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On Approaching a Role -- Acting Pros Define Their Technique

This Panel features some of New York's most prestigious and respected acting coaches talking about their particular styles and approaches to acting. These acting techniques can allow the actor to make better creative choices that can expand your range and repertoire and will provide you the knowledge to better inhabit the roles you are looking for.  Moderated by Penny Templeton. 

Speakers include:
-  William Esper, William Esper Studios
-  Glenn Alterman,  Glen Alterman Studios
-  Terry Schreiber, T. Schreiber Studios 
-  Mary McCann, Atlantic Theater Studios
-  Ron Burrus, Stella Adler Studios


William Esper
William Esper has been teaching acting for over 45 years. He's a graduate of Western Reserve University and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of The Theater where he studied with Sanford Meisner, Martha Graham, Louis Horst and Robert Neff Williams.

In 1962 he undertook teacher training with Sanford Meisner and began a 15-year close association with him as a teacher and director; first at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and starting in 1965 at the Neighborhood Playhouse. From 1975 to 1977 he was associate director of the Playhouse Acting Department. In 1977 he founded the MFA and BFA Professional Actor Training Programs at Rutger's University's Mason Gross School of the Arts. He remained head of these programs until his retirement in 2003.

In 1965 Bill founded the William Esper Studio in New York, where he continues to teach today. He has been a guest artist teacher at the Banff Festival, the National Theater School of Canada, St. Nicholas Theater Co in Chicago IL, Shauspiel Munchen in Germany and the National Film School of Denmark. He is profiled in The New Generation of Acting Teachers published by Viking Press in 1987 and is the author of The Actor's Art and CraftWilliam Esper Teaches the Meisner Technique, published in March 2008 by Anchor Books/Random House.

Glenn Alterman
Glenn Alterman was recently chosen "The Best Monologue-Audition Coach in the Tri-State Area" by Theater Resource Magazine. He was also chosen first runner as "Best Private Acting Coach" by the readers of Back Stage. His 16 bestselling theater-related and original monologue books include The Perfect Audition Monologue, Creating Your Own Monologue, An Actor's Guide: Making It in New York City, Promoting Your Acting Career, and Glenn Alterman's Secrets to Successful Cold Readings.

Glenn has coached thousands of actors and lectured or taught at such diverse places as The Edward Albee Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska; Southampton College; Governors School for the Arts at Old Dominion University; The School for Film and Television; Western Connecticut State College; Broadway Artists Alliance; The School For Professional Actors; the Dramatists Guild; The Learning Annex; The Screen Actors Guild; The Seminar Center, as well as at many acting schools and colleges all over the country.

Terry Schreiber
Featured in Eva Mekler's The New Generation of Acting Teachers, Terry Schreiber has been teaching and directing for over 40 years. The T. Schreiber Studio, established in 1969, has been a home and training ground for many artists who have gone on to successful careers in theatre, film, and television and is recognized as one of the foremost professional theatre studios in New York.

Terry has directed On Broadway the Tony-nominated play K2, The Trip Back Down, and Devour the Snow. Off-Broadway credits include Desire Under the Elms at The Roundabout Theatre and Feedlot at Circle Repertory. Regional credits include The Guthrie Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Hartman Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Studio Arena Stage and the George Street Playhouse. Internationally, Terry has directed in Japan and has taught workshops in Paris and Istanbul.

Productions at the T. Schreiber Studio include: Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, How I Learned to Drive, Hedda Gabler, Uncle Vanya, The Seagull, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, Orpheus Descending, The Iceman Cometh, Suddenly Last Summer, Summer and Smoke, Miss Julie, Joe Egg, Hamlet, Of Mice and Men, The Crucible, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, The Woman from the Sea, and Landscape of the Body. Terry is the author of Acting, Advanced Techniques for the Actor, Director and Teacher.

Mary McCann
Mary McCann is a founding member of the award-winning Atlantic Theater Company and the Executive Director of the Atlantic Acting School. She has performed in many plays at the Atlantic, including the critically acclaimed Almost an Evening by Ethan Coen and the hit rock musical Spring Awakening. Mary has appeared on Broadway in The Old Neighborhood, Our Town with the late Spaulding Grey, and Search and Destroy.

Other off-Broadway and Atlantic productions include: Body Awareness, The Cherry Orchard, The Night Heron, The Hiding Place, This Thing of Darkness, The Beginning of August, Wolf Lullaby, The Water Engine, Edmond, Dangerous Corner, Missing Persons, and Shaker Heights (Atlantic); Oleanna (Orpheum Theater); Uncommon Women and Others (Second Stage); Boys' Life (Lincoln Center); and Hot Keys (Naked Angels) At ART, she performed in Oleanna and Boston Marriage, in which she starred with Felicity Huffman and Rebecca Pigeon.

Film and TV credits include Sordid Things, Choke, Todd Field's Little Children (starring Kate Winslet), It Must Be Love, Door to Door, The Con, The Spanish Prisoner, The Night We Never Met, Sleepers, Things Change, The Unit, Cashmere Mafia, The Naked Brothers Band, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Sex and the City, Sports Night, ER, and Spin City. Mary can also currently be seeing in commercials for Sudafed and Walgreens Health Care. Producing credits include the feature film Edmond starring William H. Macy and Colin Fitz. Mary lives in New York City with her husband Neil Pepe (artistic director of Atlantic Theater Company) and their daughter Lena.

Ron Burrus
Ron Burrus is the greatest living exponent of the Stella Adler Technique. Ron spent many years studying and teaching alongside Ms. Adler in New York City. He has extensive theatre directing credits including The Three Sisters and You Can't Take it With You at the Circle in the Square Director's Unit, The Brick and the Rose at New York University, and The White Whore and The Bit Player for the Cubiculo Theatre.

Los Angeles theatre credits include: award-winning Guest of the Nation at the Court Theatre, Seed of Darkness at the Tamarind Theatre, and Opus One at the Los Feliz Playhouse. Film coaching credits include John Mellencamp's Falling from Grace. Ron also directed the feature film Getting Personal (European release) also known as The Mysterious Death of Kelly Lawman (HBO, Cinemax).

His acting seminars are done internationally and nationally: Sydney, Australia; Lausanne, Switzerland; Grand Valley, MI; and Portland, OR. Ron teaches full time in Manhattan during the fall season, and the remainder of the year he works with actors at the Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles. He heads the Advanced Business of Acting seminars that introduce the NY-trained actor to the LA industry of film and television.

Penny Templeton (Moderator)
Penny Templeton 's artistry is the culmination of four generations of theatre actresses. Although Penny was warned by her family not to go on the Stage she embraced her legacy and began performing and studying under such masters as Paul Sorvino and Wynn Handman. Highlights of her career include starring in Joyce Carol Oates' I Stand Before You Naked at the American Place Theatre, and as Paul Sorvino's wife in All The King's Men.

Her unique coaching methods and techniques have garnered attention and recognition from industry peers. She has been called upon to offer her expertise for articles in national magazines and is currently writing her book, Acting Under Fire: Creating Acting Lions. Penny has been a finalist Judge for the NY Film Festival, Daytime Emmys and Cable Ace Awards. She taught Acting for the Camera to the MFA students at Columbia University .

She is featured in Glenn Alterman's book Promoting Your Acting Career, and Ronald Rand's Acting Teachers of America. Penny works with actors on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well as in regional theatre, feature films, primetime and daytime television.

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