Allan Miller Guest Moderates in May

We are so thrilled that Allan is teaching this May Interlude, in our time slot for the Shakespeare Workout.

Allan’s workshop runs May 4th-25th (Tuesdays, 2-5pm at Antaeus in North Hollywood).

From Allan:

“Every marvelous piano player knows you don’t just go out and play concertos, you have to practice fingering, chord structures, arpeggios, dynamics, etc. Every terrific basketball player knows you don’t just go out and play games, you practice dribbling, jump shots, lay-ups, etc.  For any creative actor there are five basic areas of work: text, character, situation, interpretation, and the actor’s habits. This class will focus on the process of practice.

Please join me for my May workshop: What & How to Rehearse—in any medium, from first readings and auditions to full production. We will work on cold readings, monologues, scenes, even songs.”

ALLAN MILLER is an actor, director, teacher and writer. He has acted in over two hundred films and television productions, and dozens of plays.  He recently appeared on Broadway in BROOKLYN BOY by Donald Margulies and THE SUNSHINE BOYS in Los Angeles. Mr. Miller was artistic director of the Back Alley Theatre for ten years, for which he received the LADCC Margaret Hartford Award for Distinguished Achievement. Other directing credits include theRoundabout Theatre, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Westport Playhouse, the Odyssey Theatre, International City Theatre, and Actors Studio West.  He teaches acting privately and at colleges and professional schools, including Circle in the Square, The Actors Studio, Yale School of Drama, New York University’s MFA professional program, the Focus Theatre in Dublin, and the International Actors group in Rome. His work as a master teacher is featured in the compilation book, A New Generation of Acting Teachers, published by Penguin. He is the author of “A Passion for Acting: Exploring the Creative Process” now in its third printing, and a DVD “The Craft of Acting: Auditioning.”  He is the author of “A Passion For Acting” and a DVD, “Auditioning.”  He wrote the play The Fox, which has been widely produced both nationally and internationally.  Mr. Miller is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has served on the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild, and has been a panelist for the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and the California Arts Council. He studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, Uta Hagen at HB Studio, and Erwin Piscator at the Dramatic Workshop.

For more information, contact cindy@antaeus.org

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Name That Lear

Giants of the theater have tackled the role of Lear.  While we await the announcement of The Antaeus Company’s cast of KING LEAR, we offer you:

Name That Lear!

An Academy Salute to Noël Coward – Huzzah!

Last year A2, The Antaeus Academy,  presented a wonderful weekend celebrating Noël Coward thanks to the generous grant awarded by  The Noël Coward Society .  The Young Idea played to audiences of all ages and immersed A2 into the world of “The Master.”  This year, we had the great honor to find out about An Academy Salute to Noël Coward before tickets were sold out.

Yes, Noël Coward still sells out the houses.  Stephen Fry hosting the whole evening didn’t hurt, either.

 Star Quality: The World of Noël Coward was an extensive collection of well-known photographs and unique souvenirs: night slippers embroidered with Noël Coward across them, and a green carnation from an opening night, for instance.  Probably the most extraordinary items were found directly on the walls- they showed home movies from the late 20’s and 30’s of Coward’s stage plays.  This was obviously well before union regulations of such things!  I stood for about five minutes with a friendly gent as we tried to guess which play we were watching.

I met a few members of The Noël Coward Society, lead a few of the Antaeus group to our seats (wonderfully reserved by the West Coast Liason of The NCS and all-around wonderful friend, Kathy Williams).  Then–Stephen Fry!  What an amazing host.  He set a beautiful tone of happiness at the night ahead.  He also took us down a reverent and funny path, with quips like: “I discovered him [Coward] when I was about ten in the attic.”  There were too many of those funny lines for me to remember, but they were incredibly entertaining.

Then L.A. Theatre Works presented two short Coward pieces directed by Antaeus regular Brendon Fox: Design For Rehearsing (a sketch based on the Lunts’ inability to leave their on-stage life on the stage, and Age Cannot Wither.  As is LATW’s niche, they recorded the performances for the radio and posterity, complete with foley sound effects.  Stephen Fry offered the inside track, though; he told the audience to laugh hysterically at an in appropriate place and we can secure posterity in this recording for the rest of our lives.  (“Hey, Mom!  That’s my obnoxious laugh!”)

A special treat for the Coward crowd — Juliet Mills, goddaughter of Coward and daughter of Coward collaborator John Mills.  Her father was the first to call Coward “The Master”.  It turns out that Juliet’s screen debut was as a baby in In Which We Serve, which received waves of approval and laughter from the audience.  You may also know her sister, Hayley Mills.

Of course the shows were great fun, as they always are, in no short way because of Antaeus Company member Susan SullivanJoBeth Williams and Juliet Mills’ performances.

