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Acting for Film Department

Lynda Goodfriend Lynda Goodfriend
Chair of Acting

BFA, Southern Methodist University. Studied with Lee Strasberg. Veteran of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Series regular on “Happy Days,” “Who’s Watching the Kids,” and “Blanksy’s Beauties.” Feature film roles in “Pretty Woman,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Front,” “Beaches,” and “Nothing in Common.”

Miguel Cruz Miguel Cruz
Associate Chair

Miguel Cruz is a TV and Film director with credits in almost 200 TV episodes on several formats and genres, including two seasons of the #1 Spanish Sit-Com "Aida" and the Emmy winning "Caiga Quien Caiga". He has recently directed and produced "Vulnerable" an independent feature film widely distributed in Spain and Latin-america (4th place in the Peruvian Box-Office, and broadcasted by Sundance Channel).

Christopher Cass Christopher Cass
Associate Chair for Acting for Film Studies

BA in Theatre, University of Georgia. NY and LA credits include “Rounding Third,” “Jerusalem,” “Gaining Ground,” “RFK” (Off-B'way), “Sleepwalk,” “Born in the RSA,” “Much Ado” (Central Park), “Henry V” (Off-B'way) and “Macbeth.” Television credits include: “ER,” “Like Family,” “Tucker,” “Fired Up,” “Cedric the Entertainer,” “Night Court,” and many more.

Justin Lujan Justin Lujan
Associate Chair for Voice, Speech & Movement Studies

Justin Lujan has his MFA in Acting from UC Irvine, BA in Theatre Arts with Acting Emphasis from the University of Northern Colorado, and is also a graduate of The Groundlings School.  His continued professional development includes his training as a Certified Teacher Candidate in Michael Chekhov technique with the National Michael Chekhov Association, as well as ongoing levels of certification in stage combat with the Academy of Theatrical Combat.  Recent performances include the pilot Hand of God from Amazon Studios and a movement-based adaptation of Hedda Gabler at The Complex Hollywood.

Denis Mccourt Denis Mccourt
Associate Chair for Performance Studies

MFA in Acting, University of Florida; BA in Acting, University of South Florida. Actor in dozens of plays and musicals, as well as film, television, and commercials. Co-Artistic Director for Long Beach Shakespeare Company.

Anne Moore Anne Moore
Associate Chair for Departmental Programming

BA, Fordham University at Lincoln Center. Moore is an actress/director/producer who studied Meisner at William Esper Studio in New York City. Her credits include “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Sex in the City,” “Law & Order,” and “Good Intentions,” and numerous off-Broadway and sketch comedy credits. Award-winning documentary filmmaker with her short Czech Daze.

Louis Gossett Jr. Louis Gossett Jr.
Special Lectures, Master Classes

Winner of an Academy Award for his role in Officer and a Gentleman, and winner of two Emmys and two Golden Globes. Over 150 film and television acting credits, including memorable roles in A Raisin in the Sun, Iron Eagle, Toy Soldiers, and Blue Chips.

Kenneth Lerner Kenneth Lerner
Business of Acting, Scene Study

BA, Brooklyn College. Appearances on over 40 films and 100 television shows, including “The Mentalist,” “NCIS,” “In Plain Sight,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Castle,” “Weeds,” “CSI,” “Without a Trace” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” Starred in productions at Pasadena Playhouse, Falcon Theatre, and Off-Broadway.

Arden Kaywin Arden Kaywin
Speech, Singing for Actors

M.Mus. Manhattan School of Music, B. Mus. Oberlin Conservatory. San Francisco Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, B.A.M., Aspen Music Festival. Vocal coach and vocal producer to artists from American Idol / X Factor / Radio Killa / Interscope / MySpace Records / Kidz Bop / ZVision Records. Songwriter and recording artist with songs featured in numerous TV shows on NBC, ABC, MTV, The CW, OWN, Discovery Channel, Bravo and Lifetime. Custom music for commercial spots for Michael Kors, Meow Mix, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Coke Life.

Robert Allan Ackerman Robert Allan Ackerman
Master Classes, Scene Study

Director Emmy, Golden Globe, DGA, AFA, and SAG Award-winning films including “Safe Passage,” “The Ramen Girl,” and “Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows.” Director of Broadway productions including “Bent,” “Slab Boys,” and “Extremities.” Director of West End productions including “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Burn This,” and “Our Town.”

