Actor Warrior

“I can truthfully say it was only the Group that gave me again what I experienced in my youth—a vision beyond personal success. A conception of the actor’s art as an expression of the highest human principals, the highest human aspirations. These are the values I brought my students as a teacher. For me they can never change. Those principals, those aspirations, will always remain for me the best, the surest, the only way for the actor.”
Stella Adler 

What is an Actor Warrior?

  • Actor Warriors understand their role as the voice of the people.
  • Actor Warriors use their craft and art in service to communities.
  • Actor Warriors recognize the power of craft to contribute to positive social transformation.
  • Actor Warriors write and perform powerful, socially relevant plays.
  • Actor Warriors empower themselves by creating their own work.
  • Actor Warriors seek for ways and means to make use of the industry without being used by the industry.
  • Actor Warriors refuse to be defined as an actor or a person by external forces such as money or status but rather by the richness of their humanity, creativity and sense of fulfillment.

In early 2013 Tom Oppenheim (Stella Adler Studio) and Teresa Eyring (Executive Director, Theater Communications Group) met and the idea of Actor Warrior was born.

The studio believes that the New York community and the theater community at large are ripe for a conversation about actors, art, craft, social engagement and service. Gone are the days of actors passively going to auditions and sending out headshots. Now is the time for actors to identify active ways that they can use craft to affect social transformation and/or create work with strong socially relevant themes.

In September 2013 Tom created a discussion moderated by Teresa with Lemon Andersen (County of Kings) and Michael Milligan (Mercy Killers). This occasion provided the first public forum for the Actor Warrior conversation. In January 2014, in collaboration with The Working Theater, the studio provided a platform to continue the discussion. Teresa moderated a discussion with Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire), Lisa Ramirez (Exit Cuckoo) and Michael Milligan.

The studio is interested in continuing the Actor Warrior discussion and turning it into a movement. The studio aims to continue the vital discussion that began in 2013 and invite more artists and audiences into the discussion through a series of performances, talks and events.

“There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.” Adrienne Rich