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Fiasco Theater Now Accepting Applications for Fall Conservatory

Fiasco Theater Now Accepting Applications for Fall Conservatory

New York company Fiasco Theater has announced plans to expand its training programs beginning this fall.

Fiasco is known for its award-winning productions of Cymbeline, Into the Woods, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and many other re-imagined classics. Ben Brantley of the New York Times describes them as "A small troupe with an expansive imagination and an eagerness to wrestle with thorny classics, Fiasco has quickly become a force to reckon with in American theater."

But training actors and directors has always been an important component of Fiasco's mission as well. Since Fiasco's founding they have offered short workshops and master classes for actors and directors, as well as their annual Free Training Initiative: a 36-hour introduction to Fiasco's principles for effective rehearsal, offered completely free of charge to students.

Starting this fall they will also be offering longer-term options for studying with the company. This will allow students exposure to an expanded curriculum in how to create text-based, ensemble driven theater that is relevant and reinvented for modern audiences.

The 6-week Conservatory will run from Oct 14th-Nov 22nd at Sunlight Studios in midtown. Up to sixteen students will be accepted for six weeks of full-time theater training in classes taught by Fiasco's co-artistic directors and associate artists. Students will be immersed in the textual, vocal, physical, and aesthetic techniques that are at the core of Fiasco's signature ensemble-based productions. There are no age-range restrictions, but applicants must be pursuing a career in professional theater.

Applications are being accepted until July 15th for auditions in August.

Application and financial aid informationis available on Fiasco's website:

What makes Fiasco's training unique?

Fiasco teaches artists how to rehearse, how to work as an ensemble and how to let the text lead the choices that are made.

In the words of Fiasco's Co-Artistic Directors:

Jessie Austrian: "It has become clear to us from the responses of our students over the last ten years that the kind of training Fiasco offers is not only unique but hugely impactful to those who study with us. We give our students tools that allow them to be at the center of their own creativity by teaching them how to rehearse."

Noah Brody: "Plays are made in the rehearsal room, between actors but, oddly, rehearsal technique is not a subject of most actor training. In most acting classes you are assigned a scene, sent home to memorize it and rehearse it with your partner and then you come back and present your work and get evaluated on your performance. That places all of the focus on the product, and doesn't allow room to talk about the process of how to rehearse most effectively.That's where we put our focus."

Ben Steinfeld: "There is nothing more exciting to me than watching a young artist discover their own unique creativity. Our students leave our classes feeling empowered - they learn that there is actually a way to practice working on plays that is joyful, authentic, collaborative and meaningful. Hearing how much our training has positively affected their view of their work and themselves is truly wonderful."

From former student Ethan Dubin, now appearing in The Ferryman on Broadway:

"I took the Fiasco Free Training Initiative. The workshop was a revelatory experience, built around the theme of 'how to rehearse.' I realized in short order that no other acting training had addressed this question, or even made me realize how vital it is to ask...It was an invigorating experience that invited me to take ownership over my work. I was able to look at how to be my most generous self as an actor in a multitude of environments, from auditions to readings to full productions. I felt my work take leaps and bounds in short order, addressing physical and vocal blocks, learning how to honor my text, and becoming more courageous in creating theatrical moments in the room."

Who is the faculty?

Jessie Austrian (acting) is a theater-maker, educator, activist and parent. She currently teaches acting and voice and speech at NYU's Gallatin School. She is one of Fiasco Theater's Co-Artistic Directors and founders. As an actor she has appeared on Broadway in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Lend Me a Tenorand Off-Broadway in Fiasco's Merrily We Roll Along,Into the Woods, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Cymbelineand The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Regional: The Old Globe, McCarter, Folger Theatre, The Guthrie, Trinity Rep, ATL and Williamstown, among others. TV/Film: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Made in Jersey, Futurestates. As a director/co-director: Ken Ludwig's Sherwood at Playmakers Rep, Fiasco's The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Helen Hayes nominee for Best Direction) at The Folger Theater and Theatre For A New Audience, Fiasco's The Imaginary Invalid at The Old Globe. Proud graduate of Brown and the Brown/Trinity MFA Acting Program.

