"Artists and Activism" Is Theme of Second Harold Clurman Festival Sept. 14-17 in NYC | Playbill

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News "Artists and Activism" Is Theme of Second Harold Clurman Festival Sept. 14-17 in NYC Theatre readings, poetry, concerts and symposia will be offered at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting's Second Annual Harold Clurman Festival of the Arts Sept. 14-17 in Manhattan.

The weekend of activities will launch with a symposium to discuss "Artists and Activism" and "will focus on how social engagement affects an artist's creative life and vice versa." Edward Albee, Roy Scheider and Mike Medavoy will all participate.

The theme of all events of the festival, "Art and Social Activism," was "conceived to be a teaching tool for young actors, to inspire them to understand the deeper mission of the artist."

Marian Seldes will read excerpts from Albee's 1998 speech to the American Council for the Arts. This speech inspired the opening-night symposium.

A second symposium will close the festival with a discussion of "The Life and Work of Stella Adler." Moderated by theatre critic Howard Kissel, the evening will include students of Adler's, including James Lipton, Betsy Parrish, Matthew Modine, Ellen Adler, Harvey Keitel and Holland Taylor.

Proceeds from this event will support the Stella Adler Outreach Division, providing free year-long actor training to low income inner-city youth. Tom Oppenheim, artistic director of the Adler Studio, stated, "Arthur Miller said that Harold Clurman believed that through great theatre people would stop killing one another. This year's Harold Clurman Festival of the Arts is committed to exploring the relationship between art and social activism."

A presentation of Lee Blessing's Two Rooms, which revolves around the 1980s Lebanon hostage situation, will be followed by a post-show discussion with Terry Anderson, a former hostage of that era.

Other events will include a movement and dance performance choreographed and directed by Steve Cook; a concert with David Amram; a presentation of A Tale of Two Cities, adapted by Everett Quinton; and a reading/discussion with Ishmael Beah (author of "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier"), Zlata Filipovic (author of "Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo") and Olara Otunno (former UN special representative for children and armed conflict).

Invitations to the Harold Clurman Festival of the Arts are available by calling Nina Capelli at (212) 689-0087, ext. 27 or via email at [email protected]


Harold Clurman was the respected American director and critic who co-founded The Group Theatre and helped introduce social issues and a new style of acting in American theatre between the 1930s-1950s.

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