The birth of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute was the natural evolution of efforts that began in 1931 with the formation of the Group Theatre. Co-founded by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg, the Group was dedicated to creating socially conscious theater and formulating a cohesive system of training for the actor.
After the group disbanded in 1939, Strasberg began teaching private classes at both Carnegie Hall and The New School for Social Research. In 1948, he joined the Actors Studio, a not-for-profit actor training facility opened by Elia Kazan and other members of the Group Theatre to preserve and continue the work developed in the Group. Shortly afterwards, Lee became the Artistic Director, a position he would hold until his death in 1982. At the Actors Studio, he honed his Method Acting technique and evolved the Studio into an internationally recognized laboratory for the development of the actor.
With the success of his work at the Actors Studio and the international acclaim of the Lee Strasberg Method Acting Technique, Lee and his wife Anna opened The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in 1969. The primary goal was to reach a larger audience of emerging talent. The school helped to dispel growing confusion and misrepresentation of The Method and preserve what had become fundamental discoveries in actor training.
The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute represents the culmination of Lee’s development as a director, teacher, and pioneer in actor training. As a result, The Institute teaches what Lee Strasberg considered to be a comprehensive approach to solving the actor’s fundamental problems.
Today, The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute celebrates over 45 years of actor training and is the only school that teaches Lee Strasberg’s work in its complete and purest form. Faculty conducting classes have been selected for their comprehensive knowledge of Lee Strasberg’s work and their ability to apply it to the problems of the actor. The curriculum, designed by Lee, provides the actor with opportunities to pursue his or her work systematically and to gain firsthand knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the Lee Strasberg Method Acting Technique. Through class work, seminars, exercises, scene work, and discussions, students are encouraged to develop of their art and themselves.
The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute has built its international renowned reputation on the enduring value of Lee Strasberg’s teachings, the achievements of our students, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. We challenge our students to be bold in their choices, original in their ideas, and passionate in their pursuit of creative individuality.
The goal of The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute is to provide students with a craft that will help them create a reality wherein they will respond truthfully in imaginary circumstances, regardless of the style or form of material being used. Actors learn to express powerful emotions and are encouraged to leave behind conventional, superficial, and clichéd expressions in search of their own unique artistic voices. The Lee Strasberg Method Acting Technique trains actors to use their physical, mental, and emotional humanity in the creation of the play’s characters and stresses the way in which personal experience can fire the actor’s imagination. This is the spark that turns an accomplished technician into an inspired artist and what makes The Lee Strasberg Method Acting Technique a vital technique for actor training.