Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes


The Sanford Meisner Technique is among the most mysterious and misunderstood approaches to the craft of acting. Very often, it is taught poorly, incompletely, or even dangerously. Through the exploration of Meisner’s private life, as well as a detailed analysis of his system, this work aims to dispel some of the common misconceptions which plague the Technique and its most fervent supporters. After being made privy to his biography, readers will be taken through Meisner’s foundational exercises, beginning at the first phase of Repetition and ending with the introduction of text. In addition to the descriptions of student responsibilities, the conduct required of a Meisner teacher, both in a studio and in a university setting, will be discussed at length. Finally, to complete this comprehensive view of the Meisner Technique, there will be an analysis of its application to Longform Improvisation.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011