Acting and Directing Technique for Theater and Film


For over half a century, Jack Garfein has been perfecting his technique for actors and directors, which is based on his personal experience in directing actors, as well as research into the methods of Stanislavsky and Vakhtangov. His association with Erwin Piscator, Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman, Elia Kazan, and John Ford have provided further artistic stimulus. Garfein's unique approach illuminates the process and laws of nature that make emotions and behavior arrive spontaneously. 

Imitation will never reveal the real. It is only the involuntary memory, the magician in ourselves, the work of the latent subconscious, that is able to grasp the experience of another…
— Jack Garfein, LIFE AND ACTING

As a filmmaker, Jack Garfein is best known for the groundbreaking films: Something Wild with Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker, and The Strange One starring Ben Gazzara and members of The Actors Studio.

Jack Garfein founded The Actors Studio West in Los Angeles, co-founded The Strasberg Institute in New York, and, for the past 30 years, has taught at the school he created in Paris. He has directed stage productions around the world, working directly with such playwrights as Samuel Beckett, Sean O'Casey, Eugene Ionesco, Arthur Miller, and William Inge.

Among the film artists who have studied with Garfein are directors Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) and Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams); actors Sissy Spacek and Irène Jacob; writers Tom Schulman (Academy Award winner for Dead Poets Society) and Bo Goldman (Academy Award winner for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).


about the studio

Learn more about the Jack Garfein Studio and its mission. Find out about our three-step registration process; meet the team.

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About Jack garfein

Learn more about Jack Garfein's system, watch the scenes that were filmed during his classes, read his interviews and student testimonials.

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Register for classes

Fill out an application for an intensive course, studio workshop, or a private class; learn more about our additional class options. 

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