Our Guest Artist Series
This year Penny thought it was time shake things up in her Master Classes. Beginning in May these Special Guests attended both Master Classes to critique the actor’s work and offer their wisdom and expertise to help our Acting Lions grow as Artists.
In May Emmy Award winning Casting Director, Judy Henderson attended a special combined Master Class with actors from both the Day and Evening Master Classes. Judy offered her expert guidance on On-Camera Auditions. Needless to say our actors were thrilled to have this marvelous opportunity to learn from her. Judy is one New York’s top casting directors when in comes to Independent Films, Off-Broadway and Regional Theater. She was Penny’s first choice when Penny directed the Off-Broadway shoe, I STAND BEFORE YOU NAKED. Judy has been nominated twice for EMMY AWARDS for her casting of the hit SHO series HOMELAND, winning the EMMY in 2012.
June, brought Director/Producer Joe Brancato. Joe is starting his 5th decade as artistic director of the Penguin Repertory Theater in Stony Point, NY. He directs most of the shows and has premiered wonderful new plays by up and coming new playwrights. Many of his productions have moved on to Off-Broadway.
Joe was wondering if our format, of all the actors doing the same scene, would get repeticious or boring. Once he saw how the the actors each brought their uniqueness to the roles he was drawn into the magic of seeing the scene with men and women of all ages performing a scene from ART. By the way, Joe had just directed ART for Penguin Rep and the show was running at the time of the class.
July brings in one of the icons of Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Everett Quinton. Mr. Quinton recently starred as Maria Callas in the Off-Broadway revival of Charles Ludlam’s GALAS. For the Month of July the actor were working Michael Chehov and creating a character. Everett will work with the actors at the final class of the month on July 32st.
On an interesting side note Joe Brancato and Everett Quinton did a fascinating joint interview for THEATRE TALK. The first half of the interview is with Joe & Everett the second half is about the legendary theatre characture artist Abe Hirschfeld, who drew the portrait of Everett on the left. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THEATRE TALK
Keeping with the theme of Creating a Character, the actors will focus on the Artistry of Stand-Up Comedy with 8 time Emmy Award winning stand-up comic and writer JR Havlan. The actors will write their own 3-4 minute stand-up routine. Performing a stand-up routine requires a performer to create a very specific persona than comes from within. This is what give each comedian their truth and uniqueness. JR will be attending 2 class sessions during the month to help our actors develop the 3-4 minute stand-up monologue and find the character within them that will bring it to life.
A little more about JR HAVLAN. JR was one of our Original Acting Lions as a member of Penny’s Master Class, often doing scenes with another well known Acting Lion, Sarah Winter. In addition to being a Stand-up Comedian, who appeared on Letterman and other TV shows, JR was a writer for THE DAILY SHOW with John Stewart, for which he garnered 8 EMMY Awards. He went on to write the opening monologues for Jimmy Fallon on THE TONIGHT SHOW and has recently returned to the Stand-Up Comedy Scene. Several of our actors joined us to enjoy JR at a recent NYC engagement. He graciously spent well over an hour after the show sharing his expertise on what it takes to do comedy.