Fall 2019 Shakespeare Scene Study Class

A rigorous and imaginative exploration of playing Shakespeare with a focus on the relationship between the structure of verse, the intellectual argument and releasing a characters thoughts and emotions through text. Particular attention will be paid to “making the word flesh” and deepening the actor’s personal attachment to the work.

MONDAY mornings (10:00am-1:30pm)

10 weeks

September 9th-November 11th


Class will take place in Manhattan and is limited to 12 students.  

Registration deadline: August 31st.

To inquire about registration and/or to set up an audition appointment please fill out the form below:

Name *
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Brian McManamon is an actor, acting instructor, director and acting coach in New York City. He currently serves on the acting faculties of Syracuse University's Tepper Semester in New York City and the National Theater Institute (NTI) at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. He has taught and/or directed at the Juilliard School, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, New York University/Tisch School of the Arts, the MFA program at Columbia University, NYSF/Public Theater, Manhattanville College, Vassar College’s Powerhouse Apprentice Training Program in association with New York Stage and Film, CAP21 and Yale University’s Dwight-Edgewood Project. Brian served as Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford from 2015-2018.

Brian has studied with some of the most respected teachers of acting in America and abroad including Ron Van Lieu, Evan Yionoulis, Mark Wing-Davey, Austin Pendleton, Andrew Wade and the late John Barton. He has an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama and a BFA in acting from the School for Theater at Boston University. Brian is a proud member of the Actors Center Workshop Company and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers.

As an acting coach, Brian works with beginning and established clients for film, television and theater. He specializes in preparing actors for graduate school auditions. Each year his clients go on to attend the top graduate acting schools in the country.

"Taking class with Brian has completely revolutionized my approach to performance, my mindset as an actor, and my commitment to the craft. On the first day of our Shakespeare class I knew he was something special. He unpacked, unfolded, and revealed Shakespeare to me in an approachable and conquerable way. With him, I learned those little tips and tricks for getting out my own way of successes, the endless possibilities I have at my disposal, and various exercises to bring more of myself to the work. He radiates bravery and professionalism, trust and compassion from every pore on his body. I couldn't have asked for a better experience learning.” —Melissa Golliday

"Brian's class creates a rare and spectacular opportunity to work with high caliber professional performers in a low stakes environment. Brian cultivates a place for experimentation and ultimately growth. His focus on the work allows you to wander into new discoveries about yourself and the character. I couldn't recommend his scene study course enough, especially for professionals looking for a safe place to play and grow.” —Doug Harris

“Brian is an incredibly gifted and highly intuitive teacher. He has a way of saying things so that they click immediately and I can put them right into my work. But he's not heavy handed. He simply empowered me to bravely experiment and to trust my own choices. I've booked every audition I've gone on since I started working with Brian and I think it's because he really trained me to find the answers myself. As a result, I'm much more confident in my audition prep and execution. The other benefit of working with Brian is that he has a gentle but probing way of and unlocking what you need to do to present your best work. Much of our work together was about stripping away: my fears, my excuses, my over-thinking. With his help, I was able to unlock all the fun, playful impulses that were already there but needed to be set free. He's generous, present, kind and patient and will get you results! I highly recommend him.” —Medina Senghore

"Brian gave me the footing to trust myself again. He never makes you feel like there’s a “right” way, he ask questions. The trust is the most remarkable aspect of his teaching. He’s about the questions, not the answers. Because Brian is truly fascinated by the possibilities of your work, the element of intent to please disappears. He doesn’t make you feel like there’s a “right” answer. He opens doors and asks questions to help you walk through them yourself.” —Olivia Hoffman

“The biggest guiding force in Brian's scene study class is YOU, the actor. Brian recognizes and understands who you are as a human being, allowing you to bring your complete self to the work under the given circumstances of the scene and the play. My experience with Brian has been about letting go of any mental and physical tension that has held me back as an actor, enabling me to trust that who I am is already enough for my character work. Brian challenges you as an actor. He is kind, thoughtful, and most importantly always prepared. I highly recommend working with him." —Paulo Quiros

