Strasberg Faculty & Staff


Anna Strasberg, Artistic Director and Co-Founder

Victoria Krane, President

Emily Kirn, Associate Director of Student Affairs


Bill Balzac

Bill Balzac has been an actor, director, producer, and teacher for over 25 years.  He teaches at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and NYU Tisch Program at the Strasberg Institute.  After being inspired by the teachings of Lee Strasberg, Bill co-founded the Hyperion Theatre Group, Soul Productions, and the Hyperion Children’s Theatre.  He then formed and directed the Mixed Nuts Improv Company, which performed throughout NYC.  Bill has been a member of the Brooklyn Shakespeare Company under the artistic direction of Geoffrey Owens and appeared as Gately in the New York debut of the two-act version of James McLure’s Pvt. Wars, Directed by Gene Frankel.  His recent directing credits include Isreal Horovitz’s The Indian Wants the Bronx in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the New York premiere of Isreal Horovitz’s Sins of the Mother, SubUrbia by Eric Bogosian, and LaRonde, The Laramie Project, Dancing at Lughnasa, Rumors, The Norman Conquests and Into the Woods all for NYU/Strasberg.  He also recently co-directed Crimes of the Heart and Sunday on the Rocks with Geoffrey Horne.  Bill graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with honors and is a member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association.  He teaches Method Acting and Improvisation at LSTFI.

Mauricio Bustamante

Mauricio Bustamante has acted professionally in the United States since 1967 and has toured nationally in a variety of starring roles that have given him coast to coast critical acclaim. He also directed and appeared at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival as Madame in Jean Genet’s The Maids as well as the cabaret circuit in NYC under the artistic direction of cabaret luminary, KT Sullivan. He began his acting career in his native Mexico City at the age of twelve, working on live television with the greats of the Spanish speaking world. His association with Lee Strasberg started in 1973, and has lasted to the present time, where he has also studied with Shelley Winters, Kim Stanley, John Stiks, Geoffrey Horne and Irma Sandrey. In NYC, he has appeared in New York Shakespeare Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Repertorio Espanol, Teatro LATEA and Multi Stages. He is a member of MENSA International, an international high IQ Society. Currently, Mauricio is acting in a number of film projects with established directors from Japan, Israel, US, Spain and Mexico. With Irma Sandrey, he created IS/MB Productions, which has produced several theatrical productions and four short films in NYC.  Other films in which Mr. Bustamante plays a variety of principal roles are currently successfully making the rounds in international film festivals. He has been part of the acting faculty at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute since 1994 and teaches Method Acting.

Lola Cohen

Lola Cohen trained with Lee Strasberg during the last five years of his life and has taught acting for twenty-six years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in NY and LA and in private classes. After Lee’s death, Lola continued her training with Method actress/teacher Kim Stanley and the acclaimed director Jose Quintero. She has trained and directed hundreds of actors in scenes and plays during her career in the theater.  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’s directorial credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Woodstock Youth Theater; Jean Genet’s The Maids at the Strasberg Institute and Lewis John Carlino’s Snowangel while 2009 Artist-in-Residence at SUNY-Ulster. Lola is also an adjunct associate professor of law at Brooklyn Law School where for the last eleven years she has taught her class “Relaxation, Concentration and Communication Skills for Attorneys”.  Lola’s book, The Lee Strasberg Notes, done in close cooperation with the Institute and the Strasberg family, was published by Routledge in 2010 and is currently in its second printing. Lola has lectured at Pratt Institute and also teaches a master class at The American University in Washington, D.C. from where she was graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education. Lola teaches Method Acting at LSTFI.

Tim Martin Crouse

Tim Martin Crouse has taught in the Young Actors at Strasberg program since 1989 where he has directed over forty productions with the students. As an actor, he has performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and All’s Well That Ends Well at The Riverside Shakespeare Company as well as an off-Broadway production of David Mamet’s The Woods. He had the lead in the Nickelodeon series Kid’s Court and the recurring role of Barry on The Guiding Light. He produced many programs for MTV and spent five years as head writer at MTV2. He directed the short film Mousetrap which aired in WNYC and co-directed the short film Tumors for HBO. He also wrote, produced and directed the independent feature film The Orchard which won an award for Best Suspense Feature at the 2008 NY Independent Film & Video Festival. He also wrote, produced & directed the upcoming documentary Talking with the Piano Player. Tim is currently working on his second independent feature film titled Redemption on which he is a writer, director and producer. Tim teaches Acting for Film & TV and Method Acting classes.

