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Transformative Acting Summer Intensives at Maggie Flanigan Studio


In the heart of New York’s bustling artistic landscape, Maggie Flanigan Studio stands out as a  destination for serious summer acting programs, dedicated to nurturing the next generation of acting talent. 

Our acting summer intensives stand as a testament to our commitment to excellence in performance artistry. 

Designed for those who are deeply passionate about their craft, these acting intensives offer a rigorous, immersive experience that goes beyond conventional training. 

At the Maggie Flanigan Studio, we believe in transforming aspiring actors into versatile, dynamic artists who have the capacity to create organic, vivid, fully realized human behavior.

Continue reading to learn more about our summer program, where intensive learning awaits, blending commitment, creativity, and craftsmanship.

Key Takeaways

  • Maggie Flanigan Studio’s acting summer intensives offer deep, technique-focused acting training in a condensed time frame.
  • The program provides comprehensive actor development, blending physical, vocal, and emotional training, creating an actor who possesses a solid artistic process.
  • Students gain exposure to the demands and expectations of pursuing a professional acting career.

Defining Maggie Flanigan Studio’s Acting Summer Intensives

Two students practicing repetition exercises at Maggie Flanigan Studio.

The core of the Maggie Flanigan Studio’s acting summer intensives is the Meisner Technique. Created by Sandy Meisner in the 1930s, this has become one of the greatest ways to train an actor. 

Our NYC summer acting program is the first 18 classes of Meisner training in six weeks. You will be taught by Artistic Director & Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan three days a week. This summer acting intensive will introduce you to the Meisner Technique, and to the essential fundamentals of acting.

In just six weeks, you will learn how to do truthfully under an imaginary circumstance and how to craft in a simple, specific and personal way. You will also learn how to get out of your head, into your heart, and onto your spontaneous impulses. 

Acting is experiential, and our NYC summer acting intensive will teach you how to be fully present, in the moment, listening with empathy and vulnerability.

There are so many acting summer intensives in NYC, and it can be overwhelming to figure out the good from the bad. You want to make sure that your decision is the best for you. 

If you have questions about how to pursue an acting career and have been curious about the Meisner Technique and serious actor training, the Maggie Flanigan Studio can put you on the road to establishing a professional acting career.

Our acting summer intensives have been created to give you a window into a conservatory approach to acting training. The six-week summer Meisner intensive also includes classes in Voice, Movement, Playwriting, On-Camera, Film History, and Stage and Film Combat. 

Our rigorous program is ideal for undergraduate students looking to supplement their university training, those curious about an acting career but unsure how to proceed, and the working professional actor who wants to get reintroduced to the fundamentals of acting. 

Our summer acting classes are also ideal for international students and professionals looking to visit NYC. Our summer acting intensive does not require an M1 Visa, which makes it an ideal time for any non-US citizen to visit NYC for rigorous summer acting training.

The Benefits: Acting is More Than Just Learning Lines

Actors doing scene study.

Engaging in an NYC acting summer intensive at Maggie Flanigan Studio is not for those looking for something easy. We are a serious acting studio that is committed to the actor as artist. 

Our summer acting program should not be confused with some BA 101 acting class you take to get an easy A. We are only interested in working with students who really want to be challenged, those who are willing to fail and accept constructive criticism, and those that are excited about operating outside of their comfort zone.

Most actors are lazy. They do not work on themselves like serious artists in other mediums such as dancers, musicians, athletes, etc. 

The standards and expectations set by Maggie when she opened this studio in 2001 are still in place. Led for the last twelve years by Artistic Director & Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan, MFS is dedicated to the craft and artistry of acting. We care about process, craft, and technique. 

Our goal is to help students interested in becoming first-rate actors who possess discipline, work ethic, and an inviolate sense of truth to become one. You can easily search for the best acting classes in NYC and quickly become overwhelmed with the results. 

If you are interested in discovering what is necessary to pursue a professional acting career, then our NYC summer acting intensive will open your eyes to what it actually takes.  

