Selected Reviews of
Theatre Training by Tom Fulton
Cleveland's Scene Magazine Names Tom Fulton Best Acting Teacher
"Many of the area's professional actors and quite a number of aspiring amateurs seek out Tom Fulton for guidance in developing stage characterizations. Basing his classes at the Fairmount Center on the teachings of Stanislavski, Fulton goes far beyond the stereotype of self indulgent method acting. By putting each performer in touch with the physical reality of the role under consideration, Fulton purges actors of the "head games" they love to indulge in--and he does it all with a warm smile.
"I have known Tom since 1968. We worked together at Center Repertory Theatre and at the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble in Cleveland, and I particularly observed Tom’s work as a teacher and director. Since those years, I have worked in the professional theatre as a dramaturg and/or literary manager at some of the country’s premiere theaters, including the Long Wharf and the Roundabout; I am now the dramaturg and Director of Humanities at the American Conservatory Theater, where I also teach in our MFA acting program (one of the top five in America). In all of those years, I have met very few teachers or directors who surpass Tom in either of those capacities, and I have worked (and work) with many of the best.
In addition to his sheer knowledge of theatre craft, what has always set Tom apart is his ability to inspire students and actors. He does this by creating a positive and supportive atmosphere in which it is safe to create and explore, and where students can feel empowered by their abilities and by the skill and discipline that Tom instills in them. He also brings into every classroom and institution a palpable and fierce belief in the importance of theatre and the demand that we give it the very best that we can every time we step on a stage. The result, which I saw time and again, is that students – and non-students, too – give the very best performance they are capable of giving: better, often, than they felt they were capable of, better than they had given before.
- Michael Paller _
Dramaturg, Director of Humanities
American Conservatory Theatre
"Tom Fulton's sustaining contribution to North Eastern Ohio's theater vitality is well known and laudably appreciated. But, that his enduring respect for the principles of the actor's craft definitively examined and refined by Constantin Stanislavski, pedagogically elaborated and culturally interpolated by those outstanding actor-teachers of the Group Theater (Adler, Clurman, Lewis and Strasberg), elevates his commanding perspective of the materials to the status of his magnificent predecessors. Two decades his senior, I "discovered" him in my retirement and now return avidly to examine my own innate creative resources within the environment engendered by his masterfully honed perceptivity!"
- Kelly Holt -
Associate Professor Emeritus
Theater Arts and Dance
"I had the privilege to participate in Tom Fulton's recent Chekhov class. I found the experience to be eye and mind opening, in the same way I did when working on "The Seagull" under his direction at Beck Center earlier in 2004. Tom has a way of asking questions that enable the participant to discover what is underneath the surface, without insulting one's esteem or experience. It is delightful to see nuances, as well as gain dramatic "ah hahs" that open doors to thinking, feeling and behaving in a manner that seems so much more truthful, honest, and frankly, exciting. If you want to expand your sense of self, as well as your integrity and fun on stage, get on board with Tom."
- Jeff Grover-
"I told a director friend of mine what an incredible experience my acting class with Tom Fulton had been. I described to my friend the satisfaction I felt when I looked up to see Tom and the rest of the class smiling and silent as my scene partner and I finished our scene from the Three Sisters; it was one of those moments when you know you got it, the art of what we do.
My friend said, "You have discovered the main benefit of working in acting classes: the chance to really focus on the "Art" with people who understand and appreciate that; and can help you grow as an actress." I couldn't say it any better.
That is what Tom does--- in an environment where you are challenged to explore, where you are expected to explore, and in which that exploration is appreciated. I highly recommend Tom Fulton's acting class to novice and experienced actors."
"Cleveland is so lucky to have Tom Fulton as a Theatre Coach. I am so grateful for his help in analyzing scripts, finding the key to scenes and personally working on how to develop and explore any character from Williams to Shaw to Shakespeare.
He has a knack of working individually with each student on their own level and helping them solve their own particular acting problems. His criticism is always accompanied with suggestions and ideas on how to solve the acting problems.
He has worked with me to help me find the honest, relaxed and personal approach.. Scenes and monologues are usually worked on about four times in class. It is always exciting to see other class members grow and stretch and develop during the course of the workshop."
-Mary Jane Nottage-
"Chekhov acting classes with Tom Fulton were excellent. I sincerely recommend them to anyone looking to hone their acting skills. Tom is such an incredible teacher. Each and every time I went to class I witnessed a scene bloom from mediocre to mesmerizing. Tom’s direction revealed Chekhov’s true tragic and comedic genius, while taking us to levels as actors we never knew we could reach. With Tom’s expansive knowledge and input, we learned the difference between simply acting compared to being involved physically and mentally in a scene. Most importantly, we learned how to incorporate the physical reality which is vital to making any performance come alive.
What I also liked about the classes is that it wasn’t just teaching. Tom pushed us to use our own imaginations and find the wants and overall objectives for our characters. He passed on his knowledge so that we can become independent actors. I learned how to take a show and break it down in order to make my own discoveries. It is our job as actors to create our character, not be told how. I’ll admit that if I had seen Chekhov or even done it without taking these classes I would have been lost. I can’t wait to take all the skills I learned and apply them to the next show I’m in."
College - Theatre Major
"The insight I've learned will remain with me for the rest of my career and my life. Tom coaches us to bring our own life experience and humanity to the work. His class was nothing less than an epiphany."