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Teachers & Faculty – NYC Campus

NEW YORK FACULTY

  • Bill Balzac

    Courses: Method Acting, Character Work, Improvisation (Young Actors: Method Acting)

    Bill Balzac has been an actor, director, producer, and teacher for more than 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 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.

  • Bruce Baumer

    Courses: Singing, Vocal Production (Young Actors: Musical Theatre)

    Bruce Baumer is a professional opera singer who has sung as a principal artist with more than 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 & Film Institute and The New School in New York City and has directed nine productions. Bruce has taught numerous master classes at various universities throughout the United States. He has music directed and accompanied benefits at 54 Below in NYC as well as music directing and accompanying various theatrical and musical performances in NYC. Most recently, Bruce served as musical director for Multistages Temple of the Souls for the prestigious NYMF festival in New York City and has also been the musical director for many professional projects throughout the New York City area, including New York Fringe Festival’s By Hands Unknown. Mr. Baumer has served as musical director for many productions at the Strasberg Institute, including Kiss Me Kate and Into the Woods. He is on the Board of MultiStages Theatre Company as well as the Applied Theatre Collective, both in New York City.


  • Gina Bonati

    Courses: Method Acting

    Gina Bonati has been teaching Method Acting since 2001. Early studies in Stanislavski’s Method from high school teacher, Lewis Campbell as well as ACT Young Conservatory led to further pursuit. In 1981 she moved to New York to earn a BFA from the Dance Division of The Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, she continued her acting studies, studying with John Stix. In 1982, she began studying Lee Strasberg’s Method Acting Technique with Sharon Chatten continuing with Sharon for years, Sharon being of most influence; further influences are Geraldine Baron and directors, Ildiko Nemeth, Lee Grant and Robert Woodruff. 

    A lifetime member of the Actors Studio since 2003, she continues to bring work into sessions and holds her membership most dear. She has acted all over the world and counts her experience opening for the Centennial at The Strindberg Intima Theatre, Stockholm in August Strindberg’s The Stronger (directed by Lee Grant and Elizabeth Kemp) as one of her most memorable stage successes. She works as a theater artist with The New Stage Theatre. She creates Dance-Theater works in installation, dance, theater, image, and sound. She holds two master’s degrees. She teaches and creates work internationally. She loves the stage with all her heart.


  • Ignacio Borderes

    Courses: Acting for Film & TV, Business of Acting

    Ignacio Borderes (aka Nacho) is a Psychologist / Actor / Director, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he studied at the Fundación Julio Bocca and with director Luis Romero. He began his acting career in the “Buenos Aires Players” theatre group and made his TV debut on the hit teen TV show, Rebelde Way.  He directed several musicals in Argentina, as well as teaching acting in Bilingual Schools. His TV work in the United States includes roles in CBS’s Instinct, My Sordid Affair, I Love You… But I Lied, and Scorned. Nacho had a significant role as the main character in Metallica’s music video “Am I Savage?”, working closely with directors Herring & Herring. He had a lead role in the 2017 short film The Trial of Everett Mann (accepted at Cannes Short Film Corner as well as winning several Best Short and Best Actor awards in festivals worldwide) and he made his American feature film debut in the lead role of the 2018 release of “Into the Valli”. Off Broadway he performed in the psychological thriller “The Black Book”.  He recently wrote and directed his first movie “Christmas Summer” in Argentina. Nacho was a cast member of the Strasberg Institute 2015 production of Red Light Winter and traveled to Warsaw, Poland for the performance in the International Theatre Schools Festival (ITSelF.) Nacho has acted in more than 65 commercials in the past 3 years and done voice-over work in English and Spanish. Other professional background includes being an entrepreneur who started 2 companies in Argentina. 


  • Maria C. Byers

    Courses: Young Actors: Dance for the Actor

    Maria C Byers is elated to return home to LSTFI! She graduated with a BFA in drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied at LSTFI and the Experimental Theater Wing. She recently choreographed “State Fair,” “Hello,Dolly!” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “Curtains”! Some other past favorites include: “Hairspray,” “The Producers”, “Anything Goes”, and “Oklahoma!” 

    Onstage, She recently played Lorraine Flemming in a regional production of her favorite show, “42nd Street.” When she is not choreographing and performing, Maria is extremely passionate about theater education and also teaches at Stage Left Children’s Theater (Tappan, NY) and Young Peoples Theater Workshop (Swarthmore, Pa)


  • Sakile Camara

    Courses: Singing

    Sakile Camara graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre. Soon after graduation she performed at The Kennedy Center numerous times, as well as Arena Stage and other theatres in the DC area. A few of the shows she has been a part of have won and been nominated for Helen Hayes Awards. She has also worked on various projects as a Voice Actor for Graphic Audio, where she has worked on many graphic novels, including Black Panther where she portrayed Black Panther’s sister Shuri. She then moved to NYC and has had roles on TV in shows on NBC, Showtime and Comedy Central. Along with acting she is a teacher at Meisner in Music and has taught at Pace University’s School of the Performing Arts. She has been teaching for 12 years and has continued her training in the city with teachers such as Ted Wold, Christopher Bayes, Midori Nakamura, Heidi Marshall and others. She has also worked with directors Phylicia Rashad, Aaron Posner and Onur Tukel and has acted alongside Awkwafina, Natasha Lyonne and Anika Noni Rose. 