Our acting summer intensives have a reputation as the gold standard of acting training in NYC. Agents, managers, and casting directors have been sending aspiring actors to us because they know each will emerge well-trained, capable of being fully present and in the moment. Our actors are fundamentally sound and can be trusted to show up prepared and professional.

A Holistic Approach to Actor Training

We believe that any serious artist should embrace three core tenets. The first is intellectual curiosity about the world, about art, about history, and about the human condition. You cannot bring more to your art than what resides inside of you, so the desire to self-educate is crucial for artistic development.

The second tenet is empathy toward human suffering. It is important to know how we treat one another, in the most beautiful and most despicable of ways. The way we treat each other, and the stories that we read in the daily news are often the source of creative storytelling. It is your job as an actor to be aware, and open to it all.

The third tenet is a sound mind, body, and spirit. We do not believe in the old trope of the suffering artist. It is not necessary to be in tremendous emotional pain to create good art. You must care for your instrument in the same way a violinist cares for theirs. 

Breathwork and meditation are an essential part of our classes in Movement and Voice. Honest self-awareness is important if you want to develop as an artist.  

Our summer conservatory program is designed to be holistic, covering every facet of acting from physicality and voice to emotional depth and intellectual understanding. This comprehensive approach prepares our students to meet the challenges of the professional world, conducting themselves with the highest artistic standards.

Exposure to Diverse Acting Techniques

Maggie Flanigan Studio’s acting summer intensives stand out for having a  diverse selection of courses, carefully curated to encompass all aspects of acting and performance. 

The core of the training is the Meisner Acting Technique, which is also supported by movement and voice classes, to help the actor become less tense and more open to the emotional and physical demands that come with major roles. 

A transformational actor has a pliable body and a resonant voice, capable of change and alteration. We believe that the best actors step into the shoes of another human being, as opposed to the hack actor who always brings everything they do down to their everyday, pedestrian personality. 

The actors that are the same in everything they do—there is nothing artistic about them, and unfortunately, that is the limit of what most actors can do. Character acting, however, is the highest level of this art form, and all of our training is in pursuit of this standard.

Comprehensive Scene Study and Character Work

In the full two-year progression of the Meisner Technique, our students spend a great deal of time learning how to break down a scene, and approach character. 

In the six-week summer Meisner intensive, students get the opportunity to approach scenes with the fundamentals learned in Meisner’s repetition exercise. The final six classes of the summer acting program are dedicated to scenes. 

We focus on breaking out of the bad habits that plague so many untrained actors, such as adjusting to the text, line readings, emotional manipulation, and waiting for your cues. 

The best acting is born out of spontaneity and freedom. Learning to act before you think, to respond before editing and withholding is not an easy thing to do. Our students learn how to improvise emotionally through a scene, breaking out of the cliched line readings that most actors do. 

If a casting director auditions 100 people for a part, you can rest assured that at least 90 of them are going to do the exact same thing. The Maggie Flanigan Studio trains our students to break free from the obvious line readings in order to find the truth of the moment. 

You must always prize the truth at the expense of what you think a moment should be. If you can consistently work with this freedom, amazing things are possible for you from night to night and from take to take.

Learning from Seasoned Professionals

The Maggie Flanigan Studio believes that teaching is an art form unto itself. Every teacher on our faculty has been hand-picked by Artistic Director Charlie Sandlan for their dedication to teaching, and the high standards they set for their classroom. 

Our teachers are not frustrated actors biding time between gigs, but masters dedicated to the craft of training and mentoring serious actors. 

Unlike most NYC acting studios, you are guaranteed to be in the acting classroom with the owner and master teacher. Charlie Sandlan not only personally interviews every single student, but teaches everyone as well. 

You are more than just a number, a dollar sign, thrown into a class with actors pulling notes from classes they took ten years ago, and bullshitting their way through a class. The Maggie Flanigan Studio prides itself on MFA caliber training, a conservatory approach that is considered the gold standard of acting training in the United States. 

