The William Alderson Acting Studio offers classes for beginning and professional actors. The foundation of the program is the Meisner technique. Classes are taught by Mr. Alderson.
The Meisner process is learned by working at a number of exercises which act as steps arriving at an intuitive and instinctual comprehension of your ability as an actor.
Although textbook explanation of this process is often attempted, the Meisner process is a thing to be “experienced through the doing of it” and in this way we learn and only then do we “know.”
In the Meisner Technique there’s a first year and a second year. The first year is building a foundation through exercises and simple scenes. Using the foundation from the first year, the second year is character study and emotionally demanding scenes.
"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. … I decided that a creative textbook about acting was a contradiction in terms … how I uniquely transmit my ideas wasn’t sufficiently apparent. I came to realize how I teach is determined by the gradual development of each student.”
– Sanford Meisner
Meisner Scenes for Class <-- click
2018 CLASS SCHEDULE
Class is $300/8 sessions (1 month). Auditing is not permitted.
Classes meet twice a week. Students work in every class and get a lot of personal attention. Students are admitted after interviewing with Bill or César. Email us to schedule your interview!
FALL INTENSIVE Mon & Thur 7pm (begins Oct 8)
(from May) 1st YEAR: Tue & Fri at 11am (resumes Oct 23)
2nd yr/Grad class: Wed 7pm & Sat 11am (resumes Oct 24)
Tuition can be paid via Cash, Check, Venmo, or credit card via this paypal link.
Paypal payment can be made to: BillAldersonTeacher@gmail.com
We also accept Venmo payments to: BillAldersonTeacher@gmail.com
We also accept electronic mobile payments from your bank to: BillAldersonTeacher@gmail.com
Thanksgiving -no class: Thurs Nov 22- Sun Nov 25
Christmas/New Years -no class Sun Dec 23 - Wed Jan 2.
All classes resume Jan 3
William Alderson was trained as an actor and teacher by Sanford Meisner and worked as Mr. Meisner’s principal assistant and Associate Director at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City for over twenty years. He made his directorial debut in 1975 with William Inge’s “The Disposal” at the Jan Hus Theatre in New York City. Mr. Alderson has been training actors for more than 30 years. The goal of any teacher is to bring the actor securely back to himself. This is the design of the Meisner Technique, which is based on “the reality of doing.” In addition to teaching, Mr. Alderson has directed a variety of theatre productions in New York, and worked closely with playwright Horton Foote. He directed Foote’s “The Traveling Lady” and “Lily Dale” at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in New York, and appeared in Foote’s well-received “The Roads to Home” with Jean Stapleton. Mr. Alderson is a member of the Director’s Unit of the Actor’s Studio and has appeared on and off-broadway, as well as in film and television. In 1993, Mr. Alderson opened the William Alderson Acting Studio in Los Angeles and subsequently founded the River Street Theatre.
Sanford Meisner studied as a pianist at the Damrash Institute of Music, now the Juilliard School, before making his way into the theater as an actor, director and innovative teacher. Disillusioned with popular acting techniques, he began teaching what he called an "American approach" at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York in 1935. A year later, he became the school's director. The "Meisner technique," as it became known, stemmed from his disenchantment with other popular techniques, including the "external" school of British theater, Russian theater's so called "internal" technique and the "method" approach. It focused on actors becoming aware of their emotions through daydreaming and imagination. "Actors are not guinea pigs to be manipulated, dissected, let alone in a purely negative way," Meisner wrote. Arthur Miller said he could tell Meisner-trained actors, because they were honest and simple and don't lay on complications that aren't necessary. "It was a freer way of working and it was very personal." Mr. Meisner was an original member of the Group Theater of the 1930's, which produced acting teachers such as Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler and Robert Lewis. His own students included actors Gregory Peck, Grace Kelly, Robert Duvall, Peter Falk, Lee Grant, Diane Keaton, and Joanne Woodward; directors Sidney Lumet, Sydney Pollack and Vivian Matalon and the playwright David Mamet. Meisner's movie credits include "The Story on Page One," "Tender is the Night," and "Mikey and Nicky." His last performance was as a guest on the NBC series "ER," at age 90.