Master Teacher Ron Burrus Memorial Set for January 20th

The Stella Adler Studio of Acting announced a memorial for Ron Burrus, master acting technique teacher. Burrus was the greatest exponent of the technique developed by Stella Adler. There will be a memorial for Mr. Burrus on Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 6pm ET online via Zoom Webinar.

Through tireless work and lifelong passion Ron Burrus made himself into the most creative interpreter of the techniques of Stella Adler. His uniqueness as an Adler-inspired teacher according to Artistic Director Tom Oppenheim was, “not only his capacity to shape Stella’s techniques into a systematized series of very clear exercises but his inclination to combine those exercises with the work of the great Hindu spiritual master Jidddu Krishnamurti”.

Ron studied under renowned acting teacher Stella Adler serving as her assistant in a protracted apprenticeship that lasted ten years. He then taught side by side with her, working closely with some of the most important actors of our time including Donna Murphy, Matthew Modine, John Mellencamp, Bill Paxton to name but a few. Mr. Burrus opened his own Ron Burrus Studio in 1983 and returned to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting under the invitation of Stella Adler’s grandson, Tom Oppenheim. There he trained a new generation of actors including Bryce Dallas Howard, Caitlyn Fitzgerald, Olivia Washington to name but a few. In 2009 Ron Burrus worked closely with Oppenheim to build a West coast branch of the Stella Adler Studio, the Art of Acting Studio.

Ron Burrus studied Stella’s work, researched and expanded upon it, adding elements to sharpen the actor’s sense of focus and awareness in imaginative spaces. Stella Adler, with roots in the Yiddish Theater and Group Theater, was the only American actor to study with the great Russian master, Constantine Stanislavski. Burrus assumed and extended this legacy in his work. He trained actors from the 1960s through 2021. Burrus, 79, of Los Angeles, CA, passed away on Dec.13, 2021 after a four-year battle with cancer.

MEMORIAL DETAILS

What Did You Learn? What Did You See?
A Celebration of the Life and Work of Ron Burrus
Thursday, January 20 at 6pm ET
Via Zoom Webinar
RSVP: Please click here to register to attend.

SHARE YOUR STORY: Please click here to share some thoughts or memories about Ron.

GIVE TO THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND:
If you cannot attend, but would like to contribute to a scholarship in Ron’s memory, which will be an annual campaign, please click here.

The memorial will be conducted like one of Ron’s classes. A small group of invited speakers will be followed by community members sharing what they learned from Ron. Those who don’t share in real time will be encouraged to write thoughts into the chat. Those thoughts will be captured and printed into an online book. The Ron Burrus Center will add photos and links of Ron and that book will be offered as a gift to all.

Ron Burrus was an American acting teacher and coach and the greatest exponent of the acting technique developed by Stella Adler. Ron studied Stella’s work, researched and expanded upon it, adding elements to sharpen the actor’s sense of focus and awareness in imaginative spaces. Stella Adler, with roots in the Yiddish Theater and Group Theater, was the only American actor to study with the great Russian master, Constantine Stanislavski. Burrus assumed and extended this legacy in his work. Burrus, 79, of Los Angeles, Ca, passed away on Dec.13, 2021 after a four-year battle with cancer.

OBITUARY

Ron Burrus was an American acting teacher and coach and the greatest exponent of the acting technique developed by Stella Adler. Burrus studied Adler’s work, researched and expanded upon it, adding elements to sharpen the actor’s sense of focus and awareness in imaginative spaces. Stella Adler, with roots in the Yiddish Theater and Group Theater, was the only American actor to study with the great Russian master, Constantine Stanislavski. Burrus assumed and extended this legacy in his work. Burrus, 79, of Los Angeles, Ca, passed away on Dec.13, 2021 after a four-year battle with cancer.

He was born in Onawa, IA, March 11, 1942, the son of Joe Burrus and Audrey (Hutchison) Burrus. He is survived by sister Marlene Cowan, brothers Stan Burrus and Richard Burrus, brother in-law, Chuck Cowan and sister in-law Debra Eaton, nephews, Jeff Cowan, Logan Burrus, Ethan Clark, nieces Kristin Rawson, Dana Clark, Cindy Cowan, Yma Sautbine and Aubrey Clark.

