February 25, 2015
by Jack Serio
Comments Off

Study Abroad: Berlin – What’s It All About?

Study Abroad: Berlin

What’s It All About?

Application Deadline is March 2nd!

This year Tisch Special Programs is launching a new study abroad program in Berlin where students will have the opportunity to work on exciting new multimedia art. With a young, creative population and an energetic, cosmopolitan art scene, Berlin has been enjoying a unique artistic revival that celebrates multimedia projects and unconventional spaces. Students will explore the city and develop multimedia projects. The program features two complementary courses: Creative Computing and Live Video Performance Art.

From fine art to computer programming, from live performance to animation, this workshop has applications across disciplines. There are no prerequisites, and the program welcomes students from all areas: e.g., film, music, computer science, dance, theater, fine art, multimedia, graphic design, performance art, photography etc.

We caught up with Max Nova who teaches Live Video Performance Art in Berlin, to learn a little bit more about the program and what multimedia art is.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do at NYU?

I am a video artist, and I run a production company / art collective in Brooklyn called Dawn Of Man.

I’m an alum of Tisch UGFTV, and 4 years ago I wrote a course called “Live Video Performance Art,” based on my experience creating artwork in the music and event industries. The course is currently offered as an Open Arts course in Spring.

This year will mark the first time my course is offered as part of a study abroad program, and will be my first chance to travel to Germany!

Take a look at some of Max’s work with Dawn of Man below! It is incredible!

In short, why Berlin?

Students traveling to Berlin will have the amazing opportunity to experiment with live video mixing and projection mapping technology in one of the world’s hot spots for multi-media art.

Who is this program for?

This program is for artists of all kinds, especially those interested in installation and video art. A prior basic understanding of video editing will be very beneficial for anyone in this course.

Talk to me a little about Multimedia Art, a relatively new field of study, what will students be learning in Berlin?

The two courses in the multi media program are my course, “Live Video Performance Art,” as well as another course called “Creative Computing.”

This is a stellar combination that will give students a well rounded view of the history of the experimental moving images as it relates to contemporary multimedia art, as well as training in a plethora of new technical skills, including projection technology, VJ and projection mapping software, as well as basics in computer programing.

What else will students have a chance to do in Berlin while they’re there?

One of the most exciting parts of this program will be the opportunity to participate in a large-scale projection mapping installation at the St. Agnes, a gorgeous building on the NYU campus in Berlin.


The deadline for the trip is approaching fast! But, there is still time to apply! To learn more about the trip and the application click here.


February 25, 2015
by William Santagata
Comments Off

A Tribute to Open Arts Professor Pennie DuPont

Last Sunday was the biggest night in Hollywood, with the esteemed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarding Oscars to the best achievements in film during the year 2014. As always, several Tisch alumni were among the nominees. But it was a particularly special night for us in Special Programs to see one of our beloved Open Arts professors honored during the “In Memoriam” segment.

Pennie DuPont was the renowned casting director of such films as The Karate Kid (1984), Peggie Sue Got Married (1986), and Roxanne (1987). She taught the course Casting (now called Casting and Auditioning) in Open Arts , which I had the pleasure of taking in the spring 2011 semester. Through her warm and energetic personality, she taught us the behind-the-scenes wrangling that it takes to cast a movie: a feat that is not as simple as it appears. Given her accomplishments in the field, many Hollywood casting directors, agents, and managers were happy to visit the class to give insightful guest lectures. The result was a class that provided a wonderful experience and background into the inner machinations of the film and television industry.

Pennie passed away on June 13, 2014 at the age of 75. We at Special Programs are glad to have known her and were touched to see her peers in the industry honor her in last Sunday’s tribute.


Pennie DuPont

William Santagata is a Tisch alumnus and an Administrative Aide in the Office of Special Programs.

