Ira Seidenstein has been actively in theatre since 1973 when he was in the Pittsburgh Repertory Theater directed by Dr. Trudy Scott. Prior to that, Ira had various performance experiences as a youth, including in a U.S.Navy drill team at the beginning of his four years active duty. His career as an actor, director, playwright and choreographer has also included overlapping experiences in tangential training such as, Iyengar yoga teacher training; M.A. in Visual & Performing Arts; PhD in Education; and, six years advanced training in the Suzuki Actor Training Method. Throughout his career, Ira has kept studying classical works as well as working with his specialities such as mime, clown, commedia, circus,
and movement based theatre ('physical theatre').
Some of the Shakespeare plays Ira has either acted in and/or directed include; Hamlet, Richard III, Pericles, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, King Lear, Macbeth and Henry the Fifth. He has also worked in or created numerous Shakespeare inspired/adapted works and the next is "A Night With Hamlet" for 28 actors in New Zealand. Ira has also worked with numerous other plays such as: Come Blown Your Horn (Neil Simon); The Suicide (Nikolai Erdman); Wit (Margaret Edson); My Life In Art (Andrew Cowie); Angels in America and Perestroika (Tony Kushner); The Keys To Heaven (August Strindberg); Creation (Peter Anderson); as well as musicals such as; Chicago, Girl Crazy, The Music Man.
Much of Ira's work has included plays that he either wrote or co-devised with actors such as: A Girl's Guide to Hamlet; Howard and the Doctor; Double Arlecchino!! Trouble!; Artist in Exile... Requiem For Strindberg; A Play On Worlds; The Male Adored Bride; Eenie and Kazeenie Discover the Universe, Chaplin's Eye, If You Go Into The Woods (2010), and numerous others.
Ira has extensive experience in clown and clown theatre. He apprenticed the founder of the Ringling Clown College - Danny Chapman who was a circus master as well as a clown. Then Ira studied extensively at the Dell'arte School in California during the period when founder Carlo Mazzone-Clementi taught a small group every day. Ira then studied privately with master teachers of acrobatics, ballet, and Australian Knockabout. Ira's first foray into the circus was the three-ring Sarasota Show Folks Circus with 13 clowns and directed by the circus legend Karl Wallenda. Equally legendary Merle Evans was the Conductor with his 20-members band. The latest circus experience with Cirque du Soleil's show Corteo in which Ira was the first clown trained to alternate roles (playing both the White and the Dead clowns), he also was the tour teacher offering training in a wide range of subjects at the request of each artist. That included partner comic acrobatics, yoga, qi gong, tai chi, classical acting, and character development.
Currently Ira mentors a wide range of actors, performers and several companies including the Paris based Improfessionals
and the Irish company Ponydance.