Our Tradition…

While many ‘Meisner based’ schools use exercises and elements of the traditional Meisner technique, very few adhere to the original program as it was created at the Neighborhood Playhouse by Sanford Meisner. The traditional training is taught as a twice a week program, which runs for 9 months. Upon completion of the 1st year, students may be invited to continue into the 2nd year program consisting of an additional 9 months of training. The proper training has a clear, beginning, middle and end.

This is vastly different than most acting classes which are ‘ongoing‘ or ‘open ended’ and  allow students to come and go as they please. Any school that claims to teach the Meisner Technique, but allows students to enroll at any time, mixing students who’ve just started their training with students who may have been in the same class for several months, is not teaching the Meisner technique properly.

Some schools also claim to improve on the Meisner technique by combining it with other techniques like Alexander or Chekhov, or even their own technique. Some add ‘cold readings and scene study‘ to improve the “practical application” of the technique. This is done to expand the list of classes they offer and to compensate for a lack of full, deep understanding of how to teach the Meisner technique properly.

We adhere to the traditional program, because of its proven ability to create powerful actors. While the technique evolved over the years, Martin Barter maintains the final version that Sandy himself oversaw before his death in 1997. Martin Barter was the last instructor to teach under Sandy’s watchful eye.

No prior acting experience or training is required. Everyone, including experienced actors and non-actors alike, start together at the beginning. For the trained or working actor, letting go of pre-conceived notions and a willingness to approach this work with openness and honesty is required. You will not be learning a series of ‘tricks’ to add to an existing bag. Instead, you will build a foundation from which you act.

Admission is determined after meeting with the potential student. Call or email to schedule an interview. Interviews for international students can be conducted via Google Hangouts or Skype. We do not provide student visas but can provide additional information and support for international students.

Professional Acting certificate program

First Year: (9 months) The training begins with a three-month period of intensive improvisational work, including the”Repetition Exercise” in which actors learn to take the attention off themselves and put it on their partners’ real behavior, allowing it to affect them and cause a truthful reaction. Students then apply this strong beginning in their ability to “live truthfully” to modern scene work. The rest of the year is devoted to a heightening of this sense of truth and the actors’ emotional depth through more improvisational work and scenes. There is no character work in the first year. After nine months, the actors emerge more honest human beings with instruments ready to act truthfully in film, television, and the stage.

Classes meet twice a week for 3 hours a class

Professional Acting certificate program

Second Year: (9 months) The second year is by invitation only; students will be asked back, based on the quality of their work in the first year. The work moves into advanced and highly emotional improvisational work, script interpretation, character work and advanced scene study. The second year culminates in a graduation demonstration presented to the public.

Classes meet twice a week for 3 hours a class

Level 1 – Intensive

In five weeks you will learn all of Sandy’s “foundational” exercises. Beginning with the “Repetition Exercise” going step-by-step, brick-by-brick in building a strong foundation for your career.

You will be blown away by how much you have grown as an actor and have a foundation to apply to all your future auditions, callbacks, and jobs. This class covers the first three months of the Meisner Technique’s first year in only five weeks.

This class meets for 5 weeks.

Level 2 – Intensive

You will continue with behavioral improvisations learned in Level 1. You will add more bricks to your foundation making it stronger and more solid as you continue to blossom and grow. The “Emotional Preparation” exercise will teach you to enter a scene emotionally full and then you’ll apply all this to a final scene.

This class meets for 5 weeks.

Level 3 – Intensive

Using what you’ve already learned you will be working on an elite level by being an honest, truthful, simple, actor realizing that “You are enough.” Continuing with more advanced behavioral improvisations and adding more bricks of this step-by-step system your work will skyrocket with learning “The Relationship Exercise” and applying everything to a final scene.

This class meets for 5 weeks.