About the Meisner Technique
Created by Sanford Meisner of New York’s influential Group Theatre and the Neighborhood Playhouse, the Meisner Technique creates truthful, emotionally-connected actors. Meisner-trained actors include Steve McQueen, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, James Gandolfini, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Allison Janey and Connie Britton.
The Meisner Technique gets you out of your head and into the moment. At Actors Bridge, we take students through a step-by-step approach to the Meisner Technique giving them a strong foundation in being emotionally available, truthfully responsive actors.
Whether you are an actor interested in deepening your craft or someone looking for greater confidence, spontaneity, and intuition in your everyday life, the Meisner Technique can help you on your journey.
All students, regardless of previous acting experience begin at Level One. Because the technique is a very specific set of exercises that build on one another, the pro and the amateur both begin on equal footing in new territory.
As our producing artistic director, Vali Forrister, says,
“I remind all my students that I’m not teaching you how to act, I’m teaching you the Meisner Technique, which is an approach to acting new to everyone in the class. This makes learning really exciting because everyone can come with a beginner’s mind and enjoy Meisner’s proven method to get you out of your head and into the moment.”
Level One is entirely improvisational (no memorization required) and is designed to break bad acting habits and teach self-awareness, deepen intuition activate imagination and strengthen presence. In Level Two, we apply these new skills to Scene Study. Level Three applies the work to monologues. In Level Four and above, we go deeper into Meisner’s method of “emotional preparation” with advanced improvisation and scene work.
Some guiding principles of the Meisner Technique include:
- Acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.
- The foundation of acting is the reality of doing.
- There’s no such thing as nothing.
- Acting is about instincts and intuition, not intellect (heart not head).
- Active awareness frees actors from self-consciousness on stage.
If you are interested in learning more about the Technique before you sign up, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recommend the PBS documentary, “Theatre’s Best Kept Secret” for a larger context on Mr. Meisner and his legendary technique. It is available in segments on YouTube HERE.