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Summer Acting Workshops: Elevating Your Craft This Summer


Have you been considering spending this coming summer improving your acting skills? At Maggie Flanigan Studio, we offer summer acting workshops designed for those with a serious mindset toward acting.

Located in the vibrant heart of New York City, our serious summer acting programs are carefully structured to challenge and inspire actors from all walks of life. 

Are you trying to figure out how to know the difference between a great NYC acting program from a bad one? Are you unsure about what to look for and consider? 

The MFS summer acting intensive has been created for anyone interested not only in the Meisner Technique but also curious about what professional acting training can be at the highest level. 

Whether you are an undergraduate student looking to do something substantial with your summer break, an international actor looking to come to NYC for a deep dive into the craft, or someone curious about an acting career, the Maggie Flanigan Studio can help you take the next step on your artistic journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Maggie Flanigan Studio’s acting workshops offer an immersive and transformative experience, inspiring and challenging you to fully commit to yourself, as you consider pursuing the life of a professional artist.
  • Our acting program is tailored to provide a professional, conservatory approach to acting training. Our summer acting classes include Voice, Movement, Playwriting, Stage and Film Combat, and Film History. 
  • With small class sizes and a safe, nurturing environment, we ensure personalized attention and growth for each student. We are dedicated to giving you the space to play full out with yourself, while also challenging you to operate outside your comfort zone. This is how profound growth can happen.

Why Choose Summer Acting Workshops?

Students taking summer acting workshops at Maggie Flanigan Studio.

Summer acting workshops can be a transformative experience if you are enrolled in a studio that demands hard work and dedication.

In six weeks at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, you will come away with not only a deeper appreciation for the art of acting but also a profound understanding of yourself as an artist and human being.

At the Maggie Flanigan Studio, we pride ourselves on offering the best summer acting program in NYC. The heart and soul of the summer acting intensive is the first eighteen classes of the Meisner Technique. You will be working with the Artistic Director and Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan. 

The acting class meets three times a week and will introduce to you the most important fundamentals of acting. You will learn how to get the attention off of yourself, and onto the other person, be fully present in the moment, listen empathically, and respond spontaneously from a personal place.

Crafting is also incredibly important to an actor’s process. In just six weeks, you will also develop your ability to truthfully do under an imaginary circumstance, you will learn how to craft in a simple, specific, and personal way, and you will mine the deepest parts of you for your art. This is what a serious artist can do. 

The Essence of Our Acting Studio

Actors rehearsing a scene

Maggie Flanigan opened her studio in 2001 because she wanted to create a small, curated, and nurturing space where actors were not just numbers thrown into an acting class with mediocre teachers who were grabbing notes from classes they took ten years ago. Maggie believes in teaching as an art form. 

In 1998, Maggie began training Charlie Sandlan as an actor, and then mentoring him as her protegé. Over the past 18 years, Charlie has taken Maggie’s vision and created one of the most respected acting programs in the United States.

Our class sizes are purposefully small, and Charlie meets one-on-one with every prospective student. All of our teachers demand the same level of dedication and commitment as the students in the two-year conservatory. 

If you are curious about what a rigorous acting conservatory experience can be, the Maggie Flanigan Studio is committed to providing just that.

During the six-week summer acting workshops at MFS, you will be taught not just collectively, but also one-on-one, with specific, individualized notes about what you need to improve. 

This is not a summer of “good jobs”, and “well-dones.” We will actually teach you, provide detailed constructive criticism, and challenge you not to settle for your second best. 

Emphasizing Quality Over Quantity

We understand that the essence of quality training lies in attention to detail and personalized mentorship. 

We do not cram 22 students into a class and think you can be taught effectively. Charlie maintains small class sizes of 12-14 students. This approach ensures that each student receives the individual attention they need to grow as an actor and artist. 

Our classes are not overcrowded. Instead, they are intimate spaces where students can explore and grow without feeling lost in the crowd.

A Nurturing and Safe Learning Environment

We believe that a great teacher should be able to hold the highest expectations, but also create a space where students feel safe to be able to fail and to risk the most personal parts of themselves for their art. 

Our studio is a nurturing and safe space, designed to foster creativity and confidence, while also pushing you to never settle for your second best.

Here, you won’t find yourself being taught by a frustrated actor recycling old notes. Charlie has curated a faculty of professional teachers who are dedicating their lives to shaping and mentoring serious actors. 

Led by Charlie Sandlan, our commitment is to the personal and artistic growth of every single student. Our passion and love of acting is what drives our life’s work. We want to give you every opportunity to lay the groundwork for fulfilling your artistic dreams. 

Summer Program Overview

Students of MFS doing scene study and script analysis.

The summer sessions at Maggie Flanigan Studio are designed for aspiring actors and seasoned professionals alike. 

