Actors Movement Studio

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The Actors Movement Studio, also known as the Actor Movement Conservatory, is a teaching facility for actors in the Hells Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.


The Actors Movement Studio was founded in 1975 by Loyd Williamson devoted solely to training the actors body and voice; the acting instrument. It is also known as the home of the Williamson’s Technique which has been the foundation of the studio’s teaching principles since its inception.

The Williamson Technique is a physical technique for acting that rose out of the work and methods of the “Group Theater”, thereby making it an American pedagogy developed by American actor and movement teacher dedicated to finding a way to answer Stanislavski’s search for a method to train the actor's instrument, the actor's body.

Williamson began the creation of his work in 1971 out of which grew the founding of AMS in 1975. It was a hub for actors who wanted to develop an acting instrument that could process the emotional demands of group theater methods which sought to train an actor who is vulnerable and viscerally connected to imaginary circumstances.

The origins of the work were in Williamson's concentration in dance and poetry. During his work with Sanford Meisner in the early 1970s, Loyd Williamson was inspired to develop a method that could be as a physical training counterpart to Sanford Meisner’s acting technique or method. The Technique became a popular method of training actors who were studying the Meisner acting method at acting studios such as William Esper Studio and others.

This technique was developed through Williamson training with mentor Anna Sokolow, with whom he worked for twelve years, and performed in her Players Project.[1] He studied with Michael Howard, Sanford Meisner and director Harold Clurman. He also worked for two years assisting Michael Shurtleff.

The group theater was a major influence in the development of Williamson’s technique; Anna Sokolow in movement, Sanford Meisner in acting and the founder Harold Clurman.

Recently Williamson received a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Theatre Movement Educators, and was also a part of the task force that created their mission statement and goals.[2]

Williamson was an actor's coach and choreographer for Andrei Koncholovsky's film Maria's Lovers with Nastassja Kinsky and Robert Mitchum; Amos Poe's Alphabet City with Vincent Spano and Zohra Lampert, and acting coach in Jerzy Skolimowski's film Torrents of Spring with Nastassja Kinsky and Timothy Hutton.

Programs and courses[edit]

The AMS teach the Williamson Physical Technique.[3]

The Actors Movement Studio strongholds are its Summer Theater Intensives, Teen Shakespeare Workshops, and Edwardian Period Style Summer Intensives.

The Summer Theater Intensive includes a variety of physically based techniques, the purpose for which is to develop the actor’s imagination, voice, and body. Students are immersed in an intensive program, while they are also surrounded by the cultural abundance of New York City. The techniques include: Williamson Physical Technique, Williamson Period Style Salon, Fitzmaurice Vocal Technique, Michael Chekhov Technique, Mask and Mime Workshops, Viewpoints and Composition, Feldenkrais Movement, Laban and Character and Rasaboxes.[4] B.F.A. students and M.F.A. candidates from all over the country come for the month of June for the intensive program.[5]

The Teen Shakespeare Conservatory combines physical theatre, movement training, and character development acting methods with classical Shakespearian language to afford young actors with the essentials required in the professional acting area. It is intended to help nurture, develop, and prepare students for college and the industry. Students who attend will train in the Williamson Physical Technique, Elizabethan Period Style Character, Shakespearean Text, Shakespeare Monologues and Scene Work, Linklater Voice Technique, Viewpoints and Composition Rasaboxes, Mask Neutral and Character, Mime and Pantomime, Elizabethan Dance, Stage Combat, and Puppetry.

The Edwardian Period Style Summer Intensive style project Class.[6] The actor researches and develops a character through historical and cultural etiquette, manners, protocol, dances, clothes, cultural, and social relationships of the period. The period characters are created using the principles of the Technique such as: sensual contact, open range of sound, and physical alignment. For their programs extensive pursuit to the quality of the craft.

Publications: Showbusiness, The Soul of the American Actor, and the critically acclaimed book by Nicole Potter, Movement for Actors.

AMS draw from such institutions as Tisch School of the Arts (NYU), A.R.T./Harvard, The University of the Arts, Yale School of Drama, Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University), Juilliard School, Brown University, Bard College, Northern Illinois University, Florida International University, University of the Arts, American Conservatory Theatre, Williamstown Theater Festival, The Actors Studio MFA Program, among many others.

Notable actors[edit]


  1. ^ a b Acting Teachers of America: A Vital ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  2. ^ "ATME: The Association of Theatre Movement Educators". Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  3. ^ "The Right Stuff", Showbusiness weekly , August 24-September 7, 2004
  4. ^ "ATME: The Association of Theatre Movement Educators". 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  5. ^ Movement for actors - Google Books. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′14.65″N 73°59′33.16″W / 40.7540694°N 73.9925444°W / 40.7540694; -73.9925444