TEACHER BIOS

 
Scott Freeman
SCOTT FREEMAN, Studio Head

 

For the past twenty-five years, Studio Head, Scott Freeman, has taught at many of the nation's premiere actor training programs and is recognized as one of the leading acting teachers in the country. Mr. Freeman was a member of the founding faculty of The Actors Center in New York City, where he taught throughout the eleven years of its existence. In addition, he enjoyed a long association with The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco as a core faculty member of its MFA program and a member of its acting company. He also served as the founding Head of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program. He has also taught at Rutgers University, NYU, SUNY Purchase, The Atlantic Theatre Company, and The Stella Adler School of Acting.

As an actor, theatres he has worked at include The  American Conservatory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, New York Theatre Workshop, Mark Taper Forum, The Magic Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare, San Jose Repertory, Cincinnati Playhouse, and St. Louis Repertory. In addition, he has several film and television roles to his credit.

 
LISA ARRINDELL

 

LISA ARRINDELL's long and varied acting career include Films: Tyler Perry’s Medea’s Family Reunion, HBO’s A Lesson Before Dying, Disappearing Acts, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Sin Seer, Having Our Say:The Delany Sisters, etc. Television: Bull, Elementary, Madam Secretary, Law and Order SVU, Saints & Sinners, The Quad and Notorious, etc. Theatre: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof [Broadway], Jubilee [Arena Stage], Reparations [The Billie Holiday Theatre] Richard III [NY Shakespeare Theater] Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, etc. Her starring film credits include, First Hundred years, Christmas Wedding Baby, First Impression, and A Christmas Blessing.


Her work as an acting coach and teacher include private clients and as an Artist in Residence at the Harlem School of the Arts, as well as masterclasses for high school and college theatre students.


She received her BFA from The Juilliard School.

 
Vance Barber
VANCE BARBER

 

In addition to his teaching at The Freeman Studio, Vance Barber has been associated with noted acting coach and teacher, Bob Krakower since 2012. Vance enjoys a noted reputation as an acting coach. His clients include many successful actors in film and television, who rely on him for their audition preparation. Vance teaches several ongoing acting classes throughout the city. In 2012, Vance started Let's Get Reel, an audition and edit studio he ran out of his guest room in Astoria. From 2013-2018, he was the head on-camera audition teacher at Stonestreet Studio, the Film and TV Conservatory of NYU's Tisch School Drama Department.


Visit his website for more information www.vancebarber.com

 

Reed Birney
REED BIRNEY

 

Reed Birney has been an actor since 1974, making his Broadway debut at 21 in Albert Innaurato’s comedy smash, Gemini.  He made an auspicious film debut in 1981 in Arthur Penn and Steve Tesich’s Four Friends. His work in the theater has been highly lauded, having nominated for two Tony Awards and winning once. He has won three OBIE Awards and a Drama Desk Award honoring his career. On television, he is best known as Vice President Donald Blythe in House of Cards. Other theater credits include Ian in the New York debut of Sarah Kane’s Blasted, Tony Blair in Stuff Happens, Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina, the original production of Circle Mirror Transformation. He can currently be seen in Lost Girls on Netflix, the Universal/Blumhouse film The Hunt,  directed by Craig Zobel, and season one of the Apple TV+ series, Home Before Dark. Upcoming film projects include Mass, written and directed by Fran Kranz, costarring with Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton and Jason Isaacs and The 40 Year Old Version, Radha Blank’s Sundance award-winning film which debuts this fall on Netflix. 


Reed's extensive acting experience in theatre, film & television, has enabled him with a unique and valuable method for helping actors possess a greater understanding of the craft of acting.


In addition to his association with The Freeman Studio, he has taught at Columbia University, Primary Stages and HB Studio. 

 
JESSICA CUMMINGS

 

Jessica Cummings is a NYC-based acting teacher and coach. In addition to her teaching, she is also an actor, director, and award-winning film producer. As an actor, she has performed on Broadway, off-Broadway and regionally, as well as in major television shows and films. Most recently, Jessica was seen in Therese Raquin on Broadway (starring Kiera Knightley) and can be seen in the films Astraea and Gold (starring Matthew McConaughey).
 

Jessica has been associated with noted acting coach and teacher, Bob Krakower for the past six years.

