November 19, 2014
by Jack Serio

November’s Must See List: Film

Well, we’re here. It’s reached below freezing temps in the Big Apple and no one is happy about it. It’s too early! Come on! Well, anyway, the best cold medicine (see what I did there?!) is undeniably the movies. This weekend is the perfect time to snuggle up in the warm comfy chairs of the movies and get away from it all for a few hours. This list might also come in handy over your Thanksgiving break when you’re looking for something to do! Remember, you can buy half-off movie passes through NYU Ticket Central! Never pay full price!


I haven’t heard this many people talking about a movie in a long time. And from the sounds of it, Interstellar is living up to its hype! Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually stunning filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan (The Batman Trilogy). The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. You can’t get much better than that! Here’s how it’s billed: With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. interstellar-poster


All drama students should see this movie. Both a haunting portrayal of theatre and film, this movie really does have something for every Tisch student. Both Edward Norton and Michael Keaton give incredible come-back performances that the Oscar community is already buzzing about. The film is also shot to look like it is all one take, which is compelling enough, throw in some career-defining performances and a great script, and you’ve got a fantastic night out. Here’s how it’s billed: BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.birdman-click


Here’s an odd paring: The guy from the State Farm commercials and the kid from The Spectacular Now. Well however odd it may be, J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller are tearing up the screen in Whiplash. One of the most exciting movies to come out this fall, Whiplash is an intense, inspiring, and well-acted sophomore effort from director Damien Chazelle. If you can’t get tickets to Interstellar and/or BIRDMAN because everyone in town is trying to, go see Whiplash, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s how it’s billed: Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability-and his sanity.WHIPLASH+onesheet

The Skeleton Twins

This is by far the most surprised I have been at the movies this fall. Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig give outstanding performances in The Skeleton Twins. Ty Burrell is equally as excellent, though a more minor character. These three comedic actors do not shy away from their funny side. There are certainly some laughs in this movie, but their performances are by far so much more heartbreaking. I sincerely had no idea these three could be so genuinely serious and dramatic. This is the type of indie movie you’ll want to brag to your friends about, the type of movie probably only you will have seen. But it’s so worth it. Here’s how it’s billed: When estranged twins Maggie and Milo  feel they’re at the end of their ropes, an unexpected reunion forces them to confront why their lives went so wrong. As the twins reconnect, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship.MV5BNzk5MjM3NDEwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIxNjYzMjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_

The Imitation Game

Opening on November 28th, The Imitation Game features an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, illuminating its fact-based story. With a seemingly promising performance from Kiera Knightly, this is a not to be missed film. Catch it before all your friends do so you can lecture them about how you knew about it first. Here’s how it’s billed: In THE IMITATION GAME, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.MV5BNDkwNTEyMzkzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAwNzk3MjE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_


Movies that didn’t make the cut, but you should totally go see:

  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • Dear White People
  • Love is Strange
  • Art and Craft
  • The Theory of Everything
  • 20,000 Days on Earth

November 17, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro

A Skype Chat with Charles Koppelman

Students in Brane Zivkovic’s Tisch Open Arts course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch got to talk to Charles Koppelman last week. Charles, author of “Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema”, offered students a rare glimpse into Walter’s creative process. Here’s what one student had to say about the chat:

Charles Koppelman

Charles Koppelman

Journalist and filmmaker Charles Koppelman discussed with the class (via Skype) about the cherished and intimate time he spent with Walter while he was editing Cold Mountain. While he depicted this experience as one of the best times of his life, the class was eager to ask questions about Walter’s day-to-day habits. Walter, working on a high-budget film, was under a lot of pressure and Koppelman became Walter’s ultimate companion. Walter would get into his editing zone, and Koppelman said it was like watching an orchestra composer. While composers move their bodies to the rhythm of a musical piece, Walter would do his dance to the rhythm of editing. The faster the scene, the more animated he became. This routine would typically go on until 2 or 3 in the morning. After a long day’s work, Charles and Walter would walk home together and meet up again at 8 am sharp. Koppelman soon realized he was going to have to learn to keep up! In the times they spent together out of the studio, Walter would talk about things like particle science or an anecdote from the time he was creating the sound design for Apocalypse Now. Charles was humbled to be there for Walter to keep him sane, but also bewildered by his stamina, vast knowledge and general zest for life.
–Dyani Douze

This was Charles’ second discussion with students about Walter Murch. Charles joined the spring 2014 class via Skype again in March.

November 17, 2014
by Jack Serio

Staying in NYC for Thanksgiving?