  • Nick Cianfrogna

    Courses: Speech, Vocal Production

    Nick Cianfrogna is a New York-based actor and teaching artist in speech and voice. He is graduate of NYU/Tisch and CAP21 with a BFA in Drama as well as the Kristin Linklater Voice Center in Orkney, Scotland where he became designated as a Linklater Teacher.  He teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University and in the BFA programs at The New School, CAP21/Molloy College, and the Lee Strasberg Institute at NYU. At CAP21 he was also the director of the Creative Ensemble Project that specialized in Voice, Movement, and Text. Nick’s talents specialize in dialect work, most notable with Emmy Award winner Ann Dowd for HBO’s The Leftovers, and with Jimmy Biberi for his role in the feature film Ocean’s 8.  He was the dialect coach for the University of Delaware’s REP production of Our Country’s Good, NYU’s Safety Net (dir. Young Jean Lee), and numerous Off-Broadway productions. He assisted Susan Cameron with her book Perfecting Your English Pronunciation, published by McGraw-Hill, and recently recorded voice over for the 2nd edition. Nick also teaches accent reduction to students from around the world. 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.  Nick is also is the creator and host of the YouTube cooking show Fantasy Food Show.


  • Susan Grace Cohen

    Courses: Method Acting, Audition, Acting for Film & TV

    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.


  • Lola Cohen

    Courses: Method Acting, Building a Character

    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 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 Snow Angel while at the 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.
    “Woodstocker Lola Cohen on Teaching Acting in Russia”


  • Tim Martin Crouse

    Courses: Method Acting, Audition, Acting for Film & TV (Young Actors: Method Acting)

    Tim Martin Crouse has taught Institute and NYU students since 2005 and has taught in the Young Actors Program since 1989, where he has directed more than 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. Tim has recently appeared on the Amazon series pilot The Point. 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. Tim 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. And the New York City Indie Film Festival in the same year.


  • Vincent D’Onofrio

    Guest Teacher

    Courses: Method Acting

    Vincent D’Onofrio studied Method Acting at The American Stanislavsky Theater and The Actors Studio. Between his work in the industry, he holds StrasbergTALKS and masterclasses at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. The Vincent D’Onofrio Award is also given at the school each year to recognize a current Institute student who embodies the characteristics of this great and versatile performer.

    An acclaimed film and television actor, Vincent D’Onofrio is known best for his roles in Full Metal Jacket, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Men in Black. Among other honors, D’Onofrio is a Saturn Award winner, an Emmy nominee, and a 2018 Jay Award winner. In addition to his success as an actor, D’Onofrio also boasts credits as a producer and director. Most recently, he directed the 2019 feature film The Kid, starring Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt.


  • Suzanne DiDonna

    Courses: Method Acting, Acting for Film & TV

    Suzanne DiDonna was born and raised in New York. She has been a professional actor for more than 20 years. Suzanne began her studies at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute with George Loros, Robert Castle and Elizabeth Kemp. She is a life time member of The Actors Studio and worked/trained with Ellen Burstyn, Estelle Parsons, Harvey Keitel. She has performed in numerous plays at the Actors Studio including the premiere of Edward Allan Bakers Free Gift Inside directed by Elizabeth Kemp, the premiere of Lyle Kessler’s First Born directed by Daniel Talbott, and The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Estelle Parsons. She has performed in dozens of Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway plays including the world premiere of Edward Allan Bakers The Framer and Edward Allan Bakers The Bride of Olneyville Square. She is a member of SAG, AFTRA and EQUITY. Her film credits include Hungry Ghosts Directed by Michael Imperioli, Trooper directed by Christopher Martini, Indiana directed by Toni Comas. Some of her TV credits include The $treet, Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, The Jury, Brotherhood, Sex And the City, She had a recurring role on The Sopranos and Magic City.


