I have taken 3 full quarters of classes now with Lisa and couldnâ€™t have asked for a better teacher! She is very knowledgeable on the Meisner technique and makes learning fun and enjoyable. If you are wanting to learn more about acting, further your craft or even get out of your comfort zone and do something fun, Lisa is the one to see!
Lisa is very knowledgeable in the Meisner technique. Her classes are both educational and fun. I always felt that I got something each week from her class. Not only that but I always felt welcomed and comfortable to take risks. I will definitely be taking more courses from Lisa in the future.”
Lisa’s Intro to Meisner class was fun, informational and a safe place to explore. Highly recommend her classes to any actors looking to step up their game.”
~ Julie Berghammer
My son took the 2 day actors workshop involving fight choreography and introduction to Meisner technique. I wasn’t present but he indicated it was fun and very informational. Also, that he will definitely be using what he learned in his theater class at school, auditions and hopefully future projects where he may get use the choreography training. He expressed interest in taking more of Playhouse NW classes in the future. Booking, payment, communication were all professional and friendly interactions. My questions were answered promptly.”
~ Adrienne Jordan
Who knew that moving out of my comfort zone could be so much fun and insightful. Lisa creates a nurturing environment for experimentation, and learning. To Quote Ellen Burstyn in an article in New York Magazine (Dec 9-22, 2019) when asked,: Is studying acting useful for anything besides being an actor? Burstyn’s response: “Yeah. It’s useful in the way that therapy is useful: You get to know yourself. When they first start acting, actors have no idea what’s going on inside them all of the time. They are surprised when they suddenly access something they had no idea was cooking and alive.” I became aware of how much I do not actually “listen” during exchanges with people.I also began to watch TV without the sound to “read” the nonverbal interactions of characters. Take a class!!”
~ Jo Scozzafava
Lisa Skvarla is a fabulous acting instructor. I’m a novice to acting classes and therefore was very nervous to attend her Meisner Workshop. No worries. She put me and everyone else at ease straight away. The workshop was fun and highly beneficial. I would recommend anyone interested in improving their acting skills and acting confidence to attend one of Lisa’s workshops!”
~ Dario Salcido
Lisa Skvarla is such a great teacher and very accommodating. She makes it a lot of fun and she knows how important it is to keep her students active in class. I am always super excited to take classes from her!!!!!!!!!”
~ Joseph Kane
This class was fantastic, it created an opportunity/forum for introspection; it also helped with truly engaging in conversations with others, not just listening but genuinely focusing on and understanding how feel people feel. I am excited to continue to study with Lisa Skvarla, she’s challenging and yet supportive; she will be tough when necessary but is always encouraging, not ever demeaning or condescending. Big props to Playhouse Northwest Acting School.”
~ Jonathan Bartick
~ Erik S.
I’ve loved being a part of the community at Playhouse Northwest Acting School. Lisa provides the support and push needed to grow while creating a safe environment to exercise those areas of discomfort. I’ve enjoyed being a Level 1 mixed in with the other levels as I get to see firsthand what I’m working towards and how to get there.”
I absolutely adore Lisa! She is incredibly patient and nurturing, but also straightforward and constructive. I have grown so much as both an actor and a human being over the course of my training at Playhouse Northwest. If you want to learn the craft of acting, youâ€™ve found the right place!”
My son has learned a ton in Lisa’s classes at Playhouse Northwest! We highly recommend the Meisner classes for anyone who is serious about acting. He has found that the work he does in these classes improves his performance elsewhere. He finished level 1 in December, and is counting the days until he starts classes in Level 2. I love seeing his excitement when he comes out of each class!”
I’ve only been to part of the Level 1 class so far…but it’s already proved immensely helpful in my work Off-Broadway this spring. Can’t wait to return!!”
Iâ€™ve said it before and I still say it: My Meisner classmates, regardless of which class each attended, are the family into which I wish I had been born. Meisner is church to me because it brought me real fellowship, the kind of fellowship that is like air to a drowning person. Lisa Skvarla, our mentor, is no less than a goddess, and I shall be forever grateful for her involvement in my personal development, first as a human being and then as an actor. From her we learned to work off one anotherâ€™s behavior where we each acted as both light and mirror for the other, by truly listening and placing ourselves a stair-step higher than ground level, enabling us to see into the human heart. I discovered that we all grieve over something or someone at some level. I realized just how close to the surface my personal grief lies. Lisa provided me the emotional safety that I needed to be able to visit those dark places. It’s more personal than removing your clothes, being more akin to removing your skin. And once you’ve arrived, you didn’t have to say where you were, but you had to communicate to your Meisner family that you had arrived! I can cry on cue now, the gold standard for acting. In my first real acting in the film The Alleyway, my character gets beaten by gangbangers. My thrashing and crying in that role is not acting but the result of reliving something painful in my past. I had to live every minute of the last fifty years and fully appreciate the act of living to be able to bring to life a character on screen. I was able to bring honesty to an imaginary circumstance, and I learned that through my Meisner study at Playhouse Northwest Acting School.”
