Directors Lab
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Dates of workshops


Meisner Intensive Acting Workshop 2 with Steven Ditmyer
Apr
13
to Apr 17

Meisner Intensive Acting Workshop 2 with Steven Ditmyer

**Meisner Technique - Workshop 2 (Independent Activities)**

Saturday, April 13 - Wednesday, April 17 (12PM- 4PM except on Tuesday)
Time and location: Kita Erdvė (Panerių g. 34)

Strictly Limited Places: Maximum 14 Actors
(only who took Workshop 1)

Apply now :
https://www.directorslab.org/applynow/

Prices for 5-day workshop:
Regular price - 350Eur
Regular price discount for 2 Workshops - 640Eur

Early Bird price - 300 if booked by March 15, 2019
Early Bird price discount for 2 workshops - 540 Eur
If you repeat Workshop 1 - 500 Eur

Observers price: 175 Eur/5 days or 40 Eur/ day

If you want more information:
+370 682 42709
cu@directorlab.org
www.directorslab.org/meisnervilnius

Visit Steven's website Meisner International
www.meisnerinternational.com
for full Spring 2019 European schedule, testimonials, photo's, interviews and more.

WORKSHOP 2 - INDEPENDENT ACTIVITIES

This workshop continues the training we started of really doing. Acting is doing. When we are not really doing on stage we have stopped acting. I say continues because part of what we have strengthened with Repetition is the ability to really listen and listening is a real doing.

Developing Concentration!
Now we are going to add an element to the repetition exercise called Independent Activities. Meisner said, “The quality of your acting depends on how fully you are doing what you are doing.”

This activity will demand real concentration in order for you to complete it. Once an actor places the totality of his concentration on the accomplishment of some concrete, specific, and truthful goal, he cannot help but react truthfully, from the core of his self and experience.

One actor in the room will concentrate on an activity (with a meaningful reason out of his imagination for doing it) while the other actor will come to the door, like what we did in the last workshop (now with a specific reason to come to the door out of his imagination).

We must always be in response to what is happening. A truly difficult activity will demand that you place the entirety of your concentration on it AND you must still respond to your partner - to what is actually happening from impulsive moment to impulsive moment!

Remember – the exercise has no agenda. There is nothing that is supposed to happen. The point is to really do, really listen, and truthfully respond. If you do this, you create real contact between the partners. Not intellectual contact but emotional contact. And when this happens, strong truthful acting occurs.

This work is challenging and very rewarding. I can’t wait to work with you again!

Sincerely, Steven Ditmyer

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Steven Ditmyer
Actor/Director/Acting Teacher
Founder, Meisner International

Steven is an Actor, Director and Acting Teacher who studied with Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen and Zoe Caldwell. He is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City where he later was invited to train as a teacher of the Meisner technique.

In addition to being a guest teacher at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City he is the founder of MEISNER INTERNATIONAL currently teaching workshops in New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Helsinki, Tallinn, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Quito, Guayaquil, and Bogota with new workshops starting in Berlin, Dubrovnik, Vilnius and Buenos Aires.

As an actor, Steven worked with many great artists such as Al Pacino, Arthur Miller, Tony Randall, Ron Rifkin, Sam Waterston, Diane Wiest, Blythe Danner and more.

As a Director, he directed the OFF THE PAGE Reading Series for Tony Randall’s National Actors Theatre in NYC (2005-2008) with such notable productions as: The Night Of The Iguana with Alec Baldwin, Golf with Alan Shepard with Jack Klugman, Charles Durning, Len Cariou and John Cullum and Ladies In Retirement with Rosemarry Harris. He has directed many prodcudtions in New York working with such notable playwrights as Robert Askins, James McClure, Bruce Jay Friedman, Albert Bermel, Jack Gilhooley, Gail Sheehy and with notable actors as Marian Seldes, Brian Murray, Dana Ivey, John Pankow, Richard Bey, Brian Geraghty and many more. Steven was the Co-Director of the Workshop at the Neighborhood Playhouse (1999-2003) where he directed over 20 new plays and was the Artistic Director of the Neighborhood Theatre Company in Naples, Florida (2003-2005) where he directed his wife in The Syringa Tree. He was a Founding director of the A-Train Plays in NYC (written and performed in 24 hours) where he directed The Casseroles of Far Rockaway by Seth Bauer – winner of the 2004 Samuel French Festival. Steven will be directing Exit The King by Eugene Ionesco in Italian opening in Rome 2019.

He is married to actress Tamara Flannagan and resides in Manhattan with their two boys Callan and Jace.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

History of the Meisner Technique.