Robert Ellermann

Robert Ellermann was influenced by Lee Strasberg, Robert Lewis, Kim Stanley, Frank Corsaro and David Garfield. In addition, he studied directing with Jack O’Brien, Michael Kahn and Gerald Freedman. Robert worked with the teachers certified by Michael Chekhov to teach Chekhov’s work: Deidre Hurst du Prey, Felicity Mason and Beatrice Straight. In 1983, he was invited by Robert Lewis to serve as co-director of the Robert Lewis Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles. In 1986, Robert, along with a dozen other theatre artists, formed the Cactus Theatre Company based on the principles of the Group Theatre and the First Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre. In 1988, Cactus was invited to the International Stanislavsky Conference in Paris and in 1990 Robert was invited by the Moscow Art Theatre to observe classes and rehearsals in the leading Russian theatres and schools. Robert has taught private classes in New York, Los Angeles, Tucson and Houston. He is currently at work on a book about the relationship between Lee Strasberg and Konstantin Stanislavsky. With the Cactus Theatre, Robert directed the plays of Clifford Odets, Tennessee Williams, David Rabe and Horton Foote, among others.  Robert teaches Method Acting at LSTFI.

Geoffrey Horne

Geoffrey Horne was born in Argentina and raised in Cuba. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1954, is married and has eight children. Geoffrey studied with Lee Strasberg for many years beginning in 1954 and became a member of the Actors Studio in 1956. He has worked on Broadway, in television, and in film. He made his film debut in Bridge on the River Kwai. Geoffrey has taught Method Acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute since 1978. He also teaches Shakespeare classes and has directed a number of Alumni/Teacher productions which most recently include Twelfth Night, Bus Stop, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Geoffrey is the cofounder of a Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Downtown.

Marcel Simoneau

Marcel Simoneau, born and raised in Quebec, Canada. Lived in South America. Studied and now teaches at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Also graduated from The Maggie Flanigan Studio, Voice + Shakespeare with NYU Graduate’s program Shane Ann Younts and the Actors Movement Studio. Marcel’s film directing credits include TWO PEOPLE HE NEVER SAW (Kevin Corrigan, Nick Sandow) and LE VILLAGE (currently in Festivals), music videos and industrials. He is also an actor. Film credits included: ThruZenithThe Rebound , Imperialist are Still AliveHorizonNick & Norah’s Infinite PlaylistStrangerKinseySeductionMeridian and others. TV: FringeLaw & OrderEdGreat Performances, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Strangers with Candy. Marcel has also performance in numerous Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows including My First Time for a year and a half. He can also be heard in numerous VO commercials in french, spanish and english.

Debra Wiley

Debra Wiley (Method Acting) is an internationally acclaimed acting teacher, performance coach, and singing voice specialist (M.A. in Acting and Vocal Performance, NYU) she has taught at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute 15 years. Debra has also taught and directed performers in the U.S. at institutions that include The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Montclair State University, New York University, Marymount Manhattan College, Harlem School of the Arts, and Henry Street Settlement. She has directed plays and numerous classical recitals, and given master classes and seminars at organizations which include: Disney Theatrical Productions, SAG Conservatory, The Danish State Theater School, The Danish Actors Union, Eklektisk Theater Company, Chamber Music America, Operafest, Songfest, AFTRA@Work, Mannes College of Music, and NYU Steinhardt. As a performer, she was featured with professional companies in New York and regionally across various disciplines, including theater, musical theater, opera and cabaret. Debra studied extensively with some of the finest teacher/directors of our time, including Lee Strasberg, Irma Sandrey, Ed Kovens, and Wesley Balk (Minnesota Opera).

Ted Zurkowski

Ted Zurkowski is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio where he studied with Lee Strasberg.  He has been an actor, producer, screenwriter, college instructor and casting associate.  He was the Artistic Director of The Frog & Peach Theatre Company, a Shakespeare company in New York City, for seven years.  His band, Honey West, is currently playing famous clubs in NYC.  He constantly writes, records, and performs his music.  Ted teaches Method Acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute.

Additional Lee Strasberg Institute faculty.