

JEANIE THOMPSON

ROBERT PERRY

WAYNE SIDES

JAMIE LEE McMAHAN

“We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh

SPOTLIGHT ON ARTISTS

Zana Marjanovic

Dr. Ashley William Joseph

M. Safeer

Kevin Kimani Kahuro

Ilire Vinca

Avra Sidiropoulou

Sujatha Balakrishnan

Mihaela Dragan

Farah Deen

Katy Lipson

Juan Maldonado

Odile Gakire Katese

Hartmut von Lieres

Dragan Jovičić

Sachin Gupta

Jill Navarre

 

artists resources

It is important you have access to those teachers and their services available in your community. Please take advantage of our exciting resource - and if you also find others whom we should include - please let us know. 

 


Articles

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company

Black Theatre United

Mabou Mines

Theater J

Pangea World Theater

Round House Theatre

Bucks County Playhouse

Charleston Stage

Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

PURE Theatre Company

Ronald Rand’s “CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

Virginia Stage Company

Constellation Theatre Company

League of Professional Theatre Women

Maryland Hall

BlackRock Center for the Arts

Great American Songbook Foundation & Academy

Kennedy Center REACH

Inter Act Art Theatre

“Grand Ball in the Belle Epoch” – Edwardian Period Style Salon

INTERNATIONAL SCENE

Taki Rua Theatre in New Zealand
&
Tatiana Ruiz

<READ THIS--->

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art

“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own.”
– Chinua Achebe

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
– Lao Tzu

Augusto Boal: “Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than waiting for it.”
– Augusto Boal


LIFE AND ACTING: Techniques for the Actor

If I were ever to stop learning about acting, I would stop teaching. So much has taken place in my education; the changes in fate during my early training as an actor led me to discover in myself an innate ability to recognize true spontaneity and an actor’s work. I searched over the years for the practical means to instigate that intuitive process and actors as well as in myself.

Let These New Plays Happen to You

GLORIA STEINEMOver the years The American Place has given room to contemporary plays and their authors. As Director of the Theatre, I am prompted to share my thoughts on the difficulties currently experienced by playwrights, critics and audiences.

Celebrating Uta Hagen Centennial at the HB Studio

In 2019, HB Studio celebrated the Uta Hagen Centennial year with “Artist and Activist: Uta Hagen at 100,” presenting a special slate of programs highlighting Miss Hagen’s career and influences. For actors, there were a series of workshops on key plays, playwrights and advanced applications of Uta Hagen’s exercises, along with public talks, readings and special events. All the programs took place at HB Studio on Bank Street, as well as across New York City, and the country.

Taking the Business of Acting Online

On Friday March 13th, (a fitting date it would seem), I was sitting in class with my students for what would be the last time in a long time. Some students didn’t come that day. Not a lot, but a few who were practicing social distancing, or felt sick. We were heading into ‘spring break’ the next week. I had been planning to go to Mexico with my family. We had tickets. We had an Airbnb. Everything was set.

Mary Overlie: Original Dance Anarchist and Post-Modern Evangelist: A Tribute to Mary Overlie 1946-2020

I met Mary Overlie in 1976 when we both awoke, about twenty feet apart, in our sleeping bags on the floor of Cynthia Hedstrom and Terry O’Reilly’s loft on the Bowery.

The “Real” Illusion of Mime

When an audience left the theatre after a performance by Marcel Marceau, they would marvel about the world of invisible illusions he created. However, no one even realized that for two hours, this actor who performed without a word, conveyed every thought he had, or words his characters would have been speaking.

Harold ClurmanArt is the Means by which We Make Ourselves Visible

Scratch an American today and you will find worry! At first it seems only concern about economic security – the fear of hard times, the disgrace of a lower standard of living.

Theater - A Celebration of All Life

IT CERTAINLY FEELS LIKE TIME is flying faster these days. Don’t you think so. Every day is like the first read-through of a play – a complete jump into the unknown. You don’t know what’s going to happen. This moment carries within it nothing even remotely to anything any of us have ever experienced before.

Eugenio BarbaTo Think the Thought

A physicist is walking along a beach and sees a child throwing stones into the sea, trying to make them skip. Each stone makes no more than one or two little skips. The child is perhaps five years old, and the adult, the physicist, remembers that he too, in his childhood bounced stones over the water. Indeed, he was very good at it. So, the adult shows the child how it is done. He throws the stones, one after another, showing the child how to hold them, at what angle to cast them, at what height over the surface of the water. All the stones that the adult throws skip many times, seven or eight even ten times.

Yat Malmgren and the Drama Centre, London

“Teachers are more essential than anything else, who can give the young the ability to judge and distinguish, who serve them as examples of the honoring of truth, obedience to the things of the spirit, respect for language.” Herman Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

 

Directions for Directing: Theatre and Method

We all carry a director in us.
In our family routines, our workplace, our social interactions, conversations with friends, mundane dealings with the outside world, or during those rare moments of solitary clarity, when our sharp focus on reality begins to merge with softer forms of perception, we tend to direct our lives, filtering facts that have already occurred or recalibrating thoughts toward imaginary possibilities.

