Monica May, a former faculty member at the Lee Strasberg Theatre, established the Children’s Acting Academy in 1972. In 2004 she passed directorial duties to stage and screen veteran Mimi Stuart, whose multidisciplinary teaching style incorporates several acting methods. The pintsize graduates of Stuart’s private coaching have gone on to work in touring productions of Les Misérables, Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man , and Billy Elliot and onscreen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Word World. Current students also perform in professional productions such as Chaplin. Stuart considers her specialties to be dialects and accents, coaching for auditions, and playing dead in case of a bear attack.