 
 
Maria Dizzia
MARIA DIZZIA

 

Maria Dizzia has taught at the University of California at San Diego and master classes at the Penghao Theater in Beijing and the Sichuan People's Art Theater in Chengdu, China. She is currently a Beinecke Fellow at Yale School of Drama. She is also a 2011 recipient of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship.

As a much sought-after actress, her Broadway credits include: In The Next Room by Sarah Ruhl (Tony nomination Featured Actress; Lincoln Center). Recent theater credits include If I Forget by Steven Levenson (Roundabount Theater Company),  Belleville by Amy Herzog (Drama Desk Nomination; New York Theater Workshop, Yale Rep), Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep), Drunken City by Adam Bock (Playwrights Horizons), and Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl (Second Stage, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep). Outside of the United States, Maria has performed at The Gate Theater in London and at the Garasjen theater in Norway.


Television credits include: a recurring role on Louis C.K.'s Horace and Pete, recurring role on Orange Is the New Black, Louie, Master of None, Newsroom, Elementary, and The Blacklist. Among her film roles are: Martha Marcy May Marlene (Gotham Film Award nomination, Best Ensemble), While We're Young, and Margin Call.

ANDREW DOLAN

 

Andrew Dolan has taught at the Stella Adler Studio, The American Conservatory Theater, AMDA and the American Academy of Dramatic Art.  Acting credits include American Daughter (Broadway), Strictly Dishonorable (Vineyard), Pink, Ted Kaczynski (SPF), What Then (Clubbed Thumb), Tree House (NY Stage & Film), Measure for Measure (Target Margin) UK: Edmond (National Theatre). The Woods (National Studio), Boy from the Book (English Touring Theatre). Regional: Mamba’s Daughters (Spoleto Festival), Burn This, Marco Millions, Cyrano, 12th Night, Hapgood (ACT), Substance of Fire. Savage/Love (Magic Theatre), Loot, Amadeus (Arizona Theatre Co.), Road to Nirvana, Down the Road, Boy’s Life, Coming Attractions (Encore Theatre). TV/Film: Handsome Harry (Tribeca ’09) Unstoppable, Partners in Crime, 28 Days, Ash Tuesday, Deal Breakers (Sundance ’07), Elementary, House of Cards, Bull, Blue Bloods, Good Wife, The Americans, Person of Interest, Good Cop, The Tick, Blacklist , Being Human, David Letterman, all Law & Orders, Conviction, Return of Jezebel James, Guiding Light, Crash Life. As a writer, Andrew's plays have been developed and performed at EST West, Road Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, Barrington Stage, Marin Theatre Company, Mile Square Theatre. Training: Bowdoin College, MFA: American Conservatory Theatre.

 
 
TARA GIORDANO

 

Tara Giordano is a New York-based actor, teacher, and director. A Helen Hayes Award nominee, her acting credits include roles at Arena Stage (Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge, Christmas Carol 1941), Shakespeare Theatre (As You Like It), Folger Theatre (Conference of the Birds, Twelfth Night),Two River Theater (The Underpants, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Year with Frog and Toad), Olney Theatre (Anna Karenina, Blithe Spirit, Is He Dead?), Studio Theatre (Batboy: the Musical); 13 seasons with Off-Broadway Theatre company PTP/NYC, and new play developments at New York Theatre Workshop, Primary Stages, New Victory Theatre, and Woolly Mammoth. Her work can also be seen & heard in national commercials (AT&T, CVS), independent films (YellowBrickRoad, Ex-Girlfriends), and over 40 audiobook narrations (Marvel’s The Death of Captain America). She was a co-producer on the feature film The Witch in the Window and a co-developer of the original musical The Village of Vale at Lincoln Center. As a teacher and director, Ms. Giordano has worked with actors at Boston University, Shakespeare Theatre Company, American University and various studios in NYC. She holds a BA in Theatre and English from Middlebury College and an MFA from The Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University.

 
ALEXANDRA NEIL

Alexandra Neil has taught Scene Study at the Freeman Studio for the past six years. She was a core member of the faculty at Michael Howard Studios. In addition, she has taught at NYU/Tisch, National Theater Institute, the MFA Acting Program at Brooklyn College and the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab.

