Meisner Technique

Meisner Technique

Enrolling now for the next first-year Meisner class! The Meisner Technique is a two-year professional training for both serious actors and those who want to become better authentic listeners. The Meisner technique is ‘listening based.’ Using the technique that Sanford Meisner pioneered, you will learn to listen a moment at a time, without an agenda, to hear exactly what is going on in your partner. Life teaches us to listen defensively, art demands that we don’t.

This 9-month class will meet the first Wednesday of each month from 6-10pm starting September 4th. Use PayPal for your refundable deposit of $50 or pay a refundable $250 for the first month of classes. Contact us with any question about the Meisner class.


Meisner Class

Note: Mesiner class is not a drop-in and drop-out. The technique is cumulative. So you must start in September and continue through the nine months to fully benefit. Applicants: we will call to arrange a brief interview. Acceptance is based on an interview only; there is no audition.

The Meisner Technique

markusMeisner technique is a complete course of study that produces instinctual and responsive actors. Generalities give way to specifics; understanding evolves into trust in your partner; and instincts guide you toward clearer communications. It has become known around the world for teaching actors to be truthful in the “reality of doing the work.”

One can use standard principles and textbooks in educating people for law, medicine, architecture, chemistry or almost any other profession, but not for the theater. – Sanford Meisner

More About Meisner Technique

Sanford Meisner 1935Where the British theater favored an external acting technique and the Russian theater was grounded in an internal approach, Meisner instead focused on finding the “core truth” of the performance, or “living truthfully under the imaginary circumstances.”

Meisner’s technique is not simply about learning your lines and running the scenes; it is about communication. “One can use standard principles and textbooks in educating people for law, medicine, architecture, chemistry or almost any other profession,” Meisner said. “But not for the theater. I came to realize how I teach is determined by the gradual development of each student.”

The Meisner Technique dates back to 1935 and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, where Sanford Meisner taught for 50 years and where he developed his “American approach” to acting.

At the Westlake Acting Studio, Markus Flanagan teaches the technique the way he learned it from Mr. Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Accordingly the class follows the same two-year format.

Course Syllabi

  • First year focuses on the fundamental training of the actor through extensive improvisational exercises – namely “repetition” in which the actor’s attention is focused upon his or her partner’s behavior. Students will learn to stay focused and learn to allow themselves to behave truthfully in this imaginary circumstance. After eight months a more honest actor emerges with a unique instrument honed to behave ‘truthfully’ in the theatrical sense.
  • Second year uses the basis of listening and answering, living truthfully, and doing things with reality learned in the first year and adds to it character building elements that fill out the use of the first year with the layers that lead to full understanding of the character you wish to portray.

Contact us with any question about the Meisner class.