February 19, 2015
by Mariangela Lardaro
Comments Off

Tisch Open Arts Faculty News

Tisch Open Arts faculty are often part of some exciting projects and are celebrated for their commitment to their community. Here’s the latest:

whose story is it revisedAviva Slesin

Aviva Slesin will be one of the award-winning filmmakers participating in Whose Story Is it? Perspectives in/on Documentary Storytelling. The event is sponsored by the Visual Arts Initiative, NYU Arts Council. The keynote speaker is Cynthia López, Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Aviva Slesin is collaborating on this conversation about diverse documentary initiatives with Pegi Vail from the Center for Media, Culture and History and the Program in Culture and Media at the Graduate School of Arts and Science; Marcia Rock from NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Graduate School of Arts and Science; and Marco Williams from the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, Tisch School of the Arts.  For event details, please visit the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History.

Aviva Slesin teaches the following courses in Tisch Open Arts: Master Class in Documentary: Director’s Series, Through the Documentary Lens: Civil Rights, Through the Documentary Lens: Contemporary Art, and Through the Documentary Lens: Human Rights. Read her bio.

hall-020915Patricia Hall
The Barclays Center is honoring Patricia Hall as a Black History Month honoree for her contributions to the people of and her service in the borough of Brooklyn, and Black and American History. She is part of Barclays’ first Black History Month Calendar.

Patricia Hall teaches Steps, Rhythm, and Movement: African Dance in Tisch Open Arts. Read her bio.

Alan Watson

Alan Watson is a choreographer and lead dancer with PMT Dance Company. Last week he was part of a secret flash mob proposal for Valentine’s Day.
As Alan told us, “Basically the entire concept was to trick one of our dancers in the PMT Dance Company that we got a gig doing a normal flashmob on the show. Little did she know, we created a fake ending, and rehearsed the real thing with her boyfriend in secret. She had no idea that her boyfriend joins us at the end and gets down on one knee.” It turns out the couple met at the PMT Dance Studio six years ago and have danced at the studio ever since. View the flash mob video.

AlanFlashAlan Watson teaches Steps, Rhythm, and Movement: Hip-Hop Dance in Tisch Open Arts. Read his bio.



The Tisch Open Arts Curriculum consists of a series of courses open to undergraduate and graduate students at New York University, including Tisch and non-Tisch students. These courses are specially designed to give introductory exposure, foundational knowledge, and hands-on experience in various artistic fields to students who are not majoring in the field of the course that is being offered. Please visit the Tisch Special Programs website for details.

February 18, 2015
by Jack Serio
Comments Off

Investigating Studios : Playwright’s Horizons

phts_slide.jpg__960x480_q85_crop_upscale‘Investigating Studios’ will be a recurring segment where we talk with some of the drama students and learn a little bit more about the eight undergraduate studios. This week we spoke with some students at The Playwright’s Horizons Studio.

Meet The Cast:

Will B. from Chatham, NJ. (Freshman)

Jessica D. from Highland Park, IL. (Freshman)

Andy C. from Simsbury, CT. (Junior)



What has your first semester at Playwright’s been like?

My first semester at Playwrights has been the most crazy and beautiful experience I’ve ever been privileged to have. I feel so lucky to be able to spend my time creating art. It’s been a really fulfilling time. – W.B.

Lovely and really fast-paced. I really have enjoyed learning just about every aspect of the theatre and I feel it has really helped me develop as a theatre artist. Learning all aspects of design, directing, playwriting, and performance has made me a much stronger collaborator. Playwrights has been fantastic about welcoming me to the community of young artists and I’ve made some of my best friends in the program. The first semester was intense and we never stopped moving but we created so much art, it was amazing. – J.D.

My first semester in Playwrights has been an enthralling experience. I’ve been exposed to numerous new experiences and have gained skills that I could not have imagined gaining from other studios. The experience in learning different design techniques and advancing my playwriting ability has really opened my eyes to potential skills that I didn’t think I had prior to coming here. – A.C.

How do you feel Playwright’s differs from the other studios?

At Playwrights, you get a truly holistic theatrical education. I didn’t really understand how important it is to comprehend many facets of theatre until I got to Playwrights. On top of that, I think we have our creativity challenged and strengthened every day by being asked to make things. Creativity is really nurtured and developed at Playwrights. – W.B.

