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Phoenix Theatre Ensemble’s JOY of acting classes in Nyack, NY

Whether you are a beginner, a seasoned actor, or somewhere in between, you will find an artistic home and a place to deepen and grow as an artist with PTE’s Joy of Acting classes.

Our Master Teachers have careers spanning several decades on the professional stage as actors, directors, teachers and producers. We will help you develop a strong foundation and expand your capacity for creating with greater freedom, imagination, organic inspiration and Joy.

Wednesday evenings 6:30-9:30

11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18

In the Rehearsal Studio at HHYT, 142 Main Street, Nyack

6 Sessions 150.00 (Best Value)

or $30 a class for drop ins


Master Teacher Craig Smith has appeared in over 250 NYC productions including Shakespeare, Shaw, Williams, Euripides, Pinter, Beckett, Strindberg, Moliere, etc. He was an ensemble member of New York’s prestigious award-winning Jean Cocteau Repertory where he made his artistic home for more than 3 decades. He created the role of August in the world premiere of Tennessee Williams last New York City Production, Something Cloudy, Something Clear. Craig and 4 colleagues founded Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, an award-winning Off-Broadway artist-directed ensemble. Mr. Smith has been called “One of New York's most consistently fine actors" by The New York Times, "Undoubtedly one of the best comic actors in New York" by Time Out, and “A downtown theatre legend" by He directed Entertaining Mr. Sloan (One the Ten Best, TheatreScene), Tartuffe (One of the Ten Best TheatreScene), he taught acting at Bard College. As a producer at Phoenix Theatre Ensemble the company has received eight New York Innovative Theatre Nominations, an NYIT Award, an Audelco Award, an Elliot Norton Award and two IRENE Awards. Mr. Smith is the recipient of the President of the Borough of Manhattan’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts and Community Service. On his approach to acting, Mr Smith states "I am a pragmatist, I insist on the development skills (vocal flexibility, physical expression, and approaching the text and character in non-traditional ways). With the firm foundation in skills the actor can find freedom and the exuberance of being a full-blooded and authentic artist."

Master Teacher Elise Stone is the Artistic Director and founding member of the critically acclaimed Phoenix Theatre Ensemble which has received numerous nominations and awards, including an Audelco, NYITA, IRNE and Elliot Norton. She is a critically acclaimed actress who has been called by NY critics “A honey voiced diva”, “Brilliant”, “A force of nature” .

An actress, director and teacher who has performed over 200 roles on the New York stage including the celebrated production of Eric Bentley’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children (Mother Courage) and the world premiere of Bentley’s adaption of Wedekind’s LuLu (LuLu) and as the lead in Eve Adamson’s production in both the US and South America of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author all at the Jean Cocteau Repertory where she was a resident actor for two decades. Selected as one of’s people of year Ms. Stone was singled out as “one of New York’s most highly regarded and compelling artists” and has been recognized by the Italian Cultural Consulate with an award for her roles in plays by Pirandello and DeFillipo. Other credits include regional theatre, film, television and cabaret. On the mainstage for Phoenix, Elise has directed Pirandello’s The Man with the Flower in His Mouth, Sartre’s No Exit and Sonja Linden’s I Have Before Me Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady From Rwanda as well as numerous staged readings. She has created and directed educational programs for Phoenix Theatre Ensemble and the Jean Cocteau Repertory for public schools and colleges and enjoys working with students of all ages, sharing the legacy and joy of acting which she inherited from her theatre mentors who include luminaries from Adler Studio, Michael Chekhov and the National Shakespeare.

As an actor, I have had the great fortune to study and work with some of the most brilliant, generous and dedicated artists one could hope for. I’ve spent a lifetime being given the rare opportunity to grow, explore and expand as an artist. Very few American actresses have been given the opportunities to play so many and diverse characters. I want all actors to have such fertile ground for growth. Come and experience the true Joy of Acting.

Master Teacher Diana Green is the Artistic Director and founder of The Children’s Shakespeare Theater for which she has directed 65 full-length productions of Shakespeare’s plays. She is also the fight choreographer and costume designer. In addition to CST, Diana has directed for the New York Shakespeare Exchange and Elmwood Playhouse, and has appeared in many productions with her beloved company of lunatics, The Strange Bedfellows. Diana studied primarily at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. In previous incarnations Diana was a commercial photographer, journalist and Montessori teacher, all of which have served her well as a director. Apart from theater, Diana is also a singer, a writer, a road-trip efficionado and mother to two brilliant young beings who shared the CST experience with her for many years. Diana recently received awards from the Rockland County Legislature and the Nyack Village Board for Distinguished Service in the Arts, and CST was awarded the Arts Leadership Award for 2019 from the Arts Council of Rockland.