Growing up Ron enjoyed singing, musicals and was in the Drama Club.  He tried playing football in the 9th grade. But no go. He would rather do a soft shoe dance in the kitchen. Ron graduated from Leeds High School in Sioux City, Iowa, 1960, and the same year he and his mother and brothers traveled the original Route 66 out to California and settled in Burbank, a block from the airport.

Ron would often run with his brother Rich the one block to the airport where they would follow unsuspecting travelers and imagine stories about unknown destinations. This sparked a love for travel which he would pursue over the entire course of his life.

He graduated from Pasadena College and served in the U.S. Army in Germany and after returning to California, jetted off to New York to fulfill his dreams. Ron studied under renowned acting teacher Stella Adler serving as her assistant in a protracted apprenticeship that lasted ten years. He then taught side by side with her, working closely with some of the most important actors of our time including Donna Murphy, Matthew Modine, John Mellencamp, Bill Paxton to name but a few. Mr. Burrus opened his own Ron Burrus Studio in 1983 and returned to the Stella Adler Studio of Acting under the invitation of Stella Adler’s grandson, Tom Oppenheim. There he trained a new generation of actors including Bryce Dallas Howard, Caitlyn Fitzgerald, Olivia Washington to name but a few. In 2009 Ron Burrus worked closely with Oppenheim to build a West coast branch of the Stella Adler Studio, the Art of Acting Studio.

Throughout his long career Mr. Burrus worked internationally leading workshops in The film school in Lausanne, Switzerland first invited Mr. Burrus to conduct workshops for their directors and actors. This led over time to workshops in major cultural institutions and festivals in Mexico City, Mexico; Bogata, Colombia; Hamburg, Germany; Cecina, Italy; Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; Mumbai, India; Manila, Philippines and Toulouse, France. He really knew how to travel. One bag and he was off.

Through tireless work and lifelong passion Ron Burrus made himself into the most creative interpreter of the techniques of Stella Adler. His uniqueness as an Adler inspired teacher according to Oppenheim was “not only his capacity to shape Stella’s techniques into a systematized series of very clear exercises but his inclination to combine those exercises with the work of the great Hindu spiritual master Jidddu Krishnamurti”.

Ron was a beautiful, generous person.  He believed strongly in helping others fulfill and achieve their dreams and through endless mentorships touched many lives and awakened a curiosity in others to live with joy, pride, presence and awareness without judgment.

Posted in News

Casey Wilson (’02) in Apple TV’s Dark Comedy ‘The Shrink Next Door’

Casey Wilson (Class of 2002) joins Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Kathryn Hahn in Apple TV’s new dark comedy series ‘The Shrink Next Door’ premiering on November 12, 2021. Inspired by true events documented in the Wondery and Bloomberg Media podcast of the same name, ‘The Shrink Next Door’ is described as an eight-episode dark comedy following the bizarre relationship between psychiatrist to the stars Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (Rudd) and his longtime patient Martin “Marty” Markowitz (Ferrell). Wilson will star as Bonnie, the wife of Dr. Herschkopf.

Posted in Alumni

Sebastian Silveti (’18) as Romeo in ‘Narcos: Mexico’ on Netflix

Be sure to catch alum Sebastian Silveti (Class of 2018) as Romeo in the final season of ‘Narcos: Mexico’ on Netflix!

Posted in Alumni

Jimmy Tripp

From Tom Oppenheim, Artistic Director:

Dear community,

It is with great sorrow and a heavy heart that I’m writing to inform you that we’ve lost our beloved teacher, friend and family member, James Tripp today. Jimmy joined the faculty of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in the mid 1980s at the invitation of Stella Adler herself. By that time he had a full life in the theater working in major regional theaters, at the Public Theater and on Broadway. But Jimmy’s true artistic domain was in the classroom and his greatest performances were as a teacher. In that realm Jimmy’s talent knew no bounds. With a single gesture he could spank the devil and lick the sky. Jimmy was all theater. He was a theater bandit. He busted down borders with Dionysian glee and many of us who survive him at Adler and thousands and thousands of former students were freed by this man, were elevated by his greatness, were liberated by his passion, were made merry monsters like him. Jimmy made us feel like creatures in Where the Wild Things Are, “I’ll eat you up I love you so.”

