Faculty

  Susan Aston, Acting
A teacher, coach, and actress in New York City, Aston was a charter member of the core acting faculty at the Actors Studio Drama School, teaching Scene Study, Basic Technique, and workshops. At New York’s School of Visual Arts, Aston taught Acting for Directors. She is most noted for her work with James Gandolfini on The Sopranos, having coached his Emmy-, Golden Globe-, and SAG-award winning performances. As an actress, she appeared onstage with James Gandolfini, Jessica Lange, and Alec Baldwin. In film she acted with Demi Moore and Robert Duvall and was directed by Ridley Scott and Bruce Beresford. She has coached performances on All the King’s Men, Lonely Hearts, The Castle, The Mexican, Romance and Cigarettes, Fever Pitch, Law & Order, and Showtime’s Brotherhood. Aston was honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the 2002–2003 Primetime Emmy Awards for Contributions to the Emmy Award-Winning Achievement, James Gandolfini, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. She is a Lifetime Member of the Actors Studio.
     
   

Craig Bacon, Voice
A director and designated Linklater Voice teacher, Craig has held faculty appointments at SUNY Purchase, Columbia University, Fordham University, NYU (Altantic Theater Company), National Theater Institute (US and UK), The Actors Centre (London), The Linklater Center, and Shakespeare & Co (Lenox, MA).  He has served as head of voice and text for the Mercury Theatre UK, where he directed Macbeth and The Tempest. In New York, in addition to his many directing credits, he has served as vocal coach for several productions including The English Channel by Robert Brustein at the Abington Theater.  Craig also studied extensively with Richard Armstrong (founding member Roy Hart Theater), Uta Hagen, and Tina Packer.  He has a BA from Vassar College.

     
    Edward Allan Baker, Playwriting
Baker is a published and frequently produced New York City playwright, with 32 plays to his credit—most notably, Dolores (which starred Joan Allen and is included in The Best Short Plays of 1989), North of Providence, Prairie Avenue (which starred Ed Harris), Rosemary with Ginger and Face Divided (which starred Sam Rockwell). He has written for HBO and Showtime, attended Sundance Film Institute and has taught playwriting for more than 20 years. Baker was recently presented with the 25th Anniversary Award for Theatrical Excellence by the Ensemble Studio Theatre of New York.
     
    Michael Billingsley, Movement
Billingsley began his martial art training as soon as he could walk and has continued ever since. Raised in his father’s Tae Kwon Do school, he was awarded his first-degree black belt from the Jhoon Rhee Institute at the age of 17. Other styles he has studied include Capoeira, Tai Chi, Ju-Jitsu and Escrima. He is a senior instructor with Kid’s Kicking Cancer, teaching martial arts and meditation techniques as a form of pain management for children in hospitals throughout New York City. He has also performed in theater and films produced in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta. As a founding member of woken’ glacier theater company, he holds membership in Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. He holds an MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School and is a Lifetime Member of the Actors Studio.
     
    Clay McLeod Chapman, Playwriting
Chapman is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session The Pumpkin Pie Show. He is the author of Rest Area, a collection of short stories, and Miss Corpus, a novel. Most recent playwriting credits include Hostage Song (music and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow), Volume of Smoke, and Lee’s Miserables. Clay holds a BFA from Sarah Lawrence University.
     
    Bill Coco, PhD, Director of Theater History Department; Theater History and History of Directing
A dramaturge, translator, magazine and book editor, and teacher, Coco was principal dramaturge for the late director Joseph Chaikin on 15 productions for the stage, radio and audio-recording. His has written for The Drama Review (TDR), Performance, Scripts, Theater Journal, and Performing Arts Journal (PAJ). He was associate editor of TDR and a founding editor of Performance and Scripts, which were published by Joseph Papp at the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater. He was also contributing editor for PAJ and the Yale School of Drama’s Theater. His translations include Sophocles’ Elektra, produced at the Actors Studio, and Strindberg’s Dance of Death (cotranslated with Peter Stormare) at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. His productions with Chaikin include premieres and performances of plays by Jean-Claude van Itallie, Sam Shepard, Adrienne Kennedy, Molière, Ionesco, and four plays by Beckett, at venues including the NYSF Public Theater, Signature Theater (Shepard and Kennedy Seasons), the Mark Taper Forum in L.A., and the Juilliard School. He coedited, with Gloria Brim Beckerman, Bernard Beckerman’s posthumous book Theatrical Presentation: Performer, Audience and Act, published by Routledge. Also, he dramaturged the Shepard-Chaikin collaboration When the World Was Green, which toured Moscow as the first American company to play guest performances at the Moscow Art Theater. Coco holds an MFA and a PhD from Columbia University and has taught at Columbia, New York University, and, most recently, at the Actors Studio Drama School since its inaugural year.
     