Well,  it’s just about the start of the holiday season! Starting with Thanksgiving, the holidays, the gifts, and the family time begin to snowball. It’s my favorite time of the year and we just so happen to be in one of the most exciting cities to celebrate it in. If you’re like many, you’re not going home for Thanksgiving. For a lot of people home is too far, too expensive to get to, and you can’t justify the cost, especially since our break is so short. And I know for a lot of you, this may be your first Thanksgiving away from your family. But, do not fret! You live in the most exciting city in the country and I can guarantee you will have more fun here with your friends, than with your creepy uncle back home! Here’s a quick list of some awesome things to do for your first Thanksgiving in NYC!

  1. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (duh!): This is a no brainer! How many times have you watched this thing on TV? Now it’s time to see it in person! Grab some friends, and some hats and gloves, and go get your tourist on! Here’s a map of the parade route.
  2. Parade Balloon Inflation: Ok, this is cool! Something not too many people know is that you can see all the balloons in person without going to the parade. The night before Thanksgiving, grab your friends and your hats and gloves again, and head over to The Museum of Natural History to watch the balloons get inflated. From 3 to 10pm you can see all your favorite cartoon characters get filled up! Arrive later in the day to see them to more fully formed.

    2009.11.25_Macys Inflation Day

    Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation

  3. Black Friday: Ok, this is dangerous. You all know Black Friday, but you might not know how crazy insane NYC gets for Black Friday. If you still don’t have the aforementioned hat and gloves, this is the time to buy them. Check online at all your favorite stores and see what crazy deals they’ll be offering. Needless to say, this is the Friday after Thanksgiving.
  4. Holiday Markets: For all you hipsters that can’t be bothered with name brand stores, be sure to check out the dozens of holiday markets starting to pop up all over the city. The most recognized are the Union Square Market and the Winter Village at Bryant Park (there’s free ice skating here!),  also super fun are the two Artist and Fleas markets in Chelsea and Williamsburg! Finally, there are markets in Columbus Circle, Grand Central Station, and Astoria that are all worth visiting!


    Winter Village at Bryant Park

  5. Store Windows: Only in New York are store windows more exciting than the store. Check out this map and take a tour of some of the most impressive holiday store windows in the city! These things are really cool, you might even get a good Instagram pic out of it.


    Barney’s Store Window

  6. Friendsgiving: Ok, this is the most important thing. If you’re staying here for Thanksgiving, get some friends together and celebrate as a group. There is nothing more depressing than sitting in your dorm alone on Thanksgiving. Find a friend who has a kitchen and start your own Thanksgiving tradition. You don’t even have to cook turkey if you don’t want to! Get take out! Do whatever! But be with your friends around a table, share stories, laugh and enjoy yourself. Here are some helpful Friendsgiving tips from Buzzfeed.

Happy Thanksgiving!


November 10, 2014
by Jack Serio
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Nailing That Audition


Nailing That Audition

10 Tips and Tricks On How To Get The Part

Having directed a number of productions before, one thing I find my peers constantly asking me is what it takes to really knock an audition out the park. In short, there is no magic formula of things you can do to insure you get the part, but there a certainly things you can do to improve your chances.

  1. Spend time with your monologue. Spend time picking it and spend time rehearsing it. It’s always clear when someone has picked something the night before. You should be comfortable with your monologue. At the same time, know when it’s time to change monologues. I often see actors use the same monologue over and over, make sure your performing from a varied selection of work. Don’t sound like a broken record.
  2. Enter the room with confidence. Don’t give up the power.
  3. Dress like you. People will tell you there is a dress code to auditions, and there is, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for personality. When you walk in an audition room you are selling yourself, be yourself. Don’t wear a ripped t-shirt and jeans, dress up, but dress up like you would dress up.
  4. Always wear what you wore to the audition to the callback. It helps us remember you.
  5. Spend sometime on your resume. This is important, we really look at these things. (For the love of God don’t let there be typos.) We want to see what you’ve done. If you list something under “Special Skills or Talents” like a dialect or an impression, be ready to do it in the audition room. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something on a resume like “Julia Child impression” and have asked to see it. There was no Julia Child in the play but it helps a director remember you and have a better understanding of your personality. And it’s fun.
  6. Never apologize.
  7. Don’t ever look a director in the eyes while performing. It’s uncomfortable. Look above them, not to an imaginary person next to you. Pick a spot on the wall behind the director as your focus point.
  8. Stillness is powerful in an audition room, never be afraid to take a moment. Too many actors don’t.
  9. Don’t expect to be directed, but if you are, take the direction, no matter what it is. Understand how to translate results-oriented direction into action. We want to see how actors take direction and what they’d be like to work with.
  10. Next time you don’t get the part think about this way: they weren’t looking for me. Going in to auditions I often have an idea of what I’m looking for, sometimes I see great actors who just aren’t right for the part.

