Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 10, 2012.


Help bring the critically-acclaimed, Los Angeles production of Clifford Odet's Waiting for Lefty to New York City


"The world is supposed to be for all of us." Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets

We would like to bring a theatrical production of Clifford Odet's Waiting for Lefty from Los Angeles to New York in March of 2012.

After presenting in New York for a decade, the Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater Company made its Los Angeles debut with Waiting for Lefty in October 2011. Directed by Don K. Williams, Lefty played to sold-out audiences and critical acclaim at the Art of Acting Studio. The run closed with an explosive, out-of-doors performance at Occupy Los Angeles. Now, led by the cast, the Lab would like to bring Lefty to New York in March 2012.

Funds raised through this Kickstarter campaign will support moving Lefty from Los Angeles to New York in March 2012 for a limited number of performances at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and an out-of-doors performance at Occupy Wall Street.


Waiting for Lefty launched the Group Theater into the minds of the social conscience in the 1930s. Lefty explores the passionate lives of working-class Americans fighting injustice and searching for a better way of life during the Great Depression, when greed outweighed the value of human life and the only way to forge change was to band together.



  • "The play casts us, the audience, as the Union's rank and file, and this is emphasized by Michael Allen's shabby/picturesque Union Hall setting, which places the actors above, behind, and among us. Adam Bitterman launches the play as Harry Fatt, the corrupt union boss who attempts to stave off the strike, with hired thugs (Ryan Moore and Ben Whalen) to back him up. Jesse Steccato earns sympathy as the World War I veteran, crippled by shrapnel, who comes home from work to find his kids hungry, his furniture repossessed, and his wife (Katharine Brandt) in rebellion, threatening to leave him unless he takes a stand. Jeremy Ferdman shines as a man threatened by his cynical boss (J. Claude Deering) with the loss of his job if he refuses to spy on a fellow worker. And Chase Fein scores as a young man who leaves the girl (Emily Jackson) he loves because he can't afford to marry her. 

    Johnny Patrick Yoder is the craven company spy, who's unmasked by his own brother (Dan Evans). Jacques Freydont and David Lengel are a pair of doctors, prevented by political influence from doing their jobs, and Darren Keefe delivers a highly stylized performance as Agate, the impassioned strike leader. Director Williams keeps the action dynamic and volatile, and his intentions are carried out with gusto by the large and able cast. Kelly Graham's authentic-seeming costumes enrich the Depression-era flavor."


  • "Something captivating is happening in Hollywood about a half-block south of Santa Monica Boulevard on Orange Drive, almost midway back from the street along a nondescript business complex. It’s happening at the Art of Acting Studio. And what I saw was a brilliant embrace of a classic that was absolute magic.”
  • Though written in the midst of the Great Depression, given the suffering of so many through the ongoing bleak economic conditions effecting the country today, 'Waiting For Lefty' speaks just as clearly and powerfully and poignantly in building to its angry and defiant crescendo as it did to audiences more than three-quarters of a century ago."
  • “Skilfully guided by Williams’ adept direction and understanding of the enduring relevance of Odets’ creation.”
  • “The Harold Clurman Laboratory Theatre Company’s mission ‘is to produce theater committed to the standards and ideals set out by Stella Adler, Harold Clurman and the Group Theatre.’ With Waiting For Lefty the company has completely and extraordinarily succeeded in that mission.”

  • "Though the play was historic, director Don K. Williams proves it isn't just a historical curiosity. He's assembled 21 fine actors and melded them into a stunning portrait of the times with obvious parallels to our own day."
  • "...a stunning climax with a furious call for action."


Since its founding in 1949, the school has trained thousands of actors many of whom have gone on to important theater and film careers. Its roots, however, go back even farther, to Jacob P. Adler, one of the great actors of the American Yiddish Theater, and also include Harold Clurman, Stella’s second husband and co-founder of the Group Theater. In 1969, The Stella Adler Studio became the first professional actor training school to become affiliated with NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The spirit that has animated the Adler family for over one hundred years stems from the insight that growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous.

The Stella Adler Studio upholds a unique focus in American actor training. Like Jacob, Stella and Harold, the studio affirms that the primary function of theater is to uplift humanity. A successful student for Stella is not necessarily one who becomes famous or rich, but one who connects to their deeper self and to our shared humanity. The school is a cultural center determined to train actors and support artists not despite, but in the face of a world in crisis. Programs like the Outreach Division help to create an environment for all students to become actors like Stella and those in the Group Theater: actors who are socially and consciously aware and whose awareness contributes to their ability to act passionately.

The Stella Adler Studio of Acting/Art of Acting Studio is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.


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