"It's rare that you can consistently leave a class feeling passionate and fulfilled with the work that you're doing. Yet, with Brian's class I managed to do this week after week. Brian encouraged me to open up, let go, and embrace acting all while learning so much about myself as a person. He has the ability to transform the work by bringing you in touch with yourself. Brian is the sort of special person who manages to always remind you of why you fell in love with acting in the first place. There is no doubt that you will leave his training feeling centered and strong with an amazing sense of self love.”—JeVon Blackwell

"Brian was easily the best thing to happen to my acting this year. He's perfected the balance of tough love/supportive environment and used this to get me out of my head, break bad habits, focus on the character's task at hand, and lastly - to share who I am and what I uniquely bring to the table. Working with Brian was the best professional decision I've ever made. The time I spent working with him was full of creativity, dedication and detailed technique. I've taken other classes throughout NYC, and have never experienced working with someone as down to earth and real as Brian is. Not only did he genuinely care about me as an actor, he whole-heartedly cared about me as a human being. Best possible investment for my acting career." —Tatiana Pavela

“Brian is totally down-to-earth, but the work is meaningful and deep--working with Brian felt like a guided experimentation; he left me totally free to follow my own impulses and encouraged growth that I never would have seen on my own. I would recommend him strongly to anyone looking for a practical, personal teacher who works within a student's process instead of trying to change it!" —Brian Wiles

“Brian is this wonderful combination of gentle teddy bear and serious business pro. In a safe and supportive environment, he demands your best work. Brian is truly gifted at what he does. His knowledge is vast. He can look at any text and understand its complexities and help you find a way in. Brian has taken time to get to know me as a person and he uses that in our work together, which is gold for an actor. Brian encourages you to bring yourself to every ounce of your work, to be bold and to be brave. —Lindsay Brill

"I began dancing professionally 10 years ago, and acting professionally four years ago, although my crippling fear made me step away from all of it last year. Brian gave me the confidence to keep pursuing my dreams, and brought me back to the joy of the journey. He shone light on the part of myself that made me fall in love with performing as a child, and helped me realize that the roller coaster of conviction and doubt I’ve experienced in my career has not been wasted, but rather has revealed the stories I get to own and tell. I took Brian's Shakespeare class and I am now head over heals IN LOVE with these classics that used to intimidate me. I made so many great friends in that class who I know will continue to be by my side throughout my career.” —Gillian Abbott

“What Brian McManamon offers is a clinic, in which you can clear away all the actor ills that grab on to us and cloud our ability to work honestly through character. Brian's unique gift is in being able to diagnose, communicate and cure in a way that actors of any background and training can understand.” —Ahmed Abdel Kouddous

“Brian McManamon is a fantastically gifted acting teacher and coach. One of his greatest strengths is his knack for creating a community of actors who feel simultaneously safe to explore and held to a higher standard of truth. He makes you as an actor feel at ease because you know that what Brian offers isn’t judgement, but a challenge to be as spontaneous and honest as he believes you can be. Brian is focused, committed, but above all, generous. I truly enjoyed taking his 10 week acting class.” —Isabel Shill

"Brian's Shakespeare Class is terrific and comes with my highest recommendation. I began the class with a significant amount of classical training and experience, but, as usual, Brian's teaching took my work to an entirely new level. I learned how to act Shakespeare anew, and gained an effective and rigorous approach I will now use for all of my work moving forward. I feel confident in approaching any role in the canon after taking the class, and feel a renewed sense of aliveness, authenticity, and artistry in my acting. Brian is a master teacher who takes your acting from a medium, dull gray to vibrant hues you didn't even know you had. Not to mention his wit, charm, and delightful combination of reverence and irreverence. Take this class; I can say with certitude that your acting will improve tremendously.” —Liz Kimball

“He pushed and dared me to be bolder, braver and more creative with my work. Brian has made me a better actor, period.” —Carlos Dengler

"Working with Brian truly changed my life. I started working with him after a friend of mine highly recommended his class, and I’ll admit I was a little skeptical. I took Brian’s scene study class and before the end of the first class I was HOOKED. I love his way of communicating with actors-he really sees you and liberates you to bring yourself into the room. I cannot recommend him enough. I learned so much about myself as an actor, and he made me dig deeper and discover myself in a brand new way. Training with Brian gave me the skill I needed as well as immense confidence." —Libby McNight