American Masters (1985– )
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Stella Adler: Awake and Dream! 

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Episode credited cast:
... Herself
... Himself (archive footage)
... Herself
... (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself - Narrator (voice)
... Himself
... Himself


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Release Date:

10 July 1989 (USA)  »

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More for the theater geeks than the average viewer.
21 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

My summary is NOT meant as criticism. It's just that the story of Stella Adler's career on stage isn't something that the average viewer will care about. But, for theater lovers, it's a must-see. Like other episodes of "American Masters", this is less a biography and more a BRIEF discussion of her life (too brief for my taste) and with a very strong emphasis on her craft and style. In fact, during much of the show you see clips of her acting classes and how she teaches and motivates young actors.

The step by step discussion of the evolution of Adler's acting begins with her parents, the famous Yiddish actors Jacob and Sara Adler. Then, it continues with her work with the famous Stanislavski to the Group Theater and Harold Clurman to Lee Strasberg to her creating her own acting workshops. However, I thought it very, very strange that it mentioned Clurman but never mentioned that he and Adler were married! An odd omission to say the least.

Overall, well done (except for the Clurman omission) and worth seeing if you love theater.

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