Playwrights really is an education in theatre, not acting. We explore all aspects of the theatre and I think that best prepares us for working as theatre artists in today’s world. It’s really hard to market yourself as just an actor, you become a much better investment to a company if you can write, if you can design, if you know your way around a light board. We’re special because we’re held to a high standard of knowing a lot about a lot. – J.D.

Playwrights is the only studio at NYU that really lets you dig deep into creating devised work. The amount of collaboration and creativity involved in a day at Playwrights is astounding and pails to other studios who believe in more of an independent journey of self-discovery rather than a feeling of learning to work with the skills that a group processes to create the work. – A.C.

What’s the workload like? How are you managing?

The workload is heavy. I don’t have a real strategy with which I tackle my work. Mostly, I just live off of my passion for theatre. That’s the drive that keeps me going. – W.B.

The workload is pretty heavy, but is it really work if you love what you do? I manage by just not procrastinating and even then I have some pretty late nights but in the end all the work is making me a better artist! – J.D.

The work load is steep but not nearly as bad as I had been let on before coming here. Much of the difficulty of the workload is when to find time to meet with fellow studio members to work, as most of the assignments are more group oriented. However, once settled into a group and after a schedule has been made, the load is quite manageable. – A.C.

What’s your favorite class?

My favorite class has been Performance. Learning from two different teachers who approach acting with many different techniques has been really helpful to me. I have a larger toolbox now that I can draw from in my acting, which I believe is vital to have as an actor. I love having all of my tools as an actor, as opposed to being restricted to a single approach. – W.B.

Movement, easily, so much fun and Dan Safer and Mike Mikos are gods. – J.D.

Well, wanting to go into acting I would say Performance class but I’ve personally really fallen in love with Movement. I enjoy feeling myself being pushed to a physical limit and it’s helped me understand the sort of physicality that is required in much of the theater and performance being produced today. – A.C.

What’s your most challenging class?

My most challenging class has been Movement, but because of its rigor, it’s also been extremely rewarding. Contact improv opens you up in such a unique way, and it stretches both your body and your soul. – W.B.

Design because it’s the area of knowledge I have the least amount of knowledge, it’s definitely a challenge because I have to think in a completely different way than I’m used to. – J.D.

I find design class to be particularly difficult as it tends to have the most workload and the most unfamiliar work as well. Many times we are forced to trust our instincts and go out on a limb to achieve a lighting design or sound design, something that very few of us in class have ever done. It’s the class where the most risks are taken and that alone gives it a rather looming quality. – A.C.

What’s been your favorite show you’ve seen at Playwright’s Horizons (uptown)?

My favorite show at Playwrights uptown has been Pocatello. I think Sam Hunter is such a brilliant writer, and Pocatello had such a strong ensemble cast. It was an extremely cohesive piece. – W.B.

Bootycandy - J.D.

I actually haven’t seen one uptown yet but I’m sure I will be getting around to one this semester. – A.C.

Favorite place to eat in NYC?

I am all about The Smith. Great atmosphere and great food. And I’ll never turn down being served food in a skillet. – W.B.

Magnolia Bakery is DELICIOUS. – J.D.

Dos Toros on 4th ave between 13th and 14th street. It has been my favorite burrito place for the past two and half years I’ve lived in New York and I still make it a point to go by there every two weeks or so. IT honestly is the only place I’ve found that puts Chipotle to shame. – A.C.


Unless you’re the majoring in Dramatic Writing, most Tisch students don’t ever have the chance to dabble in playwriting like the students at Playwright’s Horizons do. However, through Special Programs’ fantastic study abroad program, Playwriting in London, students will gain an in-depth study of the structure; the beginning, middle, and end; originality; characters, conflict, imagery, and the pitch. Most importantly, you write a freshly conceived full-length play or two one-act plays while living in one of the most historic and theatrical cities in the world. Playwriting in London is also offered in both the fall and spring semesters! Although the deadline for Fall 2015 has already passed, Special Programs is still accepting applications for the Playwriting program so be sure to contact the office to find out more! To learn more about the program or other study abroad opportunities, click here or swing by the Tisch Special Programs office at 721 Broadway!

