The Stella Adler Studio of Acting's Summer Shakespeare program will perform Shakespeare's Coriolanus on August 10th. The cast are members of the studio's free Outreach program for disadvantaged New York City youth. Students from all five of New York's boroughs auditioned and 22 kids were invited to participate in the legendary acting school's program. The studio looks for kids who live at or under the poverty line who don't have arts access at school and who display an appetite or passion to learn something new. The students are mentored by theater professionals such as Broadway fight director J. Steven White.
The ensemble undergoes an intensive five week rehearsal schedule to prepare a condensed 45-minute version of Coriolanus. The play is a Shakespearean tragedy highlighting themes of pride, class, heroism and war. For many of the students this is their first experience with theater and Shakespearean dialogue. Students analyze their character's motivations and are encouraged to discuss the themes of Coriolanus in contemporary terms.
Coriolanus is a physically challenging play and students learn blocking and fight choreography along with their lines. Under the tutelage of Steve White, the sword fighting scenes help students channel their energy and conquer the play's difficult themes. White's credits include Broadway hits The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and The Color Purple.
Students are blogging about the fun they've been having here.
The students learn the same acting techniques that helped launch the careers of Stella Adler alumni such as Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando. The program has helped students gain confidence and provided a sense of community that will continue long after the curtain falls.
At a time when city schools are suffering from a lack of resources and cannot provide adequate arts education, the Stella Adler Studio provides low-income teens with high-level training and access to a long revered cultural institution. The program also addresses underserved and at-risk youth's need to have a safe place to learn how to find and express their voices artistically and creatively and to be educated about the craft of acting. The Stella Adler Outreach Division provides free, year-long actor training to these aspiring artists with the same intensity and integrity of all the Studio's other learning tracks. The Outreach Division has served and trained more than 3,000 students since its inception in 2004.
Coriolanus plays August 10th at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, 31 West 27th, Floor 3, New York, NY.
About The Stella Adler Studio of Acting: The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is an acting school based in New York City founded by actress and teacher Stella Adler in 1949. Adler founded the Studio on her belief in the seriousness of her art. Adler and the school have trained many of the brilliant actors of our time. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is a nonprofit organization, which trains over 500 actors annually. The Studio also presents public lectures, poetry readings, concerts, theater performances, dance theater events and an annual arts festival. For more information, visit www.stellaadler.com.