  • Robert Ellermann

    Courses: Method Acting, Working with the Director, Stanislavsky to Strasberg, Strasberg and Scene Analysis

    As a teacher and director, Robert Ellermann was influenced by Lee Strasberg, Robert (Bobby) Lewis, Kim Stanley, Frank Corsaro, David Garfield, Maria Knebel and Nikolai Demidov. In addition, he studied directing with Jack O’Brien, Adrian Hall, Michael Kahn and Gerald Freedman. Robert also worked with teachers directly certified by Mikhail Chekhov in the 1930’s to teach Chekhov’s work: Deidre Hurst du Prey, Felicity Mason and Beatrice Straight. In addition, Robert had the honor of knowing the last surviving original member of the Moscow Art Theatre’s seminal First Studio – Vera Soloviova. Madame Soloviova was one of Stanislavsky’s earliest students (starting in 1908) and the peer, acting partner and friend of Richard Boleslavsky. Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Mikhail Chekhov and Maria Ouspenskaya. Robert was able to discuss the work of Stanislavsky, Vakhtangov, Sulerzhitsky and Mikhail Chekhov, particularly their use of the ‘system’, with Madame Soloviova. Over the last five decades, Robert has exhaustively researched the work of Lee Strasberg, covering Strasberg’s nearly 60 year career; as well as, the profound influence of Stanislavsky in the US and Russian-Soviet-Russian theatres, especially the work of the Group Theatre and the various studios of the Moscow Art Theatre. In the former Soviet Union, the leading Stanislavsky scholar, Inna Soloviova, humorously referred to him as “the American Stanislavsky fanatic”. In 1983, he was invited by Robert Lewis to serve as co-director of the Robert Lewis Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles. In 1988, Robert was invited by Stanislavsky’s great-great grandson to the first International Stanislavsky Conference in Paris and in 1990 Robert was invited to the Soviet Union by the Moscow Art Theatre to observe classes and rehearsals in the leading Russian theatres and schools. In 2021, Robert introduced Lee Strasberg’s Method to the Russian Academy of Theatrical Art (formly GITIS) in Moscow via Zoom classes. Robert has taught private classes in New York, Los Angeles, Tucson and Houston. He is currently working on a book about the relationship between the work of Lee Strasberg and that of Konstantin Stanislavsky. Over the years, Robert has directed the plays of Michael Weller, Clifford Odets, Tennessee Williams, David Rabe and Horton Foote, among others. At the Institute, Robert presented a production of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” after an intensive six month rehearsal process. Robert teaches Method Acting, Stanislavsky to Strasberg, The History of the Method Acting in Film and Strasberg and Scene Analysis.


  • Jeffrey Ferguson

    Courses: Dance, Musical Theatre (Young Actors: Musical Theatre)

    Jeffrey Ferguson has taught dance at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute since September 1989. He teaches Dance Technique, Intermediate & Advanced Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre and Stretch. Jeffrey’s classes are very emotional, mental, physical and technical. It requires total involvement of the body and mind, a thinking-feeling mix, the marriage of the physical and the spiritual. There is always a celebration of life that encompasses every movement, therefore movement always has purpose and intention, focus and direction. As a dancer, Jeffrey has performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, ALvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center Workshop Company, Pearl Primus and Dancers, a ludwig co, Contempo Jazz Tanz, and Joffrey Ballet Company with Agnes De Mille – with the latter, a PBS special called Conversations About The Dance. As an actor, singer and dancer, Jeffrey has appeared in many theatrical productions such as Show Boat at PaperMill Playhouse (was on PBS Great Performance) Pippin, My One and Only, Five Guys Named Moe, The Tempest, Mother Courage with Eileen Heckart at McCarter Theatre, Pippin at Bay Street Theatre, Kiss Me Kate, and ShowBoat on Broadway and in the Chicago production at the Auditorium Theatre. He has also performed in many business theatre shows, commercials as well as television appearances. Jeffrey has taught, performed, directed and choreographed throughout the U.S. and Japan, as well as France, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala and Trinidad. He does workshops, private coaching and choreography in and outside New York CIty.


  • Robert Grusecki

    Accompanist

    Robert  is a pianist, conductor, and composer working in the New York musical theatre and teaching community. As a musician, his Broadway credits include shows with such artists as Bernstein, Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Yeston, Arthur Laurents, Baayork Lee, and Thommie Walsh. As a writer, he has produced many songs, musicals, revues, recordings, and songbooks with collaborator Anya Turner. Their Off-Broadway musicals “Greetings From Yorkville” and “After All, a musical much ado” were both named finalists for the Richard Rodgers Award. Recent choral events include the GenOUT teen chorus performing their song “Caitlyn” in concert with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. Their partnership is also the subject of the recent music documentary “Dream On, a songwriting life” by filmmaker Bill Hopkins. Recipients of a Bistro Award, several ASCAP awards, and a grant from Meet the Composer, Robert & Anya are currently recording a new CD entitled “Listen”. 