In the 1930s, Sanford Meisner was an actor in the Group Theatre, the most important repertory theatre in modern American History, which spawned the major American acting teachers, and several of the most important playwrights and directors of the 20th century. Meisner and his fellow actor Stella Adler fell out with their director Lee Strasberg over his use of Emotional Recall, a technique in which the actor used personal emotion from his own past memories to feed the acting process. Meisner and Adler chose to use the imagination to stimulate emotion and involvement in a play's imaginary circumstances. Both Strasberg's and Meisner and Adler's techniques came out of the work of Konstantin Stanislavski in Russia, but they differed on which parts of his work was most important to the actor's work and training. The Group Theatre broke up partially because of the conflict over these techniques. Meisner, Adler and Strasberg all went on to become acting teachers who had a profound influence on American acting and culture, as well as a strong influence on European acting.

At the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, Meisner created a full-blown acting technique which would train an actor to create all the layers of a complete performance over a two year period. It was, and still is, one of the most systematic and complete acting techniques in the Western world. Meisner's work was based on the principle that acting found its most profound expression in specific behavior that came out of the actor's real human response to circumstances and other people. The technique is based on truth. Meisner said “Acting is the ability to live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances.” Because of this, his entire training method relied heavily on accessing the actor's impulses, through which real responses and real behavior were accessed in the moment. This technique was not only applied to improvisation with another person, but also to the actor's way of finding things to do in rehearsal, interpreting a script, and creating the specific physical characteristics of each character the actor played.

The basic exercise that Meisner invented to train the actor's responses is called the Repetition Exercise. In this exercise, two actors stand across from each other and respond to each other through a repeated phrase. The phrase is about each other's behavior, and reflects what is going on between them in the moment, such as "You look unhappy with me right now." The way this phrase is said as it is repeated changes in meaning, tone and intensity to correspond with the behavior that each actor produces towards the other. Through this device, the actor stops thinking of what to say and do, and responds more freely and spontaneously, both physically and vocally. The exercise also eliminates line readings, since the way the actor speaks becomes coordinated with his behavioral response. As the exercise continues over a period of months, more detailed imaginary circumstances are added to the exercise, and it gradually becomes a kind of improvised scene. When this is fully developed, the actors are ready to start working with actual scripts. The course gradually makes its way through more complex script material and work on creating characters incorporating all the student's training.

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Meisner Intensive Acting Workshop 1 with Steven Ditmyer
Apr
8
to Apr 12

Meisner Intensive Acting Workshop 1 with Steven Ditmyer

**Workshop 1 - Foundation of Meisner Technique**

Monday, April 8- Friday, April 12 (12PM- 4PM except on Tuesday)
Time and location: Kita Erdvė (Panerių g. 34)

Strictly Limited Places: Maximum 14 Actors
(Suitable for both those with or without previous Meisner training)

Apply now :
https://www.directorslab.org/applynow/

Prices for 5-day workshop:
Regular price - 350Eur
Regular price discount for 2 Workshops - 640Eur

Early Bird price - 300 if booked by March 15, 2019
Early Bird price discount for 2 workshops - 540 Eur
If you repeat Workshop 1 - 500 Eur

Observers price: 175 Eur/5 days or 40 Eur/ day

If you want more information:
+370 682 42709
cu@directorlab.org
www.directorslab.org/meisnervilnius

Visit Steven's website Meisner International
www.meisnerinternational.com
for full Spring 2019 European schedule, testimonials, photo's, interviews and more.

Meisner Intensive Acting Workshop 1 with Steven Ditmyer
(Foundation of Meisner Technique)

This workshop offers a foundation of the Meisner Technique, which was developed by Sanford Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City where he taught for more than 50 years – and where I had the privilege of being one of his students 27 years ago.

In his work at the Playhouse, Meisner trained many of our most distinguished actors and directors, including Robert Duvall, Sydney Pollack, Tony Randall, Christopher Lloyd, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Gregory Peck, Joanne Woodward, Steve McQueen, Jeff Goldblum, Allison Janney and many more.

This technique is based on truth. Meisner said, “Acting is the ability to live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances.”

We will be working on –“the ability to live truthfully,” by using the repetition exercise, which is an improvisational exercise that teaches you to focus on your partner and if you really focus, you will start to really respond. TRUTHFULLY. And that’s what we are after, the truthful response, not the “this-is-what-I’m-suppose-to-say,” response (from the brain) but this is the TRUE thing to say because this is how the other person is making me feel right now.