November 6, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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In the Classroom with Chris Newman

GodfatherStudents in the Tisch Open Arts course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch were treated to another guest speaker earlier this week. Multiple Oscar-winning sound production engineer/mixer Chris Newman stopped by Tisch in the spring and came back to spend some time with students in the class this semester. He offered ideas on finding alternative and creative ways to achieve the right sound mix, including his experience working on such films at The Godfather. Here’s what one student had to say about Chris’ talk with the class:

Eight time Oscar nominated sound-mixer Chris Newman visited this Tuesday to share some wisdom with us. He encouraged us to think creatively about problem solving, such as using two tape recorders with different perspectives to get a two-track mix during the song in the wedding scene of The Godfather. He shared some genius tricks Walter Murch uses in his mix, such as letting the audience feel the emotion of the scene and then introducing an emotional score or covering a production recording mistake by introducing it as a natural sound earlier in the scene. We launched into an incredible discussion concerning how education should be structured and whether it was possible to teach someone how to do art. Chris Newman encouraged us to adventure and educate ourselves, to become independent and open our eyes to the marvels of the world around us.  –Fifer Garbesi

The course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch is taught by Brane Zivkovic.

November 5, 2014
by Jack Serio
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The Freshman 15

The Freshman 15

15 Things You Can & Should Do In NYC Right Now!

Central Park

  1. Central Park You know that place everyone keeps telling you to go to? Go there. It’s beautiful and there is no place quite like it. Anywhere. Grab a blanket and a book and find your own spot and hunker down for the afternoon. Escape the craziness of the city without ever leaving the city! You’ll also want to check the park out when it’s covered in snow, bring skates!
  2. MoMA Oh the MoMA! Wether you like modern art or not, visiting the MoMA is a must! Flash your student ID and your admission price is waived (thanks NYU!) and spend an afternoon there. Aside from their stunning permanent collection, currently on display are the Matisse Cut-Outs and the Robert Gober exhibition, both of which are there well into the winter and should not be missed!
  3. Fries of New York Ok, this one is time sensitive, so hurry! THIS weekend (Nov 7-8) potato lovers rejoice because a new pop-up exhibit on the Bowery called “Fries of New York” will be showcasing 85 different french fries served in restaurants across the city. “Fries of New York” is happening at 168 Bowery on Nov. 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  4. Union Square Holiday Market Knock out all your holiday shopping! It’s almost that magical time of year when Union Square is invaded by a flurry of red and white tents. You’ll be able to pick up anything from food, to clothing, to jewelry, crafts, decorations and cool knick-knacks.  Nov 20 – Dec 24.
  5. The Cloisters This is a NYC hidden gem. And also a cool spot for a date. A branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was constructed out of sections of French medieval monasteries (they literally moved these things brick by brick from France), The Clositers offers an extensive collection of statues, paintings, stained glass windows and tapestries. Located in Fort Tryon, this could be the most beautiful part of NYC. The pristine view of the Hudson River makes the park the perfect setting for outdoor lunches, bike rides, and strolls. Get on the MTA (98 Bus) and you can get there in under an hour.
  6. Broadway This one should go without saying but, so many people don’t embrace all the theatre this city has to offer. Check out this month’s Must See List, grab some friends and some student rush tickets and paint the town red!
  7. The High Line If you haven’t been there already, now is the time! The High Line is an elevated railway transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. The park features lush horticulture, artworks, seasonal food vendors, community programing, and unique views of the Hudson River and New York City skyline. The High Line runs between Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues
  8. Saturday Night Live Freshman year is when you can get away with some crazy stuff. Like waiting in line for 18 hours. Want a ticket to watch the live taping of SNL? So does everyone else! You’re going to have to wait in line… But this is the type of friend bonding experience that everyone really should try. Get in line on 48th street between 5th and 6th.  And wait till 7AM the next morning when they hand out the tickets. To learn the tips and tricks of how to get tickets click here.
  9. Escape The Room Escape the Room is a fun, real life game taking place up in Midtown. While it looks like any other ordinary room, it’s actually a mystery puzzle. Find the clues and solve the puzzles to earn your freedom and “Escape the Room.” You have 60 minutes, so be quick! Bring your friends, it’ll be an incredibly fun and frustrating 60 minutes! Click here to learn more!
  10. Governors Island Take a day trip over to Governors Island, a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. The five-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan is free and offers spectacular views of New York Harbor. On Governors Island, there is something for everyone, whether it’s enjoying a free concert or kayaking along the Hudson River. The visit is ideal for anyone who wants to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city, while enjoying beautiful lawns and fun activities that are well within a student budget.
  11. Upright Citizens Brigade One of the hidden gems of NYC is the Upright Citizens Brigade a 152-seat theater that provides a performance home for hundreds of comedians and events for the bargain price of $5. UCB founding members Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh came to New York in 1996 and began their training program the following year, specializing in long-form improvisation. Many well-known comedians from the past decade began their careers at UCB and frequently pay homage to the New York headquarters when they’re in town.
  12. Be In a Studio Audience Aside from SNL there is a lot of TV being filmed in NYC! Students can enjoy free tapings of live shows filmed all over the city by simply going to the websites of their favorite shows and then checking out ticket availability and age restrictions for the taping. Shows include: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Good Morning America, The Rachel Ray Show and The View! And no waiting in line!
  13. St Marks Place The craziest, most eclectic shopping you’ll do in NYC is on St Mark’s place, and it’s all super cheap (and chic)! Spend an hour or two walking, browsing and shopping and conclude your visit at Crif Dog, where you’ll have the best hot dog of your life. What could be better?
  14. Thanksgiving Day Parade Not going home for Thanksgiving? Spend the day with a few hundred thousand of your closest friends at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Or catch the balloons being blown up the night before from 3-10PM.  This one those things everyone should do at least once! Click here for a map of the parade route!
  15. NYC Comedy Festival You’ll have to act quickly on this one too (but it’s so worth it)! Serious heavy hitters are coming to town for the festival, like Bill Cosby, Amy Schumer, Nick Offerman, Hannibal Buress and Dane Cook! Get your tickets here!