Not a Tisch student? Take a peak at the Open Arts course selections. Open Arts allows non-Tisch majors to take classes at Tisch. These courses are specially designed to give introductory exposure, foundational knowledge, and hands-on experience in various artistic fields to students who are not majoring in the field of the course that is being offered. And they are another great way to get your feet wet in playwriting without committing to a major. To learn more about Open Arts click here. Finally, Special Programs’ Summer in NYC program offers dramatic writing courses in playwriting, screenwriting, and television writing. Maybe it’s time to stay NYC a little longer this summer and get writing! Learn more about Summer in NYC here.

February 8, 2015
by Jack Serio
Comments Off

Movies You Should Be Watching – As Told By Tisch

5 Movies You Should Be Watching But Probably Aren’t

As Picked by Tisch Film Students

With Oscar season fast approaching, it’s easy to get lost in the handful of films everyone is talking about. But this handful is only a handful, and some Tisch film students want you to know about some films that are slipping under the radar. I spoke with five film students to find out which movies they think have gone under appreciated. So while this year’s Oscar contenders are worth the watch, don’t forget about the underdogs! Keep reading till the end of the article to find out how you can make film part of your academics here at Tisch!
A Most Violent Year

This movie seems to be slipping by just as Oscar Isaac’s last major film Inside Llewyn Davis did. Gritty, gripping, and weighted with thought-provoking heft, A Most Violent Year represents another strong entry in writer-director J.C. Chandor’s impressive filmography. Set during the winter of 1981 (statistically one of the most crime-ridden of New York City’s history), A Most Violent Year is a drama following the lives of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built.



There was an uproar from the film community when Jake Gyllenhaal was snubbed for an Oscar for his role in this overlooked thriller. Restless, visually sleek, and powered by a lithe star performance from Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler offers dark, thought-provoking thrills. It is a pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling, where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou thrives. In the breakneck, ceaseless search for footage, he becomes the star of his own story.


Life Itself

A rare snub in the documentary film category, Life Itself was loved by film critics and audiences alike, making it such a surprising omission. Rich in detail and warmly affectionate, Life Itself offers a joyful yet poignant tribute to a critical cinematic legacy.  The film recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.



This was one of those films I felt like I had heard of, or maybe seen the poster for, but never took the time to fully investigate it until it came to my attention here. Funny, clever, and endearingly unusual, Frank transcends its quirky trappings with a heartfelt and surprisingly thought-provoking story. Acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson follows up his award-winning films Adam & Paul, Garage, and What Richard Did with an offbeat comedy about a young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head, and his terrifying bandmate Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal, who happens to be our other list’s star, Jake’s sister).


The One I Love

Unlike Frank, I hadn’t heard about this film AT ALL. But it looks great and I cannot wait to dive into it. The One I Love  is an original tale that continues to showcase director Charlie McDowell’s keen observations of human relationships with a distinct and comedic voice. On the brink of separation, Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elizabeth Moss) escape to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to save their marriage. What begins as a romantic and fun retreat soon becomes surreal, when an unexpected discovery forces the two to examine themselves, their relationship, and their future.


Now that you’ve watched films, how about you start making some of your own? If you’re a non-major but have an interest in filmmaking, Tisch has opportunities for you to learn the craft. You can take courses like Fundamentals of Digital Filmmaking, Producing Essentials and Fundamentals of Developing the Screenplay through Tisch Open Arts. Tisch also offers film production and screenwriting courses in the summer to visiting students. Are you an undergraduate student at another college or university? Come spend a semester learning film production through our Semester at Tisch program!
Not sure what’s right for you? Contact Tisch Special Programs!

January 29, 2015
by Jack Serio
Comments Off

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

Spring Is Here!

Welcome back everyone! I’m hoping you all survived the let down that was Storm Juno! This week officially started the spring semester at NYU and there is so much going on it’s silly! Between off campus and on campus events, Tisch and the arts community in NYC show no signs of slowing down! We even have 10 students from other colleges and universities studying with us through Semester at Tisch and I will introduce you to them a little later! Let’s get started with a couple of things happening here and around the city that are worth your time! Enjoy and welcome back!