  • Jackob Hofmann

    Courses: Building a Character

    Jackob Hofmann has been working professionally in theatre since the early 1990s. His NY directing credits include an array of Off-Broadway productions and staged readings for Abingdon Theatre including the NY premieres of John Morogiello’s Engaging Shaw (NY Times Critics’ Pick) and Blame it on Beckett. Additional NY directing credits include productions of: Unwrap Your Candy, Tower of Toys, Xavier Speaks, Tracking Gertrude Tredwell, and The Speed Date. Notable acting credits include Theatre Row productions of: Marat/Sade, Holy Ghosts, Dark of the Moon, Footprints on the Moon, and The Tempest. Also a playwright, Jackob’s drama, A Persistent Memory, was produced Off-Broadway at The Beckett Theatre, in 2016, by MBL Productions. He is a two time finalist in Samuel French’s OOB Short Play Festival. Honored to be a faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, Jackob also works as an adjunct theatre professor/director at Fairfield University. His Theatre Fairfield directing credits include: Avenue QRhinoceros, Authenticity, The Thanksgiving Play, and Silent Sky. AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC


  • Bill Hopkins

    Courses: Acting on Camera, American Cinema, World Cinema (Young Actors: Acting for Film & TV)

    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.


  • Geoffrey Horne

    Courses: Method Acting, Shakespeare at the Globe, Acting Chekhov

    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 & Film Institute since 1978. He has directed a number of Alumni/Teacher productions including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and most recently Othello. He is the co-founder of Shakespeare Downtown, a Shakespeare theatre at Castle Clinton National Monument in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. Shakespeare Downtown produced Romeo and Juliet in June 2016 and Richard III in June 2017.

    In the fall of 2019, Geoffrey was awarded the Ana and Lee Strasberg Award for his 40 years of teaching at The Institute. Alec Baldwin, one of Geoffrey’s former students, presented this award at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.


  • Lee Strasberg Alumni Jackie Jacobus

    Jacqueline Jacobus

    Courses: Method Acting

    Jacqueline Jacobus was born in Paris and spent her early years in France and England. When 17, she had the great good fortune to begin her acting studies with Lee Strasberg in his private classes in NYC. Several years later, she became a member of the Actors Studio, where she had the opportunity to work with and be influenced by directors such as Arthur Penn, Elia Kazan, and Vivian Nathan, just to mention a few. As a young actress, she worked extensively in TV, Film, and the theater, both in NYC and Regionally. As a member of The Ensemble Studio Theater she worked along side of playwrights such as Jonathan Ringkamp, Rommulus Linney, and Lyle Kessler as they developed their scripts. Favorite roles were Laura in the The Glass Menagerie, Kim in Mama Sang the Blues, Nina in The Seagull, Florrie in Waiting for Lefty, Emily in Our Town, The Whore in La Ronde, Titania in Midsummer Summer Night’s Dream, Portia in The Merchant of Venice just to mention a few. Most recently she played Marty in Annie Baker’s Circle, Mirror, Transformation.

    Jacqueline has been teaching acting, and specifically The Method as it was taught to her by Lee Strasberg, for the last 10 years. She is an accomplished pianist who treasures the literature for the piano as much as the literature for the actor.


  • Madeline Jaye

    Courses: Dance, Movement (Young Actors: Method Acting)

    Madeline Jaye has been teaching Ballet, Jazz/Theatre Dance, Movement I and II at LSTFI and in NYU programs here for 22 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 period movement and dance for Dietrich Rides Again, 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 co-creator of Actors Launch and 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.


  • Michael Kushner

    Courses: Developing Your Career

    Michael Kushner is NYC’s leading multi-hyphenate and the Executive Producer of the EMMY Nominated series Indoor Boys. In true multi-hyphenate form, Michael’s book How to be a Multi-Hyphenate in the Theatre Business, published by Routledge Publishing is arriving fall of 2022. He served as the Director of Programming for The Green Room 42, providing the space with sold out programming post pandemic. He is the owner of Michael Kushner Photography and has photographed Hillary Clinton, Julie Andrews, Idina Menzel (to name a few) and has been published in NYTimes, Vogue, Playbill, etc. He is also the creator of The Dressing Room Project, where he photographs actors prepping for their roles on and off Broadway. Ithaca College BFA in Musical Theatre (2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Award), Founding member of Musical Theatre Factory. Exec Producer of XaveMePlease (Created by Wesley Taylor, Frameline 43 Festival Finalist). Active participant of Covenant House Sleep Out. Podcast: Dear Multi-Hyphenate with Broadway Podcast Network. Michael is also a performer (On The Town, Pre-Broadway Tryout Directed by John Rando at Barrington Stage) and a member of AEA.


  • George Loros

    Courses: Method Acting

    George Loros won the SAG Award in 2000 for Best Ensemble as a member of the cast of The Sopranos, in which he played the role of Ray Curto for six seasons. George received a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the New York Film Fest 2004 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 & Film Institute. He directed the Alumni production of Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment in October 2012. George has been acting for 45 years, and teaching for 42 years. He is a member of Actor’s Equity, SAG/AFTRA, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, The Actor’s Studio, and is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more info, go to georgeloros.com.


