Artistic Director Michelle Danner
Michelle Danner is the founding and artistic director of The Edgemar Center for the Arts a cultural arts center in Santa Monica, CA.
She is a renowned actor, director and award-winning acting coach. Her studio encompasses the following acting techniques: Meisner, Strasberg, Adler, Hagen, Chekhov, & the Stanislavsky Technique.
Michelle Danner works with many A-List actors privately and on set including Chris Rock, Gerard Butler, Seth MacFarlane, Melanie Brown, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Penelope Cruz, Grant Bowler, Michael Pena, Isla Fisher, Common, Salma Hayek, Brian McKnight, James Franco, Marcia Cross, Christian Slater, Catherine Bell, Zooey Deschanel, Gabrielle Union, Justine Wadell, Rick Fox, Kellan Lutz and Michelle Rodriguez among many others.
She has trained personally with Stella Adler, Uta Hagen and managed the Larry Moss Studio for twenty years. She teaches classes at The Michelle Danner Acting Studio www.michelledanner.com and teaches internationally in Toronto, Vancouver, Dubai, Sydney, Paris, South Africa, and New York the Golden Box and auditioning for film and television.
Danner was the acting coach expert on the WB show “The Starlet” and was voted favorite acting coach by Backstage readers. In 2009 she appeared on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” giving an acting lesson to Andy Richter. Danner is the founders of the Edgemar Center for the Arts www.edgemarcenter.org and The Edgemar Theatre Group. She raised $1.3 million in which went to the construction of two theatres and an art gallery.
Michelle Danners latest directorial film “Hello Herman” written by john Buffolo Mailler stars Norman Reedus from the “Walking Dead” & “Boondock Saints” & Marta Higareda. The movie premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival and international premiered at the Monaco Charity Film Festival winning the award for socially relevant film. The film opened on June 7, 2013 in nationwide with simultaneous availability on VOD in 100 million homes. The trailer for Hello Herman can be viewed at www.allinfilms.com. Her production company, All in Films, have several film projects in development: You’re on the Air, The Bandit Hound, and The Will To.
BRIAN DRILLINGER is a teacher, producer and director. He teaches classes in vocal production, speech, on-camera cold reading and scene study for the Acting Studio at Edgemar. He has also been a private acting coach for many years and has helped young actors such as: Traylor Howard (Monk, Boston Common, Me Myself and Irene), Jennifer Grant (Movie Stars, Savage, The Evening Star) and Stacey Dash (Clueless). Mr. Drillinger taught scene study at U.C.L.A. for the Extension Program and voice for the Micheal Woolson studio. As a visiting artist he has taught classes in voice and scene study in Melbourne AU and for the Tri-County Performing Arts Center in PA. Judy Kerr lists him as a recommended coach in the successful industry guidebook, ACTING IS EVERYTHING.
Brian is a founder and the Creative Director of EDGEMAR CENTER for the ARTS. He produced and directed the show for the first Edgemar benefit event. Hosted by Jason Alexander, and starring; Hilary Swank, Michael Clarke Duncan, Sally Kellerman, Helen Hunt, Paul Reiser, Hank Azaria and many others. The show brought in over a quarter of a million dollars for the center. He produced FOUR-THOUGHT at the Hudson Theatre, as well as the critically acclaimed production of Tennessee Williams THE ROSE TATOO also at the Hudson. He produced the stage version of HOW TO GO OUT ON A DATE IN QUEENS directed by Larry Moss and the award winning short DOS CORAZONES. He co-wrote, produced and stars in the feature HOW TO GO OUT ON A DATE IN QUEENS, which also stars Jason Alexander, Kimberly Williams and Ron Perlman. His performance earned him BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR AWARD at the LA INDIES AWARDS, 2006. Mr. Drillinger is currently producing the up coming feature HELLO HERMAN.
Directing credits include: THE HOUSE OF YES at the Edgemar Center, THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW at the Complex in LA, ALMOST MAINE in Melbourne AU and the Tri-County Performing Arts Center in PA, and CHIP CHOP also at the Edgemar Center.
