Meisner Acting Class

A weekly eight week evening course designed as an introduction to Acting Technique. Open to all levels of development. Designed for students who want to pursue a career in acting as well of those who want to discover more about themselves and become more confident in their interactions within their respective careers. Contact us for info.

Acting for Screenwriters

What a concept!

Great dialogue comes out of behavior!

An eight week course designed to aid writers in creating roles that will attract name actors and make you immeasurably more confident in selling your writing.  By experiencing first hand the nature of acting, you will learn to create more powerful dialogue by perceiving the types of behavior that underlie your character’s words.

You will be working hands on with actors. Through a series of very specific exercises you will be able access your instinct and create characters that are complex, truthful and riveting: the kind of characters that actors demand to play.  And what’s more you can have fun in the process!

 The Technique

Sanford Meisner, founding member of the Group Theatre, developed a technique of acting that was based on actor’s ability to reach into their inner lives to create characters that embodied emotional truth.  He founded the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and dedicated his life to teaching the craft of acting. He is widely regarded as one of the foremost acting teachers of his time.

 The Teacher

Frederick Ponzlov, screenwriter of “Undertaking Betty”  starring Christopher Walken, Brenda Blethyn, Alfred Molina and Naomi Watts, has taught acting for the past twenty-five years.  A graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse of New York, he has taught acting at the University of Wisconsin, privately in New York and presently in Los Angeles. Mr. Ponzlov, an actor himself, has adapted the Meisner technique of acting specifically for writers.

 The Class

Limited to six students, the class will take place in an atmosphere where writers will be free to unselfconsciously experience the acting process. The cost is $295

For More Information

Contact Fred Ponzlov by email at .  Or here.

Acting For Writers – you just might surprise yourself

Talking With… Friday Night Reviews of our standing Ovation Performance

“Talking with…”: When women bare their souls on stage

by Lila Ghobady

“Let them mark you. The best among us have had so many imprints left upon them that it is like embroidery.” “Marks” acted by Kit Breckenridge

Talking With… is a series of monologues by 11 women written by award-winning and Pulitzer-nominated Kentucky playwright mysterious Jane Martin. First performed in 1982, it is now being shown at the Long Beach Playhouse for the first time. Ten local actresses play the brilliantly written female characters in Talking With…

The first character is an actress preparing to go onstage, performed by comedian Teresa Ganzel. The other nine women present a series of moving monologues, their life changing experiences from the commercialization of rodeo to the death of one’s mother:

“Study French. She said she had made a pledge to herself years ago that she would die bilingual. Dad and I cried a lot, but she didn’t.”

“Clear Glass Marbles” performed by Afsaneh Hamedani

“Dear St. Margaret, patron saint of childbirth, let me live, let my child live, and enough with the labor OK? I thought after 23 hours of this they either had to give you a C-section or a hairdresser.”

“Dragons” performed by Geraldine Uy

Shirley Marchant’s remarkable portrayal of an old homeless woman who spends her days in McDonald’s is one of the best performances in the show. She smartly references current day-issues by adding the sign “The 99%” on her shopping cart. This serves to add a deeper layer of irony to her character, whose idea of heaven on earth is McDonald’s and strongly believes that plastic is the most important thing that God has ever created.

CaroleAnne Johnson’s washed-up rodeo rider was also one of the memorable character. She is frustrated by the dominance of commercialism in America, “In a society that takes whatever you love and sells it back to you… Now they bought the rodeo. Them. Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, Marlboro damn cigarettes. . . . Hell, tobacco wasn’t made to smoke, honey, it was made to chew. Lord wanted ya filled up with smoke he would have set ya on fire. . . . “

The production is by The Long Beach Repertory Theater in association with The Long Beach Playhouse. It is directed by the award-winning actor, screenwriter, director and New York art graduate, Fredrick Ponzlov, who currently is residing as the Artistic Director of the Long Beach Repertory Theater. Ponzlov explains about his reasons behind directing the play: “I was thoroughly taken with Talking With…. from the first monologue I read. So few plays offer the incredible variety and depth of women’s roles that exist in this one theatrical event. Complex, amusing, and disturbing aspects of all these women exist in all of us. And their plights, dreams and experience touch our own humanity…”

After all, as snake handler character believes:

“If you got the spirit, snake don’t bite. If he bites you, you know you ain’t got the spirit.”

Talking With… has a spirit and it is in Long Beach. The performance of these ten strong women should not be missed…

Talking With… opened on November 11th at Long Beach Play House and runs through Dec 4th.