Nick Payne’s “Constellations”


This could be one of the most beautiful plays I’ve seen on Broadway. Nicky Payne’s writing is genuinely both haunting and heartbreaking. Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson give some of the best performances of the season in this short, 70-minute play. This spellbinding, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman (Gyllenhaal and Wilson). But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know – delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny. You can pick up student rush tickets for $27 (the cheapest on Broadway!) two hours before the performance! However, I’d recommend getting there even earlier as a line tends to form! More info here.



Halley Fieffer’s “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard”

I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard

Presented at the Tisch affiliated Atlantic Theatre Company, I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard promises to be an incredible evening of theatre. Halley Fieffer’s script, with direction by Trip Cullman (of this season’s Punk Rock) features breathtaking performances by Reed Birney and Betty Gilpin. Ella (Gilpin) is a precocious and fiercely competitive actress whose sole aim in life is making her famous playwright father David (Birney) proud. Over the course of a boozy, drug-fueled evening, Ella and David deliberate over whether to read the reviews of her off-Broadway debut… and things unravel from there. This daring and irreverent new play pulls the audience into the middle of a deeply complicated relationship and sheds new light on the eternal struggles of parents and children to find common ground. Talk to friends in Atlantic about getting heavily discounted or even free tickets! Otherwise, tickets run in the neighborhood of $40. More info here.



“Hamilton” at The Public


Lin Manuel Miranda’s (of In the Heights fame) new play, Hamilton is still only in previews at The Public Theatre, and yet it promises to be the biggest off-Broadway hit of the season. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past told through the sounds of the ever-changing nation we’ve become. Tickets are almost impossible to get, and if you can get one it’ll run you somewhere close to $100! However, the app TodayTix allows you to enter a daily lottery to win tickets for just $10! The app is free and it doesn’t cost anything to enter the lottery (which you can do everyday till you win!), you only pay if you win the tickets. You can also swing by The Public’s box office in advance and purchase student rush tickets! More info here.


The Oscars are only a couple of weeks away, so take this time to check out the FIVE Oscar nominated films that past Tisch students have worked on! Congrats to all of our fabulously talented alumni!

American Sniper
Andrew Lazar ’89 (BFA, Kanbar, F&TV) / Producer

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Scott Rudin (Dean’s Council) / Producer

The Theory of Everything
Lisa Bruce ’91 (MFA, Kanbar, Film) / Producer

Inherent Vice
Mark Bridges ’87 (MFA, Design)

Bennett Miller ’89 (Kanbar, F&TV)

E. Max Frye ’85 (BFA, Kanbar, F&TV)

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the actors, technical achievements, and films of 2014 and will take place on February 22, 2015.

Spring at Tisch

Every year, Tisch invites undergraduate students from other colleges and universities to spend one full-time spring semester with us here in New York City. These students come from all over the world, to receive professional training in different disciplines. We welcome the following students to the Tisch community!

Junko – is studying Acting, is from Japan, & her home school is Keio University
Nadia – is studying Cinema Studies & her home school is University of Alabama
Joshua – is studying Film Production & his home school is Oberlin College
Magnus – is studying Recorded Music, is from Norway, & his home school is Hedmark University College
Marie – is studying Film Production & her home school is Suny Purchase
Abigail – is studying Dramatic Writing & her home school is Pennsylvania State University
Jenna – is studying Film Production & her home school is Colby College
Jennifer – is studying Film Production & her home school is Maharishi University of Management
Michael – is studying Film Production & his home school is Colby College
Yuhuizi – is studying Film Production, is from China, & her home school is Bryn Mawr College

Welcome guys!

To learn more about the Semester at Tisch Program click here!

– Jack

December 19, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro

Games: An Interview with Frank Lantz

Summer 2015 will be all fun and games for some high school students…literally. But not without passion and dedication.

For the first time, Tisch School of the Arts is offering a summer program in Game Design for current high school sophomores and juniors. With courses at the NYU Game Center for six college credits, this is an opportunity that is not to be missed.