    Louis Colaianni, Classics, Period and Style, Voice, Neutral American Speech
Colaianni has coached actors for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Recently he was Voice and Text Director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has also coached productions for LAByrinth Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, The McCarter Theater, Milwaukee Rep, Trinity Rep, Kansas City Rep, Seattle Rep and Arizona Theatre Company. He has written books used in actor training programs including “The Joy of Phonetics and Accents, How to Speak Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Names: A New Pronouncing Dictionary and Bringing Speech to Life.”
     
Adam Alexander   Adam Alexander
Adam has worked internationally, regionally and in New York City (where he was born and raised) as a performer, movement instructor and fight director in theater and opera. Adam's physical training includes gymnastics, dance, Western, and Eastern martial arts. His study of theatrical movement brought him to France where he studied mask at the L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, and pursued further study of the Lecoq method and clown at the Movement Theater Studio. Adam holds an Advanced Actor Combatant status with the Society of American Fight Directors, and specializes in double weapon and grappling techniques. He has work on movement and stage violence for New York City Opera, the American Repertory Theater, The Pearl, North Shore Music Theater, Opera Company of Brooklyn, Bronx Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Princeton Repertory Theater, the American Globe Theater, American Music and Dramatic Academy, Manhattan School of Music, The Ohio State University, Des Moines Metro Opera, The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and The International School in Zurich, Switzerland. Performing credits for include New York City Opera, multiple performances with The New York Philharmonic including the recently Emmy-nominated Carousel (Live from Lincoln Center), Encores!At New York's City Center, and The New York Cabaret Convention. As a member of the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street (Israel in Egypt, 2012 Musica Omnia), Adam enjoys solo and choral performances at their celebrated Bach at One series, as well as tours and collaborations with other cultural partnerships such as BAM, Mark Morris Dance Group, River to River, Juilliard415, and English Concert. Adam holds degrees from Boston University, the Manhattan School of Music, and is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors, the Association of Theater Movement Educators, the American Guild of Musical Artists, and Actors Equity Association.
     
  Elizabeth Kemp, Director of Acting Department; Acting, Directing
A longtime member of The Actors Studio, Kemp has worked extensively in theater on Broadway and Off Broadway as well as in film and television. As an actress she has worked opposite Tom Hanks, Christopher Reeve and Kevin Kline. She was a favorite of Elia Kazan who chose her to play Baby Doll for Tennessee Williams in the world premiere of one of his last plays, Tiger Tail. As a director, she has worked in New York and Paris, including most recently the premiere of Edward Allan Baker’s Free Gift Inside and The Beauty Queen of Leenane at the Actors Studio. As a teacher and coach, she has taught privately for many years. She taught at the Lee Strasberg Institute and was one of the original faculty members of the Actors Studio Drama School. She has taught her Character Dream workshops around the world and is the personal acting coach to many leading actors, including recipients of the Oscar and Cesar awards. At the Actors Studio she is a member of the Board of Directors and a Co-Associate Artistic Director.
     
    Jacqueline Knapp, Acting
Knapp has been working as a professional actress for 30 years. She has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in 32 productions in 23 Regional Theaters across the country. She has had running roles in two soap operas, many guest roles in television series and has appeared in films as well. She created her workshop “Nourishing and Protecting the Creative Core” for the Actors Studio Drama School. Most recently, she appeared as the Widow in Hellbenders, written and directed by JT Petty. Jacqueline is a Lifetime Member and a member of the Board of Directors of the Actors Studio, where she is also Co-Associate Artistic Director.
     
    Shawn Lewis, Design
Based in New York City, Lewis has worked as a set designer for more than 50 productions throughout the United States and abroad, designing plays, musicals, opera and film. Lewis’s mentor has been Tony Walton, with whom she started teaching in 1996 at the Actors Studio Drama School.  As the resident scenic designer for ASDS, Lewis has designed more than 450 one-act productions.  Additionally, she has taught master’s-level classes at the University of North Carolina and at Yale School of Drama in set design. She is a member of the League of Professional Theater Women and of United Scenic Artists. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and  received her BA in painting from The School of Visual Arts in NYC.  Her MFA in scenic design is from New York University’s Tisch School. Shawn is the Supervising Director for ASDS Rep season.
     
