Elia Kazan: In the Classroom

Photograph of Kazan by Jonathan Becker

Interview with Elia Kazan
Conducted by James Grissom

One of the reasons people stay in classes for so long--become so devoted to certain teachers for far too long--is because the classroom and the studio are the last two places in which someone can believe they might be an artist. It is a positive infantilism that exists in the classroom: You can still believe and be pure of heart. That is killed very quickly in the professional arts, because there is little that is pure there. People are cast by how they look and sound, and a career is built by repeating what was liked or what was successful the first time. Artistry is imperiled, or it dies. But in the classroom, particularly among those who have yet to make a living or an impact in the professional theatre, the dream can continue, so there will always be a room somewhere, a school, full of people who are rightly determined to have the theatre of which   they dreamed, and which propelled them to come and work in it in the first place.

© 2014 James Grissom


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