Brian studied acting at S.U.N.Y. Purchase and graduated with honors. He has also studied with Uta Hagen in NY and Larry Moss and Milton Katselas in LA.
His other acting credits include: Stan, on Broadway, and in the film version of Neil Simon’s BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, and the National Tour of BROADWAY BOUND. He originated the role of Jason Posner in the Pulitzer Prize winning play WIT at the South Coast Repertory and reprised the role at the Seattle Repertory and the Alley Theatre in Houston. Other regional credits include: THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE at the Old Globe in San Diego, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, and BOUNDARY WATERS at the South Coast Repertory, DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Pioneer Theatre Co. in Utah, in LA, SOLACE, GANGSTER APPAREL, and DOVE at the Hudson Theatre, A SHAYNA MADEL at the Tiffany Theatre and BRIGHT IDEAS at the Edgemar Center. Also in New York, THE REAL THING at the T. Schreiber Studio. Television credits include: THE AGENCY, WINGS, LIFE GOES ON, REASONABLE DOUBTS and GENERAL HOSPITAL. Brian starred opposite Sally Kirkland in the feature STARRY NIGHT and Janeane Garafalo in the film I SHOT A MAN IN VEGAS.
ALEXANDRA GUARNIERI Born in Paris, Alexandra moved to the US at age 11. She speaks 4 languages fluently (French, Spanish, Italian, and English). She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University with a degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, Alexandra spent several years working in television, first at CNN then MSNBC. After spending 3 years as the Managing Director of the New York Theater Company she moved to Los Angeles. Currently, Alexandra is co-founder and managing director of Edgemar Center for the Arts. Alexandra co-produced the movie “How To Go On A Date In Queens” (Best Picture, Director, Actor many productions, including the widely popular French Cabaret show, “Night of the Black Cat” (Best Musical: 2006 LA Music Awards) and the ongoing series, "Scene Bites" (featured in Daily Variety).
Alexandra has been producing plays and films since 2005. She has had a long collaboration with director Henry Jaglom producing his critically acclaimed play “Always but Not Forever” to his runaway hit “45 Minutes from Broadway"that ran successfully for over a year. Besides producing plays Alexandra has produced an a number of musicals such as THANK Q – A World Music Tribute To the Humanitarian Works Of Quincy Jones and the Award winning musical “Black Cat Cabaret” which ran for a year, as well as its revival renamed “Tick Tock Cabaret”
Deborah LaVine has directed over 300 professional theater productions across the country. Many have been lauded as critics choice and been recognized with prestigious awards. Deborah received 14 Drama-Logue awards for outstanding direction, an Ovation award for Best Director of NAPOLI MILLIONARIA at the Road Theater Company, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award and a NAACP citation for her direction of DISTANT FIRES at Long Beach International City Theatre – along with many other honors. A small sample of theaters in Los Angeles where Deborah has directed include The Company of Angels, The Odyssey Theatre Co., Deaf West Theater (STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE which won the Ovation award for Best Production, and TRUE WEST, both presented in American Sign Language and voice interpretation), Mark Taper Forum, The Tiffany Theater and Theater Exchange.
A portion of Deborah’s work has included investigation of World War ll, with a focus on the Holocaust and its ruinous effect on individual lives. These works include KINDERTRANSPORT, A SHAYNA MAIDEL (both West Coast Premieres), Wendy Graf’s LEIPZIG at the Stasberg Theater Institute (World Premiere) and Bernard Weinraub’s THE ACCOMPLICES at the Fountain Theater (West Coast Premiere.)
Deborah has also worked extensively with Tennessee Williams plays including a highly regarded production of THE ROSE TATTOO at the Hudson Theater Complex produced by the Edgemar Theater Group, an organization Deborah currently represents as a member on their Artistic Board.
Deborah serves as Co-Program Chair of the Film Directing Program at California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS), a graduate level (MFA) narrative film directing program. She recently directed a short film inspired by Tom Jacobson’s play, THE FRIENDLY HOUR, with the expectation it will become a feature length film in 2012.
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