It’s an amazing exercise because it’s simple and honest. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

In this approach our emotions come freely, as a side benefit, a gift, when our attention is on something else – and that something else is what we are doing. Really listening, really working off our fellow actors and being in response to what is happening. Following our impulses from one unanticipated moment to the next unanticipated moment. Meisner told us “The seed to the craft of acting is the reality of doing. This principle: The Reality of Doing (really doing) is the foundation of all good acting.”

Then on the last day of the workshop we will use text in the exercise (a short scene the actors will have memorized) to show how far your impulses can take you in your acting when you truly listen and work off your partner and not from your head.

I love this work because it is a very healthy approach to the craft of acting. The work is grounded in who we are today and what our past experiences mean to us now!

There are many acting techniques and the ones that are valid will help you arrive at the one ultimate truth, your truth. The work we will do together will lead you to acting with a deep personal meaning, a wonderful simplicity and to a level of working where technique disappears and what remains, is you in your acting.

This workshop will help all those who are interested in theatre, film and TV – actors, directors, writers…everyone. I can’t wait for you to discover this work!

Sincerely,
Steven


Steven Ditmyer
Actor/Director/Acting Teacher
Founder, Meisner International

Steven is an Actor, Director and Acting Teacher who studied with Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen and Zoe Caldwell. He is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City where he later was invited to train as a teacher of the Meisner technique.

In addition to being a guest teacher at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City he is the founder of MEISNER INTERNATIONAL currently teaching workshops in New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Helsinki, Tallinn, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Quito, Guayaquil, and Bogota with new workshops starting in Berlin, Dubrovnik, Vilnius and Buenos Aires.

As an actor, Steven worked with many great artists such as Al Pacino, Arthur Miller, Tony Randall, Ron Rifkin, Sam Waterston, Diane Wiest, Blythe Danner and more.

As a Director, he directed the OFF THE PAGE Reading Series for Tony Randall’s National Actors Theatre in NYC (2005-2008) with such notable productions as: The Night Of The Iguana with Alec Baldwin, Golf with Alan Shepard with Jack Klugman, Charles Durning, Len Cariou and John Cullum and Ladies In Retirement with Rosemarry Harris. He has directed many prodcudtions in New York working with such notable playwrights as Robert Askins, James McClure, Bruce Jay Friedman, Albert Bermel, Jack Gilhooley, Gail Sheehy and with notable actors as Marian Seldes, Brian Murray, Dana Ivey, John Pankow, Richard Bey, Brian Geraghty and many more. Steven was the Co-Director of the Workshop at the Neighborhood Playhouse (1999-2003) where he directed over 20 new plays and was the Artistic Director of the Neighborhood Theatre Company in Naples, Florida (2003-2005) where he directed his wife in The Syringa Tree. He was a Founding director of the A-Train Plays in NYC (written and performed in 24 hours) where he directed The Casseroles of Far Rockaway by Seth Bauer – winner of the 2004 Samuel French Festival. Steven will be directing Exit The King by Eugene Ionesco in Italian opening in Rome 2019.

He is married to actress Tamara Flannagan and resides in Manhattan with their two boys Callan and Jace.


History of the Meisner Technique.

In the 1930s, Sanford Meisner was an actor in the Group Theatre, the most important repertory theatre in modern American History, which spawned the major American acting teachers, and several of the most important playwrights and directors of the 20th century. Meisner and his fellow actor Stella Adler fell out with their director Lee Strasberg over his use of Emotional Recall, a technique in which the actor used personal emotion from his own past memories to feed the acting process. Meisner and Adler chose to use the imagination to stimulate emotion and involvement in a play's imaginary circumstances. Both Strasberg's and Meisner and Adler's techniques came out of the work of Konstantin Stanislavski in Russia, but they differed on which parts of his work was most important to the actor's work and training. The Group Theatre broke up partially because of the conflict over these techniques. Meisner, Adler and Strasberg all went on to become acting teachers who had a profound influence on American acting and culture, as well as a strong influence on European acting.

At the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, Meisner created a full-blown acting technique which would train an actor to create all the layers of a complete performance over a two year period. It was, and still is, one of the most systematic and complete acting techniques in the Western world. Meisner's work was based on the principle that acting found its most profound expression in specific behavior that came out of the actor's real human response to circumstances and other people. The technique is based on truth. Meisner said “Acting is the ability to live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances.” Because of this, his entire training method relied heavily on accessing the actor's impulses, through which real responses and real behavior were accessed in the moment. This technique was not only applied to improvisation with another person, but also to the actor's way of finding things to do in rehearsal, interpreting a script, and creating the specific physical characteristics of each character the actor played.

