José Angel Santana, Ph.D. is a Co-Founder and the original Drama Director of City At Peace Santa Barbara, CA (sitting lower right). Santana's focus has been to create a safe place for young people to express themselves without fear of judgment; trying to "fix" them; or spending much time trying to figure out "why" things are the way they are.
"My interest in working with young people stems from an appreciation for the caring adults who LISTENED when I was a young person. As an actor in mass entertainment, all too frequently, I found myself participating in the making of media violence. Witnessing its negative effects on teenagers, this prompted me to learn the skills to provide myself, young people and other adults with healthier alternatives." -- Dr. José Angel Santana.
In 1999, for his work with "City At Peace," he was recognized as a Santa Barbara "Local Hero."
Until quite recently, "I've" (since everyone writes these things themselves) have been the Head of the Acting Program for Tisch/NYU Graduate Film School. Where I worked with some of the most gifted and dedicated young artists and teaching colleagues that I've ever had the pleasure to work with. In the summer of 2009, I directed the world premier of William Inge's "The Killing", for the Summer Shorts 3 Festival. Opening to rave reviews, the production has been hailed as a riveting and central theatrical event, a "fascinating rediscovery" of work of one of our most important American playwrights.
‘"'The Killing,’ [is] a superb piece of theater . . ." The New York Times, Ken Jaworowski, August 8, 2009 (New York Times Review)
"He" is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse a student of Sanford Meisner. He can be seen in the documentary "Sanford Meisner: The Theater's Best Kept Secret", directed by Academy Award-winning Director, Sidney Pollack, as well as in the definitive document of Mr. Meisner at work, the 8 hour classic:"Sanford Meisner Master Class."
PODCAST: ART PRINCIPLES FOR EVERYDAY LIFE
other influences have been the innovations of Viola
Sills, and Dorothy
Heathcote. Also, the theories and methods of Alternatives to Violence and Nonviolent Communication. Another large contribution to Dr.
Santana's development has been the visioning influence of Archetypal
Psychology and his postgraduate studies with some of that
field's guiding lights: Mary
L. Miller, and James
Hillman, at The
Pacifica Graduate Institute.
As a young actor, José originated leading roles in world premiers of works by some of our most important international contemporary playwrites: three world premiers of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet's works: "The Blue Hour" directed by Mr. Mamet, at Joe Papp's Public Theater in New York City; "Edmond" directed by Gregory Mosher at Chicago's Goodman Theater and in its OBIE Award-winning production, at the legendary Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village; and Mamet's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard", with Oscar Nominee (Fargo) W.H.Macy.
He also originated leading roles in Academy Award-Nominee - REDS - Trevor Griffiths' "Real Dreams" directed by Mr. Griffiths and opposite Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, at the Williamstown Theater Festivl; in Joe Cacaci's "Self Defense" directed by Arvin Brown, at the Long Wharf Theater and Off-Broadway; in Eduardo Machado's "The Modern Ladies of Guanabacoa" directed by James Hammerstein, at Ensemble Studio Theatre, in New York City; as well as the title role in Felipe Santander's, Casa de Las Americas award-winning play, "El Extensionista" directed by John Dillon, at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.
In Film, he received critical praise for his heartbreaking debut performance as "José - the Junkie" in Sidney Lumet's "Prince Of The City" and is remembered as the "strange Boutique Owner" with Madonna in "Desperately Seeking Susan." Among his featured performances in film are, Benny in "Batteries Not Included" with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn and roles in: "Night Hawks", "The Pope of Greenwich Village", "Garbo Talks" and "The Morning After". In television he guest starred on the Emmy Award winning episode of "Miami Vice - Calderon's Demise," "Hill Street Blues", "The Twilight Zone" and "Beverly Hills 90210". Most recently, he co-starred opposite Academy Award-nominated actress Lindsay Crouse, in the Lifetime Channel movie "Stranger In My House."
A gifted teacher, as a young actor himself, he taught "Directing Actors" for N.Y.U Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Film School, where among his students was the highly original director Todd Solondz and "In Living Color" Emmy Award-winning Writer/Producer Les Firestein. He taught the Meisner Technique at Tisch School/N.Y.U., Undergraduate Drama School, in association with David Mamet. His students founded The Atlantic Theater Company. Santana was the founder of Santa Barbara's Actors In Training: The Meisner Technique and Artistic Director of its BugEye Theater Company.
Dr. Santana is a selective cunsultant, whose one-of-its-kind Human Relations methodology clients have included: EDS, Nexxus, Global Engineering & Logistics, The Hendricks Institute, Academic Innovations, Fitness Consultants, Plummers, and Dentists. He has been the exclusive provider of Customized InterActive Video Tele-Training services to the Force Modernization Division of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).
He has written articles published in the Los Angeles Times, and The Salt Journal, and is the Writer, Director and Producer of the instructional video, The Secret: Listening Deeply to Young People's Lives.
José Angel Santana holds a Masters of Arts in Mythological Studies and his Doctorate of Philosophy in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute. His area of research has been: HONORING DIONYSOS: AN ARCHETYPAL APPROACH TO USING THEATER ARTS FOR RECOGNIZING THE VALUE OF TEENAGERS' EXPRESSIONS
He is a lifetime member of New York's Ensemble Studio Theater and his aim is to make a vital contribution to the community in which he lives.