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St. Louis Actors' Studio

Taylor Steward, Antonio Rodriguez, Em Piro and Pete Winfrey in "Bad Jews"
Eric Woolsey

‘Tis the season for blue-light specials and blow-up Santas. But if you want to get away from December’s traditional trimmings, three plays open this week that have nothing to do with the holidays.

Except for one thing. Like the season, the productions are all about relational angst. Cue the piercing release of pent-up resentment and painful regret. At least it won’t be tied up with a big shiny bow.

rc)Left to right. Drew Battles (Serge), John Pierson (Ma and Larry Dell (Yvan) talk and laugh about "Art" and life
Nancy Fowler

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter,” poet Khalil Gibran wrote. Nowhere is laughter between companions more important than in the Tony Award-winning play, “Art,” presented by the St. Louis Actors’ Studio, beginning tonight.

But wait, shouldn’t a play called “Art” be about art? Well, it is — and isn’t.

Betsy Bowman, left, plays Honey; Michael Amoroso, seated, plays Nick; William Roth plays George and Kari Ely plays Martha in the St. Louis Actors' Studio's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'
St. Louis Actors' Studio

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the St. Louis Actors’ Studio presents the twisted reality of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

“I think it’s the greatest American play of the second half of the 20th century,” director John Contini told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “I think it changed the face of theater when it came out.”

St. Louis Theater Circle Announces 2015 Nominees

Jan 30, 2015
Provided by the Actors Studio

The St. Louis Theater Circle, a group of local theater critics, released its 2015 award nominees on Friday. 

“It was, I think, a terrific year,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch theater critic Judith Newmark told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “It was a year in which we lost one theater — that’s always going to happen. There also are some new people on the horizon. And it was a year in which, I think Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, which is a free event that draws huge crowds, really came into its own with a double production of ‘Henry IV’ and ‘Henry V.’”

Neil LaBute
Provided by Mr. LaBute | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It’s not Neil LaBute’s fault that men and women (and men and men and women and women) fight to the emotional death as they claw their way through dating, marriage and breakups.

The prolific playwright and screenwriter just writes it as he sees it, calling himself a realist.

In the late 1980’s, British playwright Alan Bennett produced a series of monologues featuring the best actors in England for BBC Radio.  From the time director Lana Pepper heard Maggie Smith in “A Bed Among the Lentils” in the early 1990’s, she was fascinated by the project and searched out others in the series.  Now thirty years later, she is fulfilling a dream by staging three of them in a production for St. Louis Actors’ Studio, “Talking Heads.” She also hopes to some day stage the other nine Bennett monologues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 17, 2008 - St. Louis Actors' Studio's mission is to address a particular aspect of the human condition and adhere to it when selecting our season. This approach enables us to focus on what drives us in our day-to-day adventure of life -- what makes us tick. Last season, our first season, we explored the Family Dynamic -- its triumph and its dysfunction. Actors, directors and writers who participated in a workshop created an original production on the same theme.

William Roth
Provided | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 2, 2008 - When the St. Louis Actors' Studio announced its 2007-08 season, the first four shows offered a wealth of range, with all of the titles united by the seasonal theme of "The Family Dynamic." Everything from three-hour dramas to sitcom-like comedies was represented on the debut slate, which included "The Late Henry Moss" and "A Delicate Balance." Though that kind of aggressive, "anything goes" approach might be a surprise for a new company, it's not shocking for a company trying to make its mark in a booming market, led by a trio of seasoned theater professionals.