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Meisner Archives

Notes.  Photos.  Videos.  Trivia.

Sydney Pollack's Documentary on the Meisner Technique.  Pollack was Sandy's assistant for 6 years. 

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The two official books:  One is an intimate look at the last 40 years of Sandy's life the other covers the acting technique.  (as well as it can be covered without actually participating)


The Sanford Meisner Center for the Arts opened in Spring 1995 with a mammoth nine play "One Act Festival".  Sanford Meisner was President, Jimmy Carville was VP, and Martin Barter was Artistic Director.  28 invited Meisner grads pitched in 900.00 each to finance the opening.  We produced 3-4 fully reviewed Main Stage plays each year, the last play being a memorable production of "Waiting for Lefty" in June of 2005.  Notable productions were:  "The Job" written/directed by Oscar nominee Lynn Mamet, and "Fallen Eagle: the untold story of Charles Lindberg" written/directed by the great Larry Cohen.  "Modigliani", "God's Country", "Adam and the Experts", and "The Day they Shot John Lennon" had nice runs as did a pair of plays we did with Tony/Grammy award winning playwright Steven Sater:  "Carbondale Dreams" and "In Search of Lost Wings". The Theater Company typically consisted of 25-35 dues paying members and a 5 member board.  For transparency we all watched each other audition, so the best audition got the role.  We ran it like a mini studio, with various committees running key areas:  Script Reading, Public Relations, Back of House, Production, Set Building, etc. The roped off chair you see in the front row is where Sandy sat, and after his death Feb 2nd, 1997 we retired it.  He attended every meeting and every performance until the end, and Sandy's funeral service was held here as well (I cried like a baby).  In the early days the Theater Company was separate from the Meisner/Carville school which was over on Vineland.  2nd year graduates (from any legit Meisner program) had to audition to be invited in.  Later the rules were relaxed and no audition was required, you just had to be a graduate of a 2 year program.  


From "The Spoon River Anthology" by Edgar Lee Masters.  Sandy would most definitely have you do a different one for class, but I think "Elija" is a fun post grad "Artist's Piece".  Try it!  


Group Theater retreat at Dover Furnace, 1932.

How many can you name?


More Group Theater...

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"Bird Bath" by Leonard Melfi, (Kelli Maguire and Kelly Nelson) at the Grand Opening of the Sanford Meisner Center for the Arts, Spring 1995.  

That would be Sandy's head in the foreground.  

"Live in class Sandy quotes" from his May 1992 Intensive, in chronological order.  6 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 4 weeks.  Bob Carnegie of Playhouse West would sit next to me (right behind Sandy and Jimmy) auditing.  There were about 28 students in the class.  Tom Radcliffe a longtime Meisner coach in London was in this class as well.


Sandy and Jimmy's adopted son "Boolu", survives them and lives in the Meisner house in Bequia.

Piano Concert Hall

Trivia: Meisner was trained concert pianist having studied at the 

prestigious "Institute of Musical Art" which is now Juilliard.

In 1994 Gregory Peck, Sydney Pollack, Gordon Davidson and friends threw a Lifetime Achievement Gala for Sandy at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.  I was in 2nd year at the time and was grateful to have been in attendance.  This is the official program, scroll right for some fun stuff.

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Sanford Meisner's Spring 1992 Intensive.


Sandy arriving for a rehearsal of Larry Cohen's "Fallen Eagle" at the Sanford Meisner Center for the Arts, fall 1996.  His last known photo.


Still from his guest star on "ER" 1995.


"Mikey and Nicky" 1976


With Rita Hayworth in Clifford Odets' "Story on Page One", 1959.

A deck dedicated to Sandy's family, Jimmy Carville and Boolu Meisner.  Please contribute Jimmy and Boolu photos!


The latest "must have" for any actor. 

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Lots of Sandy photos?  We'll make you a unique deck.

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