The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute is thrilled to announce that senior acting teacher Lola Cohen has been awarded a U.S. Fulbright Specialist designation and has been selected to teach a Method Acting Master Class at The Russian State Institute of Performing Arts (RSIPA) in St. Petersburg, August, 2017. Established in 1779, RSIPA is the oldest state theater academic institution in Russia.
Lola studied with Lee Strasberg for the last five years of his life and has taught Method Acting at LSTFI for 31 years and internationally. She is the Editor of The Lee Strasberg Notes (Routledge, 2010) and authored The Method Acting Exercises Handbook (Routledge 2016).
Lee Strasberg is highly regarded in Russia having been a keynote speaker at the Stanislavski Centennial Celebration in Moscow,1963. The purpose of the Master Class is to bring ‘Strasberg back to Russia’ and create a cross / cultural theatrical bond between US and Russian actors revealing how Stanislavski’s “System” has further evolved through Lee Strasberg’s work.
Alba Quezada has taught Singing, General American Speech, Accent Reduction and Vocal Production for over 15 years. Alba, a designated teacher of the Linklater Technique, is thrilled to bring this innovative vocal production technique to her students at Strasberg as it partners well with the Method. She has performed in operas, musicals and on the recital stage in regional theatres throughout the United States and in Europe. She has also worked in recording, film, television and radio. Highlights include: Original cast member of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, the title role of Frida Kahlo at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Maria in West Side Story at the Teatro Tivoli in Barcelona, the role of Liu in the MGM film Yes, Giorgio! with Pavarotti, featured soprano in the Grammy nominated and Latin Grammy nominated recording for Best Classical Album in 2005 for The Music of Carlos Chavez: Vol. 3. 2014 Distinguished University Teaching Award recipient. She has taught at LSTFI since 2008.
Bill Balzac has been an actor, director, producer, and teacher for over 25 years. He teaches at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and NYU Tisch Program at the Strasberg Institute. After being inspired by the teachings of Lee Strasberg, Bill co-founded the Hyperion Theatre Group, Soul Productions, and the Hyperion Children’s Theatre. He then formed and directed the Mixed Nuts Improv Company, which performed throughout NYC. Bill has been a member of the Brooklyn Shakespeare Company under the artistic direction of Geoffrey Owens and appeared as Gately in the New York debut of the two-act version of James McLure’s Pvt. Wars, Directed by Gene Frankel. His recent directing credits include Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants the Bronx in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the New York premiere of Israel Horovitz’s Sins of the Mother, SubUrbia by Eric Bogosian, and LaRonde, The Laramie Project, Dancing at Lughnasa, Rumors, The Norman Conquests and Into the Woods all for NYU/Strasberg. He also recently co-directed Crimes of the Heart and Sunday on the Rocks with Geoffrey Horne. Bill graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with honors and is a member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association. He teaches Method Acting, Improvisation and Character Work at LSTFI.
Bill Hopkins is a filmmaker and stage director. As a teacher he specializes in the relationship of the actor to the lens and teaches this to actors at several leading conservatories and universities, as well as to film directors at The School of Visual Arts and at his studio in Manhattan. Bill has produced and directed over 30 documentary and archive films for The Actors Studio and he has directed and written screenplays for feature films, documentaries, commercials and corporate films. Bill is also a Producer and Director of Photography. Recent work includes the Pilot Episode of Port 80 for CBS/ESPN, Episodes of Sherry’s Kitchen for Cloudy Sky Films and Episodes of Skipping Stones for the Web. In the theatre world, Bill has worked as an actor, director and producer at The Iowa Theatre Lab, TRG Repertory, Al Carmines, The Women’s Project, Circle Repertory and Equity Library Theatre. Bill teaches Acting on Camera at LSTFI.
Bruce Baumer is a professional opera singer who has sung as a principal artist with over 20 American opera companies, including the New York City Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Washington Opera at The Kennedy Center, Santa Fe Opera, among many others. He has performed over 40 roles. He began his musical studies as a student of piano at the College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department in Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 10. He received his undergraduate degree in German Studies as well as a Master’s Degree in Finance. Upon completion of his business degree, Mr. Baumer decided to pursue a career in Opera. He is a graduate of Yale University with an Artist’s Diploma in Opera Performance.