Writing for Life

TRISH ALLEYI grew up shy. I went to a very competitive (though public) high school. I didn't do very well. But once in a while there were little successes that showed me some deeper aspects of myself. One came as a result of a story I wrote in the seventh grade about a little girl, obviously me, who wanted to be a ballerina, but she was very clumsy; she just couldn't keep up with the others, despite all the years she'd been taking classes.

Our Theatrical Mission

As actors, writers, directors, producers and all of us who work in the theatrical world must have a theatrical conscience that tells us that it is our moral and ethical obligation as practitioners of this craft to depict and dramatize the human spirit and the soul.

JODIE LYNNE McCLINTOCKStrolling Player: The Life and Career of Albert Finney

When Finney celebrated his ninth birthday, his home city of Salford, within the Metropolitan borough of Manchester, was ablaze with bonfires and fireworks. The festivities were not to commemorate his birthday. Even Finney was not so precocious as to be feted at the age of nine – although given his subsequent achievements nothing would surprise me! It was, of course, to mark VE Day, the end of the Second World War. May 8th,1945 – which fell the day before his birthday.

JODIE LYNNE McCLINTOCKA Great Reminder for Us All

I just got the wonderful information you sent about your new opera “IBSEN”about Henrik Ibsen, and your gracious invitation to be on the Honorary Committee.

JODIE LYNNE McCLINTOCKH20 – Paintings of and About Water

“Let the most absent minded of men be plunged into his deepest reveries – stand that man upon his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region…meditation and water are wedded forever.” - Herman Melville, Moby Dick

JODIE LYNNE McCLINTOCKA New Way of Professional Theater

The country I belong to is India, home of 1.32 billion people. Once India had one thousand six hundred and fifty-two languages, today India has one hundred and fifty regularly spoken languages. There are twenty-nine states, including West Bengal, where I live.

JODIE LYNNE McCLINTOCK“Let Thousand Flowers Blossom”

In the background of this happiness overflowing within me for being presented with the honorary award this year at the Colombo International Theatre Festival 2019, there are so many things that comes to my mind.

JODIE LYNNE McCLINTOCKA Double Life: My Exciting Years in Theatre and Advertising

Many moons ago, I read in a translation of The Upanishads, “Who does not enjoy the journey will never reach his destination.” That explained, to me at any rate, what is the meaning of life. Up to that time, thanks to my Western education, I was entirely goal oriented. I had not learnt that the cosmos is interlinked. To me there was only cause and effect within a narrow spectrum. You put the coin in the slot and out comes the packet of chocolate. What happens along the way was of little or no concern for me. Thank God it finally dawned on me that enjoying the work you do is as important as the result.

ENCORES

Where Should the Theatre Be Now?

An essay we find so important we have been making it available since we first published it in 2001. A must read...

 

 

Ronald RandThe Time Has Come to Build a National Theatre Center

In 1963 President John F. Kennedy reminded us with these words:

“I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of our artists. If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him…Art is not a form of propaganda, it is a form of truth…Art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgment.”...

Speech To The American Council For The Arts

I LIKE BEING A PLAYWRIGHT, which is fortunate, since that’s one of the few things that I can do with any competence. And it is nice to be able to pass your life doing that which you feel that you might be doing with some competence, and possibly, possibly even communicating with a few people. Because the function of the arts, is it not, absolute communication – to put us in greater contact with ourselves and with each other, to question our values, to question the status quo, to make us rethink that which we believe we believe. ...

An Account of a Conversation with Jerzy Grotowski about Theatre and Paratheatre - November 8 and 9, 1977

On two evenings, November 8 and 9 of 1977, Jerzy Grotowski held a conference in Portland, Oregon on the Lewis and Clark campus. During those two evenings, a Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, he answered questions from the audience. The first session began at eight in the evening and ended at two in the morning. The second session began at eight but at midnight Grotowski began individual interviews with people who were interested in going to Poland that year for a longer paratheatrical event there. This record is of the conference prior to the interviews. ...

 

Acting from the Heart and Soul

Every time I walk out onto the stage I surrender more and more of myself – trusting and swimming in the freedom of the moment with a deeper consciousness. I tap into the energies of my soul, knowing I’ve come to breathe with those in the audience. Quieting my mind I share with greater clarity and sincerity in the eternal moment. ..

 

INTERNATIONAL SCENE

Theatre around the world

SPOTLIGHT ON ARTISTS

Zana Marjanovic, Dr. Ashley William Joseph,
M. Safeer, Kevin Kimani Kahuro, Ilire Vinca,
Avra Sidiropoulou, Sujatha Balakrishnan,
Mihaela Dragan, Farah Deen Katy Lipson,
Juan Maldonado, Odile Gakire Katese,
Hartmut von Lieres, Dragan Jovicic, Sachin Gupta,
Jill Navarre


Hirshfeld Drawing of Laurence Luckinbill reproduced by special arrangement with Hirschfeld's exclusive representative, The Margo Feiden Galleries, NY.


"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

The Soul of the American Actor Newspaper