THE EVOLUTION OF A TECHNIQUE
Robert Castle and Alejandra Orozco created International Theatre New York (ITNY) in New York City in 2003. At that time, Castle, a seasoned actor-director and long-time coach, and Orozco, an award-winning stage actor, were both actively practicing and teaching Method Acting. Rooted in the work of Stanislavsky and further developed by the pioneers of the Group Theatre and the Actors’ Studio -- Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Sanford Meisner -- Method Acting remains the prevailing technique for actors in the United States. All Method actors are trained to create the character’s life using the actor’s own senses in order to produce a reality for themselves, and in turn, for the audience. In this way, the actor incorporates personal experiences to enhance this reality.
Castle and Orozco felt there had to be more. The question of whether this training still had the same relevance to the modern actor led to experimentation and ultimately to an evolution of the system.
The missing element that they came to believe as essential was the value of the character’s experience (as opposed to merely that of the actor). Only through an experiential approach based on character could an actor meet the growing demands of modern storytelling. With this, aspects of Castle and Orozco’s training were
expanded to include exercises that encouraged a deeper exploration into the material that would, in turn, unleash the actor’s imagination towards the building of character organically.
Castle and Orozco then formulated the idea to invite a group of fine professional actors and immerse them in a sensorial and historic experience borne of the world of the play (or film script). More than just the creation of the character, the aim became the creation of the soul of the character through a series of new exercises including Imagined Experience and Image Work. The results have been transformational. Already competent Method actors have enthusiastically endorsed this evolution of the Method Technique.
Where all the training, hard work and creativity pay off…
“For us, the journey has been one of learning and discovery, of passion and love for acting, actors, theatre and performance”
Robert Castle began his career as an actor, studying with Lee Strasberg and Peggy Feury. He has guest starred in dozens of TV shows, including Hill Street Blues, Kojak, Police Woman, Knot’s Landing, Eight is Enough, and starred in the CBS special If I Love You, Am I Trapped Forever? Film credits include roles in Big Bad Mama, Ruby and Oswald, The Jezebels, Murder in the First Person Singular and TILT, in which he co-starred with Charles Durning and Brooke Shields. On stage he has performed major roles in scores of professional plays in New York and Los Angeles.
After graduating from UCLA Film School, films written and directed by Castle have won the Jury Prize at the N.Y. Film Expo, an award of merit from the Chicago International Film Festival, the Silver Star at the Sacramento International Film Festival, screenings at the Vancouver and Houston International Film Festivals and on WNYC-TV of New York. He’s won the Frank Glicksman Award, the Peter Stark Award, a President’s Fellowship, and the Fine Arts Gold Medal.
As a stage director, Mr. Castle has directed over 40 plays in New York, Los Angeles and internationally, including Modigliani, The Bride of Olneyville Square, Four Dogs and a Bone, Three Days of Rain (in Copenhagen), O Diário de Anne Frank
(in Rio de Janeiro; Best Play & Best Director Brazil 2010) and he co-created the celebrated contemporary dance piece So Solo in Lisbon with Clara Andermatt and Alejandra Orozco (voted #2 Best Dance piece in Portugal of 2009 by Portuguese Dance critics). With It New York, Castle has conducted over 100 intensive acting workshops around the world.
He has trained many prominent actors and has worked as an actor or director with such modern luminaries as Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Goldblum, George Segal, Jane Fonda, Angie Dickenson and many others. Prior to founding IT New York, Castle taught video production and screenwriting at the State University of New York (SUNY) and, for 14 years, acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.
Mexican actress and director Alejandra Orozco has worked at the Spanish Repertory Theatre in New York in various productions including leading roles in The Feast of the Goat (ACE Award 2004 – Best Actress), The Passion According to Antigona Perez (HOLA Award 2000 – Best Actress), Doña Rosita la Soltera (ACE Award 2006 - Best Actress), Yerma, The House of Bernarda Alba, Blood Wedding, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Parece Blanca (HOLA Award 2001 - Best Actress). Also in New York she played leads in Dario Fo’s A Woman Alone, and in Edward Allan Baker’s The Bride of Olneyville Square. She has performed internationally at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Cervantino International Festival, Manizales International Festival of Colombia, Sor Juana Ines Theater, and the Julio Castillo Theater in Mexico, among others. On film you can see her in the leading role in Con la Mirada Perdida (Director- Delia Izcalbalceta), and she appears in Milk and Honey and Virgil Bliss (Director - Joe Maggio) and Dirt (Director - Nancy Savoca). She was awarded the Grant to Young Creators by the National Endowment for the Arts of Mexico and was two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts of Mexico’s Grant for Professional Advancement Abroad. In Mexico she directed several plays, and made her NYC directorial debut with Griselda Gambaro’s La Malasangre (HOLA 2003 Award for Best Director, ACE 2003 Award for Best Director). Other directorial credits include A Place Without Seasons by Ramirez, Face Divided by Edward Allan Baker, Bestiario de Brujas by Cecilia Lemus, Connecting People by Elena Guiochins, Lejos del Corazon by Estela Leñero, Julio sin Agosto by Carmina Narro, among others. In 2009 Alejandra Orozco co-created the celebrated contemporary dance piece So Solo in Lisbon with Clara Andermatt and Robert Castle (voted #2 Best Dance piece in Portugal of 2009 by Portuguese Dance critics). Ms. Orozco co-founded IT New York with Robert Castle in 2003, with whom she teaches acting workshops in New York, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain, and Brazil.