Bruce has also accompanied numerous singers and instrumentalists in recital. He has taught extensively privately, as well as on the faculty of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and The New School in New York City. Bruce has taught numerous master classes at various universities throughout the United States. He has also served as musical director for many professional projects throughout the New York City area, including Multistages Temple of the Souls, and the New York Fringe Festival’s By Hands Unknown. Mr. Baumer has served as musical director for several productions at the Strasberg Institute, including Kiss Me Kate and Into the Woods. Bruce teaches Singing and Vocal Production at Strasberg. He also instructs the musical theatre classes for Young Actors at Strasberg. He is on the Board of MultiStages Theatre Company as well as the Applied Theatre Collective, both in New York City.
Debra Wiley is an internationally acclaimed acting teacher, performance coach, and singing voice specialist (M.A. in Acting and Vocal Performance, NYU) who is returning to the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute where she previously taught for 11 years. Debra has also taught and directed performers in the U.S. at institutions that include The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Montclair State University, New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, Harlem School of the Arts, and Henry Street Settlement. She has directed plays and numerous classical recitals, and given master classes and seminars at organizations which include: Disney Theatrical Productions, SAG Conservatory, The Danish State Theater School, The Danish Actors Union, Eklektisk Theater Company, Chamber Music America, Operafest, Songfest, AFTRA@Work, Mannes College of Music, and NYU Steinhardt. As a performer, she was featured with professional companies in New York and regionally across various disciplines, including theater, musical theater, opera and cabaret. Debra studied extensively with some of the finest teacher/directors of our time, including Lee Strasberg, Irma Sandrey, Ed Kovens, and Wesley Balk (Minnesota Opera).
Geoffrey Horne was born in Buenos Aires and raised in Cuba. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1954, is married and has nine children. Geoffrey studied with Lee Strasberg for many years beginning in 1954 and became a member of the Actors Studio in 1956, the year of his Broadway debut. He made his film debut in The Bridge on the River Kwai. Geoffrey has taught Method Acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute since 1978. He has directed a number of a number of Alumni/Teacher productions including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and most recently Othello. He is the co-founder of a Shakespeare theatre company, Shakespeare Downtown.
George Loros won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble as a member of the international television phenomenon The Sopranos. George received a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the New York Film Fest 04 for his portrayal of Harvey in Clean, which won the Best Film Award in 2004. As Mitch in Mitch and Barbara, George won the Cine Golden Eagle as Best Actor in a Short Film, 1972. George has performed and directed on Broadway, Off-Broadway and with theatres across the country. As a director, George won the Dramalogue Award – Best Director for The Phone Call, 1978, and Prowlers, 1979, both done at the Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre. George studied with Lee Strasberg and is a Method Acting teacher at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. He will be directing the Alumni production of Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment, scheduled to open in October 2012. www.georgeloros.com
J. Allen Suddeth has worked professionally for the past thirty years out of the New York area. For Broadway, he has staged fights for the current smash hits Disney’s “Aladdin,” and “Newsies” plus the recent revival production of Jekyll and Hyde, as well as Gem Of The Ocean, Saturday Night Fever, Jekyll & Hyde, Angels in America Part One and Two, Loot, Saint Joan, A Small Family Business, and Hide and Seek. Off – Broadway he has worked on productions for The Manhattan Theater Club, Playwrights Horizons, The New Group, Theater For A New Audience, The Public Theater, BAM, The Woman’s Project, Ensemble Studio Theater, Second Stage, Riverside Shakespeare, Jean Cocteau Repertory, WestBeth, The Pearl Theater, Cherry Lane Theatre, and the New York Theater Workshop. Regionally, and in LORT theater he has worked for Centerstage in Baltimore (over 70 productions), The Arena Stage and The Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D. C., as well as The Denver Center, The Huntington Theatre, The Papermill Playhouse, The Hartford Stage, The Goodman Theater, The Actor’s Theater Of Louisville and The Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Northshore Music Theater, and the Big Apple Circus, among many others. As a master teacher, Allen has been on faculty for The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University, The Lee Strasberg Institute, S.U.N.Y. Purchase College, and The Stella Adler Conservatory, as well as being a frequent guest artist at major universities in the US and abroad. For television, he has staged action sequences for over 750 programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, and HBO. He is the author of “Fight Directing For The Theater,” published by Heinemann Press. Allen has also taught at the National Stage Combat Workshop, currently at U.N.C.S.A., for over fifteen years, and is the founder of the National Fight Directors Training Program. Allen is also a producer of The Complete Unarmed Stage Combat DVD Library. He has trained over 10,000 students, and tested many thousands more. He is ranked as one of sixteen recognized Fight Masters in the United States by The Society of American Fight Directors. He is also a “Fellow” and Life Member of the British Academy of Dramatic Combat.