Our NYC summer acting intensives provide valuable training for those interested in learning about the craft of acting, and what is required if you want to pursue a serious professional career. This includes the following:

Scene Study, Script Analysis and Audition Technique

In the first year of the Meisner Technique, students do three rounds of scenes. Meisner created his exercise progression so that students apply the learned fundamentals of acting to each scene. 

The goal is to learn how to break out of bad habits when it comes to scripts, such as adjusting to the text, line readings, and waiting for your cues.

Our six-week summer acting intensive is the first 18 classes of the Meisner Technique, which is almost the first third of the first year in six weeks. 

Unlike our two-year conservatory, summer acting classes with Charlie meet three days a week instead of the typical two. This allows for an intensive summer that challenges students to work through the beginning of Meisner’s brilliant training.

The last six classes of our summer acting workshops are devoted to scenes. 

Students have been working for one month on the progression of the Meisner repetition exercise, learning how to be fully present, in the moment, listening intently, and responding personally, while allowing their uniqueness and authenticity to come to the surface. 

The final challenge is to apply these fundamentals to scenes.

Acting is experiential, and when done well, should feel incredibly free, spontaneous, and alive. This requires a solid grasp of fundamental acting skills

Our NYC summer acting class will provide you with the ability to work this way. If you bust your ass and play full out with yourself, you can come away from our summer acting program inspired by what is possible for you as an actor.

Acting Techniques for Camera and Stage

Recognizing the diverse demands of the acting profession, our summer acting program also includes specialized training for both camera and stage. 

Students learn to adapt their performances to suit the specific requirements of on-camera acting, including the ability to create a self-tape audition, which is much more of an industry standard, post-pandemic. 

How do you take your acting skills and apply them to an on-tape audition? 

Our on-camera class takes you through this process. That said, creating behavior is the actors’ job, and whether it is musical theater, film, or television, the actors’ process needs to be consistent and second nature. An actor fully trained in the Meisner Technique can perform in all three mediums. 

The mistake most actors make is believing that a film class or an on-camera class is going to teach them how to act. It doesn’t. 

Film and television require a unique set of skills, but that only has to do with the demands of camera technique. Actors still must be able to craft personally, simply, and specifically, while also being fully present, out of their heads, and on their spontaneous impulses. This requires a dedication to serious acting training. 

Understanding and mastering the nuances of both mediums is crucial for any versatile actor.

Voice and Movement Classes

The Maggie Flanigan Studio believes in the actor as artist. The best in any art form, whether that’s dance, music, painting, sports, etc., have spent their entire lives mastering their instrument.

For an actor, that instrument is the totality of you. Your imagination, your body, and your voice. If you have a desire to be a transformational actor, you need a developed and pliable instrument.

Our NYC summer acting intensive is created with the same philosophy as our two-year acting conservatory. We offer the first level of our Voice and Movement training for students who want to get a taste of what serious conservatory training can be. 

As actors, you want a body that is free of tension, pliable, and capable of processing a rich emotional life. You also need a voice that is clear, resonant, and in the body. 

Film History and Stage & Film Combat

We believe it is important for actors to have a solid, working knowledge of the history of the art form. Writers, directors, producers, and casting directors are often walking encyclopedias of the great films and performances of the last hundred years. 

Artists are inspired by the work that has preceded them, that is why Film History is a core part of our two-year conservatory program, and an essential part of our summer acting workshops. 

The last thing you want as an actor is to find yourself in an audition, a table-read, or a rehearsal and not have any clue about the artists and films that are being discussed. 

Physical conflict is also a part of an actor’s job and will come up in various ways in your career. Safety and preparation are essential parts of any physical conflict, from something as simple as an arm grab, to a full confrontation with fists or weapons. 

Our Film & Stage Combat class is designed to provide students with the basic fundamentals of hand-to-hand combat. Having this knowledge will help keep you alert and safe when it comes up in future projects. 

At the end of these summer acting workshops, you will create a choreographed fight sequence which will also be staged for the camera, and filmed. This is an incredibly fun and exhilarating experience for any aspiring actor.

Why Our Summer Acting Workshops Are a Game-Changer

Movement classes at Maggie Flanigan Studio.

Our NYC acting workshops offer a multitude of advantages for our students, ensuring a rich and fulfilling learning experience. What are they? Check out below.

Intensive Program Structure

Instead of a typical two or five-week program, we offer a six-week intensive acting program specifically designed to maximize learning and personal growth within a condensed time frame. 

This structure is ideal for students seeking to immerse themselves deeply in their craft without the long-term commitment of a traditional academic semester. The program’s intensity ensures that students are continuously engaged, challenged, and inspired.

Diverse Course Offerings

We understand the diverse interests and needs of our students, which is why our courses range from voice and movement training to playwriting, film history and more. 

Each course is thoughtfully crafted to provide comprehensive training in various aspects of acting. This diversity allows students to explore different facets of the craft, helping them to become well-rounded actors.

Flexible Schedules

Understanding that our students have varied schedules and commitments, we offer both part-time and full-time program options. 

