The Actor's Workshop of Ithaca
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Ithaca Post - Dec 14, '10: Student Showcase



IN KEEPING WITH THE TRADITION of offering alternative holiday stage presentations to the Finger Lakes, The Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca will present three student showcases this year, comedic and dramatic one-act plays and monologues. The Workshop’s Thursday night show will close with local playwright Kit Wainer’s comedy, Lemmings, and Saturday’s later performance will feature Workshop Director Eliza VanCort’s classes in the regional premiere of the farcical romp Muriel’s Birthday by Stephen Gardella, who has previously studied under VanCort.  His play was previously produced at the Manhattan Theatre Source, The Outsider Collective, and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre co-founded by Amy Poehler. Earlier, The Pickup by Rebecca Austerfeld will be performed.

“As The Workshop has grown, we’ve realized that we’ve been a bit insular because our only focus has been on teaching,” VanCort said. “Bringing an affordable NYC caliber studio experience to Ithaca is and always will be our primary mission. However, one interesting result of forming that Theater Company was that we looked around and saw there is a huge amount of room for collaboration we haven’t been tapping into.  In my mind collaborating with other artists benefits everyone, and this showcase is the first baby step in that direction.”

“This fall will be the Workshop’s tenth year in Ithaca,” she added. “It would be a dream if next year our showcases and shows were infused with local directors and playwrights.  We’ll see if we can pull it off.”

Unlike The Workshop’s theater company, where individual and season tickets can be purchased ahead of time through Ticket Center, the student showcases are ten dollars at the door.  The showcases often sell out, so theater-goers are encouraged to arrive early to ensure a seat.

Showtimes will be Thursday Dec 16th at 7:00 p.m., Saturday Dec 18th at 6:00 p.m., and Saturday Dec 18th at 8:00 p.m. at Risley Theater (directions can be found here: All proceeds will go towards The Workshop’s scholarship fund.  For more information, go to or call 607-339-9999.