Jordan Auten Jordan Auten
Film Craft

MFA in Directing and Production, UCLA. BA in Media Studies, University of San Francisco. Award winning filmmaker, she recently produced an audience favorite and Independent Spirit Award nominee, entitled “Mamitas.” She continues to develop several feature film projects soon to be on the silver screen.

Matthew Bamberg-Johnson Matthew Bamberg-Johnson

Matthew Bamberg-Johnson is an Actor, Director, and Educator based in Los Angeles, CA. Matthew earned his B.A. in Theater and Dance from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and received his MFA in Acting from the California Institute in the arts, where he gained a broad range of experience in Dramatic and Comedic roles for stage and screen. Matthew also specializes in the creation of site specific and immersive entertainment.  He is a co-artistic director of the immersive entertainment company, “The Speakeasy Society,” creating innovative work in unexpected places.  

Joe Basile Joe Basile

Joe Basile has his MFA in Film, UCLA: concentration in Screenwriting and his BA from University of Delaware.  He is an Award Winning Director and Filmmaker with over 20 years experience in the entertainment indusday, behind and in front of the camera.  Joe has been on over 30 television shows and 20 movies.

Michael Bershad Michael Bershad
Business of Acting, Acting Technique

BA, University of Maryland. Studied with Stella Adler, David LeGrant and Michael Shurtleff. Series regular on NBC soap opera "Capitol", and also appeared in numerous films. Has worked as agent, manager, and casting director. Produced, co-wrote, and starred in “Dispatch,” voted Best Overall Film at the 2011 Offshoot Film Festival. Has taught acting for 25 years in Los Angeles.

Andrew Bloch Andrew Bloch
Acting for Film

MFA in Acting and Directing, California State University, Long Beach; BA in English Literature, Middlebury College. Director and actor in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Adjunct faculty at CSU Long Beach and USC.

Simon Brooke Simon Brooke

MFA in Theatre Arts, CSU Long Beach; BA in Political Science, Minor in Drama, University of Arizona; Two-year program, The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. Actor in commercials, on stage, and television including appearances on NYPD Blue, The Shield, CSI, Desperate Housewives, Frasier, JAG, Melrose Place, Charmed, VIP, USA High, One World, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns, and One Life to Live.

David Brooks David Brooks
Scene Study, Monologues

Brooks has been an actor for thirty years, working on Broadway as well as in in film and television, shooting on locations around the world. He has been a professional life coach for ten years and a teacher on and off for thirty years.

Gail Bryson Gail Bryson
Text Analysis, Acting Technique, Scene Study

BA in Acting, UCLA; Grad school work in Clinical Psychology, Antioch University; Conservatory training, American Conservatory Theatre and South Coast Reparatory Theatre. Bryson received advanced Meisner training with Edward Kaye Martin in LA and NYC, and Shakespeare training with Deborah Strang at Noise Within Theatre in Los Angeles.

Jennice Butler Jennice Butler
Speech, Voice & Movement

MFA in Acting, UC Irvine; BS in Theatre, University of Evansville. Actress known for her roles in “How to Fake it in America” and “Car Jockeys,” her work in commercials, and extensive teaching experience.

James R. Carey James Carey

James R. Carey is a director/producer/teacher with both American and international credits who has been based out of Los Angeles since the early 80’s.

He has served as the Producing Artistic Director of the ATTIC Theatre located near Culver City since 1987. He has overseen the production of over 300 plays and short films covering a wide range of genres including musicals, Shakespeare, and new works. His productions have won numerous awards including 14 Drama-Logue awards and several Picks of the Week. James was the Co-founder and the 1st President of Theatre Row – Hollywood from 1994 to 1996 for which he received a LA Drama Critics Circle Award and a Hollywood Arts Council “Charlie” Award.

As a director, he has over 100 plays to his credit including award winning productions of The Elephant Man and All My Sons, and the world premiere one acts by Lee Blessing and Jeffery Hatcher.

He has a MFA in Theatre Management, Cum Laude from California State University – Long Beach, and has taught at CSU-LB, California Lutheran University, and Pepperdine University.

Philip Casnoff Philip Casnoff

Golden Globe nominated actor Philip Casnoff’s prolific film and television career took off when he portrayed Frank Sinatra in the Golden Globe winning film “Sinatra” in 1992. Since then, his credits include “E.R.”, “Frasier”, “How Stella Got Her Grove Back”, "Strong Medicine" and “Oz.” Philip also directed episodes of “Monk” and “Strong Medicine.”

