Course Details

12,13,14 July and 19,20,21 July 2022 (5pm-8pm BST, UK)

Fee: £300 Early Bird Discount       £350 regular price

Teachers: Lola Cohen

What you'll study

The Master Class Workshop consists of Two Parts:

Actors work on themselves The Instrument and Actors work on The Character.

Lee Strasberg was a dominant influence on American acting in all three mediums: theatre, film and television. He translated his ideas into a concrete discipline known as The Method to develop an actor’s full potential. Actors use Strasberg’s training to be equipped to live truthfully on the stage within the imaginary circumstances of the play by activating their senses and imagination.

The training provides the tools to stimulate the actor’s creativity when crafting a role that can be reliably repeated at will.

The sequence of sense and emotional exercises which comprise Strasberg’s work and will be taught, has at

Part One

Each class begins with a relaxation exercise to ensure that physical and mental tension within the actor body is eliminated. In solidarity with Stanislavski, Strasberg championed and taught the significance and importance of being able to relax at will, entering into what Stanislavski called the ‘creative mood’ where all good acting takes place; which is described as a state of being aware, as well as knowing how and where the senses and emotions can function fully and expressively. Strasberg often said that actors need a warm heart and a cool head to gain control over the body and mind, freeing them from the pervasive problems of tension, habits, and distractions.

Part Two

The second part of the day is devoted to the actor’s work on characters, scenes and monologues. Participants will also explore text/monologues during the exercise work, including: given circumstances; subtext; motivation; repetition; spines; need exercise; improvisation; cold readings; rehearsal procedures; auditions; painting exercise; animal exercise.

About this course

Lee Strasberg was a dominant influence on American acting in all three mediums: theatre, film and television. He translated his ideas into a concrete discipline known as The Method to develop an actor’s full potential. Actors use Strasberg’s training to be equipped to live truthfully on the stage within the imaginary circumstances of the play by activating their senses and imagination. The training provides the tools to stimulate the actor’s creativity when crafting a role which can be reliably repeated at will. The sequence of sense and emotional exercises which comprise Strasberg’s work and will be taught, has at its foundation the achievements of the great Russian theorist Konstantin Stanislavski and addresses what both identified as the central problem of the actor, which is to simultaneously experience real feelings and be in control of what needs to be done emotionally and physically while acting the part.

Lee Strasberg devised procedures and exercises that train actors to be immersed in a part with genuine feelings and behaviour in order to successfully move an audience. Strasberg said actors must understand and control the nature of their own “instrument”, a word he used to describe the mind and body. He believed that disciplined daily practice of physical and emotional exercises would lead to a more truthful depiction of reality. Here, the actor lives and acts in the present moment internalizing and identifying with the role to achieve the desired results.

He designed his own exercises and procedures to give actors a unique language to explore life’s complexities through the senses and apply it to their acting. The Method Exercises deliberately train actors to develop and strengthen their senses in order to recreate and imagine objects, places, people and events, exploring what they can see, smell, hear, touch and taste. The five senses must be awakened and ready to be used at will.

Course Content

Part One  – Actors’ Work on Themselves

Each class begins with the Relaxation Exercise to ensure that the physical and mental tension within the Actor body is eliminated. In solidarity with Stanislavski, Strasberg championed and taught the significance and importance of being able to relax at will, entering into what Stanislavski called the “creative mood,” where all good acting takes place; which is described as a state of being aware, as well as knowing how and where the senses and emotions can function fully and expressively. Strasberg often said that actors need a warm heart and a cool head to gain control over the body and mind, freeing them from the pervasive problems of tension, habits, and distractions

Part Two – Actor’s work on Characters and Scenes 

The second part of each day is devoted to the actor’s work on characters, scenes and monologues. Participants will also explore text/monologues during the Exercise work

Exercises covered include:

  • Given Circumstances
  • Subtext
  • Motivation
  • Repetition
  • Spines
  • Need Exercise
  • Improvisation
  • Cold Readings
  • Rehearsal Procedures
  • Auditions
  • Painting Exercise
  • Animal Exercise

Staff

Lola Cohen began her life in the theatre by studying acting with Lee Strasberg during the last 5 years of his life at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. She continued her training with the enigmatic Kim Stanley, who developed her own brand of training including her invaluable Need Exercise. Lola then trained with the renowned director Jose Quintero and was introduced to Sanford Meisner’s work by David Proval. At that time Lola began, and still continues her acting teaching career in which she has taught thousands of actors and directors from all over the world at the Strasberg Institute in NY and LA. Since 1996, Lola teaches in the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Drama at the Strasberg Institute. Lola is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School since 1999 continuing to teach ‘Communication Skills for Attorneys’ a class she created.

As a member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review, Lola made her film debut in Renaldo and Clara in 1975 and in 2009 played Judge Kaplan in Rik Cordero’s, Inside a Change, which won best film at HBO’s Latino International Film Festival in 2010. Lola contributed to and appeared in the American masters documentary, There but for Fortune, about folk singer and political activist, Phil Ochs, and was a source for and consulted on Liz Garbus’, Marilyn Monroe Documentary, Love Marilyn and consulted on and will appear in a Kim Stanley documentary, The Needs of Kim Stanley currently in production.

Lola’s directorial credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Woodstock Youth Theater; Jean Genet’s, The Maids at the Strasberg Institute; Lewis John Carlino’s,  Snowangel while 2009 Artist-in-Residence at SUNY-Ulster and at the Strasberg Institute; and, Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull (a Work in Progress), Melikhovo, Russia.

Lola’s book, The Lee Strasberg Notes, done in close cooperation with the Institute and the Strasberg family was published by Routledge in 2010. Her second book, The Method Acting Exercises Handbook was published by Routledge in 2017 with a Russian translation following in 2018.

So, ready?