Jan Eric Douglas has taught Singing and Musical Theater classes at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute since 1988. He has also held positions on the faculties of Teachers College of Columbia University, New York University, Hunter College and currently, Long Island University. Courses taught at the college and university level include vocal pedagogy and repertoire as well as individual voice instruction. He earned the degree Doctor of Music from Florida State University.
Jan maintains a private studio in New York City. His students have appeared on Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera and in opera and musical theater productions throughout America. He is a former president of both the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and The New York Singing Teachers’ Association. In 1999 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Teachers of Singing and served for 6 years as its Chair. Performance credits include recital, opera and oratorio. He has had articles published in The Journal of Singing and has presented at NATS national convention and workshops.
Jeffery Ferguson has taught, performed, directed and choreographed throughout the U.S. and around the world with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pearl Primus and Dancers, Ludwig go, Contempo Jazz Tanz and the Joffrey Ballet Company with Agnes de Mille, among other companies. He has appeared in theatre productions such as Show Boat, Pippin, My One and Only, Five Guys Named Moe, the Tempest, and in Mother Courage. He teaches Dance Technique I and II, Intermediate Jazz, Tap, Stretch and the Musical Theatre Scene Classes at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. He has taught at LSTFI since September 1989.
Jeremy Kruse teaches Method Acting, Improvisation, Acting for Film & TV, Acting for Independent Films and Creating Your Own Work. He is a working actor, published playwright and award winning filmmaker. Kruse has written, produced, directed, edited and acted in over 30 short and feature length films. He has been involved in numerous plays, sketch comedy shows, independent films, commercials and televisions spots in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. His documentary film, Lee Strasberg’s Method, was in competition at the SOHO International Film Festival NYC 2011 and is distributed by Quality Books Inc. Jeremy has also performed stand-up comedy at numerous venues in Chicago, L.A. and New York including Zanies, The Improv, and The New York Comedy Club. In 1996, he graduated from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he majored in drama. He studied playwriting at the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York. Kruse is also a graduate of The Second City’s (Chicago) conservatory improvisation program and comedy writing program. Jeremy is a member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association. www.jeremykruse.com
John VanWyden BFA Point Park College, Pittsburgh PA; MFA Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. John was a recipient of the Case Western Reserve-Cleveland Play House MFA Fellowship and company member of the Cleveland Play House from 1975 – 1978. In addition to being on the faculty at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute; John has served as the dialect coach for many of NYU’s main stage productions including Dancing at Lughnasa, Cabaret, The Who’s TOMMY, Ragtime, Born Bad, Engaged and most recently The Secret Garden. At the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute John directed Once a Catholic, On the Verge, Our Country’s Good and Dancing at Lughnasa. Professional coaching credits include the national tours of Ragtime and Cabaret and the Off Broadway production of The Shanghai Gesture as well as Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music hall as well as coaching Concetta Tomei in Fallaci and Christine Lahti in Pride in the Falls of Autry Mill.