Mary Cobb Mary Cobb

BA in Theatre Arts, San Diego State University. Actress known for her multiple roles with The Actors Studio, Uprising Theatre Company, The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company and others, as well as her roles in film. Member of SAG and AEA for over 30 years.

Anastasia Coon Anastasia Coon
Voice, Movement

MFA in Acting, University of Texas, Austin; BFA in Communications/Acting, Chapman University. Theatre and movement instructor at USC, UCLA, Glendale College, Pasadena Playhouse, UT Austin, and many more.

Merrilyn Crouch Merrilyn Crouch

Merrilyn Crouch received an MFA in Theater from The University of Southern California and has appeared in and been the voice for hundreds of commercials and Network promos including McDonald’s, CNN, Cartoon Network, Coke, Home Depot, TNT, AT&T and many others. She narrated the film history Documentary series: “Cinema in Focus” hosted by Peter Bogdanovich, as well as the 22 episode PBS educational Documentary series “The Way We Live”. As a veteran TV on-air promo Writer/Director, Merrilyn has directed voice actors in hundreds of TV and radio promos for clients including FOX, Discovery Channel, NUVO TV, The Weather Channel, as well as ABC, CBS and FOX affilliate stations around the country. Merrilyn can be seen on the Food Network’s Good Eats in the recurring role as Alton Brown’s sister, Marsha.

Jean Claude Deering Jean Claude Deering
Technique, Scene Study

BFA, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Film and TV credits include “The Ugly Truth,” “The Land of the Astronauts,” "Entourage," "Inside the Box" (pilot for ABC), "Hawthorne," "Criminal Minds," and "North Palm Wrestling" (MTV). Worked as business development intern for Sony Pictures and Screen Gems, and as a copy writer for Chiat/Day.

Maria Del Bagno Maria Del Bagno

A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Maria Del Bagno has been a dance instructor in Los Angeles for over 25 years, including at Moro Landis Studios, Millennium Dance Complex, and Dance Arts Academy. She apprenticed under renowned master choreographer, Jaime Rogers, and the “Father of Jazz Dance,” Luigi. Named one of L.A.’s top choreographers by L.A. Jazz Dance Foundation.

Debra Dragotto-Parker Debra Dragotto-Parker
Acting Technique, Text Analysis, Writing for Actors

MFA in Screenwriting, UCLA; BFA in Drama; Hofstra University. Industry leader in reality television, with experience in directing, writing, casting, producing, and consulting in English and Spanish-language television.

Bruce Ducat Bruce Ducat
Acting for Film, Acting Technique

BFA in Theatre Performance: Directing, Concordia University, Montreal. Acting and dialogue coach on multiple television series and feature films. Has coached Julie Andrews, Chris Farley, Rider Strong, Larisa Oleynik, Jennie Garh, Laura Kightlinger, and many more.

Tim Fannon Tim Fannon

Tim Fannon has an MFA in Acting, Brooklyn College; BS in Theater, Skidmore College and has trained at the Royal National Theatre and the British Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.  For twelve years, he served as artistic director of Fovea Floods, a multimedia performance ensemble based in NYC.

Bob Garrett Bob Garrett

BA Theatre Arts Adelphi University. Actor on Broadway in seven shows, Recording Artist A&M Records, Television and Theatre Writer and Director including. NAACP for Rain Pryor's Fride Chicken and Latkas. Vocal coached film and pop stars from Jessica Lange to Katy Perry.

Genevieve Gearhart Genevieve Gearhart

Genevieve Gearhart is an actor, director, dancer and choreographer.  She was born in Philadelphia, PA, grew up in the New York area, and currently resides in Los Angeles.  Genevieve’s work has been seen at the Getty Villa, REDCAT, the Ohio Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and several found spaces in Los Angeles and New York.   She serves as Co-Artistic Director for The Speakeasy Society, an immersive entertainment company creating unforgettable work in unexpected places.  Genevieve received her MFA in Acting from California Institute for the Arts and her BA in Dance and Theatre from Manhattanville College.

Ros Gentle Ros Gentle

BDA, National Institute of Dramatic Art, University of NSW, Australia; Diploma in Teaching, Balmain Teachers' College of Advanced Education, Sydney. An actress of 40 years with teaching experience at NIDA, Actors Center, Joanne Baron/DW Brown Studio, and Australian Institute of Dramatic Art.