  • Molly McCluskey

    Courses: Improv

    Molly McCluskey is a NYC-based actor, improviser, comedian, writer, and model. She studied with Bill Esper at the William Esper Studio. She also studied improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade and The Peoples Improv Theater and is a proud member of the UCB Academy. Molly graduated from the University of Mary Washington, where she played for the women’s soccer team.

    Molly began teaching in Shenzhen, China in 2010. She was the World Literature, Theatre, and PE teacher for the first high school in mainland China to offer an American high school diploma. She’s currently the chair of the junior board of Music for Autism, an organization that holds concerts for children with autism and their families.

    Several projects Molly has worked on have featured at festivals around the world, including SXSW, LA Shorts, IOWF, Clexacon, Cleveland Film Festival, Rio Webfest, Short to the Point, Wicked Queer, Awareness Festival, and Bushwick Film Festival. She plays Mickie in the international hit web series “Queering,” which she is excited to announce is in the works to become a feature film. She performed with UCB’s Art House and Pure Comedy, and loves working on commercials, her stand-up, and the occasional modeling gig. 


  • Midori Nakamura

    Courses: Voice

    Midori is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher. She has taught Voice for the Maggie Flanagan Studio, Molloy/CAP21, New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts, and the New York Film Academy, as well as coaching private clients in both acting and voice. As an actor, she has worked in film, TV, on Broadway, Off-Broadway, for Shakespeare in the Park, at the Kennedy Center, at the RSC, and in regional theater—working with George C. Wolfe (three times), Philip Seymour Hoffman (three times), Alec Baldwin (two times). She has also acted alongside Anthony Hopkins, Patrick Stewart, Angela Bassett, Bill Irwin, Keanu Reeves, Michael C. Hall, Liev Schrieber, Karen Allen, Del Close, Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Anniston. Directors she has acted under include Morgan Freeman, Lena Dunham, Barry Levenson, Peter Sellars, Nicholas Hytner, Austin Pendleton, James Lapine, Jerzy Grotowski, Joe Chaikin. Midori co-directed, co-produced, and co-edited T’an Bakhtale, a documentary about the Russian Roma, which received awards from the American Association of Anthropology and the Royal Anthropological Institute. She assisted Karen Allen in her directorial debut, A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud.


  • Ron Navarre

    Courses: Tai Chi

    Ron NaVarre has been teaching at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute for more than twenty years. As an actor, dancer, singer, director and choreographer, Ron has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in Regional Theater, Film, Television, Commercials, and Industrial Theater. As an adjunct Professor, Ron has taught tai chi at Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York University, and the Pacific Institute of Chinese Medicine. Along with Madeline Jaye he is also the co-creator of Actors Launch, an audition prep and career guidance training program for actors and performing artists. Ron is the founder of Stress Defense, Inc. and has taught seminars on stress management, self-healing and effective communication to fortune 500 companies and health clubs. A lifelong martial artist he has trained in Tang Soo Do, TaeKwon Do, Hapkido, Aikido and Tai Chi Chuan. In the healing arts, Ron has taught mindfulness meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong, Reiki and Rei Qong for over thirty years. For the last ten years, Ron had been working with cancer patients and post surgical patients as an energy therapist and spiritual counselor.


  • ALEX NOTKIN

    Courses: Young Actors: Method Acting, Acting on Camera

    Alex Notkin was born in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia to a family of doctors (Efim and Olga Notkin). He graduated from The Saint Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. His early career includes both theatre and film roles. He starred as Roland Cassard in Michel Legrand’s musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”, The Author in “The Letters of Vertinsky”, Alex Incub in crime TV series “Goodbye Makarov”, Lt. Voytkevich in feature film “Dry Valley” , Detective Egor Mitrokhin in TV Series “I Believe Him”, TV series “The Streets of the Shattered Lanterns”, “Strange Neighborhood”, “Liteyny, 4”. In addition to his theatre and film works Alex became a renowned voice talent. He was cast to perform Russian Dubbing for the voices of: Christian Bale in “Terminator 4, Salvation”, Sam Worthington in James Cameron’s “Avatar”, Colin Farrell in Disney’s “Fright Night” and “Saving Mr. Banks”, Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Fifth Estate”. In 2014 Alex Notkin came to the U.S. to pursue his acting career. He completed a 1 year Conservatory Program at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, New York. His American Projects include Films and TV shows: “Madam Secretary”, “The Americans”, “Sheepshead”, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”, Theatre productions: “Green Card, the New Musical”, “ART”, “Raskolnikov and the Pawnbroker, Love Story” Alex has also directed the following productions in New York: ‘ART’, by Yasmina Reza -Marilyn Monroe Theatre (Lee Strasberg); ‘I Remember It Well’- Strasberg Works project – Irma Sandrey Theatre; ‘Defendant Maurice Chevalier’ – an Off Broadway Production, The American Theatre of Actors.  


