Online Master Class Series

Upcoming Free Online Lectures:

Click the event image for more info:

Free Lecture Series - The Stella Adler Center for the Arts presents: History of Asian American Theater and Performance from 1800 to Today, a two-part lecture with Suzi Takahashi  Free Lecture Series - The Stella Adler Center for the Arts presents: S.O.S. Calling All Black People: the Black Arts Movement, a two-part lecture with Sonia Sanchez and James Smethurst.

Stella Adler Center for the Arts presents

History of Asian American Theater
and Performance from 1800 to Today
a two-part lecture with Suzi Takahashi

RSVP for Lecture 1: Friday, April 14 at 1:15pm ET
RSVP for Lecture 2: Friday, April 21 at 1:15pm ET

Via Zoom webinar for free to the public.

Suzi Takahashi headshot

Suzi Takahashi holds a BA in Theatre from Barnard College, an MA in Performance Studies from NYU-Tisch, and an MFA in Directing from Stonybrook-Southampton. In addition to her work at the Stella Adler Studio, she is a lecturer in Asian American and Japanese Theater at NYU-Theater Studies/Tisch. She is also part of the Directing faculty at the Actor’s Studio at Pace University. Formerly, she has been a lecturer in Theater History and Performance at Swarthmore College, Hunter College, and the City University of New York. As an artist, Suzi has created numerous original theater performances. Most recently, her solo performance piece, The Story Box, was produced by the HERE Arts Center in 2021. Suzi has been a HARP-Artists in Residence at HERE, and an Emerging Artist Fellow in Directing at the New York Theater Workshop. She won the 2009 Innovative Theater Award for Best Director. As an actor, she has worked for artists like Taylor Mac, Richard Foreman, and Richard Schechner.


Part 1:

The first lecture will introduce the history of Asian immigration, as well as the work of early Asian immigrant performers. We will also consider Yellowface performance traditions in Melodrama, and explore the creation of the play and opera, Madame Butterfly, and consider how this work affects current issues in AAPI representation.

Part 2:

The second lecture will explore the rise of Asian American artists in Theater and Film in the early 20th century. We will explore how the Civil Rights Movement led to the founding of an Asian American Theater Movement in the US, and discuss some artists who are products of this movement, like David Henry Hwang. We will explore the ongoing call to end Yellowface performance, most notably in the protests surrounding Miss Saigon in the 1990’s, and end with a celebration of the new wave of AAPI voices in Theater and Film.

Interested in further reading in this subject? Check out:
A History of Asian American Theatre by Esther Kim Lee
Milestones in Asian American Theater by Josephine Lee
National Abjection: The Asian American Body on Stage by Karen Shimakawa

Stella Adler Center for the Arts presents

S.O.S. Calling All Black People: the Black Arts Movement
a two-part lecture with
Sonia Sanchez and James Edward Smethurst

RSVP Lecture 1: Tuesday, April 25 at 7pm ET
RSVP Lecture 2: Friday, April 28 at 1pm ET

Book cover of SOS-Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader  Sonia Sanchez headshot  James Smethurst headshot

From Artistic Director Tom Oppenheim:

This two-part lecture with Sonia Sanchez and James Smethurst about the Black Arts Movement is based on the book they co-edited along with the late great John H. Bracy entitled SOS-Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. This book has played a major role in the life and evolution of the Studio. It inspired what was originally going to be an August Wilson Summer Intensive to become the Black Arts Institute, offered in partnership with the Billie Holiday Theater since 2018.

From University of Massachusetts Press, the publisher:

This volume brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists’ circles, writers’ workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African American population. Black Arts activists extended its reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio programs.

Many of the movement’s leading artists, including Ed Bullins, Nikki Giovanni, Woodie King, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Touré, and Val Gray Ward remain artistically productive today. Its influence can also be seen in the work of later artists, from the writers Toni Morrison, John Edgar Wideman, and August Wilson to actors Avery Brooks, Danny Glover, and Samuel L. Jackson, to hip hop artists Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Chuck D.

SOS—Calling All Black People includes works of fiction, poetry, and drama in addition to critical writings on issues of politics, aesthetics, and gender. It covers topics ranging from the legacy of Malcolm X and the impact of John Coltrane’s jazz to the tenets of the Black Panther Party and the music of Motown. The editors have provided a substantial introduction outlining the nature, history, and legacy of the Black Arts Movement as well as the principles by which the anthology was assembled.