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Guide to the New School School of Drama records, 1997-2018

Collection Overview

Repository

Performing Arts Collections

Collection Identifier

MA.02.02.01

Creator

New School (New York, N.Y.).

Title

New School School of Drama records, 1997-2018

Extent

12.3 linear ft: 10 boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder (167 VHS cassettes, 124 Mini-DVs)

Language of Materials

English

Summary

The School of Drama, the dramatic arts program of The New School's College of Performing Arts, grew out of an affiliation with the Actors Studio initiated in the 1990s. This record group primarily documents student performances in the form of publicity materials, such as posters, postcards, fliers, and other print formats advertising individual productions and seasons. The record group also contains numerous clippings and print-outs of online reviews of student performances. Video documentation of performances spans 1997 through 2002, while print records cover academic years up through 2018.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School School of Drama records, MA.02.02.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Historical Note

The New School's School of Drama grew out of a partnership with the Actors Studio, an independent organization that later ended its relationship with The New School but instilled within the university administration a desire to start a program in theater education. The resultant theater program is, as of 2018, situated in the university's College of Performing Arts.

The Actors Studio became affiliated with The New School in 1995 after its director, James Lipton, approached university president Jonathan Fanton the previous year about establishing a three-year MFA program to train actors, writers and directors side-by-side. According to the contract between the two partners, the curriculum would closely adhere to the pedagogical methods of Lee Strasberg and Konstantin Stanislavski. The first class graduated in 1997.

In addition to classes, the partnership also included a television program, Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton, who served as dean of the Actors Studio School of Dramatic Arts. Filmed at the school’s 151 Bank Street campus,  Inside the Actors Studio brought well-known actors to The New School to discuss their craft before a studio audience. Students attended the taping for credit as a required course.

In 2004, after a negotiation impasse, the contract between the Actors Studio and The New School was not renewed. This was due in part to university president Bob Kerrey’s concerns about program governance, specifically curriculum revision and procedures for appointing deans. By this time, James Lipton had become director emeritus. The Actors Studio moved to Pace University and The New School established its own program, The New School for Drama, led by interim director Robert Lupone, who soon became the director of the program. [1]

Lupone substantially revised the curriculum, exposing students to different acting techniques. Additionally, Lupone hired new staff, including Robert Hoyt, who as director of professional development, redirected funds toward student resources (as per archives director Wendy Scheir's conversation with Hoyt, August 3, 2017). In 2011, Pippin Parker became the head of school, and in 2013, under the leadership of associate dean Carrie Neal, Drama added a BFA degree track. In 2015, as part of a larger university reorganization, The New School for Drama became the School of Drama within a newly established College of Performing Arts, which includes Mannes School of Music and The School of Jazz. These programs now share a production office in the School of Drama’s Bank Street building.

Historically, The New School had offered performing arts classes almost since its inception in 1919, though without a formal theater arts program. The first and only formal program prior to the Actors Studio affiliation was the Dramatic Workshop at The New School, led by Erwin Piscator between 1939 and 1949. After the end of a formal relationship with the Dramatic Workshop, Maria Ley-Piscator and Dramatic Workshop alumna Judith Malina taught acting at The New School in the 1950s-1960s and the 1980s, respectively. In the 1970s, the university offered classes through the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and the Stella Adler Theatre Studio.

Sources: [1] Kolhatkar, Sheelah. 2005. "Still Deep." Accessed April 13, 2018. http://observer.com/2005/06/still-deep/ Drama - The New School. https://www.newschool.edu/drama/

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Scope and Contents note

These records document performances by students in The New School's School of Drama. This includes materials advertising productions, such as posters, postcards, and fliers. It also includes visual documentation of the performances in the form of 35mm slides of the 1997 repertory season and video recordings of performances from 1997 through 2002. Finally, the records preserve numerous news clippings and printouts of online reviews, as well as theatrical programs. Other types of records include recognition ceremony programs from commencement and "Facebooks" consisting of actor biographies accompanied by headshots.

No administrative or faculty records are present. These records do not document the television program, Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton. Recordings of this program will be found in The New School event recordings collection (NS.07.02.01).

Some notes about terminology: the classification "Colloquium" includes classes, workshops, and interviews with theater professionals. According to Robert Hoyt, although only two years of colloquia are documented on videotape, the program has continuously offered such learning opportunities; the move toward more dynamic and interactive instruction does not lend itself as well as more formal presentations to video recording, which is why there are only two years of colloquia documented in the Video recording series.

"Repertory" represents the public performances of drama students. The New School for Drama discontinued its old repertory season model in 2009, replacing it with two production cycles, one emphasizing directing and one emphasizing playwrighting. New Visions, the director-driven productions, takes place during the fall semester, and New Voices, the playwright-driven productions, is scheduled during the spring semester. A title list of Repertory productions recorded on VHS and Mini-DV is available from The New School Archives upon request.

"Showcase" documents performances that primarily serve to introduce drama students to industry professionals. They are not open to the general public.

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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically in 3 series

  1. Posters, 2008-2018
  2. Production publicity, 1997-2018
  3. Video recordings, 1997-2002

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Administrative Information

Collection processed and historical note written by Agnes Szanyi.

Publication Information

Performing Arts Collections - June 18, 2018

66 5th Avenue
lobby
New York, New York, 10011
212.229.5942
archivist@newschool.edu

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School School of Drama records, MA.02.02.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use, although no access copies of the performance recordings are currently available. Researchers desiring access and willing to pay a digitization fee may do so upon consultation with The New School Archives. Access to the recordings will only be available onsite in the archives reading room. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Use Restrictions

The New School does not own the rights to the content of the recordings and cannot grant permission to use in any context.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to The New School Archives and Special Collections from the School of Drama, 2017. The New School Archives received a second transfer of posters and production publicity at the end of the academic year in 2018.

