Hamlet at Woodward Shakespeare Festival, Fresno, CA
"Arlene Schulman, the articulate and industrious director of Woodward Shakespeare Festival's vibrant new production of "Hamlet," has compared the play to a "caged leopard" that paces and searches, ready to leap given the slightest opportunity. That's a perfect way to describe Hamlet himself. The title character is portrayed with a prowling, lithe, snarling obsessiveness by Adam Meredith... Meredith is fierce and compelling. He's just one of the reasons that I really, really like this "Hamlet." The production itself is lively... beautifully directed... Schulman has a keen eye... The overall fluency of language and comfort level of the actors, even the less experienced ones, far exceeds Woodward Shakespeare's last production... "Hamlet" is a long play, no question about it You're in for a long haul, and it's worth it."
-- Donald Munro, The Fresno Beehive
"I look for moments of magic in each performance... where I am transported out of my reality and into the world of the play before me Last night at Hamlet I had one of those moments... That moment could never have been created without the unique interpretive bent taken by the director, Arlene Schulman. Open yourself to a new experience before you, and leave the preconceived notions at the door. You will be rewarded by this production if you do."
-- Celeste Johnston, Fresno Beehive
"Hamlet was the best WSF production yet. The acting was excellent, and for the first time, I felt that all the actors really understood what all the lines meant and delivered them with beautiful clarity...from top to bottom it worked, with many fine performances, blocking that made sense, great costuming, and a good looking set... Congratulations to all--an achievement to be proud of and very polished for the opening night! Arlene obviously had them all fine-tuned.
... -- Craig Bernthal, Professor of English, Fresno State University
"I absolutely LOVED Hamlet! The change in interpretation was phenomenal!... Wonderful job! ...my friend that came with me had never read/seen Hamlet before and she totally understood what was going on... that's an awesome testament to the hard work put it! :)"
-- Renee Newlove, Actor, Fresno
Belles of the Mill, a musical at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Raw Space, NYC
"Belles of the Mill is an ambitious undertaking in an intimate setting... arresting moments... accomplished performances..." --AmericanTheaterWeb
"...a musical comedy about labor relations can be entertaining. But you might not be aware of how much entertainment can be wrung from what is otherwise a musical drama... The book is swift and compact, covering an amazing amount of ground in two hours... All of the strike numbers are particularly strong and explosive... written and staged so effectively... -- Talkin' Broadway
"It's a strong effective opening to a show with a strong, serious subject... defined, detailed moments that stay in the mind... these are the moments in which director, Arlene Schulman made the best use of the tiny stage and limited resources... -- Off-Off Broadway Review
A World I Never Made at New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch, NJ
"...takes crime drama, romance and tragedy, and blends them into a unique genre of its own... will keep audiences suspended all the way through the show's unpredictable ending. The story is an original. The cast is a gem." -- the Atlanticville
"Arlene Schulman directs the play's drama with a sure hand, keeping the acting nicely balanced between light-hearted and heartfelt... keeps the audience on their toes and thinking throughout..." -- TriCity News
The Passion of Dracula at First Avenue Playhouse, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
"Guided admirably by director Arlene Schulman... this retelling of the Dracula/Vampire legend does, indeed, work. This cast and director Schulman haven't shied away form the sexy undertones of the Vampire-Victim relationship - Good for them."
-- Phillip Dorian, The Two River Times
Cabaret at The Villager Theatre, Somerset, NJ
"...a super-talented director, Arlene Schulman... finds a wy to blend the disparate worlds of the characters and the cabaret that is exciting. This Cabaret is a huge triumph for Villagers." -- Stuart Duncan, The Star Ledger
Conciliations & Reconciliations at First Avenue Playhouse, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
"...is played to the hilt by a very good cast and is imaginatively directed by Arlene Schulman..." -- The Asbury Park Press
The Gifts of the Magi at First Avenue Playhouse, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
"...delightfully executed by a small but exceedingly talented cast. Director Arlene Schulman wisely does not shy away from the sentimentality of the piece...the play truly seems to live and the lesson the fable teaches resonates as loudly today as in decades
past." -- The Atlanticville
On Golden Pond by Onstage Theatre Company in association with Sabona Productions
"This play is Golden... one of life's guilty pleasures... boasts a strong and likable cast, intelligent direction, and classy production values. Arlene Schulman's direction is light but sure-handed. She keeps the action flowing along smoothly with both comedic and dramatic moments imerging naturally and never forced." -- The Asbury Park Press
Social Security at Center Drama, Deal, NJ
"Deftly directed by Arlene Schulman, the production successfully mixes elements of both screwball and drawing room comedy, but doesn't shy away from accenting the softer moments..." -- The Asbury Park Press
Butterflies Are Free by Onstage Theatre Company at the Magnolia Inn, Matawan, NJ
"Director Arlene Schulman has succeeded in guiding her cast through the full gamut of emotions, and although the laughs are numerous, Schulman never loses sight of the serious side of the play." -- The Atlanticville
...as an Actor!
