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News Release — January 25, 2006

Events Celebrate Acting Teacher Stella Adler and the American Theater

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the colleges of Fine Arts and Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, the Austin Film Society and the Austin Circle of Theaters present "Stella Adler and the American Theater," a series of programs celebrating legendary acting teacher Stella Adler.

The programs, open to the public, are part of the Ransom Center's "Signatures Series," which highlights the Center's recent archival acquisitions. The Ransom Center acquired Adler's archive in 2004.

Adler is best known for having taught the principles of acting, character and script analysis to young talents who later dominated the American stage and screen. Among her students were Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Elaine Stritch, Martin Sheen, Harvey Keitel, Melanie Griffith, Peter Bogdanovich and Warren Beatty.

The Stella Adler archive is a rich trove of correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, video and audiotapes, photographs and other materials. It traces Adler's career, from her start in the New York Yiddish Theater in 1906, to her encounters with Konstantin Stanislavski and the Group Theatre in the 1930s, to her lectures on the Adler technique at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Program highlights include:

Friday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Ransom Center
Charlotte Canning and Lucien Douglas, associate professors of theater at The University of Texas at Austin, present "Acting the Teacher, Teaching the Actor: Stella Adler's Extraordinary Reinvention of American Acting."

The biographical performance/lecture celebrates Adler's teaching by using her own approach to recreate the character of Stella Adler.

Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Ransom Center
Ev Lunning Jr., assistant professor of acting and artistic director of the Mary Moody Northen Theatre at St. Edward's University, screens and discusses inspiring moments from Adler's teaching career from the 1950s to the 1980s using rare footage from the Adler video archive at the Ransom Center.

Lunning attended the Yale School of Drama from 1966 until 1969 and took a master class with Adler.

Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Texas Union Theatre
Filmmaker and Adler student Peter Bogdanovich speaks about his work and Adler, whom he found "inspiring and terrifying and funny," in a question-and-answer session hosted by Austin actor/director/critic Robert Faires. Following the talk is a screening of Bogdanovich's Academy Award-winning film "The Last Picture Show" (1971).

Thursdays, Feb. 23 - March 9 at 7 p.m.
The Alamo Drafthouse Downtown presents films starring Adler's students in "Method Acting Masterpieces: The Adler School."

Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront" (1954) on Feb. 23 starring Marlon Brando. This film, set among the docks of Hoboken, N.J., stars a young Brando in one of the best examples of method acting in film. "On the Waterfront" won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

Arthur Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) on March 2 starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Beatty's craft, honed in Adler's studio, was at its charismatic best in this salvo of revisionist filmmaking.

Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976) on March 9 starring Robert DeNiro, Jodie Foster and Harvey Keitel. This film features DeNiro in his breakout role. Both DeNiro and Keitel attended Adler studio training.

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Alyssa Morris
Communications & Marketing Manager