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Adjunct Faculty

Faculty at The Acting Studio - New York are selected not only for their command of their subject, but for the ability to inspire, motivate and develop our students.

Tish Brandt - Accent Reduction

Tish Brandt (Accent Reduction) has been involved in the acting profession for twenty years. She is a certified secondary school teacher in Speech Communication and Radio and Television Production. She is a certified Teacher of English as a Second Language (TESOL), having taught in private and public schools. Her credits include regional theatre, independent films, television and commercials in Austin and New York. She was nominated for an B. Iden Payne Award for Best Featured Actress in a Drama for her work in THE EXONERATED at Zachary Scott Theatre (Austin). Tish also wrote and performed her one-woman show ACTING LESSONS. She has performed in plays produced by Chelsea Repertory, mostly recently SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY.

Anna Maria Cianciulli - Scene Study; Meisner

Anna Maria Cianciulli (Scene Study, Meisner Technique) has been working as a Director, Actor and Producer in New York since the early 90s. Her film, "Stay" has been included in the Official Selections of the Manhattan Film Festival, the Central Florida Film Festival, The NewFilmmakers New York in 2014, and has received a Special Mention from the Ouchy Film Awards Winter 2016.

 

Anna Maria has received a Nomination for Best Actress from the International Festival of Cinema and Technology. In 2015 she played a principal role in Stealing Chanel, a feature directed by Roberto Mitrotti, distributed by Lifetime Network.

 

She was honored by Sanford Meisner with the exclusive rights to edit the Italian edition of "Sanford Meisner On Acting" - "La recitazione" - published in 2007.

 

Her work as Director and Actor has been seen at: The Kitchen - for a BAM Event; Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Station; Joyce Soho; St. Peter's Church; American Museum of Natural History; Theater for the New City; Access Theater; The Players Club. Collaborations staged with Domenica Cameron-Scorsese; Kevin Bacon and Michael Bacon; Susan Batson, Brian Dennehy, and Roberto Benigni. As a Theater Director, her work has been daring and experimental.

 

Most recently Anna has produced and co-written "Life After Her," a 30 minutes film shot in New York, to be released by 2017. She has Co-Produced "Tribeca in Rome" - a cultural partnership between the Tribeca Film Festival and the Rome Film Festival ‘s first edition- including the Steps and Stars Award received by Robert De Niro. She has also produced Discovering the New Italian Cinema - a film festival presented at the Quad Cinema.

 

As an Acting Coach, Anna Maria consulted with Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, Alessandra Mastronardi, Kick Kennedy, and Santigold. She was the on-set Acting Coach of "Yelo," a short film directed by Adrien Boublil (Cannes 2013.) She is a member of the senior faculty of The Acting Studio, New York, Inc. and of the New York Film Academy (NYFA).

Valeria Cossu - Body Percussion

Valeria Cossu (Body Percussion) After finishing her artistic studies in Rome, Madrid, and New York, Valeria began her professional career as a performer at the Opera Lirica in Italy dancing in prestigious productions. She went on to join several different international dance and theatre companies throughout her career, such as MAYUMANA, YLLANA, and KALEIDO. Valeria's versatility led her to grow into different roles onstage and off. She has worked in Europe as the assistant director for John Rando on THE WEDDING SINGER (Spain) and as associate director/choreographer on ECOPOLIS THE SHOW and GORMITI THE SHOW (Spain and Portugal). 

Upon moving to NYC, Valeria´s choreography has been seen in SER O NO CER...VANTES, RL'S 2011 CHOREOGRAPHERS' FESTIVAL and THE CHANUKAH MIRACLE SHOW. She worked as part of Salgado Productions with the Director/Choreographer Luis Salgado as assistant director/associate choreographer on CANDELA FUERZA Y PASION (Perú), DC-7 THE ROBERTO CLEMENTE STORY (Off-Broadway), ZAPATA THE MUSICAL (NYMF), AMIGO DUENDE A NEW MUSICAL (Museo del Barrio), SONG OF SOLOMON (Thespis Festival, Awarded Best Director ), ZUCOTTI PARK (Venus/Adonis Festival, Awarded Best Director). As a director, Valeria has directed both CAROLINA CHICKPEA and UNDER YOUR SKIN for Chelsea Repertory Company.

LaVonda Elam - Voice and Speech

LaVonda Elam (Voice and Speech) is an actor, singer and educator having traveled the world extensively as a performer and teaching artist. As an educator she has a wide range of experience in her work including her decade long residency as Senior Actor-Teacher with The City University of New York’s Creative Arts Team, an educational theater organization, teaching devised performance skills and voice & speech to Medgar Evers & York students. She’s worked as a Master Teaching Artist with American Place Theater’s Literature to Life series. She has also led guest voice workshops with the Sigma Gamma Sorority in the US Virgin Islands and tutored Spanish ESL students with The Santa Monica Public Library. LaVonda is an alumnus of The Theater School in Chicago and continues her work as an actor and educator as she gives birth to her first solo performance piece.

