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Harold Clurman Festival

Haroldclurman One of the influential figures in the dramatic arts in the 20th century was Harold Clurman, a founding member of the Group Theatre, co-founder of the Actors Studio, actor, director, producer, and critic. Of Clurman's countless contributions, among his most significant was the artistic care and feeding of Clifford Odets, the socially conscious playwright whose work served as a bridge from Ibsen to Miller and beyond.

Each year, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting presents the Harold Clurman Festival, and this year's theme is "Art and Social Activism." Opening night is tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 17), and the symposium will be "Spotlight on Africa," Cooper Union's Great Hall, 7 East 7th St., Manhattan, 7 p.m., $25. (Take the N/R/W to 8th St./NYU, or the 6 to Astor Place).

Participants in the discussion will include: Melissa Fitzgerald (actress, The West Wing, activist, Voices of Uganda) John Prendergast (author, Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, chair of ENOUGH project), Mira Sorvino (actress, Mighty Aphrodite, ambassador Amnesty International), Winter Miller (playwright, In Darfur), Jeffrey Wright (actor, W., Angels in America, spokesman for All for Africa).

From the news release: "The program will begin with readings of two monologues based on experiences in displaced-persons camps in Africa performed by Ruby Dee and Adenike Thomas. Following the monologues, Jimmie Briggs (author, Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War, goodwill ambassador for the United Nations) will lead a discussion about the atrocities happening in Africa today. The discussion will ask what the relationship between the artist and social activism is and what the obligation of artists to respond to the world around them is."

Tickets are $25. For more information go here.

--Andrew Salomon

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