Frank Lantz, Director of the NYU Game Center

Frank Lantz, Director of the NYU Game Center

Here’s an interview with Frank Lantz, director of the NYU Game Center:

Games were once considered just a form of entertainment but there’s more to games. How have games evolved to the art form they are today?
It’s partly generational; there’s now a generation of people who grew up with games and don’t want to leave them behind. Another part of it is the increased access to technology with digital distribution. The combination of those two aspects really allowed the indie game scene to flourish. Kids make video games now the way they used to form bands. Once it became possible for individuals and small teams to create their own work and reach an audience, it allowed games to become more personal, experimental, and driven by personal vision. Game developers could take more creative risks and, as a result, they started to do all the things that we’ve come to expect from more traditional cultural art forms like literature, music, and film.

What surprises students the most when exploring game development?
The thing about game design is that it’s an iterative process where you discover what’s cool about your ideas through implementing and testing them and often, what’s cool about them is not what you thought. This discovery process tends to be a surprise since what’s great is rarely what you expect going into it.

What are you looking for in a student?
First and foremost, a passion for games. We look for talent and potential in any of the varied disciplines that go into game development, such as programming, visual design, systems design, storytelling, and critical thinking about games. We want students who have a vision for what they want to make and consume, the ability to articulate their own point of view, and some sense of how their individual voices can contribute to games.

Students at the NYU Game Center.

Students at the NYU Game Center.

What types of hands on projects will students collaborate on in the summer program?
They will get hands on experience with making both digital and non-digital games.

What will students take away from the four-week workshop and seminar?
They will have a solid introduction into critical thinking about games, the fundamental design principles of games, and the practical skills that go into making a video game.

Frank Lantz has taught game design for over 12 years at NYU, SVA, and Parsons and his writings on games, technology and culture have appeared in a variety of publications. Read his full bio on the NYU Game Center website.

Applications for the Game Design program for high school students will be accepted until January 12, 2015. For admissions information, please visit the Tisch Special Programs website.

December 10, 2014
by Jack Serio

Best Holiday Shopping in NYC

Best Holiday Shopping in NYC

Artists & Fleas Market

Wow, this semester went by quickly. This is my last post until January so, I thought I’d leave you all with some great tips on where to get all your holiday shopping done! NYC is such a unqiue and fantastic place to go shopping. Your friends and family are going to be so lucky, you will without a doubt have the best gifts this holiday season! Here we go!

The Big Ol’ Department Stores

You’ve gotta make atleast one stop at Macy’s this holiday season. Who knows, you might get all your shopping done in one place! Around town, the other department stores that cannot be missed, thanks to both impressive windows and equally impressive shopping selections, include Lord and Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York. Bring along willpower or a fully-loaded wallet as the wares at these swanky department stores generally come with a hefty price tag, which may not be a problem if Santa himself is footing the bill.


Holiday Markets

I can’t reccomend these things enough! (If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ll know what I mean.) Bryant Park is aglow with twinkling lights as artisans, bakers and candy makers fill up glowing glass stalls to pedal their goods at the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. This Euro-style open-air marketplace hosts over 125 vendors selling toys and puppets for wee ones, jewelry, handmade goods and plenty of sweet and savory treats including kettle corn, dumplings and chocolate treats including the chocolate pizza from cocoa-legend Max Brenner. The Grand Central Holiday Fair is the city’s only indoor holiday festival filling up the 12,000 square foot Vanderbilt Hall with toys, jewelry and crafty goods. Or, stroll through the Union Square Holiday Market with a warm cider and peruse the goods from over 100 merchants. Looking for something specific? The Market Concierge can point you in the right direction for cool housewares, unusual kids’ gifts, tasty food and more. You’ll be able to find lots of unique gifts at these markets, stuff you won’t find anywhere else in the country! And it won’t break the bank! Remember to haggle!


Kids Stores

If you’re in the market for toys for some future NYU students make sure to check out these standards.