 

As an actor, she appeared on Broadway in Tom Stoppard's Rock'n'Roll and Stephen Belber’s Match. Her film credits include Listen Up Philip, The Longest Week, Simon Killer, Afterschool, Twelve, Something’s Gotta Give, Pretty Happy, among others. Television roles include Madoff, Blue Bloods, Blacklist, Prodigal Son, all the Law and OrderMadigan Men, The SopranosEd, Dudley, and five contract roles on daytime drama.

 

Off-Broadway, Alex appeared last fall in Reparations at the Billy Holiday Theatre. Other credits include Lincoln Center Theater,  Barrow Street Theater, EST, SoHo Rep, Theater at St. Clements, and LaMama, ETC, among others. Regionally she has worked at The Huntington Theatre, The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, CATF, The Alley Theater, Syracuse Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Philadelphia Theater Company, and others.

 

She is a proud member of the Actors Center, and a graduate of Williams College and the National Theatre Institute.


Visit her website for more information www.AlexandraNeil.com

 

Armando Riesco
ARMANDO RIESCO

Armando Riesco is a versatile and highly regarded NYC based actor with credits in film, TV, and the stage. He graduated from Northwestern University and works consistently in multiple genres with some of the best directors in the business including Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Steven Soderbergh, and others.

He has appeared in over a dozen films (Garden State, Adult World, Bella, World Trade Center etc.), and regular, recurring, and guest starring spots on television ("The Chi", "Queen of the South"). He has voiced and done motion capture for video games, including the "Grand Theft Auto" series and "Just Cause 3". His voice can also be heard in national and international publicity campaigns for major companies such as Macy's, Chase, Garnier, McDonalds, and many others.

On stage he was most notably the title character in the Elliot Trilogy, which includes the Pulitzer Prize winning "Water by the Spoonful" by Quiara Hudes, for which he received a Lucille Lortel nomination for outstanding lead actor in a play. As a writer/producer, his 1st short "Remember" was an official selection at LA Shorts, HBO NYLFFl, LALIFF, and the Soho Film Festival.. His 1st feature film "Seneca", which he also stars in, has won awards at the HBO Latino Film Festival, Woodstock FF, Film Fest Tucson, Phoenix FF and Tide FF and was picked up by HBO.

 
NILAJA SUN

Nilaja Sun (No Child…) is an actor, playwright and teaching artist. No Child… was directed by Hal Brooks, originally commissioned and produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble and received an Off Broadway run at the Barrow St. Theatre. For her creation and performance of No Child... and its subsequent international tour, Nilaja garnered 21 awards including: an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for Outstanding New American Play, a Theatre World Award, the Helen Hayes Award, two NAACP Theatre Awards, and was awarded the soloNOVA Award for Artist of the Year by terraNOVA Collective. 

 

Her latest solo piece Pike St., directed by Ron Russell and originally commissioned and produced by Epic, had its world premiere at the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side, which was followed by an international tour at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Pillsbury House, Detroit Public Theatre, Northampton’s Academy of Music and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, as well as Melbourne, Australia, Dublin, Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland where it won the Edinburgh Award.

 

Other theatre credits include: The Cook (Intar), The Commons of Pensacola (Manhattan Theatre Club) and Public Enemy (Pearl Theatre).

 

TV/FILM: Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, BrainDead, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Unforgettable, Louie, The International, Youth in Oregon and Rubicon. 

 

A native of the Lower East Side, she is a Princess Grace Award recipient, and has taught drama, playwriting and solo performance in high schools and colleges in New York, New Jersey, Hartford and Bridgeport, CT, Detroit, MI, Washington D.C, Oakland, CA, and Tanzania, Africa for 20 years. 

 
Welker White
WELKER WHITE

 

Welker White has worked as an actor and educator for over 30 years. Welker has performed on and off-Broadway, as well as at noted regional theaters. Numerous film and television credits include work with directors Peter Weir, Nora Ephron, Chris Rock, and Ryan Murphy. Welker was most recently seen in her third Martin Scorsese movie, The Irishman, playing Josephine Hoffa opposite Al Pacino’s Jimmy Hoffa. She can currently be seen in the Emmy-winning Bad Education opposite Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney on HBO, and on Netflix in Radha Blank’s acclaimed The 40-Year Old Version. 

Welker teaches screen acting at noted training programs across the country including Brown/Trinity, NYU Grad Acting, A.C.T., FSU/Asolo, SMU, Atlantic, Brooklyn College MFA Acting, and many others. She has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist Designation for her teaching. 

