Address : 52th Street.
Since October 1955 : 432 West 44th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenue (Greek Orthodox church).Some stone steps leads to a storm door, but the initiates knwo how to come in by the basement. Inside, the walls are décorated with colored theater posters, and pictures, among them, one of Stanislalvski.
It was a workgeroup where the artists met to learn and practise.
In 1951, Lee Strasberg became the art director.
Before the registration, the students had to audition with Strasberg. Once they were accpeted, they were free to work as much as they wanted to because there wasn't a strict schedule.
It was nor a school, neither a theater. Unauthorized to the public and to every people who were searching actors for a show, the idea was to allow the actors to develop their art out of every commercial pressure.
The sessions took place twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. The actors presented a scene to the group, then explained what they were trying to express through them. Every attended people, students and viewers were free to comment, to encourage or to critisize. When everybody had express himself, Lee Strasberg used to speak.
The Method, a drama technic which rested on the exposition of the emotions, took its inspiration in the teaching of the actor and of the stage director.
One of the essential aspect of the Method was the actor deliverance thanks to the psychoanalysis.
Until 1970, this drama art temple has attracted many actors, desirous to enlarge their experience and knowledge, to face the opinions and virulent comments of their peers and also of Lee Strasberg himself.
Former students of the Actors Studio :
Anne Bancroft, Marlon Brando, Ellen Burstyn, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Julie Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Jackson, Karl Malden, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman
(), Al Pacino, Geraldine Page, Sidney Poitier, Eve Saint-Marie, Kim Stanley, Maureen Stapleton, Rod Steiger, Eli Wallach, Shelley Winters, Joanne Woodward.
Among those who had become famous, not all of them could have been official members : :Jack Nicholson, George C.Scott, Barbra Streisand...
Link with Marilyn:
Marilyn enter the workgroup in May 1955.
When she attended the sessions instead of the private lessons that Lee gave in his own apartment, she discreetly sat in the back of the room, and sometimes took some notes. She wore a simple blouse, a pants, a scarf covering her hair, and didn't have any make-up.
With beige coat :
Black sweater, without coat :
Between 1955 and 1960, in New York City, Marilyn shared her day between the Strasberg's lessons and the sessions with her psychoanalyst.
Among other exercises, she played the main part in an Anna Christie scene, and although the hand clapping wasn't useful, her interpretation caused some of them.
On December 18, 1956 : promotion of the play "Baby Doll" :
Marilyn played the usherette at the "Baby Doll" premiere, to the benefit of the Actors Stuido, at the Victoria Theater, Broadway :