From acting alongside Al Pacino to working with the casting directors of Boardwalk Empire and Argo, Joshua Nelson knows firsthand the hurdles actors must face, both in front of and behind the camera. As the head instructor at LaGuardia Acting Studio, he draws on his 20-plus years of experience to train actors of all ages and skill levels. Instead of emphasizing specific methods, Joshua weaves elements of Stanislavski, Strasberg, and other techniques into lessons tailored to each individual student. With these foundations of craft intact, pupils strengthen their chops for film, television, and commercials through scene studies and character development exercises. Joshua also emphasizes the business side of the industry by training his students in audition etiquette and resume writing.
Before taking the reins at Broadway Performing Arts, Elisa Heinsohn appeared on the TV series Fame, and Cleve Asbury acted in the Oscar-winning film Chicago. The duo also racked up an impressive set of Broadway credits—Asbury most recently played Mr. Ovington in the hit How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying—and starred in more television commercials than a dog who can talk. Nowadays, the two continue their performing-arts work while co-owning and co-directing their studio, leading their team as they teach students from 3-year-olds to adults. The studio’s eclectic curricula hone students’ skills in disciplines such as musical theater, dance, and guitar.
If you want to become a successful actor, you could watch your favorite stars in movies or read up on various techniques. Or you could study under Luigina Vecchione Curran, the Artistic Director at DennyLoo Studios. The actress, director, and acting coach brings her on-camera and on-stage experiences—as well as her stint at Playhouse West with Jeff Goldblum, Robert Carnegie, and Bill Esper of Esper Studios —to her students during interactive classes and workshops. Once here, she delves into scene studies, improv, and monologues about monologues to help her students boost confidence and build a wide range of skills that will assist them in getting auditions and landing acting jobs.
For 26 years, The Drama Desk and Coming Up Taller Award-winning TADA! has been providing young people of all different backgrounds, including a large number of disadvantaged children and families, the opportunity to explore and perform musical theater together in an educational, supportive, and professional environment.
When you walk into The Toy Museum of NY, you might see a Raggedy Ann doll. And another. And then another. Through this head-spinning proliferation of Anns and other characters—from Shirley Temple to Howdy Doody to Mr. Potato Head—kids and nostalgic adults explore changes in toymaking trends. Much of the collection of hundreds of dolls, games, and figurines from the 1880s–1980s is behind glass, so little hands get their passport to this wonderland of playthings via Queen Marlene's Toy Theatre. Kids gather around her singing, dancing highness for an illustrated tour through toyland as they’re invited up on stage to don costumes, play instruments, and perhaps diagnose an ailing doll’s stuffing troubles alongside other energetic, quick-witted actors. They can also attend the Special Toy Invention Program and learn about the invention of such cornerstones of American childhood as the Slinky, the Etch-A-Sketch, the Frisbee, and the empty refrigerator box.