  • Charles Nuckolls

    Courses: Screenwriting, Advanced Dramatic Writing

    Charles Nuckolls is a writer, director and producer of theatre, film and television. His programming has been seen on national cable, PBS and local broadcast networks. La MaMa, The Blank Theatre and Ensemble Studio Theatre have presented his theatrical productions in Los Angeles and New York. His other exhibitions include Urbanworld Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, Williamstown Film Festival, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Video Frontiers Festival, Perugia; The New Foundation, Seattle; and PRX- Public Radio Exchange.

    His awards include: Emmy Award Nomination, National Academy of Television Arts And Sciences; Best Documentary, National Federation of Local Cable Programmers; Silver Cindy Award, Association of Visual Communicators; Best Long Documentary; New York University Video Festival – Two Consecutive Years. His foundation support includes grants from the American Film Institute and the Writers Guild of America.

    He has developed work in Europe, Asia, North America and the Caribbean and teaches film at the School for Visual Arts in New York and dramatic writing at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.  He holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from Tisch School for the Arts, New York University, a MA in Theatre from Hunter College and is a member of the Playwrights/Directors Unit of TheActors Studio and The Dramatists Guild.


  • Azudi Onyejekwe

    Courses: Audition Technique

    Azudi Onyejekwe is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator, justice advocate, and proud first-generation Igbo-American. As an actor, he has performed in numerous productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and at multiple Tony award-winning regional theatres across the country including the Guthrie Theatre, Williamstown Theater Festival, and the American Repertory Theater. He is a member of the original Broadway casts of “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” and “Violet” (where he was the standby for the role of Flick opposite Sutton Foster). His TV/Film credits include “Madam Secretary” and HairBrained. Azudi holds an honors degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, with a double major in Theatre and Africana Studies. As a writer and justice advocate, his most recent essay which he penned for The Theatre Times in the wake of the murder of George Floyd (“The Dangers of Optical Illusionary Performative Activism”), was translated and republished by Korean Theatre Journal, the official association of the Korean Association of Theatre Critics. In addition to LSTFI, Azudi is also on the acting faculties of Molloy College/CAP21 and LIU-Brooklyn/The New Group Education. He also serves as a vocal coach for Voice Academy NYC and a teaching fellow for Musical Mentors Collaborative (a non-profit arts program devoted to providing free access to professional instruction for young people from systemically marginalized communities). Azudi privately coaches monologue work, audition prep, and vocal performance. 


  • Lorca Peress

    Courses: Audition, Monologue, Script Analysis

    Lorca Peress has been on the LSTFI Faculty since 2000, and NYU-Strasberg Faculty since 2001. Lorca is a director and performer specializing in new works. She 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 (The Public Theatre, Signature Theatre, The Acorn at Theatre Row, Theatre for the New City, et al), and at Strasberg and other universities. Lorca performed and toured for many years as an actor and singer. Awards and Grants include: 2017 Institute of Puerto Rico Award, NYMF 2017 Next Link Project, Women in Arts & Media Collaboration Awards, National Opera Prizes, 2015 Taino Areito Award, HOLA Zaldivar Outstanding Production Award, Manhattan Community Arts Grants (LMCC/DCA), Dramatists Guild Fund Award, La MaMa Inky Award. She was Co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women (2011-14), and a featured panelist and moderator for theatre organizations focused on diversity and gender parity. She curated NYU hotINK Festivals for Strasberg (2002-10), and served 2 years on NYU Production Committee. A graduate of Bennington College (BA in Drama) and National Theatre Institute. Professional studies with Shelly Winters, Gene Frankel, Leonard Melfi, and at LSTFI with Irma Sandrey and Charlie Laughton, and YAP. Unions/Member: AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC, LPTW, NTC.


  • Heather Petruzelli

    Courses: Singing

    Heather Petruzelli has appeared with New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players,  The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, The Astoria Music Society’s Big Band, Opera With a Twist, Cantiamo Opera, Liederkranz Opera Theater, Henry Street Opera, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, The Astoria Symphony, Opera Northeast, The Opera Company of Astoria,  The Civic Orchestra of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and as part of the Simply Grand Concert Series radio broadcast presented by WVIA of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She has performed and taught many styles from classical to musical theatre. Ms. Petruzelli serves as the Head of Voice and Music for the Molloy College/CAP21BFA Program and has taught for the former CAP21 since 2008. She also has been teaching at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy of NYC since 2001. Ms. Petruzelli holds a BM from Wilkes University and a MM in Voice Performance from Boston University where she studied with the late Phyllis Curtin. Ms. Petruzelli is an Equity Membership Candidate. Additionally, Heather is a certified Positive Psychology Life Coach.


