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The Actors Theatre Workshop
My Dear Friends,
December 27, 2012
Thurman E. Scott
It is that time of year when we take stock of our journey — we think about the people who are special to us, give thanks for our blessings and reflect on our vision and hopes for the coming year.

During this holiday season we’ve been painfully reminded that we are all connected. We were touched by the images of great destruction in Hurricane Sandy — the bewilderment of grandmothers searching for the blessed mementos of the past that bind families together, crying out to any ear that would listen "why, wherefore, what will we do?" Our hearts and minds were thunderstruck by the destructive slaughter of innocents in Newtown and our deep sorrow and prayers go out to the families who suffered such unthinkable loss. But in the midst of our collective grief we are comforted by the powerful memories locked deep in our hearts that can never be lost. Our country was built on a faith that we will overcome. Struggle reawakens our spirits and inspires us to see beyond the destruction, look into the future, and feel hope in the possibility of a new beginning.

Our journey during 2012 at The Actors Theatre Workshop was very fruitful and also full of challenges. We’re immensely grateful for what we’ve accomplished, and see a clear and productive path before us as we move into the year ahead.
We are very thankful to you for being a part of our work — teaching innovative educational techniques and theatre principles to children and adults from all walks that allow them to achieve their potential and develop crucial life and leadership skills, producing plays and documentary films that address the conflicts of the community and reveal hope and new insights to the audience, and developing the next generation of theatre artists in our innovative theatre conservatory.
I hope you will partner with us by making a special year-end gift to support our work to affect significant and lasting change in the lives of the adults and children we serve in New York City, Israel, the West Bank and around the world.
Where we've been...
During the last three years we've had to walk an uncomfortable tightrope as we faced the prospect of losing our creative home at 145 W. 28th Street. Three years ago our building was sold, then sold again. We weren't able to renew our lease because of the ownership changes and went through a very difficult period of knowing we might have to pack up and move at any time.
This uncertainty was a great challenge and consumed a tremendous amount of our time and focus. For 22 years ATW's home has been a beautiful 5000 square foot facility in the heart of Chelsea. It would have been very difficult and cost over $2 million to rebuild our theatre in a new location. The possibility of losing our creative home was truly heart-breaking.
So it is with great joy I share the wonderful news with you that in June we signed a new long-term lease with the Kash Group, a real estate development company owned by Mr. Shlomo Bakash. We deeply appreciated Mr. Bakash coming to our theatre to learn about our work in the community, and ensuring that our lease negotiation was successfully concluded. He's made many improvements to our building — we hope you'll visit and see for yourself our beautiful new windows, lobby and elevators.
Where we're going...
With our space secured our vision for the future is stronger than ever. My staff and I are continuously heartened to hear from the children and adults we serve who tell us how dramatically their lives have been impacted by the creative technique we teach at ATW.
I recently taught an afternoon workshop to a wonderful group of high school juniors and seniors from Edmonton, Canada who wanted to deepen their understanding of drama and gain life lessons as they move into young adulthood. I asked their high school drama teacher to send me a short profile of each student, then selected Shakespeare monologues that addressed the same challenges each student had in life.
Thurman E. Scott teaching
In one short afternoon class I directed each student's monologue. Through drama and the metaphor of acting we explored the impact of societal forces on their lives. We worked on specific actions to help the young people be more effective: developing values — expressing ideas with clarity — building a strong presence — working as a team — envisioning their dreams and taking a step to achieve that dream.

The students had a profoundly positive experience, which in their own words and the words of their parents was "life-changing." Lynda Turpin wrote to me saying...

Dear Mr. Scott, I would like to thank you for taking the time to meet with and provide a workshop to the O’Leary drama students from Edmonton. From all my daughter Kyra-lyn told me, it was amazing for her, and in her words “life changing”. I expect that this experience will stay with her and will continue to have an impact on some of the choices she makes going forth with her education and her life. Again, thank you very much for providing such an uplifting experience.  Sincerely, Lynda Turpin
And Daniel Purcell wrote...
Hello Thurman, My name is Daniel Purcell and I had the pleasure of working with you in late March. Since our workshop together I feel I've become a more positive person. I'm getting along better with my siblings and see life in a new way. I don't seem to dwell on the negatives in my life as much as I did in the past. I also have a new confidence in myself and my abilities. I look forward to the future because of this. 

