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ALUMNUS UPDATE: PHILIP MARTIN
Read the full article HERE.
Apr 9, 2013 2:58pm
ALUMNA NICOLE SPIEZIO FEATURED ON JEZEBEL
Read more on JEZEBEL here
Mar 20, 2013 5:34pm
ATLANTIC TECHNIQUE IN THE NEWS
Selina Wang, a sophomore at Harvard, is currently studying with founding company member Scott Zigler (Director of Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater). Read this inspiring article about Practical Aesthetics on The Huffington Post.
Mar 20, 2013 5:34pm
GUEST CLASS WITH COMPANY MEMBER TODD WEEKS
“The discussion with Todd Weeks gave me a very helpful perspective on the life of a working actor. In an industry so obsessed with meteoric rises to fame and big breaks, I think many, myself included to some extent, view our future careers with a sort of “all or nothing” mentality–there’s nothing in between an acting student and Brad Pitt. When in reality, if you really focus on doing what you most enjoy you will find a way to sustain yourself and make a living. Commitment to your dreams and goals will make them come true in ways you can’t even imagine.”
-Jefferson Reardon, NYU 3rd Year
“I thought Todd was a great guest speaker. As a man that from the start was completely aware and self deprecating about his lack of celebrity, he focused on what was really important to us aspiring actors: his real tangible experiences working hard to be a paid actor over the last 25 years. He was attentive to listen to our questions and answered them as best he could with sometimes funny, and always enlightening, anecdotes. I appreciated the time and care he took when answering my question about how he personalized Practical Aesthetics for himself. Great speaker, great person.”
-Ian Pryzchodniez, Conservatory 2nd Year
“Todd’s talk shed light on a side of acting that students often don’t hear that much about – how a working actor can make a successful living without the stereotypical glamour and luxury so often associated with modern acting. His talk really made me think about what it means to be a successful actor – and reminded me that the drive to do something you love to do is an extremely powerful thing.”
-Deanna Beaman, NYU 1st Year
Mar 7, 2013 1:48pm
HARPER REGAN BEST OF 2012
Harper Regan makes Ben Brantley’s Top 10 of 2012! Congratulations to Mary McCann, founding company member and Executive Director of the Atlantic Acting School.
Ben Brantley had this to say about the Atlantic Theater production…
“Another British import, the Atlantic Theater Company’s production of Simon Stephens’s tale of a runaway wife and mother never caught on with American audiences. But with Mary McCann emanating a clouded luminosity in the title role, the garden-variety midlife crisis assumed mythic dimensions.”
Dec 20, 2012 2:04pm
CONSERVATORY ENSEMBLE SHOW – MERCURY FUR
Come support Blue Ass Monkey, the graduating Conservatory 5th semester ensemble, in their debut production of Mercury Fur. Tickets are available HERE!
Michael Cirelli, Lucy Freeman,
John Anthony Gorman Luka Mijatovic,
Dan Mulkerin, Arturo Prato,
Estefania Quijada and Blake Williams
Dec 14th and 15th at 8pm, Dec 15th 2pm
Atlantic Stage 2 Theater
located at 330 W. 16th Street
Recently, British archaeologists announced they may have found what appears to be the remains of King Richard III. Atlantic faculty member Anya Saffir stops by NPR’s The Takeaway to discuss the discovery and William Shakespeare’s “Richard III.”
From The Takeaway with John Hockenberry
Last week, British archaeologists announced they’d found what appeared to be the remains of King Richard III. The bones were discovered in a parking lot in the city of Leicester just more than a dozen miles from Bosworth Field, where Richard III became the last English king to die in battle. A preliminary examination of the bones suggests Richard suffered life-ending injuries on the battlefield, a finding consistent with Shakespeare’s narrative.
Anya Saffir, theater director and instructor at the Atlantic Acting School, speaks with The Takeaway about the discoveries, and the play itself.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of argument on the part of historians about the degree to which Richard was disfigured.” While Shakespeare’s Richard had a limp, and a withered arm, many historians thought that this disfigurement must have been entirely fictitious, as Richard was a great warrior. Yet his bones tell a different story. It appears that the king suffered from severe scoliosis, a condition that made his right shoulder hunch higher than his left one.