  Andreas Manolikakis, Chair of the Actors Studio Drama School MFA Program; Directing, Acting
Manolikakis was Chair of the Directing Department at the Actors Studio Drama School, where he taught acting and directing from 1995 to 2005. He has taught workshops in acting, directing and script analysis in Athens, Berlin and Paris (at the French National Film School La Femis; the Conservatoire National Superieur d’Art Dramatique; and at L’Escalier 4). He has translated into Greek and published in Athens in 1997 Nikolai Gorchakov’s Russian classic The Vakhtangov School of Stage Art, which became a required text for the Theater Department of the University of Athens. He has also given lectures on “Stanislavski and Vakhtangov,” “The Actors Studio,” “Method Acting and Greek Tragedy,” and “Method Acting and Directing” at L’Escalier 4 in Paris; the University of Athens; the National Theater and the University of Northern Greece; the Drama School of the National Theater of Greece; and the National Organization of Theater Studies in Athens. As a director and as an actor, he has worked in the United States and Europe. Among his directing highlights are: Porte Close, by N. Darmon, at the National Theatre of East Paris; Elektra, by Sophocles, at the Actors Studio; Liliom, by F. Molnar, in Athens. Among his acting highlights are: on Broadway opposite Sir Derek Jacobi in Hugh Whitemore’s Breaking the Code; and a leading role in the feature film Ice House, opposite Melissa Gilbert. He directed and acted in numerous plays from the Greek and international repertoire for the New Hellenic Stage of New York, which he founded in 1983. He is also the author of The Classmates, a 13-episode television series produced by the National Greek Television ET3. He holds a BA in acting from the Greek Art Theatre Drama School in Athens, founded by Karolos Koun, and an MA in theater from the University of Paris VIII-Vincennes. He also studied with Marcel Marceau at his International School of Mime in Paris. At the Actors Studio, he is a Lifetime Member and a member of the Board of Directors.
     
   

Corinna May, Voice
May is a Designated Linklater Voice teacher and Authorized Feldenkrais Method Awareness Through Movement teacher. A 22-year member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, she recently played Mary in Memory of Water and Paulina in The Winter’s Tale. She stars in the indie feature Split Ends (Dorothy Lyman, dir.) and spent two years on the Broadway tour of The Graduate, with Jerry Hall, Linda Gray, Lorraine Bracco, Kelly McGillis and Morgan Fairchild as the Missus Robinson. She is a senior faculty member of Shakespeare & Company’s classical actor training programs, and teaches at the Linklater Center for Voice and Language in NYC. She coaches actors, lawyers, executives and academics, and is a proud member of three unions: AEA, SAG, and AFTRA.

     
    Brian Rhinehart, PhD, Directing, Acting
Brian Rhinehart has worked as a freelance theatre director in Florida and New York for the last fifteen years.  In the summer he works with the German company “Forum for Arts and Culture” on their annual production in Heersum, Germany, titled Heersumer Sommerspiele. In 2007 Brian assistant-directed the first national tour of the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer, as well as its Atlantic City production in Harrah’s Casino, 2008.  He was named “Best Director” of the 2001 New York International Fringe Festival for the play Einstein’s Dreams, was a member of the 2006 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and was a Resident Artist of the Kraine Theater from 2002 to 2005. As an actor he has performed in over fifty productions, and the plays he has written or co-written have been seen in the New York International Fringe Festival and a variety of Off-Off Broadway venues. Brian is an internationally published scholar on the subject of contemporary German theatre, and is co-author of a book, All Joking Aside: The Art and Craft of Comedy. He holds an MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School and a PhD in English from the University of Florida. He teaches and has taught Acting, Directing, Script-Analysis, and Playwriting at various schools in the New York City area, such as Baruch College (CUNY), Marymount Manhattan College, Eugene Lang College (New School University), and Kean University.
     
   

Robert Serrell, Voice
Serrell has taught Linklater voice and text at Emerson College, Brandeis University, Shakespeare & Co, the NJ Performing Arts Center, and the Wheelock Family Theatre Company. He is a member of the Voice and Speech Teachers Association and has coached several regional productions, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Edith Wharton’s Summer. He has performed Off-Broadway, in several regional theatres, and in several SAG films. He has directed several shows with the Shakespeare & Co Education Program. He currently serves as The Director of Education /Artistic Associate at The Barrow Group Off-Broadway Theatre Company. He holds a Professional Certificate in Acting Shakespeare from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University.

     
    Ed Setrakian, PhD, Directing
Ed Setrakian (director, actor, writer) has a long-standing career in theater and film. For two years he was director of the La Mama Ensemble. Among the experimental plays he directed there are Home and the Queen of Greece, Stimulation, Myth or Maybe Meth, among others. Off-Broadway he directed Easy Money, the musical Madam Bovary, There/This/Move, The Wound of Love and My Father’s House, among others.  He directed several major productions at the Actors Studio including The Memoirs of Pontius Pilate and Silent Partners. Among his regional credits are the musicals Molly’s Dream, MacDougal Street and Finian’s Rainbow.  He wrote and directed the documentary The Growth of our Children. He wrote several plays that were produced Off-Broadway including The Yellow Dog Contract, Virility and Mother was Sober. Mr. Setrakian is a veteran actor with many credits on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in film and TV.  Most recently he was seen in David Fincher’s acclaimed film, Zodiac.  He holds a PhD from NYU in Performance Studies and for several years he was the chairman of the Department of Communication Arts at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY.