CG: New School For Drama Names Kathleen Chalfant '11-'12 Artist-In-Residence
The New School for Drama has announced that Drama Desk Award-winning actor Kathleen Chalfant will be the distinguished Artist-in-Residence for the 2011-2012 academic year. Chalfant earned a Tony nomination for her role in the New York premiere of Angels in America, and won Drama Desk, OBIE, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle awards for starring in the original Broadway production of Wit.
"The New School has always been a mythical place for me, and I am deeply honored to be asked to be the Artist-in-Residence at The New School for Drama," said Chalfant. "As a mentor, I hope to reassure these aspiring actors that their commitment to art, though not always easy, is right and good. As actors and artists, our goal is nothing less than to make the world a better place."
As artist-in-residence, Chalfant will teach master classes in the fall and spring semesters. In addition, she will speak about her experience on stage and her approach to theater before the assembled student body of The New School for Drama in a town-hall meeting moderated by New School for Drama Director Pippin Parker.
The New School for Drama's MFA acting program offers intensive training in all aspects of the craft of acting, as well as in the individual and collaborative application of classical and modern texts. The program is comprised of three year-long stages: Discovery, which builds a foundation of dramatic skills; Character and Demands of the Text, which expand and deepen actors' character, voice, and movement work; and Production and Professional Preparation, a year of in-depth professional training focusing on new full-length and canonical plays. The Artist-in-Residence program is one of many ways in which The New School's legacy and location provide students with unique access to New York's theater scene.
"Having originated some of the most notable roles in contemporary theater, Kathleen's artistry and commitment to the value of the theater as a significant cultural force is difficult to overstate," said Pippin Parker, Director, The New School for Drama. "Her storied career, which speaks to a passionate commitment to theater's ability to illuminate the human condition, is an inspiration to our students, faculty and the wider theater community Kathleen's residency gives our students a rare opportunity to interact closely with a legend, to address everything from the foundations of technique to larger issues about what it means to be an actor today."
Along with Angels in America and Wit, Chalfant's New York stage credits include the New York premiere of Racing Demon, M. Butterfly, Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, Talking Heads (for which she won a second OBIE Award), Great Expectations at Theatreworks/USA, Guantanamo at the Culture Project, and Henry V at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Her film work includes Tony Gilroy's Duplicity, Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco and Bill Condon's Kinsey.
In addition to her Drama Desk, OBIE, and Lucile Lortel honors, Chalfant has received the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work, as well as a 1996 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. A founding member of the Women's Project, Chalfant is a board member of The Vineyard Theatre and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and an advisory board member of the New York Foundation for the Arts. Chalfant has served as Artist in Residence at the Weill College of Medicine of Cornell University (2005 -- 2006) and a Beineke Fellow at the Yale School of Drama (spring 2006, fall 2008, fall 2010). She was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Cooper Union in June 2010.
About The New School for Drama
At The New School for Drama, the instinct to create is revered. Through its interrelated three-year MFA program in acting, directing, or playwriting, the school is forging the next generation of dramatic artists. A faculty of working professionals brings to the fore each student's unique and original voice and helps them establish a rooted sense of who they are as individuals and as artists. This faculty includes Coordinator of Acting Kathryn Rossetter; Chair of Playwriting Chris Shinn; Directing Chair Lou Jacob and notables including Kenneth Lonergan and Jon Robin Baitz. The New School's history in the dramatic arts began in the 1940s, when the Dramatic Workshop, led by founder Erwin Piscator and a faculty including Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, fostered artistic voices as distinctive as Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando. For more information, visit www.newschool.edu/drama