May Adrales is an accomplished director with twelve years of professional teaching experience. She has served on faculty at Yale School of Drama, lecturer for the MFA directing candidates. She also taught Directing Shakespeare at Brown/Trinity MFA program. She teaches new play directing workshops at The Einhorn School of Performing Arts at Primary Stages in NYC. She has coached and worked with actors at all levels. She worked alongside Barry Edelstein and John Dias at The Public Theater to lead The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab, a professional acting conservatory. She is versed in Linklater technique, viewpoints and Suzuki. She has taught and directed at leading graduate and undergraduate theater programs across the country, including Fordham University, Bard College, New York University, Yale School of Drama, NYU Tisch, American Repertory Theater, Juilliard School and American Conservatory Theater.
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“May Adrales is as compassionate a teacher as she is a person and artist. Her endless curiosity challenges her students to critically consider each choice that goes in to an artistic pursuit. May structures her classes so that each one builds upon the next. As a result, students find themselves thinking more and more deeply about their own interpretations and process. “What type of artist do you want to be?” May ensures that her students examine this question. Her business savvy equally matches her innovative creativity. So, her students walk away feeling more confident in their artistic voice and in the skills they’ve gained to navigate a career as a theatre artist.”
– Barbara Harrison, ESPA director
“May’s assignments are wonderfully subtle—they provoke you to explore whatever crazy, individualistic, specific-to-your-own-style idea you’d be afraid to explore in a more rigid class. And her feedback is incredibly well-tailored to your style, so whatever crazy thing you did, you’re gonna learn something valuable from it.”
– Ben Ferber, ESPA director
“Absorbing your inspiration and diligence over the week had a really positive effect on me. I happened to start rehearsals for a short piece I’m working on the day after our workshop ended, and I started with such positive, inspired momentum thanks to the workshop, really feeling like I was doing my best work. You filled me with good collaborative energy! And I feel a renewed sense of how much pre-production can be just as joyful a part of the process as rehearsing, etc – being able to do it with other people in the room was a really helpful reminder. It will definitely help me do better work when I’m working solo in the future. So, thank you!”
– Sara Lyons, ESPA director
You just want to be in the room with May Adrales! She creates a safe, creative environment for everyone to do their best work. May knows how to talk to actors in a nurturing supportive way to help them shape their best performances.”
– Nancy Lemenager, Actress, Moving Out; Chicago; Other Desert Cities.
“May entrusted me with a devastatingly exciting role as a young actor. This trust continued through our entire process, and it ended up being one of the most creative and freeing experiences thus far in my career. She was a kind, diligent sculptor and I felt incredibly buoyant as an artist. May lead an extremely supportive and cohesive company, of which I was a proud contributor. She gave me a great deal of confidence at the beginning of my career.”
– Cory Michael Smith, Actor, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them; The Whale and Cock.
Working with May was one of the most exciting artistic experiences I’ve known. She not only gives you freedom and encouragement to co-author the audience’s theatrical experience, but she’s bold and expressive and creates an environment in which actors trust one another and push beyond the limitations of “polished performance.” She’s as strong sculpting classics as she is guiding a room of creatives through newly developed original work. She’s a jack of all trades!
– Jon Levenson, Actor The Normal Heart
“An intelligent and warm director that creates a safe space for actors to work their process freely and creatively while always keeping her eye on the big picture. One of my best working experiences to date.”
– Erica Bradshaw, Actress, Yellowman.
“May’s direction is always lucid, calm and focused. She understands how to empower actors to bring themselves fully to each role, with confidence and creativity, and at the same time, how to deftly guide them into making choices that tell a clear, compelling dramatic story.”
– Ben Beckley, Actor, Peter and the Starcatcher
“I had the luxury of working with May Adrales on two shows of vastly different content and tenor, and found her to be an extremely creative and connected director in both productions. May has a wonderful way of establishing a shared language with her performers and is incredibly thoughtful in her guidance as both parties work to develop characters. I found working and learning from May to be a highly instructive and enjoyable experience, and cannot recommend her highly enough as a teacher of theater and its performance.”
– Trevor McGinn, Actor, Bard College.
“May fosters an open, playful environment, while simultaneously directing with laser like precision and specificity. She is a consummate artist. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with her.”
– Nick LeHane, Actor, The Electric Baby