Friday, January 29, 2016

Students Enjoy Visit With Broadway Actor

Students from Ms. April's Theatre Arts classes, cast members from "Twelfth Night," and other interested students and teachers were fascinated by stories and acting tips given by Broadway actor, two-time Tony Award nominee and film actor, Lewis J. Standlen.

Mr. Standlen shared stories that illustrated the skill involved in being an actor. "Actors write their own stories underneath their lines," he said, describing how a fellow actor invented a detailed backstory of a telephone booth installed in the bar in which his character was bartending. "I was just starting out in the business. I asked the actor why he was so angry at that phone booth. 'It doesn't say to do that anywhere in the script,' I said. He told me he hated that phone booth, and here's why. It was 1939. What was going on in 1939?" Standlen asked the students. "Right! The world was falling into war. People came into that bar to get away from their troubles. Well that phone booth brought the outside world into that bar. That's why he hated that phone booth!"

Standlen studied with theatre greats, Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner. He has performed in numerous stage and film roles, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Producers, with Nathan Lane, and The Verdict, with Paul Newman. To learn more about Lewis J. Standlen, click here: