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The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University Announces 2012 Season


This year’s 36 Actors Studio Drama School MFA candidates have received advice about the craft of acting, directing and writing from influential names in entertainment.  Those who have recently graced the stage of the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University in New York City and been interviewed by Dean Emeritus James Lipton -- the creator, executive-producer, writer and host of “Inside The Actors Studio, which is seen in 89 million American homes on Bravo TV, and around the world in 125 countries – include:

This bird’s-eye view of industry giants also comes with interview privileges, allowing the graduate students to ask their own individual questions of the Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Golden Globe, Grammy and BAFTA award winners they someday hope to emulate.  

“Our 36 MFA candidates are accomplished and have multiple credits on the big screen, small screen, on stage and in the wings,” said Andreas Manolikakis, chair of The Actors Studio Drama School and a board member of The Actors Studio. “They have founded their own theater companies as well as performed, written and directed for others.  But they have collaborated together these last three years in New York City, united as they pursued their dreams and refined their craft as actors, directors or playwrights in the only Masters’ theater program endorsed by the renowned Actors Studio … two express subway stops from Broadway.

“All have diverse backgrounds, and that’s the beauty of it, because one learns not only from the faculty but from one another,” continued Manolikakis.  

The 2012 Actors Studio Drama School candidates include:

  • U.S. Navy Chef, National Runner-Up in the Season 5 Mad Men Casting Call with recent TV credits on White Collar, Law & Order: SVU, Royal Pains, Humanly Impossible, and I’m Alive.
  • Captain of the Women’s Soccer Team at Connecticut College.
  • Actor in Robert DeNiro’s new crime drama series The 2-2 on CBS-TV.
  • Award-winning playwright (Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival – 1999, 2000) who has authored 140 works - some now being performed Off-Broadway and in regional theaters.  
  • Opera singer who has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
  • International Puppeteer, Fulbright Scholar and American Scandinavian Foundation Fellow.
  • Gymnast, Women’s Gymnastics Team at the University of Michigan on full athletic scholarship.
  • Actor appearing on Lifetime’s Army Wives and the Atlanta soap opera, Love Always Charleston.
  • Gospel mime on the international gospel television network, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
  • NYC Fringe Film Festival Director.
  • Clowning, Syo-Kon-Do (Mixed Martial Arts) and Kyudo (Japanese Archery) expert.
  • Michigan dairy farmer.
  • Silk Road Dance Company member who performed at the 2011 Asia Cup Games in Doha, Qatar.
  • Two members of the Festival of Fools, a NYC based verse-inspired theatre company.
  • Intern at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London.

The 2012 Actors Studio Drama School Repertory Season performances will take place at The Theater at Dance New Amsterdam, 53 Chambers St., just north of City Hall, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m. from March 28 through April 28. The full schedule and information about plays, actors, directors and playwrights can be found online at

Admission is free, but reservations must be made in advance by phone or e-mail as seating is limited. The 24-hour reservation line is: (212) 501-2099 and email is

Established playwrights with one-ACT Productions or scenes showcased are:

“The season is produced, managed, and designed by union member industry professionals, creating an actual Off-Broadway experience that prepares our graduates with practical experience as working professionals before graduation,” said Manolikakis, a Lifetime Member and a member of the Board of Directors of The Actors Studio.

Among the industry professionals who will be supporting The Actors Studio Drama School 2012 MFA candidates during repertory season are: Brierpatch Productions (General Manager) Brierpatch Productions is the partnership of Laura Janik Cronin and Scott Newsome. Off-Broadway: Triassic Parq (June 2012); 7th Monarch (June 2012); Tennessee Williams’ The Two Character Play; Sex in Mommyville; Lidless (Page 73/Walker Space) Tales From The Tunnel (Bleecker Street Theatre); The Road To Qatar! (The York Theatre); Glimpses of The Moon (The Oak Room).

Shawn Lewis (Supervising Director, Set Designer) Based in New York City, Lewis has worked as a set designer for more than 50 productions throughout the United States and abroad, designing plays, musicals, opera and film. Lewis’s mentor has been Tony Walton, with whom she started teaching in 1996 at The Actors Studio Drama School. As a resident scenic designer for ASDS, Lewis has designed more than 500 one-ACT Productions. She is a member of the League of Professional Theater Women and of United Scenic Artists.

