Actors Studio West / Los Angeles

Actors Studio West, founded in 1966 in West Hollywood, CA, is based and modeled on The Actors Studio in NYC and offers our bi-coastal and resident members a professional home similar to The Actors Studio in New York.

Actors Studio West is located on the estate of William S. Hart, a landmarked facility owned by the City of West Hollywood, CA.

Actors Studio West is our only branch in the world.

Acting sessions are the heartbeat of our organization. These sessions provide a twice-weekly venue for members to receive insights and constructive commentary on characters or scenes of their own choosing and from their own motivation. When the work is ready, it is brought into session where a moderator will lead a group discussion, manage feedback from the other members present, and offer guidance for further exploration. Many of our moderators are renowned in the theatre and film industries.

If the work in session evolves in an exciting and organic way, it can be developed into a staged project, open to the public for free. See highlights of current and past projects.

Acting Sessions are not open to the public.

The Playwright/Directors Unit at The Actors Studio has a long history on both coasts.

After two trial runs by Clifford Odets and Robert Anderson, Elia Kazan and William Inge created the first permanent ‘Playwrights Unit’ in 1957. It has since evolved into one of the most important components of The Actors Studio. Notable participants in the PDU include Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Norman Mailer, Harold Clurman, Mark Rydell, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Terrance McNally, Arthur Kopit, and Patricia Bosworth among many others.

Actors Studio West’s PDU meets every week at The Greenway Court Theatre to listen, watch, and discuss directed readings of new plays written by PDU playwrights, directed by PDU directors, and performed by Actors Studio actors. Immediately following the presentation on stage, an in-depth, constructive analysis of the evening’s play is led by senior moderators.

The membership of the Playwright/Directors Unit is seasonal and must be renewed annually. PDU members attend acting sessions at the Studio in order to familiarize themselves with Studio membership.

In June of 2015 The Greenway Arts Alliance commercially produced seven of the first season’s assigned plays under the title EASY PIECES. These performances were so successful that in 2016, The Greenway Arts Alliance produced 11 of the second season’s new plays under the title of INFIDELITY, IN PIECES. In 2 years, 18 plays created for the Unit made a transition from PDU readings to commercial productions. All were written by West Coast PDU playwrights, all were directed by PDU directors, and the great majority of the nearly 50 parts were performed by Actors Studio members.

The PDU sessions begin on the first Monday in October and run every week through the last Monday in June.

Leadership
Mark Rydell and Bruce Goldsmith are the leaders of the PDU in Los Angeles and serve as the Moderators.

Past Directors have included William Inge, Lee Strasberg, Jack Garfein, Lonny Chapman, Lou Antonio, Burgess Meredith, Martin Landau, Milton Sperling, Mark Rydell, Lee Grant and Lyle Kessler, among others.

Applications
Interested playwrights and directors in the Los Angeles area may send a cover letter with their writing and directing resumes to:
Elaine Madsen
Coordinator, PDU
Actors Studio West
8341 DeLongpre Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90211
Or email to: lemad@earthlink.net

PDU sessions are not open to the public.

The Directors Unit of Actors Studio West is comprised of a mixture of experienced professionals and hopeful beginners. One scene or project is presented per session. Directors are encouraged to cast from the Studio membership. If they are not able to cast a member, they are allowed to cast a Finalist or Observer. Following session work the directors describe what their interpretation or vision was and what and how they tried to accomplish those goals. The members then discuss, question, evaluate, and suggest insights for further work on the text and the performances. If time permits, right then and there the directors can jump into a rehearsal utilizing any of the ideas they want to explore.

Applications
To apply for seasonal membership in the Directors Unit applicants must submit a resume and brief letter stating why they want to join and what they hope to gain from participating in the Unit to:

Directors Unit
Actors Studio West
8341 DeLongpre Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
or email to Helen Sanders at hsanders@theactorsstudio.org.

Directors Unit sessions are not open to the public.

When the work in our ongoing sessions or units is deemed ready for public viewing, audiences are invited in for free.

To see a calendar of free performances open to the public, please see our calendar.

To see a selection of current and past performance highlights, click here.

To be informed of upcoming productions in West Hollywood, please email reservationsla@theactorsstudio.org and ask to be added to our Patrons List. You will be notified in advance and offered full information on how to make a reservation.