Larry Alton began his working life as a book editor and ad copywriter. In the ‘70’s he moved to Los Angeles where he apprenticed in film production. After six years of learning to write screenplays, he co-developed the first HBO film production, a 1983 adaptation of a novel by Simone de Beauvoir. He also acted in amateur theater and began to write stage works. He taught screenwriting at the University of Missouri, then moved to New York City in the early ‘90’s where he now writes, edits, and conducts a private workshop. Alton has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Missouri and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society. In 1998, he was invited to develop the Dramatic Writing workshop at LSTFI, where he continues to teach.
Laura Savia’s directing credits include House Strictly Private (1st Irish Festival), The Color of Justice (TheatreworksUSA), The Urban Dictionary Plays, The Wii Plays, and I Am Frightened of My Body, (Ars Nova), Pinter’s The Lover (Drama League), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (NYU/Strasberg), and Ski Dubai (At Play), and the 24 Hour Plays, as well as readings and workshops for The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, 2econd Stage, Naked Angels, and Ma-Yi Theater Company, among others. Her assistant directing includes productions with Michael Mayer, Diane Paulus, Neil Pepe and Daniel Sullivan, most recently the Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. Laura is the Director of the Workshop at Williamstown Theatre Festival. She spent five seasons on Atlantic Theater Company’s staff, including two as Literary Associate. She is the co-conceiver and director of The Living Newspaper, which has performed at Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, and the A.R.T.’s Club Oberon. She is the 2009 Drama League Directing Fellow and is an alumna of Northwestern University.
Lindsey Ferrentino is a New York based playwright originally from the sunny state of Florida where many of her plays are set. Her critically acclaimed play Ugly Lies the Bonewas a New York Times Critic’s Pick and played a sold-out, extended off Broadway run at Roundabout Theater Company and has upcoming productions across the country. Charles Isherwood in the NY Times called Lindsey a “brave playwright of dauntless conviction…whose unflinching portraits are hard to come by outside of journalism.” Lindsey’s other plays include Amy and the Orphans, Kokomo, This Flat Earth, Magic Man, Moonlight on the Bayou, and Paradise Bar and Grill. She has upcoming productions at Roundabout, The National Theatre, and will be in The Goodman’s New Stages Festival, Atlantic Theatre Company’s Amplified Reading Series & Playwrights Horizons New Stages. She is the recipient of the 2016 Kesserling Prize, Laurents/Hatcher Citation of Excellence, ASCAP Cole Porter Playwriting Prize, Holland New Voices Playwriting Award, Paul Newman Drama Award, made the 2015 Kilroys List, finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn, nominated for the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, and is the only two time finalist for the Kendeda Playwriting Prize. Lindsey Ferrentino is currently under commission for new plays from South Coast Repertory, The Geffen, Roundabout Theater Company, a new musical for The National Theatre of London, as well an original television pilot for producers Big Beach Films/TV. Her work has been developed/performed at Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, MCC, The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Premiere Stages, Florida Studio Theater, The Great Plains Theater Conference, 3LD Art and Technology Center, Manhattan Repertory Theater, and The Marilyn Monroe Theater in New York. Her work has been seen regionally at The Kennedy Center in DC, The Alliance Theater in Georgia, The Blank Theater in LA, and The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.
Ferrentino is a recipient of the Edward Albee Playwriting Fellowship and Residency as well as Blue Ridge Playwriting Fellowship. Her short stories have been published in New York Magazine and Aaduna Literary Magazine. She holds a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has two MFA’s in playwriting from Hunter College and The Yale School of Drama.
