At the foundation of The Actors Center is the fundamental belief that actors have a profound role to play in sustaining a thriving, equitable, and culturally prosperous society.
Simply put, we seek to enable actors to have the greatest possible positive impact in their communities, by inspiring and empowering them to unleash their full creative and artistic potential in service of a more compassionate, connected, collaborative, and courageous world.
We passionately affirm the actor’s potential as a catalyst for community building, positive social change, and cultural renewal. Through our work, we reinforce the actor’s consequential responsibility of bringing our diverse and vital stories to life—as actors have for thousands of years—to deepen our humanity, reflect our history, and shape our collective future.
Respect for the Actor as Artist
Respecting an actor’s artistic contributions necessitates valuing their creative process and investing in their long-term development. In most other creative disciplines, artistic development opportunities and resources are consistently extended to cultivate the creation of ambitious new work through residency programs, workshops, and grant programs. This type of investment is rarely, if ever, afforded to actors. The performing arts has undersupported one of its most fundamental human resources and The Actors Center exists to counteract this.
More than just skilled labor for hire, actors are essential parts of any creative team, equally responsible for developing inspired and original creative work, and as such, in need of support outside of increasingly truncated and result-oriented production environments. Dedicated time and space for creative development is essential to artists of all disciplines. We see this as a critical investment in a more well-rounded, equitable, and dynamic performing arts ecosystem.
We believe that the transformative impact of actors emerges from each artists’ creative individuality. Our vision is a Center that inspires actors toward full ownership of their unique artistic voice and empowers them to bring their full selves to their creative endeavors.
We honor and value that all artists are shaped by their intersecting identities and ancestries; personal tastes and aesthetics; interdisciplinary interests; training backgrounds; and everything that makes artists individually themselves.
We don’t ascribe to any single methodology or approach to artistic work, but strive to promote the vast array of perspectives, lineages, and inspirations that animate human creativity. This diversity inevitably encourages differences in how we each realize our full desired potential for expression or impact, and with reverence, respect, curiosity, and joy, these differences stimulate our work together as artists.
Artistic Integrity & Excellence
We believe that integrity and excellence in the actor’s craft build the foundation for transcendent works of art, emboldening one’s ability to transport and affect audiences or nurture development of others in the classroom.
Our Center promotes a generational exchange of knowledge, drawing upon the lineage of esteemed leaders in our art form, while also seeking pioneering innovation and dynamic new approaches to engaging creatively with the world around us. We define excellence holistically and heterogeneously, inextricably in service of realizing one’s own full desired potential.
Curiosity & Commitment to Process
We believe that striving toward lifelong learning, the continued pursuit of growth and discovery, and the cultivation of curiosity, attention, and imagination are indispensable in sustaining inspiration as artists. We see these values as essential to engaging as conscientious community members and global citizens.
Our Center protects and promotes vital and equitable laboratory environments that prioritize process, foster trust, invite risk-taking, and create space for the courage and innovation necessary to the realization of impactful artistic work.
Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
The tenets of anti-racism, anti-oppression, inclusion, and justice are inextricably linked to our work as actors. We believe that the process of disrupting and dismantling existing oppressive systems, structures, and cultures is intimately connected with the process that allows actors to truly thrive as people and in their creative work as artists.
Ours is a Center whose approach to advancing equity is holistic, global, and long-term. We see this work as deeply embedded within all aspects of what we stand for and our vision for unleashing creative human potential, while emphasizing that the underinvestment in artistic development and issues of respect for actors disproportionately affect artists of color and other historically marginalized groups.
Our mandate is a Center that embodies equity internally and advances justice externally, and supports all actors through how we design and uphold the spaces we work in.
Collaboration, Community, and Service to Others
Acting requires the practice of listening, physical and emotional presence, attention to human behavior and motivation, and is underpinned by a profound optimism in the artist’s ability to reach, or be deeply affected by, another person.
We believe these tenets of our craft have the capacity to advance our shared humanity across many disciplines. We also believe that it is the responsibility of each of us to pay forward the wisdom, opportunities, and support that we ourselves have benefited from.
Through performance, professional colleagueship, mentorship, teaching, industry leadership, and creative partnerships, we seek to extend all that acting has to offer to contribute positively to society.