My grandmother recognized her kind in Jimmy. She invited him to Adler after seeing a production of Moliere’s Tartuffe which he directed at his other artistic home, the National Shakespeare Conservatory, with me in the title role. It was my first production ever. Jimmy delighted in dressing me up in a long white wig and made me an aged, sex crazed, power hungry, hypocritical hippy. He gave me a comb as a prop to unsuccessfully comb the knots out of my tangled hair. He acquainted me with what was most corrupt in myself, what was most ghastly, grotesque, gory, ugly. He thus made a man of me. Stella appreciated him deeply for this, knew he was an artist, knew where he belonged, right in the heart of the Adler family

I first encountered Jimmy at Kerhonkson, National Shakespeare Conservatory’s summer program. I was so shy and scared and Jimmy’s energy was overwhelming to me. Jimmy was the contemporary scene teacher in those days with his dear friend Mario Siletti teaching Shakespeare. Jimmy was utilizing Meisner repetition technique but only as Jimmy could, repetition a la TRIPP!!! Actors were repeating what the other said but wildly, roiling into a frenzy. It scared the bejesus out of me in spite of the fact that I’m a Jew. After class I followed Jimmy to his car and told him that the exercise scared me. “Well, then you must try it!” he said with a face wide open like the sky. Jimmy opened up a door for me that day, a door that remains open and continues to beckon and challenge me.
There was so much freedom in Jimmy’s class, a freedom we desperately need. This freedom was scary for some, thrilling for others, scary and thrilling by turns. He would crack words over his knee and throw them in your face. You had the feeling that anything could happen. Passion, for example. Love. Hatred. High art. Low art. Lampoon. Anything. This freedom produced boldness, courage, a crystal clear understanding of the purpose of theater and the blessing. May Jimmy’s death inspire a resurrection of that freedom. May generations hence spring up as liberal as he, as outrageous, as passionate, as free.

We dedicate this year to our teacher, friend, family member James Tripp. We will soon open the James Tripp Theater. Long live Jimmy.

Love,

Tom Oppenheim
Artistic Director


Thank you so much for the outpouring of love we have seen online in the wake of Jimmy’s passing. It has been wonderful reading all the cherished memories you have had with him over the years. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is in the process of collecting quotes, stories and favorite memories of Jimmy Tripp for the archives. Do you remember inspiring words he gave in class? Is there a favorite story of Jimmy? Please share with us by filling out the form linked below. Or you can simply reply to this email and I can add it for you.

Jimmy Tripp Memories and Quotes Form

Posted in News, Toms blog

Utkarsh Ambudkar (’04) Stars in New CBS Comedy ‘Ghosts’

After starring as Mouser in the summer blockbuster film Free Guy, alum Utkarsh Ambudkar (Class of 2004) now heads up the the new CBS comedy ‘Ghosts’ as Jay premiering nationally on October 7th, 2021.

Posted in Alumni

Alum Produced Film ‘American Insurrection’ Picked Up for Theatrical Release and On-Demand Nationwide

After winning the Audience Award at the Lower East Side Film Festival this past summer, the alum produced film ‘American Insurrection’ was picked up for distribution by Saban Films to be released in theaters on October 8th and available nationally with on-demand streaming services. The film is written and directed by alum Will Sullivan (Class of 2010) and stars fellow classmates Sarah Wharton and Jarret Kerr.

Posted in Alumni

Alum Lauren Patten Wins Tony Award!

A big congratulations to alum Lauren Patten on winning the 2020 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her turn as Jo in Jagged Little Pill!

Posted in Alumni

COVID-19 Vaccines Mandated for Fall Enrollment

COVID-19 vaccines will be mandated for all 3-Year Conservatory, Evening Conservatory students as well as all Workshop students for this upcoming 2021-22 season. By taking this step the Stella Adler Studio is joining over 400 fellow educational institutions around the US. We follow this path in effort to play our part in ushering in the day when full robust in-person engagement can happen safely at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and beyond. Accommodations are offered for religious and health reasons.

