Meisner Acting Classes with Gary

Intro to Meisner & Meisner Master Class

Introduction To Acting: The Meisner Approach

This Introduction to Meisner is a step-by-step methodology focusing on living responsively in the moment-to-moment reality of the character. This class will give the students a literal “tool bag” of techniques that they can apply to any character, in any play or audition. It can be applied in all theatrical forms from Shakespeare to Musicals, from Comedy to Serious Drama.
This technique is a fundamentally different approach from any other acting technique and the result is that Meisner performances are much richer, profoundly human and therefore accessible to audiences. It is a deceptively simple approach that so profoundly changes the nature of an actor’s reality that it gives them the ability to “live” on the stage.

Meisner Master Class

To Attend this Master Class you must have taken and introduction class.

This Advanced Meisner class goes beyond on living responsively in the moment-to-moment reality of the character. In this class we expand our “tool bag” of techniques to include living within “Given Circumstances.” At this level we begin to explore our relationship to text as an expression of a living character. Using monologues from Spoon River Anthology you learn how to organically engage the “when”, “where”, “what/why” of the “character” embedded in the text.

Location, Times, Costs & Contact


Introduction To Acting: The Meisner Approach

This 6-week class meets Tuesday evenings Sept. 17th through Oct. 22nd. 6:30 -9:00

Meisner Master Class

This 6-week class meets Monday evenings Sept. 16th through Oct. 21st. 6:30 -9:00
You must have taken an intro to Meisner with Gary or another teacher to attend.


Classes are held at Be Well Lancaster 7 North Mulberry St.
(beside Mulberry Art Studio). On street parking!

The cost is $15 per class. I do request half of the total fee upfront to hold your place in class and assure a commitment to this sequential process

Please e-mail me at as soon as you are able but no later than Sept. 11th letting me know your interest … or to ask any questions.


“I was overwhelmed with the good that this training had done both for my students, and for me, as an actor and as a director. Truth on stage had become more palpable for me.”

... Michael Swanson - Head of Theatre and Dance at Elizabethtown College

My experience with Gary Smith’s Meisner Acting Class was both challenging and fulfilling! I grew more as an actor in those few weeks than I had over a few years on the stage alone. While the principles and techniques are meant for application in a performance or rehearsal setting, I was surprised by how they translated into everyday living! While the concept seems simple – listen and respond – I discovered how many filters and judgments I have put in place before any conversation in life or in a scene. Gary is an insightful and patient teacher who presents the Meisner Technique in a way that anyone can glean from. As an actor, this class was invaluable and hopefully I’ll be there again!

… Kristen Brewer – Sight & Sound, Prima, American Music Theater, TSS

Gary Smith’s Meisner acting class was such an encouraging experience for me. He helped create for us a safe environment where exploration was welcomed. He also introduced the Meisner technique in a way that was easy to understand for the novices to the technique and still exciting for those of us with some experience.I feel that I left the class with greater knowledge and a license to try new things and the ability to make more interesting choices. I would definitely recommend it!!!!
… Monica DePaul – Sight & Sound, Theater of the Seventh Sister

Gary Smith

Gary has been a professional Equity actor and Director for 35 years. In New York he has appeared with such Emmy, Tony, and Academy Award-winning stars as Swoosie Kurtz (Sisters), Nancy Marchand (The Sopranos), Michael Gross (Family Ties), and Oscar winning film star, Theresa Wright. His work has been featured in the OBIE award-winning Manhattan Theater Club’s production of A.R. Gurney’s Children. He has worked at The American Place Theater, Playwrights Horizon, the Cubiculo. Gary and was a resident Equity actor at the Cleveland Play House, America’s oldest professional Regional Company. Before co-founding Theater of the Seventh Sister, he acted and directed at the Fulton Opera House, The Independent Eye and EPAC. Gary has received critical acclaim for his performances in the title role in King Lear, Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, Colm Primrose in Sea Marks, Prospero in The Tempest, Joe Keller in All My Sons and many other roles. His directorial resume includes The Grapes of Wrath, Eurydice, Hamlet, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Antigone, Julius Caesar, Proof, Our Town and many other productions of both classic and contemporary theater.