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LSTFI Alumna Luísa Galatti Shines on Stage and Screen

Written by Meagan Sisler

For LSTFI alumna Luísa Galatti, becoming an actor was less of a conscious decision than it was an innate calling. “I always joke that I never chose to be an actor – I was an actor,” she shares in an interview with The Institute. Luísa traces her love for the stage back to her childhood, when she first discovered the magic of theatre. From acting classes to school productions, Luísa constantly sought out the next opportunity, her love for acting only growing with each performance. Eventually, her passion for the arts led Luísa from her home in Brazil to The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York City.

Discovering the Method

Luísa first discovered LSTFI through Estrela Straus, a fellow alumna teaching Method Acting in Brazil. When the opportunity to move to New York finally came along, she already had The Institute in her sights. Luísa found the training at LSTFI to be transformative, connecting deeply with Lee Strasberg’s work. “I’ll never forget the first time I worked on a sensory exercise guided by Robert Ellermann,” she recalls. “I was immediately taken back to my childhood home, and the experience was so vivid that it changed my approach to acting. I could feel the grass, and the sun, hear the birds, smell nature, and see every detail of my home.”

In addition to Robert Ellermann and other esteemed faculty at The Institute, Luísa studied with acclaimed Method Actor and guest instructor Vincent D’Onofrio. In a selective, invitation-only masterclass with D’Onofrio, Luísa learned a valuable lesson: it is not your job to judge your own acting. “Your job is to prepare, do the work, show up, and do your best, but never to decide how good it was,” she explains. She describes how this small yet crucial piece of advice gave her the strength and freedom to embrace vulnerability in her work and perform fully in the present moment without judgment.

As Lee Strasberg’s work is rooted in an exploration of both the character and the self, the ability to embrace vulnerability is a truly valuable skill. Luísa shares, “Training at the studio is about investigating your own self and discovering parts of you that have never been visited before. You leave with a deeper self-awareness and the ability to use it all in your acting.”

Leading Et Alia Theater

Luísa has made an impressive leap from student at LSTFI to successful actor and producer in the professional world. Among her many artistic pursuits, Luísa currently serves as Co-Artistic Director of Et Alia Theater alongside Maria Müller and fellow LSTFI alumni Ana Moioli and Giorgia Valenti. Founded and run by international women, Et Alia champions multicultural, women-centered storytelling in the performing arts. “Our style varies from movement pieces to realistic plays, but our primary goal is to give a voice to those who are often unheard,” Luísa explains. Et Alia produces a curated season of mainstage theatre productions, in addition to a development lab for creators to hone and incubate their work-in-progress projects. True to its mission, Et Alia has collaborated with artists from nearly 40 countries around the globe and furthers its values through a teaching and community outreach department.

Most recently, Et Alia Theater produced a three-week run of Federica Borlenghi’s Until Dark, a riveting new play that reflects on consent, abuse, and the intricacies of sisterhood. Staged at Out of the Box Theatrics in February, the play follows three sisters – Cass, Jackie, and Lisa – as their traumas, past and present, unfold. When Cass is accused of a heinous crime, Jackie, a promising criminal defense attorney, doesn’t hesitate to take her case. But when Lisa arrives unannounced to offer her support, she discovers there’s more to the allegations than what she’s been told.

Luísa starred in the production as Lisa, the spirited and naively optimistic youngest sister. On tackling the role, she admits, “Federica’s writing was so rich that it almost made my job easier.” With its dark themes, intensely complex characters, and emotional dialogue, the play presents a genuine challenge – and a gratifying opportunity – for the actor. “It is immensely satisfying to work on well-written texts and deeply developed characters,” Luísa shares. “I was trained to find those, get excited about them, and dissect them.”

Luísa details how her training at The Institute helped develop and inform her performance as Lisa. “[At LSTFI,] I learned how to walk hand-in-hand with my character, bringing the process close to me and understanding what parts of me belonged there. This leads to the most human and complex performances, the ones that resonate with people,” she reveals. Until Dark, and Luísa’s captivating performance, was met with critical acclaim and recognition. In just one of the production’s rave reviews, Jim Catapano wrote for Showtones, “The three actors are astonishing – over the course of 75 minutes one grows to fully believe they have had decades together of happiness and heartbreak, joy and sadness, connection and conflict.”

Evolving From Stage to Screen

In addition to her work with Et Alia, Luísa recently worked on the producing team of Emursive Productions’ latest theatre piece, Life and Trust. Focused on immersive and multimedia experiences, Emursive is the innovative company behind the award-winning, Off-Broadway sensation Sleep No More.

While her experience with immersive, devised, and theatrical work is extensive, Luísa also lends her talents to the screen. Her short film ’Til Morning was a film festival hit, earning Luísa multiple Best Actress award nominations and praise for her roles as writer and producer. Her latest short, Who Were You in New York directed by Stella Rea, is a poetic take on a young woman grieving her mother. The film premiered at the Brooklyn Film Festival in June and will continue in the festival circuit this year.

Reflecting on LSTFI

After graduating from the Two-Year Conservatory, Luísa left LSTFI with confidence in her craft and technique. “Thanks to the Method, I have clear systems to approach my process,” she shares. “It’s like having a box of tools. Sometimes I need to dig deeper to find what I need, and other times I can quickly select the right tool to build what I want.” She also left with a growing network of collaborators within The Institute’s students, alumni, and faculty. “Teachers and staff members of the school have always supported my projects, no matter how crazy they were,” she remarks. Today, Luísa works alongside fellow alumni across projects as she forges her path in the professional industry. Whether it be on stage or screen – or an immersive, multimedia experience – we eagerly await the next chapter in Luísa’s career.