It is with sadness that the family and friends of legendary acting teacher Alice Spivak announce her sudden passing on November 9th, 2020. For more than 60 years, Alice devoted herself to the craft of acting, and through her teaching, coaching and mentoring she elevated the work of countless artists.
To so many students from the 1960s to the time of her passing, Alice was much more than just a teacher. She was their friend, life coach, and champion. She nurtured in her students a love for theater, an understanding of the craft and the belief that the work was more important than any job or outcome. She was a steadying influence for countless actors attempting to navigate their way through a tumultuous industry. Many artists at all levels of the industry consider her as having been integral to their life and careers, and her own life and teachings were proof of a belief that every person matters. Alice never sought notoriety through her work, only taking joy through the successful work achieved by her actors.
Alice was candid, insightful, extremely funny; her consummate storytelling would teach as well as entertain. She generously shared experiences from her own life to encourage breakthroughs, fully engaged and present in every conversation, every performance, every moment in her work and life.
Alice had an exceptional acting career of her own on stage, film and television, continuing to audition and perform up until the Spring of 2020. She worked tirelessly, making the last decade of her life arguably the most creatively significant. Her passion for theater and her desire to provide her students an outlet to practice their craft on stage inspired her to form OnTheRoad Repertory Company in 2012 in her native New York City. As the Artistic Director of the company, Alice directed productions, guided development of new theatrical works, and performed herself.
Alice continued to teach and coach until just days before her passing. She has left an indelible mark on the craft of acting and on all who've been lucky enough to spend time in her presence. Although she will be missed terribly by all those who've studied with her, her last lesson is that of faith, as she's taught countless times, that we all just need "to listen more closely, look a little further…"
She is survived by her two sons, Michael and William.
Published in New York Times from Dec. 27 to Dec. 28, 2020.