Peter Evangelista - Sunday Teen Acting Workshop

Peter Evangelista (Meisner For Teens - Acting Workshop) is a graduate of The Acting Studio - New York and New York Film Academy. As a student he worked very closely with studio director James Price and staff on the craft of acting for both theater and film. His theater credits include: 12 ANGRY MEN (John W. Engeman Theater), A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Antrim Playhouse), THE RASCALS: ONCE UPON A DREAM (Richard Rodgers Theater), ROMEO & JULIET (Chelsea Repertory Company, Castle Repertory). Film credits: STARCROSSED LOVERS, WHERE THE LAUGHTER ENDS, THE WAR AT HOME, THE CHASE, TREES AND INK. He is also a member of Chelsea Repertory Company & LAB where he continues to work and train. In his recent LAB endeavor he directed THE LOVELIEST AFTERNOON OF THE YEAR by John Guare and performed in BIRDBATH by Leonard Melfi as part of the Chelsea Repertory Company LAB production, CAFFE CINO RETROSPECTIVE.

Rodney Ferrer - Acting for the Camera; On Camera Audition

Rodney Ferrer (Acting For The Camera; On-Camera Film/TV Audition) is the Director, Writer and Creator of CITY OF MERCY. He performed as an actor with The Family Life Theater Company with which he toured for 5 years prior to training as an actor. Afterward he studied the Sanford Meisner Approach at The Acting Studio - New York in NYC and then continued working as an actor in film, television and NYC theater while working in New York City Public Schools teaching conflict resolution to students using improvisational theater techniques. Rodney then began working as a screenwriter for film and television, leading to the creation of Sidewalk Prophecy Films Production Company in New York.

As a Director and Writer, Rodney’s vision of the world around him led to the creation of socially conscious projects he is credited for, such as: NATION, THE DOUBLE A DONS, THE FORGOTTEN PATRIOT, THE PROJECT, CITY OF MERCY and the feature film FUGAZI, now in pre-production.

Rodney has also worked as a photojournalist for SHOOT 4 CHANGE, a non-profit social photography organization that sent him on assignment to Costa Rica covering stories about remote communities and villages coping with gentrification and westernization.

Jeremy Kareken - Playwriting Workshop; Chelsea Rep Playwriting LAB

Jeremy Kareken (Playwriting Workshop; Chelsea Rep Playwriting LAB) is a writer/actor. His plays have been performed in Dublin, New York, Melbourne, and at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. For the past 16 years, he has been the sole researcher for BRAVO TV's Inside the Actor's Studio. He has taught writying at Independence College, the Actors Studio Drama School and he teaches writing at NYU.

Jeremy has also taught corporate seminars to Audible.com, Ziff Investments, and the Clinton Foundation. As a corporate communications specialist, he has been a speechwiter to both a Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate. His next play, co-written with David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, is based on the best-seller Lifespan of a Fact by John D'Agata and Jim Fingal. He was a co-writer on the My America project directed by Hal Hartley.

Christian Kelly-Sordelet - Stage Violence

Christian Kelly-Sordelet (Stage Violence) Fight Director, Broadway: Picnic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Waiting for Godot and No Mans Land. Off-Broadway: Masked, Slipping, Unlock’d, The Brother/Sister Plays. As a TV stunt coordinator for: ALL MY CHILDREN, GUIDING LIGHT, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and SCHOOL SPIRITS. Christian assisted in: THE SNOW GEESE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST tour: South Africa and Argentina. In Fuerza Bruta, BEN HUR LIVE: Rome, and AS YOU LIKE IT, COMEDY OF ERRORS and KING LEAR in Central Park. Christian has taught at: Rutgers, NYU, Yale, The New School, Wagner College and City College of New York in Harlem.

Grant Neale - Movement/Mime

Grant Neale (Movement/Mime) holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Acting and Theatre from Siena Heights College and studied advanced technique under James Price at The Acting Studio. He has performed extensively throughout the country, including three years as member of NY's famed Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre and is currently a member of The Ridiculous Theatre, Nomad Theatrical and Chelsea Repertory Company. In addition, Grant has performed in London and Edinburgh and most recently performed in POLANSKI POLANSKI, a one-man play written by Saviana Stanescu and received wonderful reviews in NY for both acting and directing in THE FOOL'S LEAR by Randy Neale.

John Prestianni - Conservatory-Singing/Musical Direction

John Prestianni (Conservatory-Singing/Musical Direction) has been a freelance Musical Director, accompanist, club date musician and composer in New York City for over 20 years, after getting a BFA from SUNY Purchase.  He teaches vocals and accompanies dance classes at LaGuardia High School, NYU, The Neighborhood Playhouse, Shuffles Academy, ADM21, and is the singing teacher at the Conservatory for The Acting Studio/Chelsea Rep. He has also been a teaching artist at numerous other schools and colleges, as well as conducting master classes in New York City and abroad.  John has been the Musical Director of Kids Company at the West Side Y for twelve consecutive shows, as well as Music Specialist for YMCA Arts Camp for six summers running.   