Lola Cohen trained with Lee Strasberg during the last 5 years of his life and has taught Method Acting for 31 years at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in NY and LA and in private classes. Lola is an NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Strasberg Faculty member. After Lee’s death, Lola continued her training with Method actress/teacher Kim Stanley and the acclaimed director and Jose Quintero. She has trained and directed multitudes of actors in scenes and plays during her career in the theater. As a member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review, Lola made her film debut in, Renaldo and Clara in 1975 and in 2009 played Judge Kaplan in Rik Cordero’s,Inside a Change which won best film at HBO’s Latino International Film Festival in 2010. Lola’s directorial credits include, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Woodstock Youth Theater; Jean Genet’s, The Maids at the Strasberg Institute and Lewis John Carlino’s, Snowangel while 2009 Artist-in-Residence at SUNY-Ulster. Lola is also an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School where for the last fifteen years she has taught her class “Intensive Communication Skills for Attorneys”. Lola’s first book, The Lee Strasberg Notes (Routledge, 2010) was done in close cooperation with the Strasberg family and is in multiple printings. Lola’s second book, The Method Acting Exercises Handbook, was published by Routledge in 2017. Lola has lectured at Pratt Institute, The National Film School of Denmark, The Stanislavski Museum/Moscow and has taught Master Classes at The American University in Washington, D.C. from where she was graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education. Lola was awarded with a Fulbright Specialist Scholar designation, 2017-2020. She has conducted additional Master Classes internationally in Milan, IT; Lisbon, PO; Copenhagen, DK; Moscow, RU and at the Chekhov International School, Melikhovo, RU where she serves on the faculty.
Lorca Peress is a director and performer specializing in new works. She was Co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women (2011-14), and is the Founder/Artistic Director of MultiStages, a multicultural, multidisciplinary company that has developed new works since 1997. She has directed over 50 theatre, opera, and musical productions in NYC (including LSTFI productions), and performed and toured for many years as an actor and singer. She is the recipient of many awards, including a 2015 Taino Areito Award in Dance and Theatre, three Manhattan Community Arts Grants from the LMCC/DOCA, Dramatists Guild Fund Award, La MaMa Inky Award for her one-woman show, Women Under Glass (Steinberg Charitable Trust), and many grants. She was the NYU hotINK Festival Curator for Strasberg (2002-10), served on the NYU Production Committee for two years, and has been a moderator and panelist for NYU, Theatre Resources Unlimited, NOPE Conference, and others. She is a playwriting judge for many companies, including Repertorio Español’s METLife Nuestras Voces, Ohio Council on the Arts, MultiStages, hotINK, Lamia Ink, and Strasberg One-Acts. She is a graduate of Bennington College (BA Drama), National Theatre Institute, and studied with Shelly Winters, Gene Frankel, Leonard Melfi, and at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in both the Young Artists Program and professional classes. She is a member of AEA, SAG, AFTRA, and Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers Union (SDC). www.multistages.org Lorca teaches Audition, Script Analysis and Monologue at The Institute.
Madeline Jaye has been teaching Ballet, Jazz/Theatre Dance, Movement I and II at LSTFI and in NYU programs here for 20 years. During and prior to that time, she has been on faculty at AADA, Steps Studio and Third Street Music School and has been a guest teacher/substitute at AMDA, Broadway Dance Center, Steffi Nossen School of Dance and LaGuardia HS of Performing Arts. Privately, she teaches acting/speech presentation to clergy, trial attorneys and business executives, as well as coaching young dancers/actors for auditions/performance. Choreography credits include five plays/musicals for The Medicine Show, industrials for Mattel Toys, Inc., Bell South, Barbie Fashion Summit, Dole Foods’ Easter on the White House Lawn, Hewlett-Packard and several productions at LSTFI: On the Verge, Dancing at Lughnasa, ART, NYU Practicum. Madeline has performed as a dancer/singer/actor across USA, Europe, Japan and the Middle East, including 3 years as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. She holds a BA w/Honours in Dance, from Butler University, with additional 17 years of training as an actor and singer in NYC. She is the creator of Jaye Actors Movement; a movement program designed to bridge the gap between dance, singing and acting training and to incite physical fluency and emotional and vocal connectedness in performers and regular civilians.
Marcel Simoneau, born and raised in Quebec, Canada. Lived in South America. Studied and now teaches at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Also graduated from The Maggie Flanigan Studio, Voice + Shakespeare with NYU Graduate’s program Shane Ann Younts and the Actors Movement Studio. Marcel’s film directing credits include TWO PEOPLE HE NEVER SAW (Kevin Corrigan, Nick Sandow) and LE VILLAGE (currently in Festivals), music videos and industrials. He is also an actor. Film credits included: Thru, Zenith, The Rebound , Imperialist are Still Alive, Horizon, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Stranger, Kinsey, Seduction, Meridian and others. TV: Fringe, Law & Order, Ed, Great Performances, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Strangers with Candy. Marcel has also performance in numerous Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows including My First Time for a year and a half. He can also be heard in numerous VO commercials in french, spanish and english.
