“By far the greatest artist I have ever worked with.”
– Darren Aronofsky, Director
16th Street is honoured to host Ellen Burstyn, one of the most acclaimed actresses and teachers of her generation, in her first Australian Masterclass.
Ellen is the current Artistic Director of The Actors Studio in New York, where she also serves as Co-President alongside Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel. The Actors Studio is arguably the most influential acting centre of the past century. Some of its alumni include Marlon Brando, Julie Harris, James Dean, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Sally Field, Marilyn Monroe, Sean Penn, Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro among many others. As an actor, Ellen is one of a select group of artists to be awarded the Triple Crown of acting accolades, having received Academy, Tony, and Emmy Awards.
“My experience, what I teach, is that if you are completely present and attuned to the other actor, there’s a kind of synergy that occurs.”
Ellen has been a member of the acclaimed Actors Studio, New York, since 1967, where she trained under Lee Strasberg whose approach derived from his work with Constantin Stanislavski. Strasberg was instrumental in revolutionising the approach to modern acting and consequently changed the shape of theatre, film and television, and the art of acting itself for all time.
In her capacity as Artistic Director of The Actors Studio, Ellen has shaped the training and careers of some of the world’s finest contemporary artists, following in the footsteps of Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg. Her command and respect for the craft of acting, her deep commitment to training and education in this art form, and her standing as one of the greatest actors of the modern era, amounts to an unmissable experience for Australian actors.
“One of the few actresses at work today who is able to seem appealing, tough, intelligent, funny, and bereft, all at approximately the same moment.”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Ellen’s performances on stage and screen have captivated audiences for over 50 years. As a fading Texan beauty in The Last Picture Show, Ellen earned her first Academy Award nomination. Her second came just a year later as the fraught mother of a possessed child in the iconic horror masterpiece, The Exorcist. Ellen won the Best Actress Academy Award in 1975 for her performance in Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Further Academy recognition came in the form of Best Actress nominations for the films Same Time, Next Year, Resurrection and Requiem for a Dream.
Amongst Ellen’s numerous awards are 7 Golden Globe nominations, with an award for Best Actress in Same Time, Next Year for which she also won the Tony Award.