In 2024, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting proudly celebrates its 75th Anniversary, commemorating a legacy of inspiring generations of actors dedicated to the pursuit of artistic excellence and uplifting humanity.
Founded in 1949 by the legendary Stella Adler after a life on the New York stage and a transformative encounter with Russian acting guru Constantine Stanislavsky, the Studio began with a single class taught to an elite group of aspiring artists. Early students included Marlon Brando, Jerome Robbins, Elaine Stritch, and Alvin Ailey. Stella Adler later trained luminaries such as Robert De Niro, Benicio del Toro, Donna Murphy, Kate Mulgrew, and more.
Shortly after Stella Adler’s death in 1992, her grandson, Tom Oppenheim, assumed the role of Artistic Director. Under his leadership, the conservatory as well as a plethora of new curricular programs he put forth which include both short-term workshops and more rigorous intensives, maintained world-class standards, producing notable artists and award-winners like Arjun Gupta, Caitlyn Fitzgerald, Nik Walker, Lauren Patten, Katherine Waterston, Chloe Fineman and many more. He also added elements that serve society like the Art Series, offering free concerts, theater, dance, and lectures, and the Stella Adler Arts Justice Division. Arts Justice is a free theater program with a large footprint across New York City that provides transformative educational experiences to New York’s most severely underserved citizens, those impacted by poverty and who are justice-involved.
Artistic Director Tom Oppenheim reflects on the Studio’s roots, “The spirit with which this institution was founded, forged in the crucible of tough times, of pogroms and economic depressions, of world wars and artistic repressions, remains forward-looking, outward-gazing, and other-oriented.” He notes, “Stella Adler’s techniques embody a profound spiritual health, alive and thriving to this day. We don’t know what the next 75 years will bring. What we do know is that we will be fighting for the spirit of life that has animated us for these past 75 years – the pursuit of which has produced so much creativity and joy in the face of life’s many challenges.”
In the past 75 years, the studio has grown into a full-fledged cultural center with not only a globally-esteemed professional training conservatory, but also highly innovative community elements that invite all New Yorkers to participate in a vital, American theater tradition. While the studio is well-known for its conservatory, an essential part of its work and mission in recent years has been democratizing access to the arts through free programs that prioritize access. Today the studio serves nearly 10,000 students and audience members annually.
As part of this milestone year, the Studio is unveiling a refreshed visual identity, symbolizing its evolution and commitment to inclusivity. The new logo, designed by Graphic Designer Casey Morris, reflects the Studio’s growth and expansion since the prior logo’s creation in 2001. The rebrand aims to unify the New York and Los Angeles studios, as well as to elevate the Stella Adler Center for the Arts at 65 Broadway, the artistic home of tuition-based programs (the Studio of Acting), the Arts Justice Division, and diverse cultural programming branches that annually serve nearly 10,000 students and audience members.
More 75th Anniversary events and programming will be announced shortly.
About the Stella Adler Studio of Acting
The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that nurtures theatre artists and audiences who value humanity, while providing art and education to the greater community. In addition to a world-renowned professional conservatory, the Studio offers multiple free programs that provide transformative educational experiences to New York’s most underserved citizens, like those impacted by poverty and who are justice-involved.
Established in 1949 by Stella Adler, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting was founded upon Adler’s belief in the supreme seriousness of her art, and has, for the last seven and a half decades, enriched every part of the American theater and film arts. Adler’s philosophies kept many well-known members of the theater coming back for her intelligent and passionate advice and the school has since trained many of the brilliant actors of our time. The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is a not- for-profit organization, which trains over 500 actors annually and also presents world-class lectures, poetry readings, jazz, classical music, theater, and dance theater events. Since 2009, the studio has been training actors in Los Angeles at the Art of Acting Studio.