Noah Brody (acting) is an actor, director, teacher and co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater. He was recently nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his direction of Merrily We Roll Along at Roundabout Theatre Company. He co-directed and acted in Fiasco's productions of Into the Woods(Roundabout, McCarter, Old Globe, Menier Chocolate Factory), The Imaginary Invalid(Old Globe), Measure for Measure(New Victory, Long Wharf), Twelfth Night(Classic Stage Co.) and Cymbeline(TFANA, Barrow Street). He appeared in Fiasco's production of Two Gentlemen of Verona(Folger, TFANA) and co-directed the national tour of Fiasco's production of Into the Woods. Recent credits include As You Like It(CSC, John Doyle, dir.) and directing Lungsat the Wolfe Street Theatre. Proud graduate of the Brown/Trinity MFA Acting program.

Zachary Fine (clown and games) is an actor, writer, director, and teacher. Broadwaycredits include China Doll with Al Pacino. Off-Broadway credits include The Acting Company, The Mint Theater, Pearl, Red Bull, Fiasco, Theater For A New Audience, New York Classical Theater. Regional: Guthrie, Folger (Helen Hayes Award Winner), Playmakers, and many more. Directing: Spanish language premiere of El Bien Del Pais (Our Country's Good) at Teatro Helenico, Mexico City; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival; Key West Theater; Thin Air Shakespeare Festival, Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham's Between The Moon and Me at Birdland. TV/Film: Person of Interest, BlackBox, One Life to Live. Writing:has been supported by the Lark, EAT Festival's One Man Talking, Space on Ryder Farm, IRT, The Acting Company, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Playmakers Rep. Apprenticed with Christopher Bayes and trained at Ecole du Phillipe Gaulier, The Circus Center in San Francisco, Spymonkey w/Aitor Basauri and received an MFA from the University of Tennessee and B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) Oberlin College. He teaches clown and games at NYU and holds workshops around the world.

Liz Hayes (voice and speech) is an actor, teaching artist and dialect coach. She currently teaches Voice & Speech in the BFA Acting & Musical Theater Programs at Pace University, at NYU/Tisch's New Studio on Broadway and in the MFA Acting Program at Brooklyn College, and also coaches 4th Year productions at The Juilliard School. Liz previously served on the faculties of Syracuse University's Tepper Semester, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Emerson College and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and has vocal and dialect coached for numerous theater companies and institutions regionally and both on and off-Broadway. Liz holds an MFA from GWU/The Shakespeare Theatre Company and is a graduate of Brown University.

Annie Piper (Yoga & Qi Gong) teaches at Kula Yoga in Tribeca, The Shala and Prema Yoga in Brooklyn. She is on the movement faculty at NYU's Tisch School of Graduate Acting and The Yale School of Drama. She is the co- teacher of 'The Open Voice' with Jessie Austrian at NYU's Gallatin School. She is certified to teach trauma-sensitive yoga by both the Trauma Center in Boston and with the national organization Warriors at Ease, and continues to bring yoga to veterans throughout the New York area. She has served on the faculty at the Brown University / Trinity Rep Consortium as well as undergraduate Theater Studies at NYU. Formerly an actor and director, She received an MFA in Acting from The University of Minnesota and a BA in Theater from Oberlin College. She certified to teach in 1997 at OM yoga, and studies Qi Gong with Thomas Droge. She is also a Reiki practitioner and the mother of two beautiful and feisty boys in Brooklyn, New York.

Ben Steinfeld is an actor, director, teacher and co-artistic director of the acclaimed Fiasco Theater. As an actor, Ben has been seen on Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Cyrano de Bergerac, and as James Monroe in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. His Off-Broadway acting and directing work for Fiasco includes: Frank in Merrily We Roll Along at the Roundabout; the Baker in Into the Woods(Lucille Lortel Award nomination) at the Roundabout and London's Menier Chocolate Factory; Cymbelineat Theatre for a New Audience and the Barrow Street Theatre (Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); and Measure for Measureat the New Victory Theatre (New York Times Top Ten of 2014). Co-director: The Two Gentlemen of Veronaat TFANA/Folger (Helen Hayes nom.). Regional theater work includes: McCarter, Long Wharf, The Old Globe, Westport, Williamstown, Trinity Rep and many others. His television and film acting work includes: HBO's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight,the upcoming film Callahan, "The Good Wife" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." He is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from NYU's Gallatin School, where he is an adjunct professor and artistic associate. He is a graduate of Brown University and the Brown/Trinity MFA Program.

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