Matthew A.J. Gregory teaches Theatre History, Scene Study, Commedia dell’Arte and Conservatory Performance at LSTFI. As a director, actor and costume designer, Matthew has worked on and off Broadway, and in venues across the country. He has directed productions for The Culture Project, the cell, the Secret Theatre, Saratoga Second Stage, Fordham University and most recently directed a production of Moliere’s AMPHITRYON for NYU Gallatin. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Saratoga Shakespeare Company and Off-Broadway at the Mint Theater. His designs have been seen at the Juilliard School, the Theatre for the New City and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Matthew has also worked as a costume artisan on various films including “X-Men”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and “Charlie’s Angels”. As an educator, Matthew has taught at Adelphi University, SUNY Albany, Siena College and CUNY Kingsborough. In addition to his work at LSTFI, Matthew also teaches at NYU Gallatin.
Mauricio Bustamante has acted professionally in the United States since 1967 and has toured nationaly in a variety of starring roles that have given him coast to coast critical acclaim. He also directed and appeared at the Edinborough Theater Festival as Madame in Jean Genet’s “The Maids” as well as the cabaret circuit in NYC under the artistic direction of cabaret luminary, KT Sullivan. He began his acting career in his native Mexico City at the age of twelve, working on live television with the greats of the Spanish speaking world. His association with Lee Strasberg began in 1973, and has lasted to the present time, where he has also studied with Shelley Winters, Kim Stanley, John Stiks, Goeffrey Horne and Irma Sandrey, under whose artistic guidance he has worked since 1978. In NYC, he has appeared in the New York Shakespeare Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Repertorio Espanol, Teatro Latea, and Multi Stages. Regionally, he has starred in productions at the Houston Grand Opera, The Allyance Theater in Atlanta, Casa Manana Musicals in Ft. Worth, Texas and National Tours. Currently, Mauricio is acting in a number of film projects with established directors from Japan, Israel, US, Spain and Mexico. With Irma Sandrey, he created IS/MB Productions, which has produced several theatrical productions and short films in NYC. Other films in which Mr. Bustamante plays a variety of principal roles are currently successfully making the rounds in international film festivals, including Cannes. He has been part of the acting faculty at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute Since 1994, which has included teaching children since 2005, and he is a ten year member of MENSA International, an international high IQ Society.
Michael Kevin Ryan trained as a dancer with Martha Graham, Hanya Holm and Merce Cunningham. As an actor he has worked extensively in his native Australia as well as Germany where he studied with Eugenio Barba and Jerzy Grotowski. In New York he was a long-standing company member of Creation Production Company, with whom he created lead roles in Chromatic Spectacles, Ice Station Zebra, The OBIE Award winning Abandon, The Bessie Award winning Memory Theatre of Guilio Camillo, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Propaganda, Nighttown, The Inferno, The Tower and most recently in Man Made at The Ohio Theater NY. Also in New York: Uncontrollable Elements at The Kitchen, his own The Pasolini Tapes at The Knitting Factory and Enter The Dragon at Second Stage and Escalator, a performance piece for the architects Diller and Scofidio at The Museum of Modern Art. At the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute NY, where he has been on the faculty for 18 years he has directed John Webster’s The Dutchess of Malfi and a Shakespeare adaptation midnight’s dream as well as his original pieces Moist Tiny Elephants and eveningland. He has also taught Movement / Feldenkrais for The Tisch School for the Arts NYU, Strasberg LA, The School for Film and TV/NY and Fordham University at Lincoln Center. He is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner (2002-2006 training with David Zemach-Bersin, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ 1st American student) He maintains a private coaching business in both NY, LA and London working with actors for Film and TV. Among his recent clients have been Josh Bowman (Revenge) Adria Arjona (True Detective, Emerald City) and Henry Garrett (Testament of Youth, A Little Chaos).