  • Kelsey (Torstveit) Pietropaolo

    Courses: Method Acting (Young Actors: Method Acting)

    BFA: Drama NYU Tisch School of the Arts Studio: Lee Strasberg Institute

    Notable stage credits include: Orson’s Shadow(Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater), Rhinoceros(W.H.A.T), Blithe Spirit(Capital Repertory Theatre), Larvae(Alchemical), Crimes of the Heart(Fable Theatre), A Turn of the Screw(W.H.A.T.), Measure for Measure(Shakespeare Downtown), The Cherry Orchard(14th Street Y), A Hatful of Rain(Theatr Studio), and a season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as a member of the Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company for their 2014-2015 where she understudied 7 mainstage roles and starred in two of their Off The Hill productions. As a writer, Kelsey was awarded a Playwriting fellowship in 2017 by Byrdcliffe Art Colony to write her one act play The Octopus. Her one act with music, Lonelyhearts, co-conceived with composer David Bird went up at Project Q in New York City late April 2018, featuring the TAK Ensemble. In 2018, she won an ArtsUniverse Scholarship to attend the IUGTE Physical Theatre Workshop and International Theatre Conference in Leibnitz, Austria where she shared Lee Strasberg’s techniques. She co-directed Where Can I Hide? as part of Montclair State University’s C.A.R.T. Underground Series in Spring 2022. She is an executive producer on Joe Pietropaolo’s NYFA-sponsored short film My Darling Angel.  She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Theatre Studies at Montclair State University. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.


  • Sarah Rayani

    Courses: Speech, Dialects

    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 songwriting credits. She has appeared in various music videos as well as Sex and the City 2.


  • Michelle Robinson

    Courses: Dance

    A native of New York, Michelle is an accomplished dancer, actress and director. As a dancer, she began her training at The Dance Theatre of Harlem. As early as her pre-teens, she became a member of the Marie Brooks Children’s Dance Theater, a professional children’s dance company devoted to researching dance forms from other countries. She has had the opportunity to travel to such places as Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Martinique, Suriname, Ghana, Italy and Brazil. The recipient of the coveted Harry Belafonte Performing Arts Scholarship, she went on to attend the State University of New York at Purchase where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. After graduation, her talents were sought after by many prestigious dance companies: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Bucket Dance Theater, The Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Eleo Pomare Dance Company. But that was only until she set her sights on Broadway.

    From Europe to Broadway, Ms. Robinson has appeared in such musical theater productions as Ain’t Misbehavin’, Can-Can, For Colored Girls…, Jelly’s Last Jam, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sophisticated Ladies, They’re Playing Our Song, Sweet Charity, The Tempest, and the smash Broadway musical revival of Chicago where she remained an original cast member for the first twelve years. In addition, she has had the opportunity to work alongside such notables as Bebe Neuwirth, Gregory Hines, Patrick Stewart, Joel Grey, Debbie Allen, Melanie Griffith, and Brooke Shields, just to name a few. Ms. Robinson admits that one of her most memorable show biz moments was becoming a Radio City Rockette. She acknowledges that nothing gave her as much joy and pleasure as when her mother could say, “Now, no matter where my child is on that kick line, I will be able to find her!” No stranger to film and television, her television credits include appearances on Deadline, Law and Order, New York Undercover, Third Watch, and HBO’s Lackawanna Blues. Ms. Robinson has also had a long running, recurring role on the daytime soap opera, One Life to Live. On film, she can be seen in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Flawless starring Robert DeNiro, and Chris Rock’s cult movie Pooty Thang.


  • Tom Rowan

    Courses: Conservatory Performance

    Tom Rowan is a playwright, author, and director. He has taught for NYU/Stella Adler Studio and
    TVI, Inc., among other studios. His many directing credits include A Little Night Music, A
    Midsummer Night’s Dream
    (Denver Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Director), Landscape
    of the Body
    (Westword Award for Best Director), Master Class, Fifth of July, Coastal
    Disturbances
    , and the fortieth anniversary New York production of A Chorus Line (Queens
    Kudos Awards for Best Director and Best Production of a Musical, 2016). He has directed
    eighteen full productions of Shakespeare plays for venues including The Mirror Players,
    Princeton Rep, Theater 1010, and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Tom is the author of the
    books A Chorus Line FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Broadway’s Singular Sensation, and
    Rent FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Broadway’s Blaze of Glory, both published by
    Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. His produced plays include Kiss and Cry, The Second
    Tosca
    , and David’s Play (all recently published by Next Stage Press), The Blue Djinn, and Faye
    Drummond
    . Tom has an MFA in Directing from the University of Washington School of Drama
    and completed a directing fellowship with the Drama League. He is a lifetime member of The
    Ensemble Studio Theatre, where he has worked as Literary Manager and Casting Director; he
    has also done casting for other companies, including the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Austin
    Shakespeare, and Urbanite Theatre of Sarasota. www.TomRowan.net


  • Michael Kevin Ryan

    Courses: Movement, Scene Study

    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 Duchess 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, Time After Time) Adria Arjona (True Detective, Emerald City and Good Omens) and Henry Garrett (Poldark, The Son).