 

Past Teachers

JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON

John Douglas Thompson is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama Desk Awards and two Obie Awards, as well as being nominated for a Tony Award.

The New York Times critic Ben Brantley described Thompson as "one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation".

He can currently be heard in The Public Theater / WNYC's radio production of Richard II.

His Broadway credits  include Carousel, Jitney (Tony Award nomination), A Time to Kill, and Cyrano de Bergerac. Off Broadway credits include The Iceman Cometh (Obie Award, Drama Desk Award; BAM); A Doll’s House, The Father, Macbeth, Othello (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award); Tamburlaine the Great (Obie Award, Drama Desk Award) (Theatre for a New Audience), Satchmo at the Waldorf (Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and NAACP Theatre Award), The Emperor Jones (Irish Repertory Theatre), and Hedda Gabler (New York Theatre Workshop). Regional credits include Hamlet (American Conservatory Theater), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Ovation Award, Center Theatre Group), Richard III and Red Velvet (Shakespeare and Company), Othello (Trinity Repertory Company), Mother Courage (American Repertory Theater), and Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Barrymore Award,Wilma Theater). Film and television credits include The Bourne Legacy, Glass Chin, Michael Clayton, WolvesBullThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Law & Order: SVUMadam Secretary, and Person of Interest.

 
Jack Doulin
JACK DOULIN

Jack Doulin is one the most respected Casting Directors in the country. He is currently the resident casting Director for Theatre for a New Audience, for which he has cast An Octoroon, The Winter's Tale and the current production of Julius Caesar. Among other NY shows he has cast are: Peter and the Starcatcher, Tony Kushner’s Homebody / Kabul, Caryl Churchill’s Far Away, A Number (w/ Sam Shepard) and Love and Information; Ivo von Hove’s productions of Hedda GablerThe MisanthropeThe Little Foxes; Sarah Kane's 4:48 Psychosis and BlastedThe Master BuilderThe PersiansEdgewise, Jack’s Precious Moment, Creature, Beebo Brinker, Dark Yellow, Living Room in Africa, Orange Flower Water. And two notable productions of Uncle Vanya: Andre Gregory’s production (with Julianne Moore and Wallace Shawn) and Sam Gold's production of Annie Baker's adaptation (with Reed Birney, Maria Dizzia and Michael Shannon.) 

 

Regional credits include productions at Arena Stage, Long Wharf, The Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, The American Repertory Theatre, Seattle Rep, The Chautauqua Theatre Company, Pig Iron Theatre, The Philadelphian Theatre Company, The Studio Theatre (Washington, DC) and the Wilma Theatre and Two River Theater. His film work includes Vanya on 42nd Street, A Master Builder, New Orleans, Mon Amour and What the Night Can Do.

 

In addition to his involvement with The Freeman Studio, he teaches at The Juilliard School.

 
katie headshot 3 jpeg 2.jpg
KATIE FLAHIVE

 

Katie is a well-trained and very versatile actor/ troublemaker. She has built a career that continues to surprise even her wildest expectations. As a teacher, she works privately as an on-set coach with clients in NYC and LA while maintaining her own private classes. In addition to this, she has curated a third year acting program with a heavy focus of on camera performance and the business aspect of TV/Film, which she teaches at TK Studios. Katie has been on faculty at Pace University, Atlantic (NYU Tisch) and Stone Street Studios (NYU Tisch). She has worked as an artist in residence for Broadway Stages as well as Stages on the Sound, both organizations that focus on bringing theater to younger audiences. She is a passionate educator who values the art of collaboration and creative autonomy. Constantly working on her own craft, she is a member of The Actors Center and works across theater, tv and film. Select TV: The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim), The Affair (Showtime) Looming Tower (Hulu), Law and Order: SUV (NBC), Chicago PD (NBC), Nurse Jackie (Showtime), Glow (Netflix), Feed the Beast (AMC). Select theater: Public, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, Northlight, Remy Bumppo. When she’s not teaching or acting, Katie takes time to travel and work with The Campfire Project, a group of theater artists working to bring attention to the refugee crisis that continues to grow globally. She’s also a proud volunteer of The 52nd Street Project.