Paul Hudson (Lighting Designer). Design highlights: Synaesthetic Theatre's The Trial of K (The Culture Project); Mirror Rep's Shanghai Gesture (The Julia Miles Theater); Oslo Elsewhere's Sa Ka La (Bleeker Street Theater); Golden Boy (dir. Danny Goldstein), Top Girls (Dir. Janet Zarish), Beyond the Machine 2010-2012 (Juilliard); Dance Anonymous' Petra (Lefkosia Theater, Cyprus); Clubbed Thumb's One Thing I Like to Say Is... (Ohio Theater); The Dangers of Electric Lighting (Luna Stage).  

David Pinkard (Sound Designer) has worked as composer, sound designer and musical director in and around New York City since 1995. He has studied orchestral conducting with Louis Lane and Charles Bruck.

Brittany Loesch (Props Designer). Previous designs include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Violet, A Perfect Ganesh, and Iboga. Brittany has also toured with Rent, taking her across the country and to Japan. Other New York credits include sets for Language of Angels at the Abrons Art Center and props for Cosi fan tutte and The Ghosts of Versailles at Manhattan School of Music.

Lara de Bruijn (Costume Designer). Recent and current projects include: The Public (The Flea Theater), A Man in a Black Coat (Target Margin’s Russian Futurist LAB), l’Heure Espagnole & l’Enfant et les Sortilleges (Boston Conservatory), The Commonalities that Bind Us (Dance iQuail!), Animal Love 1 (Charlene Kaye), Kaged (Stockholm Fringe Festival), Measure for Measure (Peterborough Players), Finian’s Rainbow (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Three Penny Opera (Trinity Rep Consortium), Lysistrata (La MaMa), Dog Act (Flux Theatre).

Sydney Maresca (Costume Designer) recently designed costumes for Hand to God (Ensemble Studio Theater), The Lapsburgh Layover (Ars Nova), Buddy Cop 2 (The Debate Society), The Yellow Brick Road (TheatreWorksUSA), The Little Death, Vol. 1 (Incubator Arts Project), Nostradamus Predicts the Death of Soho (Soho Think Tank), The Zero Hour (13P), OMG, I am so Thirsty (Little Lord) and MilkMilkLemonade (The Management).  Film work includes The Wedding Video and Robin's Big Speed Date starring Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Kristin Bell and Uma Thurman

Ron Piretti (Fight Director) is an actor and fight director.  He has staged the fights for the Broadway and National touring productions of West Side Story, In the Heights, has worked on The Miracle Worker with Abigail Breslin, and Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo starring Robin Williams. At Goodspeed Opera House, he was the fight director:  Cutman, Show Boat, City of Angels.  Ron appeared as Officer Krupke in the Broadway production of West Side Story.

Joseph A. Onorato (Production Stage Manager) has been Stage Managing the ASDS Repertory Season since its beginning in 1997. He has been a proud member of both Actors’ Equity Association (29 years) and The American Guild of Variety Artists for (24 years). In that time, he has Stage Managed On Broadway: Romance Romance, Off Broadway: Olympus On My Mind & Mambo Mouth, many Special Events, Industrials, and Award Shows such as the TONY, Daytime EMMY, MTV & GRAMMY Awards as well as The Christmas Spectacular and Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall.

Fran Rubenstein (Production Stage Manager) spent her fall working on The Fartiste and the past two summers at the Dorset Theatre Festival: 2011- Dial M for Murder and Mauritius, DTF 2010- Fallen Angels, The Novelist and When Something WonderfulEnds. Recent credits: Reading Under the Influence at the DR2, Honey Brown Eyes for The Working Theater & This at Dreamcatcher Rep. Member AEA.

Shannon O’Connor (Assistant Stage Manager) Off-Broadway/New York: Lyric is Waiting (Kef Productions), Convenience Theatre (Desipina),The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Regional: My Way, Forbidden Broadway, The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Gateway Playhouse).

Christine Lemme (Assistant Stage Manager) Broadway: Reasons to be Pretty, Swan Lake. Off-Broadway: Red Bull, MCC, Irish Repertory Theatre, Vineyard, TBG, Primary Stages, AJT, John Houseman, TFANA, and Working Theater.

Scott Wynn (Photographer) has worked for and been published multiple times in Variety and has also been published in New York Magazine, Where Magazine, The New York Times, The Daily News, Newsday, Time Out, Quest, The Conservationist, The Villager, American Theatre, Theatre Week, Backstage and numerous others. Scott is a seasoned photographer of Broadway and Off Broadway shows, as well as the Drama Desk Awards.

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