Get your tickets HERE!
Featuring: Hannah Allen, Ben Caplan, Lara Chib,
Kate DaRocha, Jeremy Davidson, Adrienne Ianniciello, James Kamensky, Alexandra Lenihan, Charlotte Martin, Ryan Meyer, Taylor Moury, Madeleine Overturf, Phil Sieverding, Thomas Sullivan, Taylor Whitt
Stage Manager: Norah Scheinman, Set and Lights: Gabe Evansohn, Costumes: Aryeh Lappin, Production Manager: Chris Batstone, Artistic Director: Alison Beatty
Dec 5 – 8 at 8pm, dec 8 at 2pm
Atlantic Stage 2 Theater 330 W. 16th Street
FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: ANYA SAFFIR
The play might be the thing – but it hasn’t been the only thing for a long time. Film, TV, and webisodes have served as launching pads for countless actors (hell, Patrick Stewart tried picking up a gig on The Daily Show). So it might seem an old-fashioned approach to hone in on the classics. I mean, when it comes to Shakespeare, or Chekhov, or the Greeks… how many ways are there to do it?
Anya Saffir, who teaches Shakespeare, Chekhov, and postwar British drama at the Atlantic, would answer by pointing to a single scene from Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Several years ago, while students were performing at Atlantic Stage 2 (in this case, on the working set of Atlantic ensemble member David Pittu’s What’s That Smell?), an actress playing Irina decided to improvise a little. After a devastating speech about love, loss, and heartache, she crawled under a nearby piano, hiding herself under a blanket. As her sister spoke, she let out sobs and wails… which inadvertently became a case of the hiccups.Continue reading...
Anya Saffir is beginning her fourteenth year as an instructor at the Atlantic Acting School. An alum of the NYU acting program herself, she has With her unique perspective on how Practical Aesthestics can be applied to the classics (she’s an alum of the NYU acting program herself) she has directed dozens of school productions, including Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Chekhov’s The Bear, and Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good. Her work has appeared throughout New York, including an award-winning production of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle that earned acclaim for its energetic, spontaneous storytelling.
That spontaneity, she says, combined with stakes high enough to reduce characters to giggling sobs, is the perfect example of why the classics still matter – not just to audiences, but to actors looking to improve their technique.
“I think everything can be acted like it’s Shakespeare or Chekhov,” she says. “There’s a reason so many of the great actors of our time have classical training – and that’s because if you can do the classical work, which is so challenging… you can apply that craft to absolutely anything, and be ten times the actor you would be otherwise.” Whether it’s comfort with language, physical comedy, or expressing yourself in front of an audience, Saffir believes these skills have a huge impact on screen, as well as stage.
Nor do her classes restrict themselves to acting. Saffir is a firm believer in actors helping themselves by learning how to self-direct.
“Every actor needs to have a director within them,” she says. “If you don’t have a director within you, you can’t prepare for the audition. You have nothing to bring to the table when you’re working with a great director. You’ll be lost if you have a director who’s more interested in design aspects than directing” – a trait especially common, she adds, in film directors.
According to Saffir, the purpose of her class, and the purpose of Practical Aesthetics in general, is to make actors flexibly autonomous – capable of working with an ensemble, or, if necessary, by themselves. Students direct their own scenes before they ever receive an outside eye, and are forced to make critical decisions before they hit the stage. Hopefully, she says, well-informed directorial decisions will allow actors to jump into roles headfirst, and not to over-think moments when they are onstage – and hopefully, create many more hiccuping fits before the scene is over.
She’ll get her own chance to measure up to Chekhov’s legacy. Saffir travels to Moscow next year with the American Repertory Theater to present a trio of Thornton Wilder one-acts at the Moscow Art Theatre. It’s the stage where Chekhov himself introduced the world to the Three Sisters – but there’s no word yet on whether a grand piano will be onstage.