Crossing Delancey at Center Drama, Deal, NJ
"The cast is outstanding... particularly Arlene Schulman, who plays Hannah, the marriage broker. Schulman, who did a great job as Yenta in the recent JCC production of Fiddler on the Roof, seems to be specializing in portraying marriage brokers. She is also a very funny lady who gets the most laughs per line in the show." -- The Atlanticville
Cheaters at Tree Top Theatre, Adelphia, NJ
"This serving of well-whipped fluff is absolutely delicious. Arlene Schulman (Grace) is gorgeous, sensitive and hilarious as she cheats with a casual acquaintance..."
-- The Asbury Park Press
Come Blow Your Horn at Center Drama, Deal, NJ
"Arlene Schulman [as Mrs, Baker] is an enlarged personification of Dan Greenberg's Jewish mother, with every nuance exactly right." -- The Asbury Park Press
...from Playwrights whose work I have directed!
From Judith Pratt (The Windows)
"Thank you so much for the great work with The Windows, and for the ideas you gave me to make the script better... The casting couldn't have been better -- and isn't that always half the battle? But you won the other half, too -- you got the build, the characters, the everything. It's scary walking in to a reading when you haven't seen any rehearsals, but I stopped being scared almost immediately. And I love the last image of Vannie with her arms open. It's great when you think "wow, did I write *that*?" Do keep me posted on your work -- I'm always looking for reasons to come to NYC! ..........thanks again, Judith"
From Jon Citron (An Evening of Winifred Smith)
"I want you to know how grateful I am to you and all the work you put into making my little play work, yesterday; and I mean work. I come away from the event more the richer for it; seeing it, hearing it, listening to everything said about it. I truly love the process of writing and editing and what you were able to provide me reaffirms this passion. I will take from the event that which is applicable and move forward and develop An Evening of Winifred Smith into something wonderful. I really believe this. I have other plays and... it would be my pleasure to share them with you. ...... Respectfully yours, Jon Citron "
From Rachel Rubin Ladutke(Belles of the Mill, The Understanding, Clary's Exodus)
"[Arlene] has been an invaluable resource to me throughout my playwriting career. After many years of acting and directing, [she] retains her excitement and enthusiasm for the power of drama. She is a skilled and decisive interpreter, insatiably curious about dialogue and structure, and always excited by new concepts and information. As a director, she often also fulfills the role of a dramaturg. Working on new scripts as they are being written, she commits herself to helping the playwright fine-tune the dialogue and structure of the piece while staying true to their vision."
From Bryan Williams (A World I Never Made, Homing Penguins)
"[Arlene] directed a staged reading of my drama, A World I Never Made, that was so effective the play was chosen for NJ Rep's inaugural season. In many ways preparation for that reading was our most complete collaboration, and a model of what true collaborations can be. Through daily e mails, telephone calls and meetings when possible, she worked with me in detail, line by line, to shape the play to our mutual satisfaction prior to rehearsal. She brought to those sessions numerous insights that are now part of the soul of the play. Both in small details and in major elements including making me rethink which role was the emotional center of the piece I found her inspiring in the best sense of the word: she freed me in rewrites to create a far richer fabric than was originally there.
Arlene is also responsible for one of the happiest evenings I ever spent in a theatre, as a writer. Homing Penguins... does not pretend to be anything other than an out-and-out comedy. I don't know what magic she uses to inspire in her casts such a spirit of cooperation and trust, but in a few short... sessions, I watched the play take off, to the point where it soared with nonstop laughter in front of the audience."