We at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting embrace the science of vaccines. A science that seems so strong when you look around the country and the world. We are currently seeing a surge in positivity rates precisely in the un-vaccinated community in large part due to the delta variant of COVID-19. I would like to take a moment to offer some facts about vaccinations and debunk some myths.

This infographic from the American Academy of Family Physicians debunks some of the myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.

This webpage from Medical News Today goes into more detail about how the vaccine was developed so quickly as well as the mRNA technology used.

This webpage from Johns Hopkins Medicine further debunks the myths surrounding the vaccine.

Thank you all for your cooperation in this matter. The Adler community has been exemplary in its response to COVID-19 from the very beginning and for this we are both proud and grateful.

Sincerely,

Tom Oppenheim
Artistic Director

Posted in News

Studio Launches AAPI Artists Initiative

In honor of the rich tapestry of faculty and student heritage and coinciding with Asian Pacific Heritage Month, we are proud to announce the founding of The Stella Adler Studio’s Asian American Pacific Islander Artists (AAPI) Initiative. The AAPI Artists Initiative will be a home for students, alumni and faculty, in which to hold space for the exploration and celebration of AAPI artistry.  Continuing the spirit of the Asian American Theater Movement of the 1960’s, which fought to combat the practice of yellowface and create a canon of Asian American plays, the AAPI Artists Initiative will advocate for AAPI representation in arts and education, as well as nurture new works by AAPI voices.

The idea for the AAPI Initiative began with a conversation between Artistic Director Tom Oppenheim and faculty member Suzi Takahashi after the studio’s community conversation following the tragedy of the Atlanta Massacre on March 16, 2021. Both agreed that a program dedicated to the personal and artistic empowerment of the next generation of AAPI artists is a strong extension of the studio’s core value that growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous. Programming for the initiative will include the creation of a 5-week summer immersion program to be launched in the summer of 2022. During the year, the institute will offer guest speakers, workshops, career development and performance opportunities that aim to bridge our community to the professional world of AAPI theater in NYC.

Faculty member Suzi Takahashi will serve as the AAPI Artists Initiative’s Director. Ryan Chittaphong, Kimiye Corwin, and Suzy Petcheam will serve as faculty advisors, alongside a group of student and alumnae representatives.

Posted in News

LA Virtual Open House this June

Interested in training at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting’s sister school in Los Angeles the Art of Acting Studio? Attend our upcoming Virtual Open House running nightly from June 8-10, 2021. Take free classes and hear from current students and faculty over Zoom. This open house will be catered towards actors interested in the LA Professional Conservatory program.

Attend as much or as little as your schedule permits. Can only join us for one or two evenings? No problem. Want to attend all three evenings for the full Conservatory experience? Happy to have you with us!

  • Studio Overview & Discussion – Hear from Artistic Director Tom Oppenheim (grandson of Stella Adler) as he discusses the history, mission and core beliefs of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and Art of Acting Studio. Faculty and staff will also discuss the studio’s various programming.
  • Free Workshops – Get a taste of the studio’s world-class training with free workshops each night. Classes available will include acting technique, on-camera, and scene work!
  • Student Q & A – Meet with current conservatory students who can answer your questions about studying at the Art of Acting Studio in Los Angeles.

RSVP to the Virtual Open House Here

SCHEDULE:

The times are in Pacific Time (LA) and will be on Zoom.

  • Tuesday, June 8th (6-9pm PT) – To kick off the open house, the first event will be “Meet the Studio” a discussion with Tom Oppenheim and the staff. Following that event will be a special Master Class with Jane Fleiss on the Acting Technique developed by Stella Adler
  • Wednesday, June 9th (6-8pm PT) – This evening will feature two workshops: Improvisation and Monologue Coaching led by conservatory faculty.
  • Thursday, June 10th (6-7:30pm PT) – The final evening will be a Question and Answer session with current conservatory students and faculty. Ask them anything!

Reserve Your Spot: This event is FREE (no cost)! Due to limited space each night, reservations are required. Students must be at least 18 years of age and absolutely proficient in the English language in order to participate. RSVP using form below or by Clicking Here.

Posted in News

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