Cathy Giannone Cathy Giannone
Scene Study, Meisner

BFA from Strasberg Institute at NYU. Lifetime member of Actors Studio. Has taught at Artist Theatre Group and Third Street Theatre. Recipient of two Drama Circle Awards and four DramaLogue Awards.

Maria Gobetti Maria Gobetti
Acting Technique, Scene Study, Meisner

MA and BA in Theatre, UCLA. Artistic Co-Director at The Victory Theatre Center, with over 80 directing credits. Member of DGA, SAG, AFTRA, AEA. Multiple acting credits in episodic television.

Miraj Grbic Miraj Grbic

Miraj Grbic graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts University of Sarajevo where he studied Acting. He becomes first category actor of the National Theater Sarajevo, and has performed in more than 60 plays from the authors such as Shakespeare, Moliere, Camus, Gogol etc. He also starred in 40 Feature Films an TV Shows, credits include Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, The Hunting Party, Gang Related and other films in US, German, Bosnian, Croatian, Turkish, Austrian, Irish, Polish, Italian, Macedonian and Australian productions.

Clayton B. Hodges Clayton B. Hodges

Clayton B. Hodges is a professional actor, producer, director and teacher. His acting experience includes 13,000 highway miles of US touring productions, his theatre company’s featured performance on NPR as well as various collaborations with an award-winning London Fringe theatre. Recently, his acting was nominated for 2013 Broadway World San Francisco Award for Best Featured Actor in Play and his directing was nominated for 2014 Tulsa Award for Theatre Excellence (TATE) award. He received his BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Drama and his MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre.

Isabella Hoffman Isabella Hoffman

Isabella Hoffman has over 75 credits in film and television including a series regular on the Golden Globe winning series “Dear John.” Other notable credits include “Curb your Enthusiasm”, “Boston Legal”, “Jag”, “Firefly”, “Providence” and the Golden Globe winning film "Burlesque." For her work in theater she received the Joseph Jefferson award for best Actress in a Principal Role in "Teibele and Her Demon.”

Travis Holder Travis Michael Holder
Scene Study, Playwrights / Screenwriters, Monologues

Trained at Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, Goodman Theatre at University of Chicago; studied with Uta Hagan, Stella Adler, and Kenneth McMillan. Five plays produced nationally and wrote the screenplay for the award-winning 2010 feature film “Surprise Surprise.” Veteran of six Broadway productions and numerous national and international tours. Honored with the LA Drama Critics’ Circle Best Actor Award; Drama-Logue,, Sage, and four Maddy Awards; six acting nominations from LA Weekly; Ovation, GLAAD, and NAACP nominations. Regional honors include the Inland Theatre League Award, three awards for direction and performance on tour in “Equus,” and was up for Washington, DC’s Helen Hayes Award as Oscar Wilde in “Oscar & Speranza.” Prominent theatre critic since 1987 for such publications as Back Stage, Entertainment Today, and ArtsInLA.

Jack Huang Jack Huang
Stage Combat, Stunt Workshop

MA in Commercial Music, CSU Los Angeles; BM in Classical Violin Performance, UCI; Certificate in Film Scoring, UCLA. He was the teenage martial arts champion in nunchucks in Taiwan, the Taiwan government-selected martial artist for the US performance team of 1983, and then, the World Cup Middle Weight Champion at the 1987 Los Angeles Open.

Phil Kaufman Phil Kaufman

MFA in Acting, Yale School of Drama, BA in Drama, Dartmouth College, TV appearances on “Law and Order”, “Harry’s Law”, “The Mentalist”, as well as many commercials. Director of several short films, including pilot presentation, “Intelligence” and upcoming web series, “Send Me”. 

Eddie Kehler Eddie Kehler

Two year Meisner graduate with Maggie Flanigan. Studied with Wynn Handman. Actors Studio member/Board of Directors. Acting professionally from NYC to LA television, film and stage. Including; Dexter, Criminal Minds, Ally McBeal, Southland, Desperate Housewives.

Suzanne Kent Suzanne Kent
Scene Study, Comedy & Improvisation, Monologues, Voice

Series regular on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “St. Elsewhere,” “The Garry Shandling Show,” and “Brotherly Love.” Voice actor on “Rugrats,” “The Wild Thornberrys,” and “Rocket Power.” Over 30 acting credits in feature films, including “Middle Men,” “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid,” “Nuts,” “The Boost,” and “History of the World: Part I.”