Our standards are high, and Charlie refuses to lower that bar for anyone. If you are curious about what serious training can be, our NYC summer acting program will answer all of your questions. 

There is no doubt that after six weeks at MFS, you will have clarity about what you want to do next. If you want to commit to a full professional actor training program but are overwhelmed with how to go about it, our NYC summer acting intensive is a great place to start. 

Small Classes, Personalized Attention

Our studio upholds the high standards and nurturing environment initially established by our founder, Maggie Flanigan. 

We believe in the importance of small class sizes, which allow for personalized attention and a supportive space for creative growth. This intimate setting ensures that each student’s journey is given the care and attention it deserves.

Preparation for a Professional Acting Career

Our acting summer intensives are tailored for those serious about pursuing acting as a career. From university students to international and professional actors seeking intensive training, our program equips students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to succeed in the professional acting world.

Most actors do not understand how important training actually is. Acting is one of the only professions where you don’t have to train to call yourself an actor and start auditioning.

These are hack actors, and the bottom of the barrel when it comes to artistic integrity. These so-called actors typically quit within five years. They do not have the capacity to consistently create vivid human behavior. Three lines on “Law & Order” are not that difficult. If you are aspiring to a career of under-fives and day players, then the Maggie Flanigan Studio is not for you. 

Our training is for the top of the profession. Lead roles, major parts, and rich complicated characters are what every serious actor wants to tackle. How do you do it? 

This is what we teach, a way of doing just that. If you want this, you better have a solid way of working. If not, when the opportunity does come for you, and you are presented with six pages of audition sides that require emotional depth and imagination, you will not know what to do. 

We train actors that can be handed a script, can break it down, and spontaneously create organic vivid, human behavior. To us, this is a serious actor.

Summer Acting Mastery at Maggie Flanigan Studio

Students taking acting summer intensives at Maggie Flanigan Studio.

Acting is a collaborative art, and understanding what is expected and required when working with others is an important step toward becoming a professional. The Maggie Flanigan Studio expects everyone to handle themselves as professional students. Being on time, being prepared, and respecting your classmates is the standard of MFS. 

Our NYC summer acting programs offer not just a deep exploration of the Meisner Technique, but will also challenge you to handle yourself like a pro. 

What are the professional expectations that are part of the industry? How should you conduct yourself on a set, in an audition, or a rehearsal? These are the important standards that Charlie and our teachers will instill in you.

Meisner Technique Summer Intensive

Instead of the usual two or five-week course, our Meisner Intensive Program is a six-week course that is the centerpiece of our NYC summer acting training. 

This summer program is specifically designed for those interested in exploring or deepening their understanding of the Meisner Technique. It includes the first 18 classes of the first-year Meisner training, condensed into an intensive schedule.

Summer Conservatory 

Our comprehensive NYC Summer Acting Program is a six-week summer program designed as a full training ground for passionate actors, introducing students to the core fundamentals of acting.

  • Movement 1 & Voice 1: These fundamental courses focus on developing the actor’s vocal and physical instrument.
  • On-Camera & Playwriting: In these specialized courses, students work on refining their on-screen performance and enhancing their writing and storytelling skills.
  • Combat for Stage & Film: Students are taught techniques for mastering stage and screen combat, from hand-to-hand to weapons fighting.
  • Film History: Here, students are taught the history and evolution of cinema and its influential filmmakers over the last 100 years.

Expand Your Skills with Additional Electives

Actors also have the unique opportunity to enhance their training with elective courses.

These elective courses, which include Voice and Movement training, Film History, Playwriting, Self-Tape Auditioning, and Combat for Stage and Film allow interested students to explore the full possibilities of serious conservatory actor training. 

The Maggie Flanigan Studio is dedicated to more than just a core curriculum. Our goal is to broaden your skill set and deepen your understanding of the diverse demands of a serious acting career. 

Our NYC acting studio is dedicated to a conservatory approach to professional actor training. Whether you have never taken a NYC acting class in your life, or are a working professional looking to sharpen your fundamentals, the Meisner Technique training, along with our classes in Movement, Voice, Playwriting, On-Camera, Film History and Combat will turn your summer months into a substantial educational experience which will stay with you forever.

