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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
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Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre
TypeDrama school
Established1928; 96 years ago (1928)
340 East 54th Street
, , ,
United States

The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre is a professional conservatory for actors in New York City. First operational from 1915 to 1927, the school re-opened in 1928 and has been active ever since. It is the birthplace of the Meisner technique of acting, named for American actor and acting teacher Sanford Meisner.



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

The Grand Street building in 1916

The 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. Neighborhood Playhouse joined American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Pasadena Playhouse as the only major professional training schools for the performing arts in the United States.[1]

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, an alternative to Lee Strasberg's method acting. The faculty also included Louis Horst, Agnes de Mille, and Martha Graham.[1][2]

In 1939, when actor Gregory Peck enrolled, there were approximately 90 students at the school.[1]

The New York City Council honored the 90th anniversary of Neighborhood Playhouse with a proclamation.[2]

Educational programs


The school offers a two-year certificate program, with admission to the second year dependent upon unanimous approval of the faculty.[1] There is also a summer program.

The Neighborhood Playhouse offers Playhouse Juniors, a Saturday training program for children in grades 1–12.

Selection of alumni



  1. ^ a b c d Fishgall, Gary (2002). Gregory Peck : a biography. New York: Scribner. pp. 55-56. ISBN 0-684-85290-X. OCLC 48952197.
  2. ^ a b Musbach, Julie (October 10, 2018). "Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre & Sanford Meisner To Be Honored By The The Office Of The City Council". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be "Alumni". Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "Edith González: biografía, telenovelas y enfermedad de la actriz mexicana" [Edith González: biography, telenovelas and illness of the Mexican actress]. El Comercio (in Spanish). June 13, 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  5. ^ Kaye, Phyllis Johnson (1981). "Harding Lemay". National Playwrights Directory. Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-9605160-0-1. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  6. ^ Takiff, Jonathan (August 10, 1973). "Kid Flexibility Pays Off for Sandra Peabody". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 33 – via Free access icon
  7. ^ "Rialto Players to Offer Mystery Play; Florence Ravenel". The Journal Times. September 29, 1928. p. 8. Retrieved May 4, 2024.


  • Alice Lewisohn Crowley, Neighborhood Playhouse: Leaves from a Theatre Scrapbook (New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1959).