Robert Lipton Robert Lipton
Tech, Scene Study, Text Analysis, Monologues, Method Acting for Film

Trained with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, graduated Neighborhood Playhouse program. SAG/AFTRA member. Over a dozen feature film roles, extensive stage experience, and multiple television appearances, including “Judging Amy,” “The Practice,” and “The X-Files.” Recurring roles on “One Life to Live,” “The Young and the Restless,” and 6 years on “As the World Turns.”

Brian Lohman Brian Lohman

Theatre games consultant for Francis Ford Coppola on "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and "Jack"; core faculty American Conservatory Theatre, Old Globe/USD, Stanford Improv Summer School, taught for Public Theatre Shakespeare Lab, SFSU, Pepperdine; Dramalogue & Garland awards; Associate Artistic Director Impro Theatre.

Michael Mccartney Michael Mccartney
Acting for Film

Actor, writer, producer, designer, and teacher who has worked extensively in film, theater and television.  Acting film credits include “Amazing Spiderman,” “Dealing,” “A Telephone Call,” “Neal Cassady,” “Confess,” “Bringing Rain,” and “Halloween Resurrection.” Television credits include Conan O’Brien, Law & Order, Conviction, and The Office.  His screenplay for “The Wreckage” was a Quarter Finalist for the 2009 Nicholl Fellowship.

George Mcgrath George Mcgrath
Comedy & Improvisation, Acting for the Camera, Voice

McGrath is an actor, writer, producer, and songwriter. He has been Emmy-nominated four times for writing and producing, and is the recipient of a GLAAD Award for “Tracey Takes On” and the TV Theme Song Hall of Fame Award for the theme song from “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

Alexis McNab Alexis McNab

Alexis Macnab (Acting, Movement). MFA in Directing for Theater, California Institute of the Arts; BA in Theater, Oberlin College. Original works have been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ohio, and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where she earned critical acclaim for her clown cabaret Hôtel de l'Avenir and her multi-media adaptation of Nabokov's Gods.

Kellynn Meeks Kellynn Meeks
Voice and Speech, Movement

MFA in Acting, Penn State University; BFA in Acting, University of Minnesota. Guest instructor of Movement, Voice, and Dialects at USC. Theatre instructor at Penn State University.

Shigeru Mitani Shigeru Mitani

Marc Ivan O'Gorman Marc Ivan O'Gorman

Marc-Ivan O'Gorman has his Masters degree in TV, Radio and Film from Syracuse University and his Bachelors degree in Arts, Communication (with Honours) from Trinity College Dublin.  He is the founder & director of The Irish Film Festival of India, Taylorfest & Cleverality Productions.  He has worked in a range of capacities on several popular TV series, produced & directed various TV commercials in Ireland & India, as well as written & directed a feature film (Black Magic) and a number of award winning short films (Trick or Treat, Infected City and Other).

Corey Pepper Corey Pepper
Comedy & Improv, Sketch Comedy

BA, SUNY at Binghamton. Founding member of National Lampoon Players, studying improv with Chris Barnes and Michael Haggarty. Graduate of Warner Bros. Comedy Writers program. Thirty years experience as actor, writer, comic and teacher. Has appeared in such projects as “Studs Lonigan” for NBC, and “The Quickening” for A&E.

JP Pitoc JP Pitoc

JP made what the New York Times called “an attention-getting feature film debut” with a lead in the Sundance Dramatic Competition indie and cult hit, Trick. The film has been screened as part of retrospectives for its cultural significance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. JP was honored with SAG’s award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble” for his recurring role in the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under. As a voice-over actor, he narrated the long-running series ET on MTV, has voiced national TV commercial campaigns and radio spots, and worked in video games, motion capture and animation. JP taught Voice and Speech at NYU and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. He earned his BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1996.

Julio O. Ramos Julio O. Ramos

He has his MFA in Film Directing and Production from UCLA. Julio is the Writer/Director of "A Doctor's Job" and "Behind the Mirrors," films that were showcased in Telluride, Camerimage and CFC WorldWide, awarded with top prizes at Palm Springs ShortFest, Nashville and La Habana. He is an Alum of the Berlinale Talent Campus and currently developing his first feature film.