As a composer, John has created two original children's musicals for BCT (Brooklyn Children's Theater) with Eric Mark Olson; THE GOLDEN CONTENDER and A PIE-RAT'S TALE, the latter of which is being produced in the summer of 2015 for Three Act Theatre. Summer of 2014 saw a production of ELSIE JANIS AND THE BOYS, a musical tribute to the WWI entertainer, written with CJ Crittenden at the Wortley-Peabody Theater in Dallas, Texas, which later had a reading at the York in June 2015, featuring Jillian Louis and Jonathan Brody. Past projects include THE BLACK DAHLIA, with Richard Sabellico at the York Theater in 2008, featuring Emily Skinner and Aaron Lazaar, and THE VAUDEVILLIAN with Brian Henry produced by Chelsea Rep.  Currently in development, THE BENDERS with Anne Phelan.

Rob Rueda - Actuar en Espanol; Acting For Lawyers

Rob Rueda is a graduate of The Acting Studio - New York acting program (1992). He currently practices law in Connecticut and New York as a trial lawyer.  In addition, he participates in the theatre.  He has served his country as a United States Marine.  He has degrees in law, history, economics, and computer science.

 

He has participated in several productions at The Acting Studio and beyond, including Paradise Lost (Chelsea Repertory Company-NYC), Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oklahoma! (Connecticut Playmaker, CT)Brigadoon (St. Catherine’s Players, CT), Annie Get your Gun (Hartsdale Players, NY), Brigadoon (Richter, CT), Answer, Sangre y Viento, Diversions, Nothing Wrong, Carolina Chickpea (Chelsea Repertory Company Lab, NYC)

Film: New York Love Stories (Alternate Current Japanese Production)

Victor Verhaeghe - On-Camera Film/TV Audition

Victor Verheaghe studied the Meisner Technique at the Acting Studio with Sanford Meisner protégé, James Price.  He began working steadily in Off-Off Broadway Theater through the 80’s and into the 90’s when he began to write and perform his own material.  He has written several plays, including his most recent play, THE DOORMEN, featured in the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival.  He has written and produced several short films and one feature film, THE DISILLUSIONMENT OF MIKE AND EVA, that very few people saw. Television and Film work includes upcoming work on the untitled Steven Spielberg Cold War Project and a recurring role in the upcoming HBO mini-series, CRIME, starring John Turturro.  Other recent work:  The recurring role of Damien Fleming in the HBO series BOARDWALK EMPIRE, starring Steve Buscemi, for three seasons; a featured role on the NBC Pilot, COERCION; guest starring roles on PERSON OF INTEREST,  BLUE BLOODS, THE GOOD WIFE, FRINGE, and several LAW & ORDERs.  He has also had featured roles on DAMAGES, BORED TO DEATH, UGLY BETTY, SEX AND THE CITY and SPIN CITY.

Many theatrical productions as an actor, including the US Premiere of Lisa Tierney-Keough’s, FOUR LAST THINGS, at Royal Family Productions; PRATFALLS, at the Abingdon Theater with Ground Up Productions.  Also played Pale in BURN THIS and John in BABY WITH THE BATHWATER with Ground Up.  Off-Broadway, he starred in MAGIC HANDS FREDDY with Ralph Macchio at Soho Rep.  Many productions with Chelsea Rep over the years, most recently as Raulito in John Guare’s LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY, directed by John Grabowski.  Victor recently shot a television pilot he wrote called COP-DOC, which was produced for a 12 episode web series in 2008, as well as the recently shot short film, THE PARKER.  

Brandon J. Vukovic - Voice/Speech

Brandon J. Vukovic (Voice/Speech) is a New York based actor and teacher who holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College and an MFA from the Brown/Trinity Masters program in acting and directing. His training is classically based and includes Linklater, Chuck Jones, Alexander Technique, and Edith Skinner. Brandon has been a performer for over 20 years and has appeared with Milwaukee Shakespeare, Trinity Rep, First Stage, and Brave New World.

Mary Workman - Voice Over, Scene Study, Monologue Workshop

Mary Workman (Voice Over, Accent Correction, Scene Study, Monologue Workshop) began her career as a television actress and voice-over artist in Los Angeles working with such memorable personalities as James Whitmore and Pearl Bailey.  She earned her BA from Pomona College and her MFA from the University of California, Irvine (full-fellowship award) where she studied with Robert Cohen, Jerzy Grotowski, Dudley Knight and Carla Meyer.   She has performed extensively in regional theatre and in national tours and has been recognized with several Bay Area Theatre Critics Awards.  In New York she has performed leading roles at BAM and Off-Broadway.  She has taught for over 20 years in classrooms ranging from the University of California to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and New York Film Academy in New York.  Her students are performing on Broadway and in major motion pictures.  She is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainer’s Association, SAG, AFTRA and AEA.

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