November 4, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Robert Miller Shares His Passion for Composing

Composer Robert Miller recently visited the class Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch.

From left to right, course instructor Brane Zivkovic and Robert Miller.

From left to right, course instructor Brane Zivkovic and Robert Miller.







One of the students from the class had this to say about the discussion with the guest speaker:

There is nothing quite like being in the same room with someone as passionate about composing as Robert Miller. He talked about his love for the composing process and stressed the importance of collaboration between the editor and composer during that process. Miller recently collaborated with Walter Murch on Particle Fever, a documentary released in 2013.  He raved about his experience composing Particle Fever because Murch made Miller “interested in his vision.” Both men had an ultimate goal for the score—“to enhance the story and give it narrative shape.”  Miller also discussed the importance of musical space, use, and timing. After viewing part of the film in class, it is evident that Miller and Murch truly understand the importance of musical space, use, and timing.  The score is mysterious, riveting, and diverse. After 22 years in the composing business, Miller sure knows what he is talking about! Miller and Murch worked closely to make the score of Particle Fever the masterpiece that it is.  Miller called Murch a “sound geek who is a master of EQing.”  Miller claims Murch could manipulate any sound to fit in the perfect filmic moment. During the process, Miller was fascinated by Murch’s ability to create new ideas for music placement and his commitment to his personal decisions as an artist. We were very lucky to have a guest like Miller who truly loves his art form, appreciates collaboration, and can share his passion with us.

–Rebecca Calvo

Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch is open to all NYU undergraduate students. The course is offered through Tisch Open Arts.

November 3, 2014
by Jack Serio
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November’s Must See List: Theatre

Seeing theatre as a student can be expensive. New York’s overwhelming theatre scene doesn’t necessarily help either. There is so much going on, some bad, some really bad and some great theatre. Let’s make sure you spend your money on the good stuff. Below you’ll find a list of the great theatre going on this month in NYC and how to see it for cheap.

But first, a couple of rules of thumb:

  • Never pay full price. Ever. You’re a student. Waive your NYU ID around with pride!
  • Student Rush is your friend. Get to the theatre early and you’ll save loads of cash.
  • Don’t be fooled by the glitz of Broadway. Some of the city’s best theatre is happening Off-Broadway for a whole lot cheaper.
  • Go with a friend or a group of friends, it’s always more fun!

Ok, here we go!