David Robinette David Robinette
Acting Technique, Acting for Film, Monologues

BA in English/Creative Writing, Hunter College; MA Performance Theory/Playwriting, California State University, Northridge. Television actor with appearances on “The Young and the Restless,” “Law & Order,” “As the World Turns,” and “All My Children.” Film role in “Cry Funny Happy,” Official Selection at Sundance.

George Russo George Russo
Scene Study, Acting Technique

Studied at George Morrison Studios, HB Studios, and The Actors Studio. TV credits include Bonnie Hunt, NYPD, Luck, Dirty People; Teaching experience with Julia Bavasso Studios, Chamber Theatre, Third Street Theatre, and Varick Street Studio.

Yolanda Sanders Yolanda Sanders
Speech, Voice & Movement

BA in Communications, Howard University; MFA in Acting, UCLA. Some of her work includes the national one-person show, “Faces of America,” Voice of America’s popular radio drama “Pay Day,” as well as other numerous radio dramas, documentaries, and PSA’s.

Matt Sarnoff Matt Sarnoff
Writing for Actors, Acting for Film

BFA, Cooper Union School of Art; MFA, NYU Tisch School of Film and Television. As a young artist, Matt was featured in the New York Daily News, and interviewed on Good Morning America. Developed projects for Fuqua Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Directed and starred in Nervosa, and directed and co-produced the television pilot Good As Gold.

Erin Schlabach Erin Schlabach

Erin Schlabach is a director, performer and physical theatre devisor. She received her M.F.A. in Lecoq Based Actor Created Theatre from Naropa University at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) as a Lucien Wulsin scholar and her B.S. from Ball State University in Theatre Performance. She has been creating original work in Los Angeles since 2001. She served as the Co-Artistic Director of Leonix Movement Theatre and is a frequent collaborator with Invertigo Dance Theatre and Happy Chicken Theater among others. Outside of NYFA, Erin teaches workshops in Physical Comedy, Clowning, Devising and Movement.

Deena Selenow Deena Selenow

Deena Selenow is a director for live performance. She has directed projects both in Los Angeles and New York including: LA- REDCAT, Company of Angels, Highways Performance Space, Machine Project, LACMA, CalArts; New York- Dixon Place, chashama, Gene Frankel Theatre, NYTW Suspects Studio, NYU. She is the Recipient of the New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist of Color Directing Fellowship and the Baryshnikov Arts Center Multi-Disciplinary Artist Fellowship. Deena has her MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts and her BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Jim Senti Jim Senti
Tech and Scene Study, Thesis Portfolio

BA in Theatre, Butler University; MFA in Acting/Theatre History, Harvard University. Studied at the Moscow Art Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and Griffith University. Founding company member of Fugitive Kind Theatre Company. Appeared in national commercials for Chase, Target, and Joe’s Crab Shack.

Gilbert Shilton Gilbert Shilton

Gilbert Shilton has worked in the film and television industry for over 35 years. Early in his career, he gained professional experience as he moved through the many different departments on set, working as everything from assistant director, to actor, to camera operator. He began his freelance directing career in 1979, going on to direct numerous high-profile feature films, network television shows, pilots, and mini-series. In addition to his work as a director, Gil has written and sold successful scripts for features, pilots, and episodic television, while working as a producer on several television series. His work has garnered numerous award nominations, while his directing credits feature a diverse array of major prime-time shows including “Law & Order”, “MacGyver”, “Beverly Hills 90210”, “Quantum Leap”, “The A-Team”, “La Femme Nikita”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Magnum P.I.”, and “Knight Rider”.

Sage Simpson Sage Simpson
Meisner, Voice and Speech

MFA in Acting, UC Irvine. Instructor at UC Irvine of Meisner, Movement for Actors, Development of Theatre, and Intro to Acting.

Cecelia Specht Cecelia Specht

Cecelia has an MFA degree from The Actors Studio Drama School at The New School University. Her Undergraduate degree is from The University of California at Berkeley. She has been a Life Member of the Actors Studio since 1997. Cecelia has been teaching for 16 years and has taught Acting, Voice & Speech(including Accents) in New York, Australia and, Los Angeles. She has worked as an On-Set Dialogue Coach for many Australian and U.S. productions in Film and Television, along with consulting on many stage productions. Cecelia has worked as an Actress on two continents and credits include; Scandal, Parks & Recreations, Dexter, Revenge, various Pilots, and the internationally adored Australian TV show Neighbours.

