Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

Coordinates: 40°45′24″N 73°57′55″W / 40.75667°N 73.96528°W / 40.75667; -73.96528

Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre
Formation 1928
Type Drama school
Headquarters 340 East 54th Street
New York City
Region served
United States

The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre is a full-time professional conservatory for actors located at 340 East 54th Street in New York City, and is known as the home of the Meisner technique.

The Grand Street building in 1916


Neighborhood Playhouse had originally been founded as an off-Broadway theatre by philanthropists Alice Lewisohn and Irene Lewisohn in 1915, but closed in 1927. The following year, it re-opened as the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre with the addition of Rita Wallach Morgenthau. Sanford Meisner joined the faculty in 1935 from the Group Theatre. Meisner used his study of Russian theatre and acting innovator, Konstantin Stanislavski's System to develop his own technique, as an alternative to Lee Strasberg's Method acting.

The Executive Director Emeritus of the Playhouse, Harold G. Baldridge, a graduate of the school himself, had been head of the school for 32 years. Pamela Moller Kareman serves as the current Executive Director, also a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.

The school offers a Two Year Certificate Program, with admission to the second year dependent upon unanimous approval of the faculty. There is also a Six Week Summer Intensive.

The Neighborhood Playhouse also offers Playhouse Juniors, a popular Saturday training program for children in grades 1–12. Children attend a fixed curriculum of singing, acting and dancing classes in a non-competitive environment.

Playwright Horton Foote met actor Robert Duvall at Neighborhood Playhouse when Duvall starred in a 1957 production of Foote's play, The Midnight Caller. Foote recommended Duvall to play the part of Boo Radley in the 1962 film, To Kill a Mockingbird.[1]

Notable alumni of the Neighborhood Playhouse include: Gregory Peck, Diane Keaton, Mackenzie Davis, Steve McQueen, Mary Steenburgen, Leslie Moonves, Leslie Neilson, Tony Randall, Allison Janney, Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, David Mamet, Brian Geraghty, Ashlie Atkinson, Jeff Goldblum, Stephanie Courtney, Chris Noth, and Sherie Rene Scott.[2]



  1. Robert Duvall (actor), Gary Hertz (director) (April 16, 2002). Miracles & Mercies (Documentary). West Hollywood, California: Blue Underground. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  2. "Alumni".
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