On a deeper level, I've made some personal changes because of the time we shared together. Following the ideas and vision you preached I've started to enjoy the smaller things in life. I also changed my priorities from activities that didn't benefit or enrich me. I used to play many video games in my free time but now I've found activities that have a positive impact on me like reading and other outdoor daily activities. 

I've also discovered more ways I can contribute to my school and community. This I know for certain, I want to strive to be a leader in the Drama program at our school and help to mentor the younger schools.  I have many things to discover in this aspect but I'm sure this will come to me over the next school year. 

To close, I've just experienced a very rapid process of maturity since coming to ATW. This has led to many changes in my life that have drastically changed the future for me in a positive manner. I know there are still areas I can improve in and I must identify them and look at the little things I can do to change so I can continue to develop on the path and into the person I am destined to be. Thank you again for all of your teachings and inspiration that you brought forth that memorable day in March.

Highest regards and sincerely, Daniel Purcell, Grade 11 Student, Archbishop O'Leary High School
I share these letters because they exemplify the power of drama, creative process, and the transformation that takes place on a regular basis at The Actors Theatre Workshop in our classes and programs. Despite the magnitude of our challenges at ATW and the economic and social demands we face in our country, I feel great optimism for the future. I believe in the power of the individual — and here at ATW we are steadfast in our mission to provide people with the tools to make a difference in their own lives and in their communities.
Get Involved

Child's Performance
You are a crucial, vital part of this mission. It was your support that allowed Daniel and Kyra-lyn to gain new insights about their lives and change their path to a more positive direction in one short class. Please join with us again — there are so many ways for you to be a part of this life-changing work!
            Donate Now
Your tax-deductible donation funds our programs and keeps the doors of our facility open to the wide range of community members we serve. Our new lease and beautiful new windows and elevators came with a higher rent bill. We need your help to meet our increased expenses.
Take A Class
Enroll in our 10-Session Intensive and develop a strong presence, learn to make powerful, effective choices, and unleash the power of your unique intelligence in this creative expression workshop for adults from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. Class begins January 27th!
Tell a high school student about The Young People's Creative Workshop. This rigorous drama and education program for young people from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds gives youth a venue to exercise their immense potential and fulfills their pressing need for guidance.
Become a more effective leader, strategist and communicator in The Executive Leadership Program. In customized private and small group sessions for business leaders, learn powerful techniques to develop more thoughtful and creative strategies to inspire and motivate others and increase productivity.
Make A Difference
Volunteer your gifts and abilitiesUse your expertise to help ATW fulfill its Mission. Learn "hands on" what it takes to run a non-profit arts organization that makes a difference in the community.
Join Us
Play Reading Series
See creative process in action in our Play Reading Series. Join the rehearsal process for our series of one-act plays. Witness the tangible steps the director takes to create an exciting, impactful and inspiring production — see what the audience normally does not see or understand.
Make your voice heard in our Open Mic Night of Theatre, Song, Ideas and Current Events. Take the stage each month, join our diverse audience and express your unique opinions and ideas. Join a democratic process of individuals coming together to discuss and implement our very best ideas in our communities!
Our charge for the future is great but our faith is strong...
Signing our new lease has allowed us to expand our programs and open up our institution to even more of the public. Although our rent bill is now much higher, we know that our challenges could be far greater — we could be trying to find a new location, raise a construction budget, and build a new home.
So we feel blessed. With your tax deductible contribution and commitment to our shared vision and cause we will overcome the last vestiges of struggle in our path. I ask you to continue to be a part of our journey. You and your involvement sustain us and allow us to continue our hopeful, productive vision of bringing education, curiosity and enlightenment to our community.
Our very warm holiday wishes to you and your family.

Thurman E. Scott
Thurman E. Scott
Artistic Director, Executive Producer and Founder
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tes_yb_xmas P.S. Please support our programs for homeless children. At our Annual Holiday Party, children living in a shelter for homeless families will enjoy a hot meal from a top New York restaurant and an uplifting creative class. Then we'll gather around our tree to open presents selected especially for each child to brighten his or her holiday, generously donated by our partner Stahl Real Estate!
P.P.S. Special thanks to Jonathan Schindler and Jordan Weiss of Cassidy Turley real estate for their resources and professional expertise during our entire three year lease renewal process, our friend Bob Knackal of Massey Knakal Real Estate for his invaluable advice, and our legal team at Schulte, Roth & Zabel for generously donating their time and expertise. We deeply appreciate these humane and highly qualified professionals!
The Actors Theatre Workshop