Personal Favorites

Not quite sure what caterogies to put these guys under expect they are where I’ll be doing the bulk of my shopping and they’re totally worth checking out! Artist & Fleas is one of my favorite places. Ever. They have a location in Chelsea Market and in Brooklyn (worth the train ride). You can pick up some of the coolest, hippest, cheapest and incredibly unqiue gifts here! Go! I’ll also be picking up some books at The Strand! People under estimate the power of a good book. Write something meaningful on the inside cover and you don’t even have to buy a card! Books are the way to go if you’re on a budget, and The Strand is the best! But if you are buying Christmas cards, The Strand has some of the best!


Happy Holidays Everyone!

See you in a couple of months!



December 8, 2014
by Jack Serio

December’s Must See List: Theatre

It’s that time again! I’m back this month with some more must see shows and how you can see them for cheap! Remember, waive that student ID around with pride!



The Elephant Man on Broadway

The Elephant Man
This opened just last night to some of the best reviews of the season. Bradley Cooper stars in what is sure to be a huge contender at this year’s Tony Awards.  The Elephant Man, based on the real life of Joseph Merrick, a 19th century British man who became a star of the traveling freak show circuit. When a renowned doctor, takes Merrick under his care at the London Hospital, he is astonished by Merrick’s brilliant intelligence and unshakable faith. Soon all of Victorian high society becomes fascinated by Merrick, especially a beautiful actress who is played by Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson. But with Merrick’s new life comes new complexity… and a “normal” existence begins to seem all but impossible. Don’t miss this show! It runs till Feb 15th! You can grab standing room tickets for anywhere between $30-$40 (not bad for Bradley Cooper on Broadway!). More info here.

Side Show
If you hurry you can probably still make it to Side Show. This musical opened to rave reviews, but doesn’t have the star power some of the other shows in town do, and is unfortunateley assumed to not last long on The Great White Way. But that shouldn’t stop you from seeing it! If you’re watching American Horr Story this season, this is the show for you! Based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love.  You can grab $35 student rush tickets at the box office the day of the performance.  More info here.



Send In The Million Men at HERE

Send for The Million Men  - HERE
Send for The Million Men is an impressive multi-media theatre that micro-analyzes the trials of Sacco and Vanzetti in ways you never thought of.  With a compelling command of animatronics, robotics, puppetry, and handmade projectors, Joseph Silovsky examines the controversial executions of notorious anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti. Their bleak fates intertwine with Silovsky’s own micro-tragic biography in a humorous and captivating history-rethink. This is a must see. The production runs through Dec. 13th, so act quickly! General admission is only $20! More info here.

Pocatello – Playwrights Horizons
I had the pleasure of working on this wonderful play, and I really can’t recommend it enough. Samuel Hunter is one of our most important young voices and anything he writes you should absolutely go see. He also is the recent recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, just sayin’. Playwright’s Horizons offers an incredible Student Membership program. Joining the program will set you back $10 and then from there on out it’s only $10 a ticket! You can book in advance and even get cheap guest tickets. Grab your tickets now for Pocatello! Eddie manages an Italian chain restaurant in Pocatello—a small, unexceptional American city that is slowly being paved over with strip malls and franchises. But he can’t serve enough Soup, Salad & Breadstick Specials to make his hometown feel like home. Against the harsh backdrop of Samuel D. Hunter’s Idaho, this heartbreaking comedy is a cry for connection in an increasingly lonely American landscape. T.R. Knight of Grey’s Anatomy fame stars and gives an unforgetaable performance! To join the Student Membership program visit the Playwrights Horizons website. The production runs through Jan. 4th. More info here.

The Invisible Hand - New York Theatre Workshop
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, who’s Disgraced is currently running on Broadway, makes his New York Theatre Workshop debut with The Invisible Hand. The Invisible Hand follows Nick Bright, an American stock broker, into a terrifying world of kidnapping and torture in a remote region of Pakistan. As Nick negotiates to save his own life he begins to see his captors in a new light. This new play is a chilling and complex look at how far we will go to save ourselves and the devastating ramifications of our individual actions. Grab your student tickets in advance at the NYTW box office for $25. The production runs through Jan. 4th. More info here.

