Listen: At the Table with Sheana Ochoa

Sheana Ochoa, author of Stella! Mother of Modern Acting, visited Kelly Lincoln of At the Table. Together, they discuss “the great, ahead of her time Stella Adler, and how the Yiddish Theater birthed American Theater.”

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>>LISTEN HERE<<

Arthur Miller decided to become a playwright after seeing her perform with the Group Theater. Marlon Brando attributed his acting to her genius as a teacher. Theater critic Robert Brustein calls her the greatest acting teacher in America.

At the turn of the 20th century – by which time acting had hardly evolved since classical Greece – Stella Adler became a child star of the Yiddish stage in New York, where she was being groomed to refine acting craft and eventually help pioneer its modern gold standard: method acting. Stella’s emphasis on experiencing a role through the actions in the given circumstances of the work directs actors toward a deep sociological understanding of the imagined characters: their social class, geographic upbringing, biography, which enlarges the actor’s creative choices.

Always “onstage,” Stella’s flamboyant personality disguised a deep sense of not belonging. Her unrealized dream of becoming a movie star chafed against an unflagging commitment to the transformative power of art. From her Depression-era plays with the Group Theatre to freedom fighting during WWII, Stella used her notoriety as a tool for change.

For this book, Sheana Ochoa worked alongside Irene Gilbert, Stella’s friend of 30 years, who provided Ochoa with a trove of Stella’s personal and pedagogical materials, and Ochoa interviewed Stella’s entire living family, including her daughter Ellen; her colleagues and friends, from Arthur Miller to Karl Malden; and her students from Robert De Niro to Mark Ruffalo. Unearthing countless unpublished letters and interviews, private audio recordings, Stella’s extensive FBI file, class videos and private audio recordings, Ochoa’s biography introduces one of the most under recognized, yet most influential luminaries of the 20th century.

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About HLPAPG

Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on June 18, 2014, in Theatre and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Stella Adler: A Life in Art and commented:
    This is an unedited chat with Kelly Lincoln, not a “formal” interview that we held in the Bronx while I was on my NYC book tour in May 2014.

  2. Hi Wes, FYI, the hyperlink to the Kelly Lincoln chat isn’t working. https://archive.org/details/SheanaOchoa This is so cool though because I can just reblog it and it makes my life easier. Will you be doing this with Mia’s World and the LA Live Talk interview as well? Sheana

    View the Book Trailer for Stella Adler’s Biography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAGN3LazM0o

    Subscribe to my blog on Stella Adler http://stellaadleralifeinart.wordpress.com/ Join me on Twitter https://twitter.com/SheanaOchoa

    Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:36:05 +0000 To: sheana88@hotmail.com

    • Thanks, Sheana! Is it working alright now? For the Mia’s World interview, unfortunately, the video file that was sent our way didn’t work. Is there a direct link to the interview that we can use to download it? As for the LA Live Talk interview, we posted all about it on the Applause facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ApplauseBooks. Thanks again!

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