Working with Suzuki Master Teacher Ellen Lauren on A “California” Midsummer Night’s Dream

The cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photos by Michael Lamont

The cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photos by Michael Lamont

A very special production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is on stage right now at UCLA, presented by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. It features second- and third- year M.F.A. students from UCLA TFT’s Department of Theater and is unique because it is being directed by Ellen Lauren, co-artistic director of New York’s SITI Company and UCLA Visiting Associate Professor.

For the past 30 years, Lauren has been an associate artist with the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) based in Japan under the direction of Tadashi Suzuki. A faculty member at The Juilliard School of Drama at Lincoln Center since 1995, she is also a recipient of the TCG Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, and founding member of the International Symposium on the Suzuki Method of Actor Training.

Now, her students are putting into practice the techniques they have been studying with her in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set in California in the early 1930s. It was a time when thousands migrated from the Dust Bowl states to find a new life and it was also a time of innovation and experimentation in Hollywood. For so many, hardship was alleviated by escaping into the dreamlike world of the darkened movie theaters.  More

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