Tamburlaine Parts I & II Polonsky Shakespeare Center
You haven’t experienced New York theatre until you’ve visited The Polonsky Shakespeare Center, where Theatre for A New Audience’s Tamburlaine Parts I & II are currently playing. A Scythian shepherd of ferocious will rises to power to become king of half the world. An epic spectacle first performed in 1587 to wildly popular acclaim, the last major New York production of Tamburlaine was in 1956 on Broadway. Now, audiences have a rare chance to see this disturbingly modern masterpiece. Directed by Michael Boyd, four-time Olivier Award winner and former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and starring OBIE and Drama Desk winner John Douglas Thompson, Tamburlaine the Great is a fast-paced 3-hour event plus one 30-minute intermission with food service and pre-ordering available. Don’t miss out! Students age 30 and under can grab tickets for $20! Click here to learn about their New Deal Program. The show runs Nov. 7th through Dec. 13th. More info here.


Tamburlaine Parts I & II at The Polonsky Shakespeare Center

December 3, 2014
by Jack Serio

Office Chats: Bryan Austermann – Dance Minor

Office Chats is a recurring blog series where we talk to fellow Tisch students and teachers about their minor, extracurricular activity or anything interesting they are currently working on. The goal is to learn something more about the people around us and the programs Tisch and Tisch Special Programs has to offer. This week we spoke with Bryan Austermann who’s minoring in Dance.

Southwick, Massachusetts

Year at NYU



Can you tell me a little about the Dance Minor? What are you learning/doing on a day to day basis?
The dance minor is mostly the art in practice, but each class includes history of the dance and culture. The strictly academic course History of Dance covered just that, the history of the development of dance in cultures around the world. The rest of the the classes are application classes including Choreography, Chinese, Indian, Modern, African, and Ballet. They [Tisch Special Programs] have recently expanded the curriculum to include Hip Hop and Flamenco. Each class of those includes a warm up in the specific style of dance of the class and then learning the unique moves of that style and each class also includes elements of the beginnings and history of that dance style.

Is there a specific style concentration?
The style is very clear and different for each class; those being the ones I listed above.

What’s the workload like? How are you managing?
The workload for each class I have taken so far has been fairly light because they are only two credit courses. History of Dance is the only 4-credit course and therefore includes more reading and tests. The rest all have some element of a quiz or short paper and some readings, but they are not major and all certainly reasonable. The most work came from Choreography which is held twice a week for 3 hours each day and we had to bring in self choreographed phrases and pieces often.

Why did you choose this minor?
I chose to do this minor because I wanted to get as much experience dancing as possible while still in school. I auditioned for Musical Theater at NYU and was placed into Paywrights Horizons Theater School (PHTS)for my Primary Studio Training. So I spent the first two years without “Musical Theater” dance training. There were movement classes at PHTS which were wonderful but not as much training as I would have gotten at the New Studio on Broadway (NSB). I did transfer into NSB and will complete my training there. But all things considered, I still felt and feel dance to be my weakest part of the “triple threat” threats. But with my training at both PHTS and NSB along with my Dance Minor classes I feel I have improved in my dancing in a major way throughout my time here.

What are you hoping to do when your done with school? Do you see this minor helping you in anyway?
My ultimate goal is to perform on Broadway and so with what I said above I think this minor definitely has been helpful in my training and preparation towards being prepared to face that daunting task of auditions for the Great White Way.

Who would you recommend minor in Dance? What type of student?
I personally feel this minor to be best for people similar to me, those wanting to strengthen their dancing. But in every class I’ve been in for this minor there have been a very diverse population of students in terms of majors and schools within NYU and the classes have all been structured so those who’ve been dancing for years and those who have never really danced before all can succeed.

Favorite place to eat in NYC?
I know this is so college student, but I love me some Two Bros. I mean COME ON one dollar for a delicious slice of pizza? Please, it doesn’t get better that that!

What play/movie/exhibition are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
I will always and forevermore be looking forward to my next return visit to Wicked (24 times and counting), but beyond the best thing to ever grace the planet Earth, I am really looking forward to seeing the revival of Side Show on Broadway! That and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Finding Neverland and any other Broadway show I haven’t seen!

To learn more about the Dance minor click here or stop by the Tisch Special Program Offices!