The Meisner Technique.
Origin of Sanford Meisner's "Meisner Technique":
Sanford Meisner is one of the most important and influential acting teachers of the Twentieth Century. He defined acting as doing things truthfully under imaginary circumstances. By 1930, the most respected and influential theater company in American history formed called The Group Theater assembling such luminaries as Harold Clurman, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Clifford Odets, Morris Carnovsky and Sanford Meisner. They were pioneers of what would become an �American acting technique� derived from the teachings of Russian actor and director Constantin Stanislavski. The "Stanislavski System" inspired audiences with performances of raw power, realism, and emotional truth.
While Strasberg focused on the Sense Memory technique using events in one�s past as a way of emotionalizing, Meisner developed his technique using Stanislavski�s revised method. Rather than delving exclusively into one�s past memories as a source of emotion, one could more effectively summon up the character�s thoughts and feelings through the concentrated use of the imagination and the belief in the given circumstances of the text. Meisner defined acting as doing things truthfully under imaginary circumstances and his technique is still known for its depth, reliability and balanced approach.
Sandy Meisner taught at the legendary Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City for more than 50 years. His students include Paul Newman, Robert Duvall, Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Joanne Woodward, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, and Steve McQueen. Joanne Baron studied under Sandy Meisner in his private class, having originally trained with renowned acting teacher, William Esper, the head teacher of Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City for over 14 years. William Esper eventually formed the William Esper Studio in New York City where Ms. Baron trained with him to act and subsequently become an instructor. After several years teaching with Mr. Esper, she opened The Joanne Baron Studio in New York and sometime after, Ms. Baron created The Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio in Santa Monica, California with her husband; writer, director, and actor, D.W. Brown.
Today, the Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio continues this legacy and is teaching the same body of work that Meisner and Esper taught: a specific training program designed to create an emotionally alive actor of depth, imagination, and truth.
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