The heart of the second-year is scene work. Students tackle major playwrights and complicated, lead parts. Students learn the tools that shift their impulses to fit the character and the script.

Acting 2: Character and Script

If the first year of Meisner training is about laying the foundation, the second year of the Meisner Technique is building the house. Now that the fundamentals are in place, we begin to look at the character and script interpretation. First-year teaches, among other things, how an actor finds their own spontaneous, personal, and emotional line of a scene. But what does an actor do when their straight response does not fit the character? The second year is about learning the tools to organically shift an actor’s impulses to fit the character and the script.

Students begin the year by learning how to craft a point of view that is not their own. This is the beginning of character work. We also spend time on impediments. Actors need to be able to craft drugs and pain. Learning how to do a flawless drunk along with various pain impediments is very important. It will come up many times in an actor’s career.

The heart of second-year, however, is scene work. Students tackle major playwrights (Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Lynn Nottage, Edward Albee, Suzan Lori-Parks, Arthur Miller, August Wilson, to name a few) and complicated, lead parts. How do you read a play for the first time? What is the preparation for the first rehearsal? How does an actor begin to take themselves through a rehearsal process? Building upon the fundamentals learned in the first year, students are taught how to break down a script. Acting is doing, and an actor must ultimately figure out what they are doing in every moment. Students will learn how to use actions, line intentions, particularizations and as-ifs to create the behavior that is necessary for the character. Additionally, our students will be challenged to use their imagination, creativity, insight and life experience to begin to understand the psychology of the character they are inhabiting.

The Script

Breaking down a script is what a trained actor does. Building off of the fundamental questions from Acting 1, Acting 2 challenges our students to be able to carve out a vivid performance. This NYC acting class teaches the actor how to justify text, create impulses, implant meaning, and do actions. These are the cornerstones of an actor’s ability to break down a script. The goal is to be able to do this important homework, and then return yourself to Acting 1 fundamentals. The ability to leave yourself alone, go from unanticipated moment to unanticipated moment, on the spontaneous impulse, and trusting that your homework will surface, is mark of a really good actor. This is our goal.

Becoming Transformational

Meisner also created an incredibly ingenious and essential set of exercises in the second year to continue to refine the actors ability to create impulses, justify text, and use language in a deep and powerful way in order to illuminate character. Working with Mother Goose nursery rhymes, and Edgar Lee Masters’ beautifully profound Spoon River Anthology, actors truly discover how to become transformational. This hard work prepares the actor to return back to scenes where we will spend the remaining four months dedicated to script, character, and process.

There are so many places that offer NYC acting classes, and sometimes it can be difficult to know if you have made the right choice in where to train. Acting 2 is the detailed work that will become the floorboard for your talent, and the professional work that will hopefully follow. If you want true confidence when professional opportunities finally come your way, this is the work that will instill it in you. The Meisner Technique is the core of MFS, and if you are up for hard work and have a willingness to operate outside of your comfort zone, you can come away from your time here a really well-trained actor. If you want a challenge, if you want to forge lifelong friendships, if you want to transform not just your creative work, but your life, then apply now to talk more about what is possible.

Acting 1 is a prerequisite for Acting 2. Meisner Acting 2 acceptance is by invitation, based on each student’s first-year work, and the commitment they have demonstrated to themselves as artists.

Learn more about the acting programs at the studio.


Charlie’s unique relationship with Maggie Flanigan began over twenty-five years ago. He received his MFA in acting from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School Of The Arts where Maggie and Bill Esper trained him in the Meisner Technique. Over the past 30 years Charlie has also studied and collaborated with many artists including Ben Kingsley, Fiona Shaw, Mark Wing-Davey, and Ellen Stewart.


“Completing the two year program was the best thing I could have possibly done for my career. I have every tool I need to go out and be the best actor I can be. If I could do it all over 100 lives in a row, I’d pick Maggie Flanigan studio every time.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Seth Andrew Miller

“The Maggie Flanigan Studio has set a precedence in what a serious actor needs. This is not only an actor training, this was a life changing experience. I can’t express how grateful I am for this training. I walked in a boy, left an artist.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Pedro Morillo, Jr.

“I was an untrained actor when I arrived at the studio. This program, and I mean the entire program (Acting, Movement, Voice, Script Analysis, Monologue, etc.) has given me the confidence I have been searching for, for years.”

Marco Bettencourt Urbina

Siouxsie Suarez