The River
This is going to be one hot ticket. Star Hugh Jackman is sure to attract tourists so get in line before it’s too late or just too crazy. Written by Jez Butterworth’s as a follow up to his incredible play Jerusalem, The River is the story of a man and a woman in a remote cabin on the cliffs on a moonless night. The River starts previews on Oct. 31 and runs till Jan. 25th. $35 rush tickets go on sale daily when the box office opens. More info here.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by Ayad Akhtar has just opened to critical acclaim. Starring How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor, Disgraced is an explosive tale of the stories we tell our friends, the secrets we tell our lovers, and the lies we tell ourselves to find our place in the American Dream. You can grab your student rush tickets the day of, when the box office opens for $32! The show currently runs through mid-January with the possibility to extend longer. More info here.

You Can’t Take It With You
This is the type of show you can really have a lot of fun at! This Pulitzer Prize-winning, uproarious family affair is led by the legendary James Earl Jones, and features an outrageous cast of 20, including Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne, and Tony Award nominees Kristine Nielsen and Annaleigh Ashford. It’s a crazy and sincerely funny show that just so happens to also offer the cheapest student rush ticket on Broadway! You can catch You Can’t Take It With You for just $30! A Broadway show for $30! Grab your tickets the day of at the box office. The production runs till Jan. 4th. More info here.

You Can't Take It With You on Broadway

You Can’t Take It With You on Broadway


Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) – The Public
One of the most profound and compelling plays I have seen this season, you won’t want to miss it! Written by Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winner Suzan-Lori Parks, this is a stunning first installment of a new American odyssey, set over the course of the Civil War. The full play is going to be nine parts long and travel from the Civil War up to modern day. This incredible play three-hour play charts the travels of a slave in the deep south as he joins the war to fight for the confederacy. Complimented by stunning design work and moving music this is a must see. You can pick up student rush tickets at The Public’s box office for around $25 in advance, no waiting around! Which means you can go now and get your student tickets for a show next week! The production runs through Nov. 16th. More info here.

Father Comes Home From The Wars

Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) at The Public

Grand Concourse – Playwrights Horizons
Looking to see the best new plays in the country? Look no further than Playwrights Horizons. On top of captivating original American plays, they also offer 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. What could be better? The answer: Grand Concourse by Heidi Shreck. This incredible play taps into some of the best Off-Broadway talent in the city. Ismenia Mendes and Quincy Tyler Bernstine give unforgettable performances in this arresting play set in a Brooklyn soup kitchen. Heidi Schreck’s play navigates the mystery of faith, the limits of forgiveness, and the pursuit of something resembling joy. To join the Student Membership program visit the Playwrights Horizons website. The production runs through Nov. 30th. More info here.

Punk Rock – Manhattan Class Company
A personal favorite play of mine that, seemingly and sadly becomes more topical every year. Written by legendary English playwright Simon Stephens, who’s currently responsible for the The Curious Incident of The Dog and The Nighttime on Broadway, Punk Rock is set in a private school outside of Manchester, England where a group of highly-articulate seventeen year-olds flirt and posture their way through the day while preparing for their A-Level mock exams. With hormones raging and minimal adult supervision, nothing can mask the underlying tension that becomes increasingly pronounced as the clock ticks towards the ultimate dismissal. This current production is truly stunning, it will haunt you long after the curtain falls. Grab your student tickets at MCC’s box office 20 minutes before the performance for only $20. The production runs through Dec 7th. More info here.

Pitbulls – Rattlestick Theatre Company
Rattlestick offers the best student priced tickets in all of New York, hands down! For $5 (in advance!) you can see new works by some of this country’s greatest living playwrights. Written by Keith Josef Adkins, Pitbulls take place in a small black community in rural Appalachia. Mary and her son Dipper live in a trailer a few miles from their bible-belt, war-loving, dog-fighting neighbors. Despite being the community’s pariah, Mary is at peace making and selling wine.  However, when a prize-winning pit bull is slaughtered on the Fourth of July, Mary’s solitary existence becomes suspect. Pitbulls explores what it costs to be an individual in America. Grab your tickets online at Rattlestick’s website for $5. The show runs Nov. 7th through Dec. 13th. More info here.

November 3, 2014
by Jack Serio
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An Introduction: Jack Serio

Hey Everyone,

My name is Jack Serio and I am the new student blogger here at the Tisch Special Programs Blog! I’m very excited to be here and can’t wait to get writing! I thought I would take some time to introduce myself and tell you a little about what you can expect from me this year!