Carol Stanzione Carol Stanzione

BFA- New York University- Tisch School Of the Arts-Strasberg Institute Carol has cast, directed and produced over 200 voice overs for Tv,Film and Radio. She cast the voices on the award winning, What the Bleep Do We know; Down The Rabbit Hole." A voice actress herself, she can be heard on many radio commercials and animated series. Carol also continues to work in TV and Film and Stage. recent credits include, Orange Is The New Black, Side Effects, Deliver Us From Evil, Eminem's Grammy "Stan" video and the West Coast Premiere of The Manchurian Candidate ." Carol has taught acting and voice over in Texas, Florida , New York and Los Angeles.

Riley Steiner Riley Steiner

During her long career as an actress, Riley worked on stage, television, and commercials with such notables as Anthony Hopkins, Celeste Holm, Anna Deveare Smith, and Tom Hanks. She was classically trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and studied acting for many years with the legendary Uta Hagen at HB Studios in New York. After discovering her love for teaching, she returned to school four years ago to obtain her Master of Fine Arts Degree in one of her earliest passions, Shakespeare.

Eric Stevens Eric Stevens

Eric has been a theatrical agent for over 25 years. In 2006 he established his own agency; Rainbow High Entertainment. His clients include established/ award winning actors in television, film and theater. In January 2013, the company transitioned to Artists Management and Production. In addition to representing talent, Eric is currently producing his first feature film.

Melissa Sullivan Melissa Sullivan
Acting for Film

BFA in Theatre, California Institute of the Arts. Teaching experience at University of Las Vegas and James Reese Acting Studio.

Yoshie Taniguchi Yoshie Taniguchi
Stunts, Stage Combat

BA in Physical Education, Tokyo University of Woman Physical Education; Conservatory, Sho Kosugi Hollywood School. Instructor of Tai Chi and Japanese swordsmanship. Assistant to martial arts master Jack C. Huang.

Cle Thompson Cle Thompson
Acting for Directors, Accent Reduction

BA in English, Beloit College. Performer in off-Broadway productions, national tours, and feature films. Teaching experience at UNC, Salem College, The Film House, and The Talent Link.

Matthew Toronto Matthew Toronto

Matthew Toronto is a director, writer, producer who works in film and theatre. His most recent feature, The Pact, has had a very successful run on the international festival circuit, garnering awards and official selections in over 20 festivals. He continues to direct plays and musicals at theatres across the country and spent several years as a performer in New York City, national tours and regional theatres including 5 seasons dancing along side the Rockettes in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. He has a BFA in musical theatre from the University of Michigan and an MFA in directing from Penn State University where he also taught acting and directing for seven years.

Dig Wayne Dig Wayne

Dig Wayne trained in London at the Lee Strasberg Studio. He was cast in the lead role in the musical 5 Guy's Named Moe in London's West End which won an Oliver Award for best musical. His most notable role in Los Angeles has been as Gabriel in the Actors Studio project of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Fences. Dig was nominated for an Ovation Award and won a NAACP Theatre Award for supporting actor in 2007. 

Cliff Weissman Cliff Weissman
Acting for Directors, Acting Technique

BA in Theatre, Brooklyn College. Professional actor with guest star and recurring roles on “NCIS,” “CSI: NY,” “Criminal Minds,” “24,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” and more. Acting and instructor and audition coach for over 25 years.

Alan Woolf Alan Woolf
Scene Study, Text Analysis, Monologues

MFA, NYA; BA in English, University of Rhode Island. Acted in over 175 theatrical productions. TV appearances include “Airwolf,” “The Medium,” “The Practice,” “Dragnet, L.A.,” and “Melrose Place.” Features include “Air Force One,” “The Rat Pack,” John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker,” “Smithereens.” Past president and board of directors of both Actors Alley Repertory and Theatre East.

Michael Zelnicker Michael Zelniker
Acting for Film, Acting Technique

Michael is an award winning actor and filmmaker. Having starred in more than 20 feature films and on television countless times, he is perhaps best known for playing Red Rodney in Clint Eastwood's "Bird" or as Allen Ginsberg in David Cronenberg's "Naked Lunch". Michael is a classically trained actor having graduated from Dawson College's Professional Acting Program and has appeared in theatres all across North American doing everything from Shakespeare to David Mamet. His favorite role is as Mozart in "Amadeus".

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