Nick Cianfrogna is a graduate of NYU/Tisch and CAP21. He teaches voice and speech and dialects at The New School, CAP21, and the Lee Strasberg studio. He also teaches accent reduction to students from around the world. He has been the dialect coach for the University of Delaware, the Hewitt School, and numerous Off-Broadway productions. He assisted Susan Cameron with her book “Perfecting Your English Pronunciation”, published by McGraw-Hill. Nick is a Linklater voice practitioner and is a candidate for designation, which he will complete in the summer of 2017, working directly with Kristin Linklater. As an actor, Nick has worked in television, online media, film, and stage. He can be seen in the short film “The Professor”, starring Betsy Brandt of “Breaking Bad”. He also starred in the web series “Handsome Town”and guest starred in “Chaos Theory”, both airing online at phoebetv.com.
Paul Calderon has been a member of the Actor’s Studio since 1984. He is an OBIE Award Winner for Blade to the Heat (1994 Public Theater Production, directed by George C. Wolfe), in which he was an Audeleco Award Winner for the same performance. Paul has had a busy and successful acting career, which includes Broadway, independent and feature films, theatre, soap operas, Episodics, movies of the week. He has appeared in over three dozen films, including Sea of Love, Copland, Clockers, King of New York, Q&A, The Last Castle, The Firm, Kiss of Death, Four Rooms, Old Man and the Sea, Montana, Oxygen, and 21 Grams. He is a founding member of The Touchstone Theatre, The American Folk Theatre, and the Labyrinth Theatre Company. Paul has directed several stage productions in New York and is a published writer. Paul teaches Acting for Film and TV at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
Robert Ellermann was influenced by Lee Strasberg, Robert Lewis, Kim Stanley, Frank Corsaro and David Garfield. In addition, he studied directing with Jack O’Brien, Michael Kahn and Gerald Freedman. Robert worked with the teachers certified by Michael Chekhov to teach Chekhov’s work: Deidre Hurst du Prey, Felicity Mason and Beatrice Straight. In 1983, he was invited by Robert Lewis to serve as co-director of the Robert Lewis Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles. In 1986, Robert, along with a dozen other theatre artists, formed the Cactus Theatre Company based on the principles of the Group Theatre and the First Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre. In 1988, Cactus was invited to the International Stanislavsky Conference in Paris and in 1990 Robert was invited by the Moscow Art Theatre to observe classes and rehearsals in the leading Russian theatres and schools. Robert has taught private classes in New York, Los Angeles, Tucson and Houston. He is currently at work on a book about the relationship between Lee Strasberg and Konstantin Stanislavsky. With the Cactus Theatre, Robert directed the plays of Clifford Odets, Tennessee Williams, David Rabe and Horton Foote, among others. Robert teaches Method Acting, Stanislavsky to Strasberg, Great Method Acting in Film, Strasberg & Scene Analysis.
Ron NaVarre has over 35 years of Martial Art training in the disciplines of Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwan Do, Hapkido, Aikido, and Tai Chi Chuan. In the healing arts, Ron has twenty five years of study and practice in Shiatsu and Tui Na Massage, Chi Quong, yoga and meditation. He also teaches stress defense seminars around New York City and has been featured in various magazines, along with several other renowned Tai Chi masters in the International Tai Chi Festival in Central Park, New York. Ron is also professionally trained as a performer, director, and choreographer. Performing credits include A Chorus Line and Shogun on Broadway. He has several television, film, and industrials credits as well. He teaches Tai Chi at The Institute.
Sarah Rayani is a professional singer, dancer and vocal coach. She specializes in speech and accent reduction and teaching the dialects of the British Isles. Sarah received her MA in the Practice of Voice and Singing from the Guildford School of Acting in her native United Kingdom. Sarah feels passionately about drawing on wisdom from both the speech and singing sides of the voice world in order to make her student’s healthy and effective professionals. Sarah performed as both a solo artist and as the lead singer of Blue On Wax for seven years, appearing at numerous venues in New York City as well as in the UK. Sarah also has recording and song writing credits. She has appeared in various music videos as well as Sex and the City 2.
