NYC Practical Aesthetics Acting Intensive

Brave Studios is proud to present an exclusive opportunity to train with two master teachers from New York’s famed Atlantic Theater Company in Practical Aesthetics, Anya Saffir and Jacquelyn Landgraf. 

In 2019 we will welcome them back to work in Melbourne at Brave Studios in Footscray and for the first time ever in Sydney at a venue TBA.

This week long intensive workshop in Practical Aesthetics brings together two fundamental tenets of the technique, action and moment: thinking before you act and acting before you think.  Actors are empowered to make clear, specific choices based on a careful study of the text, and to execute their choices spontaneously and truthfully.  In this way, the class will teach the actor to prepare to improvise. Acting work becomes free and alive, whilst still being thoroughly connected to the text.

Saffir and Landgraf are incredibly accomplished teachers and theatre practitioners. Both have been evolving the Practical Aesthetics acting technique together over the last decade at The Atlantic Acting School. Every year many Australian actors make the pilgrimage to New York City to study at the Atlantic Acting School, a school known for its reputation in developing and nurturing both craft and technique.


The course involves 8 hours of study and practice every day for five days. In the final two days auditors will be present in the audience to watch and learn from both teachers and students. Each day will start in the MOMENT LAB with Jacquelyn Landgraf, before spending the afternoon in SCENE STUDY with Anya Saffir.

This segment explores visceral engagement, radical play and improvisation in the present moment, driving home the idea that live performance is an irreproducible event.  Through a variety of different exercises and in the spirit of experimentation, actors learn to work with greater impulsive freedom and curiosity.   The Lab investigates heightened presence, holistic listening skills, and deeper intimacy between scene partners. By beginning each day with two hours of Moment Lab, students are ready to enter into their scene study class with the tools to act before they think.

In this in-depth scene study class, students will begin by grounding themselves in the story and the playwright’s intentions.   After a thorough overview of the Practical Aesthetics approach to script analysis, students bring in one prepared scene which will be thoroughly explored over the course of the week.  They learn to articulate their understanding of the given circumstances through clear, playable actions, and bring themselves fully to the stage with depth, bravery and personal stakes.  Within the structure of a finely tuned analysis of the script, the actor is free to navigate their way through the scene organically and impulsively.


ANYA SAFFIR is a theater director, writer and educator based in and hailing from New York City.

Anya has been on the faculty at Atlantic Theater Acting School since 1998. She is a Master Teacher of Practical Aesthetics, an acting technique originally developed by William H. Macy and David Mamet, based on the teachings of Stanislavsky, Joseph Campbell and Aristotle. At Atlantic Anya teaches Advanced Scene Study classes in Chekhov, Shakespeare, Throughline Technique, and Postwar British Drama, a class she developed based on her interest in Brecht’s legacy and the political theater movement that emerged in Britain in the wake of WWII. Anya served for many years on the faculty at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and is currently a professor of the plays of Anton Chekhov at the Brooklyn College Acting Conservatory. She has several times been a guest artist at Harvard University’s Graduate Center for Advanced Theater Training, and delivered the commencement address to the graduating M.F.A. actors in 2015.  She has been a visiting Chekhov professor at Penn State Graduate Theater Program and has traveled internationally to teach Master Classes in Practical Aesthetics. Click here to read more.


Jacquelyn Landgraf headshot copy

Jacquelyn Landgraf is an actor, writer, director, and theater educator based in Brooklyn.

Jacquelyn has been on the acting faculty at the Atlantic Acting School since 2006, where she is a Master Teacher of Practical Aesthetics. She teaches Script Analysis to the NYU/Tisch Drama undergraduates, and she created and led the implementation of Moment Lab, now a core studio class across all programs. Jacquelyn has taught performance and writing workshops for The Williamstown Theater Festival, The New York Neo-Futurists, the U.S. State Department, London Central Film School, Brave Studios (in Melbourne, Australia), Hollins University M.F.A. Dance (in Berlin, Germany), Brooklyn College, Boston University, Improv Olympic Los Angeles, and the Susan Marshall Dance Company. Click here to read more.


NYC Practical Aesthetics

NYC Practical Aesthetics



Enrolment to this course is by Application Only. Applicants must be at an advanced/professional level to be considered for this course.
Interested Applicants must send in their CV, Headshot and Showreel (if available) to be assessed by both the School and Course Directors.


2019 – TBA

2019 – TBA

Dates for 2019 will be released soon. Please subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when our course dates are announced.


Brave Studios

Studio #34
34/91 Moreland St,
Footscray 3011



$1595.00 inc GST

Click To Apply


The public are welcome to come and audit on the last two days.

Auditing a workshop or masterclass is a concept not often employed in Australia. More commonly associated with American teaching methods it is an invaluable tool for any actor who wants to further their knowledge and understanding of craft. Rather than being just an “audience member” watching a performance, an auditor is encouraged to engage with the work, learning and applying what is seen and felt. Auditing is an invaluable experience.
All Tickets are $65.00 per day or $120.00 for both days

Auditing tickets available closer to the workshop.