The basic exercise that Meisner invented to train the actor's responses is called the Repetition Exercise. In this exercise, two actors stand across from each other and respond to each other through a repeated phrase. The phrase is about each other's behavior, and reflects what is going on between them in the moment, such as "You look unhappy with me right now." The way this phrase is said as it is repeated changes in meaning, tone and intensity to correspond with the behavior that each actor produces towards the other. Through this device, the actor stops thinking of what to say and do, and responds more freely and spontaneously, both physically and vocally. The exercise also eliminates line readings, since the way the actor speaks becomes coordinated with his behavioral response. As the exercise continues over a period of months, more detailed imaginary circumstances are added to the exercise, and it gradually becomes a kind of improvised scene. When this is fully developed, the actors are ready to start working with actual scripts. The course gradually makes its way through more complex script material and work on creating characters incorporating all the student's training.

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MASTERCLASSES with casting directors NANCY BISHOP, CSA and KIM SWANSON, CSA
Nov
11
10:00 AM10:00

MASTERCLASSES with casting directors NANCY BISHOP, CSA and KIM SWANSON, CSA

WHERE: Arts Printing House/ Menų spaustuvė, Vilnius, Lithuania
PARTICIPANTS: 100 Eur fee for both masterclasses
UNLIMITED OBSERVERS: 50 Eur fee both masterclasses
Apply till October 20, 2018: www.directorslab.org/applynow

Techniques for Auditioning and Acting” will include a series of exercises that develop effective methods for on camera auditioning. Areas covered will include identifying strong and clear objectives, and cold reading technique that help actors find truth through spontaneity. This class will be taught in English by Nancy Bishop for up to 20 participants and unlimited observers.

"How To Work A Room" is for the actor who has the acting skills, but just isn't booking as much as he/she would like to.  This class is designed to teach and share marketing tips that will help you be remembered in a positive light. We will discuss the differences of what and how to present yourself to a Casting Director, Agent and Manager, how to prepare for generals and be ready for impromptu meeting opportunities and how to know when and how to follow up from those meetings. This class will be taught in English by Kim Swanson.

MORE ABOUT TUTORS:

NANCY BISHOPCSA,  is an American born Emmy-nominated casting director working internationally with active offices in both London and Prague. She is the Chair of the CSA European Branch, as well as a national CSA board member. She has been retained as a casting director by dozens of major producers and directors, ranging from Matthew Weiner on his most recent series, The Romanoffs. Recent TV credits include 12 Monkeys for Sci-Fy, Knightfall, for A&E, and Lore for Amazon. Recent film credits include the soon to be released Ophelia, starring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts and Clive Owen. Past credits include, SnowpiercerMission Impossible IV, and Bourne Identity. When she is not casting, she is educating actors and has written two books on acting, the most recent, “Auditioning for Film and TV” (published by Bloomsbury), is available on Amazon. She also founded the Acting for Film Program at the Prague Film School.

Kim Swanson – Casting Director, CSA, is an American born Casting Director who has worked internationally, as well.  She maintains offices in Los Angeles, and a Midwest office in St. Louis, Missouri.  The first three commercial projects she cast all won Emmy Awards.  The first feature film she cast The Treatment (a/k/a "Gua Sha") for the Beijing Television Arts Center (BTAC) was awarded Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in Beijing. Past film credits also include Showdown at Area 51 for Sci-Fi Channel (top 5 grossing films that year).  She recently concluded casting for A&E on Intervention and Intervention Epidemic, as well as the scripted series Declassified (CNN).  Kim  also enjoys guiding talent in a positive format through her Facebook Page "The Casting Factor".  When not working in production, Kim enjoys being a mom and grandmother, and recently becoming a part of the Lithuanian American Business Association in Los Angeles.

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Nov
10
12:00 PM12:00

Panel of casting directors "Casting across borders"

  • Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS



In the recent years, the number of European leads starring in Hollywood has been constantly growing. With casting crossing states’ borders or even becoming transcontinental, casting directors from the US are hunting talented Britons, Irish and actors of other nationalities skillful in English, while casting professionals from Europe are increasingly applying effective casting methods used by their American colleagues. The representatives of the Emmy-Awarded Casting Society of America, Nancy Bishop and Kim Swanson, who work in both, America and Europe, will share their casting-related insights and experiences that usually remain behind the closed doors. Amateur and professional actors will have an opportunity to learn all about the world-class casting, and directors, producers and all the present and future professionals of the industry will hear how to choose actors more effectively and take advantages of international opportunities. Lithuanian casting directors – Kristina Kolytė (agency Editos kastingas), Dalia Survilaitė, Donatas Šimukauskas (Aktorių agentūra) – will be sharing their experiences in Lithuania.

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