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Primary Stages Announces Spring 2010 Master Class Series with Gleason, Ivey 3/21

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The Primary Stages School of Theater (PSST) has announcedthe addition of its popular Master Class Series that was created to provide students the chance togain rare insight and experience from some of the finest working professionals in the theater. Special guests for the spring series include, Judith Ivey, Judith Light and Craig Lucas. Master Classes are open to the public with a suggested $5 donation.

Returning to PSST this spring is Joanna Gleason, teaching the third and fourth installments of her"Acting the Song" workshop, beginning this Saturday, March 20 th .As a free supplement to the PSST curriculum, all PSST students are invited to attend these specialevenings, which have been designed especially by each visiting guest. Attendees will experience acomprehensive and illuminating event that is part lecture, master class, workshop, and Q&A.

The Spring Master Class Series Schedule is: Judith Light Sunday, March 21, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Judith Light graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA. She worked in repertorytheatre throughout the United States and Canada. She also performed in Europe with the USO. Shedebuted on Broadway in A Doll's House with Liv Ullman. She continued working on and off-Broadway and did a season at the Eugene O'Neil Playwright's conference. She received two Emmysfor Best Actress for "One Life to Live," and starred on the hit TV series, "Who's the Boss?" as well asin 15 movies for television.

She returned to the New York theatre to do the Pulitzer Prize winning play Wit for the MCC Theatreand won the Helen Hayes and Eliot Norton awards for best actress on the National Tour. Judithplayed the title role in Hedda Gabler at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. and then starred in Athol Fugard's, Sorrows and Rejoicings at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City andat the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She appeared in the Los Angeles Reprise! Broadways BestProduction of Stephen Sondheim's Company and joined the Ojai Playwrights Conference for their2004 season.

She also appeared in MCC's production of Colder Than Here with Brian Murray at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York for their 2005 season. Most recently, she appeared in A.R.Gurney's Children at the Westport Playhouse and 2009 Williamstown Theatre Festival. Judith has also starred in independent films, including The Shoemaker with Danny Aiello and Ira & Abby withRobert Klein, Fred Willard, and Frances Conroy. In May 2006, Judith produced and starred in her newest independent feature film Save Me with Chad Allen and Robert Gant. She can currently beseen on the highly-acclaimed ABC hit "Ugly Betty" in her 2007 Emmy nominated portrayal of ClaireMeade, and on NBC's long-running drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" in the recurring roleof Supreme Court Judge Elizabeth Donnelly.

Judith is an advocate for many organizations and charities representing AIDS-related and HumanRights issues including; Broadway Cares Equity Fight Aids, The Names Project, AIDS MemorialQuilt, Project Angel Food, The Point Foundation, The Trevor Project, The Aids Memorial Grove,Hollywood Health and Society and the Rome Chamber Music Festival, National Council for theShakespeare Theatre in Washington DC, Aspen Theater Trustee.Judith IveyTuesday, April 13, 12:00pm - 1:30pm Judith Ivey Roundabout: Follies. (Drama League Nom.) Broadway: Voices in the Dark, You're your Car in Harvard Yard (Tony Nom.), Blithe Spirit, Precious Sons (Drama Desk Nom.), Hurlyburly(Tony Award, Drama Desk Award), Steaming, (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award). Film: Flags ofOur Fathers, What Alice Found, Devil's Advocate, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Mystery, Alaska,Compromising Positions.

TV: "Nurse Jackie", "Will and Grace", "What the Deaf Man Heard" (EmmyNom.), "Designing Women", "Down Home". Off-Broadway/Regional: The Lady with All the Answers, Dirty Tricks, A Little Night Music, Women on Fire, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Fair Country, The Moonhsot Tape (Obie Award).Craig LucasMonday, April 19, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.Craig Lucas' plays include Missing Persons, Blue Window, Reckless, Prelude to a Kiss, God's Heart, The Dying Gaul, Stranger, Small Tragedy, Prayer For My Enemy and The Singing Forest. He wrote the book for The Light In The Piazza, music and lyrics by Adam Guettel; themusical play Three Postcards, music and lyrics by Craig Carnelia; the libretto for the opera Orpheusin Love, music by Gerald Busby; and he has recently completed the libretto for a new opera withcomposer Nico Muhly, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and scheduled to premiere therein a co-production with the English National Opera. His new English adaptations includeBrecht's Galileo, Chekhov's Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya, and Strindberg's Miss Julie. His screenplays include Longtime Companion (Sundance Audience Award), The Secret Lives of Dentists (New York Film Critics Best Screenplay), Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless and The Dying Gaul, which he also directed.