A Little Bit About MeFFBosg9qyspy26gnzPQPIwy3_nwTVdr_DGzImPFIz-s

I hail from the windy streets of Boston, MA. I am currently a freshman at Tisch’s Playwright’s Horizons Studio studying acting and directing. I’m a resident of Third North. If I’m not at Third North or studio, I’m probably waiting in line at Pomme Frites. I love seeing exciting new theatre. I’m a huge indie movie fan. I have unhealthy obsession with the Jazz Age. And I’m a big proponent of the oxford comma.

What You Can Expect

While I’m a theatre junkie at heart, you can expect to see pretty much everything and anything on this blog. I’ll post monthly “must see lists” for great theatre, film, and music going on in the city. I’ll let you know about cool galleries, concerts, art shows, performance, and dance pieces going on around town. This blog will very much so serve as your inside scoop to everything going on in the city, while at the same time telling you how you can do it all for cheap! I’m also a total foodie, so I might sneak in a few great spots to grab some late night food every once in awhile. You can also expect to see great pieces about stuff going on here at Tisch Special Programs. Thinking about taking a minor? Studying abroad? I’ll have lots of great information on how you can maximize your time at Tisch! And finally, I’ll be writing about all the cool and interesting students we have here at Tisch. If someone is in a show, writing a movie, studying abroad, or doing anything noteworthy you’re going to get to read about it. Are you a cool and interesting person? Are you doing something cool and interesting Of course you are! Shoot me an email I want to hear from you!

Looking forward to what the year has in store!

Till next time,


October 29, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Leaving New York for London

Back in summer 2009, Fran DaSilveira ’14 (BFA, Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing) spent four weeks in the Tisch Summer High School Program. She was in the dramatic writing track and it was during this time before her senior year of high school that she was first exposed to Anton Chekhov. Fran said, “We read his short play The Proposal, and now consider him the playwright that has influenced my writing most.”

Fran’s writing was also influenced by spending some time away from New York City. In fall 2012, she was part of the Tisch Playwriting in London program. The city left such an impression on Fran that she moved to London after completing her degree! Here’s more from Fran:

Why did you want to study in London?
I read Pride and Prejudice in the 7th grade and have always had a very romantic view of England. When I found out that Tisch had a study abroad program in London, I had idyllic views of sitting in the moors writing my hit play in a leather bound notebook. This image was partly why I wanted to study in London. The other reasons were a bit more practical. Aside from Cape Verde where I was born, I’d never traveled outside of the U.S. and going to London would mean that it would be easy to travel all over Europe as well. It’s also a city that is perhaps just as rich in the theatre arts as New York is.

London13How did studying abroad change your writing?
My semester abroad was incredibly influential not only to my work but also to the way I viewed myself as a writer. I arrived in London as a dramatic writing student and left as a professional pursuing a career. It’s a very important transition for any writer to make; otherwise, you find yourself only writing for the sake of a class or deadline or grade.

What made you want to go back to London?
I get this question a lot, especially from British people who are confused as to why I would leave New York for London. The two cities are similar in terms of industry and the vibrancy of the theatre world. What drew me back, however, was the physical history and culture that permeates throughout the city. London is absolutely beautiful and the UK is a nation that takes pride in preserving its age. There are dozens of free opportunities to take in the city’s culture, from museums to parks to architecture. During my study abroad here, I connected to the city and I found myself subconsciously leaving things undone, like seeing a play at Shakespeare’s Globe, with the intention of coming back.

What’s your theatre experience been so far?
One of the things I did to prepare for my trip was to compile a list of theatres in London in order to find the ones that were particularly receptive of new writing. When I got to the city, I booked tickets to see various shows, including Freak, a play by Anna Jordan produced by Theatre503, a small but very popular and well respected venue. One of the great things about Theatre503 is that they hold monthly writer’s nights for half price and put on something called Rapid Write Response where writer’s send in 10-minute plays in response to their main stage productions. I sent something in after seeing Freak and my piece was one of seven chosen to be performed for a two day run. It was an incredible experience, and encouraging since I’d only been in London for a couple of weeks at the time. London is a city that tries to do as much as possible for young people, especially in terms of theatre. Concessions are usually always available for shows, workshops are offered, and short play nights a fantastic way for people to get their work out there.

London9What’s your advice for students thinking of studying playwriting in London?
Do it! Even if you’re on the fence, apply and speak to others who have done the program to find out their experience. I’m a big advocator of studying abroad in general. New York can become a bit consuming at times and it’s extremely useful to experience other ways of life. The great thing about London is that there’s enough familiarity so you don’t feel completely out of place but there’s more than enough within and outside the city to explore.