Stella Adler Studio of Acting
Stella Adler Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard
|Headquarters||New York City|
Concurrent with her work as an actor and director, Stella Adler began to teach in the early 1940s at the Erwin Piscator Workshop at the New School for Social Research in New York. She left the faculty in 1949 to establish her own studio in New York in the same year.
Combining what she had learned from the Yiddish theatre, the Group Theatre, Broadway, Hollywood, and Constantin Stanislavski, Stella created the Stella Adler Theatre Studio, later renamed the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and more recently the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where she taught acting for many decades, and in 1985, she opened the Stella Adler Academy and Theatre in Los Angeles.
The studio offered courses in principles of acting, voice and speech, Shakespeare, movement, and makeup, as well as workshops in play analysis, character, scene preparation, and acting styles. Onstage experience was acquired by performances of scenes and plays before an invited audience. Among her early students were Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Warren Beatty, Elaine Stritch, Mario Van Peebles, Harvey Keitel, and Candice Bergen.
The Adler technique
"Growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous." -Stella Adler
"My method is unique in that its foundation lies in the actor's imagination. Therefore, the most important principle in Adlerian acting is "electric taffy". Electric taffy uses the whole actor-body and mind-to produce real, practical acting results. For a full understanding, one must regard two actors (or scene partners on stage) as two distinct pieces of succulent taffy; separated, yet connected metaphysically, by an interminable electrical force. This force is the life-blood of the actor, allowing one to move freely across the stage unbounded by fears and sensibilities and in perfect concert with one's scene partner. Additionally, this electrical force is then able to delicately penetrate each of the taffy's (actor's) seven Chakras, which then climaxes in a powerfully emotional performance."
The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, in New York City, was founded in 1949 by Stella Adler. In 1969, it became the first professional training school to become affiliated with New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. The studio became a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 2000. The mission of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting is to create an environment with the purpose of nurturing theatre artists who value humanity, their own and others, as their first and most precious priority while providing art and education to the greater community.
The scope of the studio's current activities can be summarized in these categories:
- Professional actor training, the core activity of the atudio and available to both adults and teenagers (about 500 per year) through separate conservatory programs in full-time, part-time and summer programs and also presents lectures, poetry readings, jazz, classical music, theater, and dance theater events
- The Stella Adler Outreach Division provides free training to low-income, inner-city teenagers (about 300 per year).
- The Harold Clurman Art Series presents cultural events that are free and open to the public.
Stella’s daughter Ellen is the studio’s executive chairperson. Tom Oppenheim, grandson of Stella Adler, is the artistic director and president.
The Stella Adler Studio of Acting New York City's official West Coast branch is the Art of Acting Studio Los Angeles, named after Stella Adler's most famous book. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is not affiliated with the Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles.
The Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre
Stella’s long history with Hollywood meant she had close ties and strong connections in the Los Angeles area. She taught for many years at various locations in Los Angeles, and longtime friend and protégé Joanne Linville and she eventually opened the doors to the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle. Some of the notable people who have passed through the Hollywood conservatory include Nick Nolte, Salma Hayek, Eric Stoltz, Deidre Hall, Sean Astin, John Charles Jopson, John Ritter, Cybill Shepherd, Michael Richards, Benicio del Toro, and Mark Ruffalo.
Protégés Joanne Linville and Irene Gilbert persuaded Stella Adler to open the academy in 1985 in Los Angeles. Together, Gilbert and Linville are considered the school's cofounders, with Adler granting them permission to use her name. Gilbert remained the director of the school for 20 years.
The original school was located in a small theater at Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue. A fire forced the temporary closure of the school in 1991. The building was threatened with demolition to make way for a proposed subway line at the time of Adler's death in 1992. In 1994, Irene Gilbert reopened the school's present location at 6773 Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. It was renamed the Stella Adler Academy of Acting, and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010. The historic location housed the famous Embassy Club in the 1930s.
The school is an acting studio offering extensive training for actors in theatre, film, and television. The facility houses the not-for-profit Stella Adler Theatre, the Irene Gilbert Theatre, The Studio C Theatre, classrooms, dance studio, music studio, library, dressing rooms, video and equipment room, scene shop, and administrative offices, all dedicated to teaching Stella's technique.
Linville continues to teach at the academy as the lead instructor for the last 25 years. Irene Gilbert died in 2011.
In 2010, alumni of the school formed the Stella Adler Los Angeles Theatre Collective.
Although the school still uses the Stella Adler name, it is not affiliated with the New York studio. The Art of Acting Studio is the official West Coast branch of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, both having Tom Oppenheim, Adler's grandson, serving as CEO and artistic director.
- Warren Beatty
- Byrdie Bell
- Marlon Brando
- Robert De Niro
- Benicio del Toro
- Candice Bergen
- Peter Bogdanovich
- Sean Astin
- James Coburn
- Clifton Collins, Jr.
- Valeria Gastaldi
- Alexander Godunov
- Melanie Griffith
- Harvey Keitel
- Jane Levy
- Rafael Morais
- Salma Hayek
- Martin Sheen
- Judd Nelson
- Kate Mulgrew
- Nick Nolte
- Sydney Tamiia Poitier
- Sidney Pollock
- Anthony Quinn
- Mark Ruffalo
- Maya Shoef
- Cybill Shepherd
- Darrell M. Smith
- Elaine Stritch
- Mario Van Peebles
- Henry Winkler
- Kristen Reshes
- Bianca Lawson
- Katherine Wallace
- Lilly Englert
- Adler Gets Posthumous Hollywood Walk Star Fox News, Friday, August 4, 2006.
- Stella Adler Conservatory – History and Philosophy Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.
- A New Act Unfolds in Drama Dynasty New York Times, April 9, 2008.
- Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting Britannica.com.
- Stella Adler, 91, an Actress And Teacher of the Method New York Times, December 22, 1992.
- Adler Stella Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary Completing the Twentieth Century, by Susan Ware, Stacy Lorraine Braukman, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Harvard University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-674-01488-X. Page 9-10
- Nelson, Valerie J. (May 28, 2011). "Irene Gilbert dies at 76; cofounder of Stella Adler's Los Angeles acting academy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
- "Actress Irene Gilbert ran LA acting academy". Associated Press. San Francisco Chronicle. May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Alexander Godunov at the TCM Movie Database
- "Sydney Tamiia Poitier Tackles Racy Sports World and Rocky Love Life As Star of New TV Show 'Abby'". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 103 (5): 60. ISSN 0021-5996.