He directed Harry Kondoleon's plays Saved or Destroyed at Rattlestick(Obie Award for Best Director) and Play Yourself as well as his own play This Thing of Darkness (co-authored with David Schulner) at the Atlantic. He also directed the film Birds of America. Twicenominated for a Tony (Prelude to a Kiss and The Light in the Piazza), three times for the DramaDesk (Prelude, Missing Persons and Reckless), he has won the L.A. Drama Critics Award (BlueWindow), the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Award for Best American Play (The SingingForest), the Hull-Warriner Award (The Light in the Piazza), the LAMBDA Literary Award (for hisanthology What I Meant Was), the Flora Roberts Award, the Excellence in Literature Award fromthe American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Laura Pels/PEN Mid-Career Achievement Award andthe Joan Cullman Award; he has twice won the Obie Award for Best Play (Prelude and Small Tragedy).

In addition to these Master Classes, the following Workshop will kick off this weekend and return inApril.Acting the SongSession 1: Saturday, March 20, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.Session 2: Saturday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Instructed by Joanna Gleason (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Into the Woods, Nick and Nora, Joe Egg) Great singers are a dime a dozen in this town. Joanna Gleason has proven time and again that, inaddition to vocal chops, the delicate art of delivering a song is what catapults a performer to musicaltheater stardom. Before you empty your wallet for another routine voice lesson, consider a different approach to the material you sing. This workshop offers constructive insight into text, context, andsubtext-providing the dramatic backbone necessary to turn a good performance into a great one.

Joanna Gleason has been teaching for over twenty years, in over twenty high schools and universitiesin the U.S., as well as for the Circle in the Square theatre school and the Stella Adler ActingConservatory/ NYU theatre programs. Broadway: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination.), Nick& Nora, Into the Woods (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics awards), Social Security (Drama Desk),Joe Egg (Tony nom.), The Real Thing, I Love My Wife (Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway:Happiness, Eleemosynary, The Normal Heart, Something You Did, A Hell of a Town, It's Only aPlay. Film: Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and Her Sisters, Sex and the City, Mr. Holland'sOpus, The Rebound, My Sassy Girl, Heartburn, FX2, The Women. TV: "Bette," "Love and War,""Friends," "Tracy Ullman," "Murphy Brown," "The Unusuals," "The West Wing."

Special guest instructors for the Spring 2010 semester include Karen Braga, comedian Denny Dillon, Gary Donatelli, Sarah Elliott, director Carl Forsman, Tony-Award winner Randy Graff, lyricist KaitKerrigan, Michael Laibson, Brad Lemons, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Kim Weild and Walton Wilson who join PSST Faculty members Casey Childs, Andrew Leynse, Michelle Bossy, Linda & David Laundra, Betsy Aidem, Lisa Rothe, Jackson Gay, Mark Blum, Mary Louise Wilson, Sheri Wilner, JulianSheppard, Cusi Cram, Rogelio Martinez, Blair Singer, Tessa LaNeve and Leigh Silverman.

Primary Stages has given life to more than 100 new plays, many of them world premieres, bywriters such as Horton Foote, A.R. Gurney, Willy Holtzman, Julia Jordan, Romulus Linney, DonaldMargulies, Melissa Manchester, Terrence McNally, John Henry Redwood, John Patrick Shanley,Mac Wellman, Lee Blessing and Michele Lowe.

The company also continues to work with emerging playwrights through commissions and its artist development program, The Dorothy Strelsin NewAmerican Writers Group. Over the years, the company has received considerable critical acclaim and numerous theater andliterary awards and nominations, including TONY, Obie, AUDELCO, Outer Critics Circle, LucilleLortel , Drama League and Drama Desk Awards. The Fourth Wall, All in the Timing, The Old Settler,Missing/Kissing, The Model Apartment, Scotland Road, You Should Be So Lucky, The StendhalSyndrome, Sabina, Dividing the Estate and In The Continuum are among the many plays brought tonational attention by Primary Stages. www.primarystages.org

Photo Credit: Linda Lenzi


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