In additional news, for the first time since its inception almost 15 years ago, AWI will offer classes that are not part of its comprehensive two-year Meisner program. Next semester, Craig MacDonald, the recently retired Syracuse University acting professor and current director and actor, will be joining the workshop's staff.Read More
Radio Review by George Basler-May '14: "Unnecessary Farce" Scores Solid Hit At Chenango River Theatre
Paul Slade Smith, who wrote Unnecessary Farce, has supplied every character with a moment in the spotlight, and the actors here are all up to the challenge. The skillful direction by Craig MacDonald keeps the action moving at a brisk pace, not giving the audience time to think.Read More
Founding Director & instructor, Actor's Workshop, Ithaca
Eliza VanCort is founder and director of The Actors' Workshop of Ithaca. She studied the Meisner Technique in New York City, taught it in Boston and opened up her own school in her hometown of Ithaca in 2001. The Meisner technique was developed by Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse from 1935-1990. Meisner's cutting-edge approach taught students to stop "acting" and instead connect and react honestly to their partners from moment to moment. VanCort trained Katie Spallone, who was one of the first local graduates of the Meisner program, as an instructor. Spallone now leads her own mixed-level Meisner classes.
This show was so popular that NPR picked it up nationally. To listen, follow this link and type in "Actor's Workshop" for the key word. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to hear Katie and Eliza talk about AWI.
The Ithaca Times-Feb 14th, '14: The Advocacy Center: Empowering Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence
“Unfortunately violence against women and physical and emotional abuse is incredibly prevalent,” said AWI Director Eliza VanCort. “I haven’t met a single woman who hasn’t been affected by it in some way. Everyone knows someone who has been impacted by domestic or sexual violence. One of the reasons we decided to work with the Advocacy Center is because unfortunately people don’t like to talk about this issue, and in order for any organization to raise money there needs to be conversation. I wanted to give back to them for all of the wonderful work they do in the community.”Read More
Ithaca Times-Feb '13: Actors Workshop Stages Love Loss and What I Wore For Women's Opportunity Center
In September 2009 Love, Loss, and What I Wore began an Off Broadway run at the Westside Theatre that is still going strong. Recently Ithaca College graduate and AWI alumna Amanda Setton landed a role in the New York production and VanCort went down to the city to see the play.
“I saw her [Setton] and met the cast,” said VanCort. “It was everything I had imagined and better.”Read More
"We had a show last year with this publishing company called "Original Works in L.A.," and they only do original works. That's the only thing they publish," says VanCort. "And they contacted me and said, ‘No one will produce this play. I really want you to read this, and it's incredible.'
"I said, ‘What's it called?' and they said, Mitzi's Abortion. And I said, ‘I'm not doing this play. I just can't do another play with an unmarketable title.'"
Edosomwan said, “There is no place better for me to begin my one-woman show. I am elated to begin the tour of the show on Cornell’s campus, with the Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca theater company where my journey as an actress began. I am incredibly passionate about the material. Hatshepsut was a woman before her time, ignored societal limitations, and went for the dream of being pharaoh.”
In celebration of its 10th anniversary the Actors' Workshop of Ithaca will be performing Rabbit Hole, a 2005 play by David Lindsay-Abaire, about a couple that struggles to recover after their young son is in a fatal accident. Actor and director Jeremy Webb, who has known Eliza VanCort, the founder of the workshop, since they attended Boynton Middle School together, will direct.
The play includes a relationship between Becca, the grieving mother, and her younger sister. "This is really Katie's show," said VanCort of Katie Spallone, the lead actor in Rabbit Hole. "It's her story; she's in every scene."
"It's funny because we are," said Spallone looking at VanCort, "like sisters."