Preparing for Your Summer Journey

Students taking on-camera courses.

As you search for a summer acting program in New York City, it’s essential to understand the unique approach to admissions at Maggie Flanigan Studio—an approach that distinguishes us from other NYC acting studios. 

Rather than relying solely on a traditional audition, our focus is on getting to know the individual aspirations and motivations of each applicant.

Our admission procedure centers around a personal interview with Charlie Sandlan, our Artistic Director and Master Teacher, and one of the most respected acting teachers in the United States. 

This process is designed to build a community of dedicated and hardworking individuals who share a profound love for acting. Our goal is to select students who are ready to step out of their comfort zones and fully commit to realizing their artistic potential.

At Maggie Flanigan Studio, we place a strong emphasis on the value of hard work. Talent is overrated. The most successful people bust their ass, they work hard, and this is a quality Charlie looks for in prospective students.

Our philosophy is rooted in the belief that a solid work ethic, combined with a commitment to exploring and illuminating the human condition, lays the groundwork for a successful and rewarding career in the arts.

Master Acting with our Acting Summer Intensives

Stage and film combat training at Maggie Flanigan Studio.

Maggie Flanigan Studio’s acting summer intensives offer a transformative journey for actors seeking to elevate their craft. Whether you’re deeply interested in film and theater or curious about refining your acting process, our program will illuminate the art of acting and provide insight into what it takes to pursue a professional creative life.

Our concentrated six-week intensive summer session is a unique opportunity to learn a tremendous amount in a short period. 

If you are looking to spend your summer in one of the greatest cities in the world, time devoted to your artistic growth can make your NYC experience very special. You will become part of a supportive and diverse community of creatives and will form friendships that will last decades.

It can be scary to take a step towards a dream you have held since childhood. Sometimes the idea of becoming an actor seems ludicrous. You’ve probably been told it’s not possible, not a secure way to make money, and not a serious adult pursuit. 

There are so many reasons to talk yourself out of taking a chance. But the worst thing would be to look back on your life and regret not taking a leap of faith. Our six-week summer acting program can be a significant first step on your artistic journey. 

Ready to take the first step? Call us today and begin your transformative journey into the world of acting.


The summer acting intensives at Maggie Flanigan Studio offer a life-changing opportunity for actors to delve deeply into the art of acting. 

Whether you are a university student aiming to gain valuable training and potentially earn college credit, an advanced actor looking to sharpen your acting skills, or an international actor wanting to come to NYC without a visa requirement, our summer Meisner Intensive can make your summer a substantial artistic experience. 

Set in NYC, the epicenter of the arts, our studio’s summer sessions are an immersion into the world of professional acting under the guidance of an accomplished faculty, and led by Artistic Director & Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan.

Students participating in our acting intensives can expect to explore a wide range of disciplines. The courses cover everything from the Meisner Acting Technique to Film and Stage Combat Training, ensuring a comprehensive and well-rounded artistic experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a theater intensive?

A theater intensive is an immersive training arts program focused on various aspects of performing arts. It typically involves rigorous instruction in areas such as acting (which includes but is not limited to improv or musical theater acting), experimental theatre wing techniques, and mask work, often led by experienced educators.

What is the summer program for acting schools in New York?

Summer programs at prominent New York institutions and studios like Atlantic Acting School and NYU Tisch School offer specialized training for aspiring actors.

Maggie Flanigan Studio stands out with its commitment to the Meisner Intensive. Our courses, spanning six weeks, are designed for a deep immersion in the school of drama, providing aspiring actors with the opportunity to significantly enhance their skills. 

Do your homework, ask questions, and get recommendations from people you trust and respect. Apply early, as NYC summer acting programs tend to fill up quickly. Make sure you get to speak with the owner of the studio, and the acting teacher you will be studying under. Trust your instincts, and go to the studio that makes you feel wanted, challenged, and inspired to work your hardest.

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