For those balancing jobs, family duties, or other responsibilities, our part-time acting courses provide a reduced class load. For this option, classes meet fewer hours each week without compromising the quality of training.

For students who can dedicate more time and wish to experience the entire spectrum of our conservatory-level acting training, our full-time summer intensive program is the ideal choice. 

This option allows students to immerse themselves not just in acting, but in a comprehensive curriculum that includes Voice, Movement, Combat, Playwriting, Film History, and On-Camera Auditioning.

Professional Faculty

Learning from industry professionals who bring a wealth of real-world experience and expertise is an invaluable aspect of our program. 

Led by Artistic Director & Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan, our faculty consists of seasoned artists who are not only masters of their craft but are also passionate about teaching. Their insights and guidance are instrumental in helping students understand the requirements of pursuing a professional acting career.

Eligibility Criteria for Our Workshops

Maggie Flanigan Studio's name printed on the wall.

We welcome a diverse range of participants. Our approach to selecting students is unique and deeply rooted in our commitment to fostering a community of hardworking, passionate creatives.

Personalized Selection Process

Unlike many other studios that start their programs with an extensive audition, we focus on a more personalized approach. Acceptance into our program is based on a one-on-one interview with our Artistic Director & Master Teacher, Charlie Sandlan. 

This process is crucial for us to understand each applicant’s passion for acting, their willingness to step out of their comfort zone, and their commitment to never settle for less than their best.

Who Should Apply?

Our summer acting workshops are ideal for:

  • High School Graduates: Young actors who have recently completed high school and are seeking to explore a career in acting will find our program particularly beneficial.
  • University Students: Those currently enrolled in university, especially those from prestigious schools like NYU Tisch School, can gain valuable experience and potentially earn college credit.
  • Aspiring Professional Actors: Individuals who are serious about pursuing acting as a career and are looking for summer intensives to hone their craft.
  • International Students and Actors: Our summer acting workshops, because of the six-week duration, do not require an M1 student visa to participate. This makes our NYC summer acting program the ideal window for those interested in visiting New York for serious acting training.
  • Creative Individuals Seeking Growth: Anyone curious about acting, eager to learn, and ready to work hard on themselves will fit well into our program.

The Importance of Preparation

Before enrolling, applicants need to be prepared. This doesn’t mean having a polished audition monologue or good grades. Instead, we look for a willingness to learn, an openness to receive constructive criticism, and a readiness to engage fully with the training process.

Transform Your Passion into Performance

At Maggie Flanigan Studio, our dedication lies in offering a summer acting program that not only challenges but also immensely rewards each participant. 

Our summer acting sessions are meticulously crafted to unlock your potential and transform your passion for acting into a tangible, professional process. 

As the program culminates, we can guarantee that you will leave with a deeply profound appreciation for the art of acting, as well as becoming more present in the world, a better listener, more empathic, and far more capable of standing up for yourself and expressing your truth.

Ready to elevate your acting skills? Call Maggie Flanigan Studio today and secure your spot in our transformative summer program.


Maggie Flanigan Studio’s acting workshops are ideal for those seeking intensive, high-quality acting training. 

Designed for theatre professionals, international actors, and undergraduate students from universities across the country, our NYC acting program provides the first 18 classes of the Meisner Technique, along with a full conservatory selection of classes. 

Our goal is to open a window for you to discover what serious professional acting training looks like. We provide a nurturing environment with small class sizes, ensuring personalized attention and growth.

This intensive training, led by an exceptional faculty, has been created to inspire you, to answer the questions and to address the hesitation that can keep you from taking a chance, rolling the dice on yourself, and moving in a substantial way toward your dream.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do actors do in workshops?

In acting workshops, actors should be immersed in a solid technique that will lay a foundation and process for creating organic, vivid, fully realized human behavior, consistently. If the program is not providing that, look elsewhere.

This should also include the opportunity to enroll in classes that work on the actor’s complete instrument. Training in movement, improvisation, voice, on-camera technique, film history, and stage & film combat are examples of what a full professional summer conservatory should look like.

What are the benefits of an acting workshop?

Acting workshops offer numerous benefits, including an introduction to the art of acting (whether in television, film, or musical theater), but also a deep exploration of the self. 

Art is not intellectual, it’s personal, and if you want the ability to move an audience, then you need to know how to work with yourself. A good artist puts their deepest feelings to the service of their art, and the actor must be able to do that.

Also, when you begin the process of serious NYC acting training, you start to elevate yourself out of the morass of mediocrity. No one will take you seriously if you do not take yourself seriously first. Training is the first step in that process.

What kind of training do actors need?

Just like any art form, acting requires a process, a way of working with yourself that allows for consistency. The job of the actor is to create behavior, period. 

The best can do that from an experiential place, the hacks indicate. So it starts with understanding the fundamentals of this art from, and we believe that the Meisner Technique is the best way to instill the acting fundamentals necessary to sustain a professional acting career.

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