The New Actors Workshop

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The New Actors Workshop
United States
FoundersGeorge Morrison
Mike Nichols
Paul Sills

The New Actors Workshop was a two-year acting conservatory in New York City founded by Master Teachers Mike Nichols, George Morrison and Paul Sills in 1988. The school offered a unique, dual-track curriculum combining Stanislavski-based technique with Viola Spolin Theater Games. The workshop stopped accepting students in 2010.

The founders[edit]

Sills, Morrison, and Nichols enjoyed a long association dating back to the 1950s at the University of Chicago. Their experience convinced them that there was a unique value for the actor in the double challenge of performance improvisation and Stanislavski-based training, and they founded The Workshop specifically to offer this powerful experience to a new generation of actors.


There were different types of performances throughout the year in which students participated.

Friday Night Improv[edit]

Students of the workshop played Spolin theatre games for an audience. These shows were free and open to the public.

Scene Nights[edit]

At the end of their first year, students performed for family and friends in a New Actors Workshop Scene Night.

Story Theatre[edit]

At the end of their second year, students went into a rehearsal period with a guest director. This production was most often a Story Theater show, a genre invented by Paul Sills in the 1960s. Guest directors included Paul Sills, Gene Hackman, Diane Paulus, Shira Piven, David Turner, Lester Thomas Shane, K Tanzer, Carol Sills

Notable alumni[edit]


Coordinates: 40°44′58″N 73°59′40″W / 40.74950°N 73.99454°W / 40.74950; -73.99454