I have been studying Meisner technique at PHNW for over a year. Playhouse is a great place to train as well as a great community of talented teachers and students that support each other.”
~Shelby Schill Skiena
I’ve been training with Playhouse NW for about ten months now, and what I’ve learned has completely changed the way I approach acting (and human interaction in general). The most important lesson I’m learning is that truly listening to your partner is the only way to live moment to moment in an authentic and natural way. When we put our full attention on another person and take them seriously, we’re free to be more fully alive and more like ourselves. There’s no room for second guessing or self-editing when you go from being self-conscious to others-centered, and that’s how genuinely intimate moments happen between people.
The instructors are some of the most perceptive, approachable, and passionate people I know. I trust them because I believe they want every one of their students to succeed. Beware though…once they see what you can do they won’t let you off the hook (perform at a lower level)! And that’s a good thing. 🙂
I’m constantly inspired and encouraged by my fellow classmates. I’m humbled by their vulnerability and willingness to push themselves through new acting challenges weekly. I feel safe to get messy and make mistakes with them. They’re a good supportive bunch.
If you have the acting bug and a good work ethic, I can’t recommend Playhouse NW enough. I love what Playhouse is doing and I can’t imagine where I would be without this awesome group!”
During my time at Playhouse Northwest my work truly changed. The one thing I got from this class was that you needed to truly listen, I never fully understood what that meant until I came to this class. In just five months with this school my work changed drastically. Before I started going here whenever I would read a script and the character was scarred I would pretend to be scared but working with Playhouse Northwest I was able to go in the back room and take the knowledge I had collected to actually BE scarred. The work that they train you takes you from acting to being. Everything is done with a purpose and no one is able to expect what comes next in life. They teach you truly to be real and no other class I have taken in the past 13 years has been able to do that. Please go and take three classes with them and after you are done with three classes if you still don’t like it then you don’t have to go back, but I promise if you truly love the career of acting you will never want to leave.”
After checking out a variety of acting schools I decided to attend Playhouse Northwest. The first impression got me from the professionalism of the instructors and students, to the theory that they teach, and of course the friendliness. It was quite a commitment because I live in Tacoma and it is in West Seattle but there are no excuse when you are chasing after your dreams. The last thing I want to mention is I enjoy watching the other students and instructors work I actually feel like I am watching a drama played out in front of me it keeps me engaged and on the edge of my seat! They get 5 stars and I encourage you if you are interested check it out!!!”
I have been acting regularly for 16 years. Iâ€™ve taken many workshops, and classes and I have learned a lot through the years from a lot of different teachers. But in all that time I have never learned anything like what I have learned at Playhouse Northwest. Always before it was more about technique, but in this method it about being real. Always before I heard it said â€œyou need to be in the momentâ€ but then the work was still all in my head! This work gets you out of your head and into your heart! One of the things I had said over and over when I would go into past classes and they would ask what we wanted to get out of the class was I need to learn how to access real emotion. I want to be able to cry on cue. But nothing I learned in those classes helped me in this. But now I get it, now when I need the emotion it is there. I was on set last fall, I was sitting with my scene partners and they were laughing and joking and we were having a good olâ€™ time while they were setting up the shot. When suddenly I realized they were almost read for us and in the scene we were about to shoot I was a distraught Mom whose daughter had disappeared and I was pleading with the Private Eye to find her. I was no were near ready to go there! So I got up and went in the other room and just focused on doing the work. Very quickly I was ready to shoot the scene. I came into it with real emotion and real tears which held through the 5 takes we did of the scene. Had I not studied at Playhouse Northwest I know I could not have done that. I could have played the scene, but Iâ€™d have been acting not â€œbeingâ€ Thanks to playhouse I finally really get the difference!”
This place is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lisa is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is the best teacher anyone could have. Trust me everyone loves her. You should stop in to see how cool lisa is. She would blow you away. She is a fantastic lady. I encourage you all to see how cool the place is and how well the teachers treat us. They are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Great school, wonderful classmates, and excellent teachers! Not too much more to say. Come audit the class if you enjoy acting and would like to further your talent and acting capabilities!”
~Greg Gutshall Jr.
Where the pros go…..”