 
Marin Ireland
MARIN IRELAND

Marin Ireland is one of our most noted and sought-after actors. She was nominated for a Tony Award, and won a Theatre World Award, for her role in Reasons To Be Pretty. She is also the recipient of an Obie Award for her role in Cyclone, and has been nominated for the Drama Desk, Lortel, Outer Critics, and Drama League Awards.


She also appeared on Broadway in After Miss Julie, and The Big Knife. Recent Off-Broadway roles include Ironbound, Kill Floor, Marie Antoinette, Blasted, and A Lie of the Mind. She has acted at many of New York's prestigious theatre companies - among them are: Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, The Public, Rattlestick, The New Group, Signature, and The New York Theatre Workshop.


Her notable work in television includes Homeland, Girls, The Slap, Masters of Sex, and three seasons of Sneaky Pete on Amazon.

Her film work includes: Hell or High Water, Flint, Light From Light, 28 Hotel Rooms, The Irishman, and Glass Chin (Independent Spirit Award nomination).

 
Ellen Novack
ELLEN NOVACK

 

Ellen Novack has had a long and varied career with one consistent theme: working with and helping actors.  She was a casting director for over 25 years working in TV, film and theatre. She gave early jobs to Nathan Fillion at 21, Anne Heche at 17, Ryan Phillippe at 14, and Hayden Panettiere at 4!  She was casting director at the NY Shakespeare Festival, casting the original NY productions of Plenty and Mystery of Edwin Drood,  both of which went to Broadway, and Top Girls and Fen. She directed, co-produced and co- wrote two short films, which were Official Selections at many festivals throughout the country and won several awards. She was Managing Director for CSC (Classic Stage Company) in New York, even as she cast plays for them with John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub, David Strathairn, Jean Stapleton, and Joe Morton, among many others. She was a casting director for the soap operas As the World Turns, Another World and One Life to Live, which she went on to produce as well.
 
To help actors who are new to the business or whose career has stalled, she started ActorLaunch, a one-on-one consulting service. She has taught on-camera auditioning at The Juilliard School, American Conservatory Theatre, The New School, New York University, Rutgers University, Columbia University, and the National Theatre Institute and has been teaching On-Camera Acting Technique and On-Camera Auditioning for many years at the Yale School of Drama.  Currently, she’s a Talent Consultant for Authentic Talent and Literary Management. Her students, for example:  Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Mamoudou Athie, Molly Bernard, Brett Dalton, Winston Duke, Marcus Henderson, Brian Tyree Henry,  Aja Naomi King, Lupita Nyong’o, Allison Williams and many others, are doing quite well in TV and on film.

 
Amanda Quaid
AMANDA QUAID

 

Amanda Quaid works extensively with heightened language, accents and dialects as an actor and in her work as an educator, she teaches dialects and verse skills to performers from around the world. She was selected by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs to be a 2012 artist-in-residence with SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide, placing her in NYC senior centers to lead workshops in Shakespeare. Actors are drawn to her unique and holistic approach, rooted in her performance background, which places emphasis on the speaker finding his or her individual voice within a dialect.


Her acting credits are diverse and substantial. Broadway: Equus. Off-Broadway: U.S. premiere of Cock directed by James Macdonald, Luck of the Irish  (Lincoln Center/LCT3, Lucille Lortel nomination), Thomas Kilroy’s Irish adaptation of The Seagull directed by Max Stafford-Clark (Culture Project), A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney  (Soho Rep), Galileo opposite F. Murray Abraham (CSC), The Illusion dir. Michael Mayer (Signature), The Witch of Edmonton (Red Bull); Banished Children of Eve  (world premiere), W.B. Yeats’ A Full Moon in March and other plays in The Yeats Project (Irish Repertory Theatre); world premiere of Christopher Durang’s Not a Creature Was Stirring (The Flea).

 

Regional: Vivie in Mrs. Warren's Profession opposite Elizabeth Ashley (Shakespeare Theatre), Rosalind in As You Like It (Folger Shakespeare Theatre), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival). Film/TV: Non-Stop with Liam Neeson, Law and Order: SVU opposite Patricia Arquette.

 

Film and television work includes: Masters of Sex and the upcoming I'm Dying Up Here.

 

Raised in Greenwich Village, Amanda received her B.A. in English from Vassar College and trained with Scott Freeman post graduation.