We are convinced that the future of the stage and screen is a global endeavor and that the future of acting demands an unparalleled sense of shared humanity
Gustavo Nunes has worked as a producer since 2003. A graduate of both Law and Drama schools, he also earned a Master in Business Administration at Fundação Getulio Vargas, in Rio de Janeiro. Gustavo has realized over 30 nation-wide musicals and theatre productions in Brazil, with some of the most prestigious artists in the country. His productions
have been nominated for the most important awards, such as SHELL, APCA, FITA and APTR.
Gustavo published "VESTINDO NELSON,” a book about the work of Nelson Rodrigues, a distinguished Brazilian playwright. Through TURBILHÃO DE IDEIAS, Gustavo has built a partnership with international schools to bring the best acting teachers in the world to Brazil. Since 2007 he has worked with Robert Castle and Alejandra Orozco (ITNY) to produce workshops and lectures in the most important cities of Brazil.
Heiner J Mohnen, a German-American dual national, first pursued a career in diplomacy and international affairs. After completing his MFA in motion picture and television producing at the Peter Stark Program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, he worked in development (Universal Studios) as well as in sales (Paramount Studios), handling contracts and collections for the Cannes and Mifed markets. Mohnen has since established himself as an independent producer, and completed a popular series of prime-time one-off specials for ABC Television that featured award-winning advertising from around the world.
Considered to be one of the pioneers of the new Portuguese dance movement, Clara Andermatt has achieved a singular artistic identity in the national and international scene, leaving a mark in the history of Portuguese contemporary dance. She has received several awards: 1982-83 The Bridget Espinosa Bursary, London; 1989 1st Choreography Prize of the III Certamen Coreográfico de Madrid for En-Fim; 1992 Honourable Mention for the choreography Mel, Acarte/Madalena Azeredo Perdigão Award/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; 1994 Acarte/Madalena Azeredo Perdigão Award (together with Paulo Ribeiro) for Dançar Cabo Verde, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; 1999 Almada Prize, awarded by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture to Uma História da Dúvida, which was also selected as an Honourable Performance of the Almada International Theatre Festival; recently she was nominated for the SPA/RTP Authors Award for best Choreography with Void. In 1991 she founded her own dance company ACCCA Companhia Clara Andermatt.
We are Actors, Directors and Producers working together with love and passion towards acting, performing, the creation of characters and the telling of stories.
Kirsten Russell began as an actress in Miami. After attending California Institute of the Arts she left for New York City. Kirsten spent many years performing off Broadway and made guest appearances on many TV series and starred in several critically acclaimed films. She wrote, produced and directed the short film, “Valentines,” and the award-winning feature film “Rabbit Stories.” She directed the six-time award-winning short “Universal Language,” and wrote and co-directed “Like Totally Hot Couple Seeking Same.” Kirsten has worked with numerous screenwriters in aiding them to complete their final drafts of both features and shorts. Kirsten has collaborated with Robert Castle and Alejandra Orozco on many productions and projects.
Almut Mölk is originally from Innsbruck, Austria and studied acting at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York where she first met both Robert and Alejandra. After several years of gaining her first acting experiences in Off-Off Broadway shows and independent movies in the Big Apple she relocated to Vienna.
Over the past decade she has appeared in numerous theater productions as well as on television and the big screen. She also works as an acting coach and recently had a blast directing her first play.
Graduated from the Theatre Academy in Warsaw. Studied at the Lee Strasburg Institute in New York. She has more than 20 years of acting experience in theaters (Polski Theatre in Warsaw, Capitol Theatre in Warsaw), movies and TV in Poland. Teaches acting at the Theatre Academy in Warsaw (where she received a Phd degree), Warsaw Film School and runs workshops.
Robert and Alejandra are available for private coaching in person or via Skype
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Some of the many fine artists who have performed, trained or collaborated with us… We will see you again soon somewhere in the world!