  • Marcel Simoneau

    Courses: Method Acting, Voiceover, Mastering Self-Tape

    Marcel has been teaching at the Institute for 20 Years. Marcel has appeared on TV in: Gotham, God Friended Me, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Fringe, Ed and Strangers with Candy and more recently on the first episode of the original Law & Order reboot, a guest starring role on Blacklist and a National commercial for E*Trade. 

    Film credits include: The Rebound, Imperialists are Still Alive, Horizon, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Stranger, Kinsey, Seduction, Meridian

    Marcel also has done extensive Voice-Over work in commercials for Budweiser, Canada Dry, NyQuill, GoDaddy, Goody, Chloé, BDO, MFS among others and in more recently in Rob Zombie’s Untitled Munsters Reboot, Stillwater, Halston, Mythic Quest, Birds of Paradise, Little Women, Emily in Paris, The Queen’s Gambit, Dash & Lily, Wildlike, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselHigh MaintenanceSuper Troopers 2, What Just Happened, Royal Pains, and The Pirates of Somalia.

    Marcel has also performance in numerous Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows including My First Time at New World Stages for a year and a half. 

    Marcel has also directed a few films including Hologramme, Lurker, Le Village, Like Totally Hot Couple Seeking Same, Two People He Never Saw, which alI screened at renowned festivals from Cannes to Hollyshorts. 

    He studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, NYU, Columbia University, The Actors Movement, and the Maggie Flanigan Studio.


  • Jimmy Smagula

    Courses: Film & TV

    Jimmy was most recently seen as Thenardier on the National tour of Les Miserables and as Jacey Squires in The Music Man at The Kennedy Center. Broadway: Billy Elliot, The Little Mermaid, To Be or Not To Be, Damn Yankees (Encores), The Phantom of the Opera, Man of La Mancha, The Full MontyTelevision: Doom Patrol (recurring), Black Monday (recurring), Erase (opposite Denis Leary), The Sopranos, Better Things, Corporate, Oh Jerome No, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Greys Anatomy, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Parks and Recreation, Hot in Cleveland, Law & Order: SVU, Sam and Cat, JessieFilm: Rebel in the Rye, The IslandStep Up 3, The Producers Movie Musical


  • J. Allen Suddeth

    Courses: Stage Combat

    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 Pretty Woman, 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 Women’s Project, Ensemble Studio Theater, Second Stage, Riverside Shakespeare, Jean Cocteau Repertory, Cleveland Playhouse, The Alliance Theatre, Regional/LORT Theaters, 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 Theatre & Film 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 seventeenth 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 and an Honorary Fight Master with Fight Directors Canada.


  • John VanWyden

    Courses: Speech, Dialects

    BFA Point Park College, Pittsburgh Pa.; MFA Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. John has served as the dialect coach for many of Tisch Drama StageWorks productions including The Who’s Tommy, Cabaret, Ragtime, Born Bad, The Secret Garden, Engaged, and Blue Stockings. John’s coaching credits at various Department of Drama’s studios include: Top Girls, Mad Forest, Cloud Nine, Our Country’s Good, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Norman Conquests, Nine and many others. Professional coaching credits include the Cirque du Soleil production of Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall, the national tour and the Mallz Jupiter Theatre production of Cabaret, and the Off Broadway production of The Shanghai Gesture. John has also served as the dialect coach for Christine Lahti in Pride in the Fall of Autry Mill and for Concetta Tomei in Fallaci.


  • Debra Wiley

    Courses: Method Acting

    Debra Wiley is an internationally acclaimed acting teacher, performance coach, and singing voice specialist (M.A. in Acting and Vocal Performance, NYU) who has taught at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute for nearly twenty 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, [email protected], Mannes College of Music, and NYU Steinhardt. As a stage performer, she has been featured with professional companies in New York and regionally across various disciplines, including theater, musical theater, opera and cabaret. Debra studied and worked extensively with some of the finest teacher/directors of our time, including Lee Strasberg, Irma Sandrey, Ed Kovens, and Wesley Balk (Minnesota Opera).This year, Debra was again included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.


  • Ted Zurkowski

    Courses: Method Acting, Shakespeare at the Globe, Acting Chekhov

    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 23rd season. Ted is thrilled to pass on everything he has learned from Lee to his students.