Then a rare treat: a filmed interview between Stephen Fry and Ronald Neame, who will turn 100 next week.  It was incredibly fun, and revealed some new stories that had the audience rolling.  Neame explained how David Lean, known for his directing, was also in the wardrobe department.

FRY: “Oh, really?  He was in wardro-”

NEAME: “Fired.”

FRY: (stifling a laugh without knowing the punch line) “Oh?”

NEAME: “Wrong trousers.”

I have no idea why that was so funny to us at the time, but all of us in the audience just about died.

And I hope the Academy shows that video again, because Stephen Fry did the most amazing impersonation of Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter, a tragically optimistic story in the history of tragic stories.

Then we settled in for the main attraction: a restored film of  Calvacade.  When produced on-stage, Noël Coward directed 400 actors! Plus the main characters alone total at least twenty.  No wonder no one can recall seeing the play in an age where five characters cost a theater too much to produce; not Antaeus though-see our website for more details on our ensemble-driven productions.

The movie was just fascinating. As a history nerd, I completely indulged in how major historical events and technological advances changed people’s ways of life, and changed people.  I marveled once again at how  relevant Coward’s material is.  For all the foils, victories and defeats of the British Empire, America could stand to learn from the past.  One line stands out from the entire movie, when the father consoles his wife about his going to the Boer Wars: “We have to have wars now and then to prove we’re the top dog.”

Altogether, a wonderful evening, both entertaining and emotionally devastating during the movie.  I never spoke to so many strangers in one evening before that night; it was sure nice to be around friendly people just looking to have a fun time!

This exhibit will be closed by the time you read this blog post, but The Young Idea returns this summer as part of ClassicsFest 2010!  Stay tuned.

More about The Young Idea can be found by following the blog tags attached to this article.

Cindy Marie Jenkins was a producer on the 2009 weekend The Young Idea and recently directed A2 in their March late-night.

Intern Interviews – Carolyn and Jenn

Interview with Carolyn

Antaeus: What made you want to begin volunteering in general and how did you find
Antaeus?

Carolyn: I’ve always loved theater and had worked full time for a children’s theater in Boston for the past two years. So when I moved to LA and saw the post for Antaeus on Craig’s list, I knew that volunteering
would be great way to get involved with a theater out here.

A: What about Antaeus made you think you would enjoy working with them?

C: I like the dedication Antaeus has to classical works and I also love
the idea of the education outreach program. Also, after meeting Cindy,
who is also from Boston, I knew I would love working with her and for
Antaeus!

A: Do you have a background in theater? If so what type?

C: I grew up acting in school shows and majored in theater in college.
After college I was a company member of a theater in Boston and worked
administratively for an educational theater company called Chamber
Theatre Productions.

A: What have you enjoyed doing most since working with Antaeus?

C: I think my favorite part so far is just getting to know everyone and
being back in and around a theater.

A: What is your favorite thing about theater?

C: I’ve always loved theater because of the excitement of acting in front
of a live audience and the magic it can create in terms of having the
power to affect and inspire everyone it touches.

A: When not volunteering at Antaeus what do you like to do for fun?

C: I love to write and currently write for an art and literature
magazine. Also, because I’m new here, I love exploring the many
restaurants, shops, art galleries and events that LA has to offer.

Interview with Jenn

Antaeus: How long have you been volunteering at Antaeus?

Jenn: Since October ’09. so almost 5 months.

A: What made you want to begin volunteering in general and how did you find Antaeus?

I wanted to gain work experience in a creative atmosphere, and I found Antaeus in the “jobs” section of Craigslist.  It sounded perfect.

A: What about Antaeus made you think you would enjoy working with them?

J: I had a good feeling about Antaeus, and rightfully so.  There’s an easy-going but professional atmosphere here that I really like.  Everyone is super friendly.  Most importantly, the work they do here is amazing and inspiring.

A: Do you have a background in theater? If so what type?

J: I acted in high school plays and musicals, and also did a lot of technical theater work.  My theater experience pretty much ended upon high school graduation.  That’s part of why I joined the Antaeus family:  to get involved again.

A: What have you enjoyed doing most since working with Antaeus?

J: Helping behind-the-scenes: painting, decorating the lobby for Potluck Readings, and editing the program.

A: What is your favorite thing about theater?

J: I love watching an unraveling story that speaks universal truths—truths that are within us and greater than us.  I feel that good theater demands honesty from audience and actor alike.  My favorite thing about theater is probably when, watching a skilled, honest actor, I’m inspired to admit, “I know that feeling.  I’ve been vulnerable/silly/foolish/sincere/fabulous/utterly human like that.”  It’s a confirmation of humanity, a reminder of the beauty of our sameness.

A: When not volunteering at Antaeus what do you like to do for fun?

J: Creative things!  Mostly I like creative writing, songwriting, and singing.