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Related Materials

The periodical, New School for Drama News, will be found in The New School periodicals collection (NS.05.06.01). The New School's Office of Alumni Relations published this newsletter, which contains information about Drama faculty and students, performances, and news about program graduates. Another periodical,  Talking Senses: The Actors Studio MFA Program Newsletter, covering only 1997-1998, is also part of the periodicals collection.

Documentation on an earlier dramatic arts education progrogram connected with The New School will be found in The New School Publicity Office records (NS.03.01.05). The Dramatic Workshop and Studio Theatre materials cover the 1940s into the early 1950s. Additionally, Dramatic Workshop course catalogs spanning 1940-1949 will be found in The New School course catalogs and bulletins collection (NS.05.01.01).

Recordings of the television program, Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton, will be found in The New School event recordings collection (NS.07.02.01). Contact sheets of  Inside the Actors Studio guests conversing on stage with Lipton will be found in The New School Marketing and Communications records (NS.03.01.04).

Finally, a set of materials documenting the history of dramatic arts education at The New School will be found in The New School Raymond E. Fogelman Library records (NS.08.01.01).

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Actors Studio (New York, N.Y.).

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (information artifacts).
  • Fliers.
  • Mini-DV.
  • Posters.
  • Slides (photographs).
  • Theater programs.
  • Videocassettes.

Occupation(s)

  • Actors (performing artists).

Subject(s)

  • College theater.
  • Drama--Study and teaching.
  • Publicity.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Posters 2008-2018 

Contains posters announcing festivals, single performances, alumni events, Classic Studio Series, First Look Workshop Performance Series, New Visions, New Voices, and the BFA Production Series.

Box Folder
2008-2010 
OSx-1 1
2011-2013 
OSx-1 2
2014 
OSx-1 3
2015 
n_OSxx-2 6
OSx-1 4
2016 
OSx-1 5
2017, undated 
OSx-1 6
2018 
OSx-1 7

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Series II. Production publicity 1997-2018 

Arranged chronologically by academic year. These files were transferred to The New School Archives in three-ring binders, and each binder's contents are reflected in an entry spanning one academic year. Only the 1997 folders contain visual documentation of performances in the form of 35mm slides. A label on the box formerly housing the slides read: "Color slides of most productions in the Actors Studio MFA Program's inaugural repertory season, 1997, at Circle in the Square Downtown, 159 Bleecker Street. Photographer: Jacob Fugslang Mikkelsen."

Box Folder
1997 
1 1-5
1998 
1 6-7
1999 
1 8
2000 
1 9-10
2001-2002 
1 11
2003 
1 12
2004-2005 
1 13-14
2005-2006 
1 15
2006-2007 
1 16-17
2007-2008 
1 18-19
2008-2009 
1 20-21
2009-2010 
1 22-23
2010-2011 
1 24
2 1
2011-2012 
2 2-3
2012-2013 
2 4-5
2013-2014 
2 6-7
2014-2015 
3 1-2
2015-2016 
3 3-4
2016-2017 
3 5
2017-2018 
3 6

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Series III. Video recordings 1997-2002 

Consists of video recordings of student performances and workshops on Mini-DV and VHS cassette. Unless Mini-DV is indicated, recordings are on VHS cassette. Sub-series titles use terminology employed by the program during its first five years. With the exception of "showcase," these categories are no longer used by the School of Drama as of 2018. Arrangement within each sub-series is chronological. Titles are taken directly from cassette labels and have not been verified by The New School Archives.

Box Folder

General 1997-2002 

Box
50th Anniversary Documentary: Inside the Actors Studio (James Lipton, executive producer), 1997 Dec 7 
5
Scene Presentations by Andreas Manolikakis's Scene Work Class, 1998 Dec 
6
Iakovos Kampanellis, between 2000-2002 

Recorded on Mini-DV.

9
Black Aesthetic, 2002 

Recorded on Mini-DV.

10

Colloquium 1998-1999 

Box
Career Colloquium (Gene Lasko, Sam Schacht), 1998 Nov 23 
6
Preparing a Role (Bill Coco, Elizabeth Kemp, Gene Lasko, Andreas Manolikakis, Nova Thomas), 1999 Feb 8 
6
Staged Readings and Cold Readings (Bill Coco, Romulus Linney, Sam Schacht, Nova Thomas), 1999 Mar 8 
6
Preparing for a Career in Musical Theater (Alice Ripley, Phil Hall), 1999 Mar 30 
6
The Actor's Body: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Movement, 1999 Nov 10 
8
Conquering Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety (Don Green), 1999 Nov 29 
8
Voice and Speech (Nova Thomas), 1999 Dec 15 
8

Repertory 1997-2002 

A title list of Repertory productions recorded on VHS and Mini-DV is available from The New School Archives upon request.

Box
1997 
6
1998 
5
6
8
1999 
5
6
8
2000 

Recorded on Mini-DV and VHS.

4
7
9
2001 

Recorded on Mini-DV and VHS.

4
5
7
9
2002 

Recorded on Mini-DV only.

10

Showcase 1998-2000 

Box
Box
1998 
4
5
1999 
5
6
2000 

Recorded on Mini-DV and VHS.

4
9

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 06/18/2018

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