View Full Version : Classes Study the Meisner Approach

08-13-2008, 04:51 PM
Study Meisner approach at Green Shirt Studio

“Every little moment has a meaning all its own.”
–Sanford Meisner

LEARN acting in a supportive and healthy atmosphere...

DEVELOP your truest self on stage and in life through this powerful, non-intellectual approach to performance...

DISCOVER how spontaneous, grounded, and emotionally alive you can be!

IMMERSE yourself in the acting approach studied by David Mamet, Robert Duvall, Sydney Pollack and many more.

www.greenshirtstudio.com (http://www.greenshirtstudio.com/index.php)

Core Meisner Classes

The four Meisner classes we offer at Green Shirt are the backbone of what we do. These classes are designed to be taken in order, each level lasting 10 weeks. If you're serious about transforming your acting, this is the place to start.

Level 1: Living Truthfully

Sanford Meisner said that, “acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” In our first ten weeks together, we will work on the first half of that statement: living truthfully. Meisner’s innovative, step-by-step series of improvisational exercises will train you to be thoroughly responsive, emotionally alive, spontaneous and absolutely grounded in the reality of what is happening at any given moment with any given person. These foundational exercises will get you out of your head and into being absolutely present to the world around you and the people you share it with.

Level 2: Under Imaginary Circumstances

In Level 2, we will begin to explore 'imaginary circumstances.' New elements will be added to the exercises that will work to broaden your imagination, exercise your faith in fictional circumstances, and ground your acting in your own unique point of view. As you continue this work through the advanced exercises, we will begin to show you ways to bring the improvisational nature of Meisner’s work to actual scripts by turning the script into an improvisation with words. Our last class together will be an open class during which you will perform a scene for an invited audience.

Level 3: Emotional Preparation

Acting is an emotional art form, yet as Meisner told us, 'acting is not emoting.' So how do we deepen our emotional life without becoming indulgent, self-conscious actors? How do we meet the emotional demands of the script without faking anything? Level 3 has the answer. For ten weeks you will be guided through a series of exercises specifically designed to deepen and set free your emotional life. Meisner’s 'Emotional Preparation' and 'Particularization' exercises will give you the tools you need to truthfully meet the deepest emotional demands of any play. At the end of these ten weeks you will put your new skills to the test and perform a second scene for an invited audience.

Level 4: Doing the Work

In this final level, we’ll give you the interpretive tools you'll need to put all your Meisner training into practice in the real world. You will learn how to read a script with the precision and dexterity of a surgeon, discover how to make active choices that work for you, and unlock your ability to personalize the given circumstances of the plays you work on. You will emerge from Level 4 with a concrete, no-nonsense process that will give you a solid foundation for the rest of your acting career.

Other Classes


From time to time we offer low cost or free Meisner workshops at our space and other venues around town. Topics covered in these workshops varies but often includes Basic Meisner Repetition, Meisner audition technique etc. These workshops are an excellent way for you to get an idea of what Meisner is all about, to see what we are like as teachers, and to find out if Meisner training is for you. We also allow prospective students to sit in on our regularly scheduled Meisner classes (at our discretion).

Repetition Nights (Monthly)

Meisner’s Repetition exercise is to actors as scales are to a violinist: the more time you spend working the exercise, the better you get at the art. Stop by and keep your Repetition skills sharp. These informal sessions are open to anyone who is in or has taken any of Green Shirt’s core Meisner classes as well as anyone from the community with a strong background in Meisner training. $5 suggested donation per session.

Meisner Monologues (8 weeks)

So Meisner training is all well and good, but how do I apply it to working monologues so I can actually audition well and get a part in a play? Well, there is a way and this class will give you the skills to do it. For eight weeks we will guide you through an intensive, methodical system of working on monologues that will ground you, deepen your emotional connection to your pieces and give you the confidence you need to deliver a great audition. By the end of this class you will have worked two monologues up to speed and, in the last class, you will present them in front of an invited audience. The cost for this class is $200.

About Us

Sommer Austin and Andrew Gallant are two highly trained theatre artists with extensive background in the Meisner approach. We received our certification to teach the Meisner Approach by renowned author and Meisner expert Larry Silverberg (author of The Sanford Meisner Approach: An Actors Workbook (Volumes 1-4), Loving to Audition, etc.). Here’s what Larry has to say about us:

"Andrew Gallant and Sommer Austin are gifted and sensitive theatre artists who have a very personal devotion to the Meisner Approach and to helping actors grow. They both have a sense of urgency about their mission, a mission to help fellow actors, that is wonderful to experience. I know, as a team, Andrew and Sommer are going to make a very big difference in the lives of the actors they work with and with their contribution, the Chicago theatre community will simply be a better place." -Larry Silverberg

Sommer is an actor and improviser in Chicago. She has an MFA in Acting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught acting and voice to undergraduates for 3 years, and she has been coaching students for the past 8 years. Andrew received his MFA in Acting from DePaul University, has acted professionally in many venues throughout the US and abroad, is a member of Actors Equity Association, and has been coaching students for 6 years.


Who is the Meisner work for?
Meisner trained everyone from seasoned performers to absolute newcomers. As long as a student is dedicated and diligent, the gifts of this work can be tremendous.

I’m an improviser. What does Meisner training have to do with me?
The Meisner approach is improvisational in nature so it serves as a perfect bridge between improv and script based performance. This technique is also excellent at fostering true spontaneity, getting performers to trust their impulses, getting performers out of their heads as well as many other skills that are essential to improvisers. Additionally, sketch writers and playwrights will gain a huge amount of insight into dramatic structure and the kind of elements that make a good scene as they participate in and watch the exercises.

I’ve heard that Meisner training is all about crying and throwing chairs. Why would I want to be around that?
There are a lot of horror stories out there about Meisner work and, frankly, a lot of teachers who perpetuate these myths. Unlike many other approaches, this training does NOT encourage students to recall traumatic events or anything else that could be potentially harmful to the student. We work hard to foster a supportive, nurturing environment and have no agenda beyond helping fellow performers grow artistically. We believe that acting classes must not be therapy sessions and your training with us will not be as such.

There are a lot of other Meisner teachers around, so why should I study with you?
We are passionate about this work and are currently the only private studio in Chicago where students can work with two certified Meisner teachers. In addition to that unique credential, studying with us will give you the benefit of having two highly trained professionals working in tandem guiding you through this work. That’s two teachers for less than most studios charge to study with one.

How do I get to the classroom space?
Our studio space is within walking distance of the Montrose and Damen brown line stops at 4636 N. Ravenswood. The Damen bus stops 1 blocks away. There is also ample parking.

To enroll: email us at signup@greenshirtstudio.com or call (773) 944-0611

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