Neighborhood Playhouse
The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre is an actor training
Drama school
A drama school or theatre school is an undergraduate and/or graduate school or department at a college or university; or a free-standing institution ; which specialises in the pre-professional training in drama and theatre arts, such as acting, design and technical theatre, arts administration, and...

 school at 340 East 54th Street in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, generally associated with the Meisner technique
Meisner technique
The Meisner technique is an acting technique developed by the American theatre practitioner Sanford Meisner.Meisner developed this technique after working with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler at the Group Theatre and as head of the acting program at New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse and...

 of Sanford Meisner
Sanford Meisner
Sanford Meisner , also known as Sandy, was an American actor and acting teacher who developed a form of Method acting that is now known as the Meisner technique....



Neighborhood Playhouse had originally been founded as an off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...

 theatre by philanthropists Alice Lewisohn
Alice Lewisohn
Alice Lewisohn was the founder of the Neighborhood Playhouse with her sister Irene Lewisohn. Alice was also an actress.-Biography:...

 and Irene Lewisohn
Irene Lewisohn
Irene Lewisohn was the founder of the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Museum of Costume Art.-Biography:She was the daughter of Rosalie Jacobs and Leonard Lewisohn. In 1905 she and her sister, Alice Lewisohn, began classes and club work at the Henry Street Settlement House in New York. They produced...

 in 1915, but closed in 1927. The following year, it re-opened as the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre with the addition of Rita Wallach Morgenthau. Sanford Meisner joined the faculty in 1935 from the Group Theatre. Meisner used his study of Russian theatre and acting innovator, Konstantin Stanislavski's
Konstantin Stanislavski
Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski , was a Russian actor and theatre director. Building on the directorially-unified aesthetic and ensemble playing of the Meiningen company and the naturalistic staging of Antoine and the independent theatre movement, Stanislavski organized his realistic...

Stanislavski System
Stanislavski's system is a progression of techniques used to train actors to draw believable emotions to their performances. The method that was originally created and used by Constantin Stanislavski from 1911-1916 was based on the concept of emotional memory for which an actor focuses internally...

 to develop his own technique, as an alternative to Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg
Lee Strasberg was an American actor, director and acting teacher. He cofounded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective"...

's Method acting
Method acting
Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances...


The Executive Director of the Playhouse, Harold G. Baldridge, a graduate of the school himself, has been head of the school for 25 years.

The school offers a two-year / certificate program, with admission to the second year dependent upon unanimous approval of the faculty. Additionally, shorter workshops for professional and youth actors are also available.

Neighborhood Playhouse also offers Playhouse Juniors, a popular Saturday training program for children in grades 1-12. Children attend a fixed curriculum of singing, acting and dancing classes in a non-competitive environment.

A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 Horton Foote
Horton Foote
Albert Horton Foote, Jr. was an American playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies, and his notable live television dramas during the Golden Age of Television...

 met actor Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has won an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and a BAFTA over the course of his career....

 at Neighborhood Playhouse when Duvall starred in a 1957 production of Foote's play, The Midnight Caller
The Midnight Caller (play)
The Midnight Caller is a play by American playwright Horton Foote. The work was first performed in 1957 as part of a student production at the Neighborhood Playhouse with a cast including Robert Duvall. It had its professional premiere Off-Broadway at the Sheridan Square Playhouse where it opened...

. Foote recommended Duvall to play the part of Boo Radley in the 1962 film, To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird (film)
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film adaptation of Harper Lee's novel of the same name directed by Robert Mulligan. It stars Mary Badham in the role of Scout and Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch....

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