Susan Grace Cohen is a graduate of the Juilliard School. Formerly a professor at NYU/Tisch Film & TV Department, Ms. Cohen has been a faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for over 15 years. In October, 2008, Ms. Cohen was honored to represent the United States in the work of Lee Strasberg, at the international Methodic Theatrical Festival in Tuscany. Guest master acting teachers and directors were represented from throughout the world. Ms. Cohen’s former students include James Gandolfini (Sopranos), Linda Hamilton (Terminators 1 & 2,) Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Arc), James Spader (Sex, Lies and Videotape, Boston Legal), Melora Walters (Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Big Love (HBO), Mel Harris (thirtysomething), Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy) Heather Juergensen (Kissing Jessica Stein), and most recently, Sarah Burns, (I Love You, Man). She is author of Bridging the Gap, Student to Professional Actor, and is a contributing essayist to Soul of the American Actor. Recently, Ms. Cohen received the James L. Hearst Guest Lecturer Award in the Arts and Humanities at the University of Northern Iowa. A newly published book entitled: “Acting Teachers of America” interviews Ms. Cohen about her studies with and teaching for Lee Strasberg. Susan teaches Method Acting at LSTFI.
Ted Zurkowski was made a lifetime member of the Actors Studio by Lee Strasberg where he trained with him. At the Studio he also trained with Elia Kazan, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Shelley Winters and Ellen Burstyn. Ted did his Shakespearean training with Patrick Tucker of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Ted has been an actor, director, producer, screenwriter, as well as a casting associate at MCA/UNIVERSAL where he worked with Bonnie Timmermann. Ted co-founded the Frog & Peach Theatre Company, a New York City-based Shakespeare company with Lynnea Benson, his wife and fellow Actors Studio member, and served as its Artistic Director and Lead Actor. The Company just celebrated its 20th season. Ted is also a musician and songwriter. As lead singer and rhythm guitarist, he currently fronts the band Honey West whose members include Ian McDonald of King Crimson and Foreigner and drummer Steve Holley (Paul McCartney & Wings). Ted teaches Method Acting in the Institute, NYU, and Young Actors Programs as well as Shakespeare At The Globe, Acting Chekov, Acting Shepard, Acting Odets, and Conservatory Performance.
Teva Bjerken teaches the Alexander Technique to performers, bringing her career in dance to the art of performance. She trained and was certified by the American Center of Alexander Technique in 1995 before teaching at The Actor’s Studio MFA Program for ten years. She has been faculty at the New School for Drama MFA program since 2005. Recently Teva joined the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute teaching Movement for Actors informed by principles of the Alexander Technique. As a performer Teva worked with dance-theater artists from Spain, Israel, Germany and the US collaborating in the development of pieces premiered at Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival, Los Angeles Opera, La Mama, The Kitchen, PS122, and DTW- Live Arts. She co-developed two “Freedom to Act: Acting and the Alexander Technique” conferences which took place in NYC in January of 2012 and 2013. The conference is designed for actors, theater and film professionals, as well as teachers. This past January she presented at the Freedom to Act conference with Shakespeare director, Stephen Fried. Over the years she has received nominations for Distinguished University Teaching Award at The New School.
Tim Martin Crouse has taught in the Young Actors at Strasberg program since 1989 where he has directed over forty productions with the students. As an actor, he has performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and All’s Well That Ends Well at The Riverside Shakespeare Company as well as an off-Broadway production of David Mamet’s The Woods. He had the lead in the Nickelodeon series Kid’s Court and the recurring role of Barry on The Guiding Light. He produced many programs for MTV and spent five years as head writer at MTV2. He directed the short film Mousetrap which aired in WNYC and co-directed the short film Tumors for HBO. He also wrote, produced and directed the independent feature film The Orchard which won an award for Best Suspense Feature at the 2008 NY Independent Film & Video Festival. He also wrote, produced & directed the upcoming documentary Talking with the Piano Player. Tim’s second feature film titled Redemption on which he is a writer, director and producer premiered as the closing film of the 2014 Coney Island Film Festival. It is scheduled for release in 2016. Tim teaches Audition and Method Acting classes for both The Institute and Young Actors Programs.