The Stella Adler Studio of Acting and Staying Out and Getting Out (GOSO) have announced that students who participate in the GEDPlus program at GOSO's one-room schoolhouse in Harlem have written seven original short plays based on the films and life of Marlon Brando, an alumnus of the studio.
Six of the plays will be performed by students and alumni from the studio as part of the Young Playwrights Festival today, December 19, 2013, at 12:00 PM. The performances will take place at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, located at 31 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY. The performances are free and open to the public.
The students designed five of the plays after screening Brando films, including THE MEN, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, THE WILD ONE , MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY and THE GODFATHER. These plays focused on the each playwright's personal response to the film.
The final play to be performed is presented as a study of the life and legacy of Marlon Brando and his commitment to humanity, focusing on what Brando wanted to accomplish in his life and how he was a transformative figure. The show will feature six new plays written by GOSO students and performed by Stella Adler Ambassadors, which is comprised of conservatory students, Stella Adler alumni and Outreach Division students and staff. Tom Oppenheim, Artistic Director of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and grandson of Stella Adler, will offer opening remarks. There will be a short talkback session and lunch immediately following the performances.
Getting Out and Staying Out's aim is to make the journey to a productive life for people recently released from Rikers Island easier through educational programs and job training. Stella Adler Studio of Acting has teamed up with GOSO to impart a new set of written and verbal skills with the goal of having those participating in the program earn their GED.
The class is led by John Parada, who taught at the high school on Rikers Island called Horizon Academy, and Tommy Demenkoff, Director of Outreach at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.
The films that the students chose to write the plays on are as follows: 1. The Men: The playwrights focused on the theme of a male regaining his manhood, which mimics the struggle of many of the people who are re-entering society post-jail. 2. A Streetcar Named Desire: Based on their response to the film, the students rewrote the ending with a new monologue for lead character, Stanley Kowalski. 3. The Wild One: The play focuses on Brando's role as a rebel. 4. Mutiny on the Bounty: The play is written to highlight Brando's brashness in his character, Fletcher Christian's desire to do his own thing in life. 5. The Godfather: This play was designed as a street poetry piece called, Rumpelstiltskin. The plays draws a comparison between Brando's role, Don Vito Corleone and Rumpelstiltskin, who both are willing to do favors for people, but must receive something in return.
"One of the most successful components in the GED studies of our students is the ability to improve their skills," said Tommy Demenkoff, Director of Outreach of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. "Taking part in writing a play offers an opportunity for the students to develop critical thinking in a collaborative environment in order to become active learners."