The Actor Therapy Master Series allows current and former Actor Therapy students — as well as newcomers not yet affiliated with Actor Therapy — to see an interview, master class, and open Q&A with their favorite artists. Our next master teaching artist will be the writer of the universally acclaimed hit, A Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson.



This very special lecture, interview and Q & A will be on Creating Your Own Work.

The event will be hosted by Actor Therapy's Director of Events Mathieu Whitman.


Michael R. Jackson holds a BFA and MFA in playwriting and Musical Theatre Writing from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. As a songwriter, he has seen his work performed everywhere from Joe’s Pub to NAMT. He wrote lyrics and co-wrote book for the musical adaptation of the 2007 horror film Teeth with composer and co-bookwriter Anna K. Jacobs. He wrote book, music, and lyrics for the musicals White Girl In Danger and A Strange Loop (which received its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons Theatre in May of 2019, in a highly acclaimed and sold-out run). He has received a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant, a 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, a 2017 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a 2016/2017 Dramatist Guild fellowship, and was the 2017 Williamstown Theatre Festival Playwright-In-Residence.

Registration in the class includes class attendance but does not guarantee a chance to sing. Performers selected to sing for and receive feedback from the guest artist will be selected at random. There will be a brief interview at the top of the class and an open Q & A at the end.


The master class will be held at Open Jar Studios (located at 48th and Broadway) in New York City. The final studio number will be sent to all registered attendees to the supplied email address.


This is not a song-and-critique master class.


  • Actor Therapy Students currently enrolled in the current session (Session 48): free.

  • Actor Therapy Students not currently enrolled: $15.00

  • All others: $25.00

Select one

Any questions? Email us with the subject: Actor Therapy Master Series Question.


Krysta image.jpg
Students with Krysta.

Students with Krysta.


Krysta Rodriguez has been a mainstay on both stage and screen. She made her Off-Broadway debut in Theresa Rebeck’s What We’re Up Against for the Women’s Project and was most recently seen on the small screen co-starring with John Lithgow on the NBC series “Trial & Error”. On television, Rodriguez is best known from her scene-stealing turn on the second season of NBC’s “Smash” as fan-favorite ‘Ana Vargas’. Other television credits include recurring roles on “Quantico, “Chasing Life” and guest starring roles on “Younger,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and  “Gossip Girl”  On Broadway, Rodriguez was in the critically acclaimed revival of Spring Awakening and headlined the original Broadway cast of First Date opposite Zachary Levi. Her extensive Broadway credits include original companies of The Addams Family, In the Heights, Spring Awakening, Good Vibrations, and  A Chorus Line (Revival). She later got to perform the role of Diana in A Chorus Line at the famed Hollywood Bowl to much critical acclaim. Next, you can catch Rodriguez on the new Netflix series, “Daybreak” to premiere in Fall 2019.

Michael B-ATMS.jpg
Students with Michael.

Students with Michael.


MICHAEL BERRESSE is a Tony and Olivier award nominated actor and OBIE award winning director. Currently appearing on Broadway as Bob Mackie in The Cher Show, his prior Broadway acting credits include: A Chorus Line, The Light in the Piazza, Kiss Me, Kate, Chicago, Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls, Carousel and Fiddler on the Roof among others. In 2008 he made his Broadway directorial debut with [title of show], after receiving an OBIE award for the off-Broadway production. Other direction: The Golden Apple (Encores!), Now. Here. This. (Vineyard Theatre), The Last Five Years (ACT), Once, Next to Normal, Analog & Vinyl (world premiere), Million Dollar Quartet, Peter and the Starcatcher, Round and Round the Garden. On Film and TV Michael has been seen in State of Play, A.I., The Bourne Legacy, The Good Wife, The Knick, Elementary, Law & Order, Person of Interest, SVU, Criminal Intent, Crossbones and others.  Fun fact: a former gymnast, Michael was part of the Star Search grand champion dance group Boys Back East way back in 1992.

Students with Shaina Taub.

Students with Shaina Taub.


Raised in the green mountains of Vermont, Shaina Taub is a New York-based songwriter and performer.

Her concert work includes a Lincoln Center solo debut in the acclaimed American Songbook series, as well as residencies at Ars Nova and Rockwood Music Hall. Taub has independently released two EPs and a full-length album Visitorsand will play a year-long residency of monthly shows at the Public Theater's Joe's Pub in 2017.

As a songwriter, she is a winner of the Jonathan Larson Grant and the first female recipient of the ASCAP Foundation's Lucille and Jack Yellen Award. She writes tunes for Sesame Street, including Just Like Magic featuring Sara Bareilles. Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald is currently performs Taub's song, The Tale of Bear & Otter on tour. Taub's songs have also been performed by Broadway stars Sutton Foster and Phillipa Soo.

Taub's original musical adaptation Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was commissioned by the Public Theater as part of the groundbreaking Public Works initiative and received a critically acclaimed production at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in which she played the role of Feste. Her original soul-folk opera, The Daughters, was featured in workshop productions at  CAP21 Theater Company, and New York University's mainstage season. Taub is currently writing a new musical about Alice Paul and the American women's suffrage movement in the decade leading up to the passage of the 19th amendment.

As a performer, Taub has traveled the world as a vocalist, actor and musician. She starred in the west coast premiere and New York re-mounting of the Signature Theatre's hit production Old Hats, created by Bill Irwin and David Shiner and directed by Tina Landau, featuring Taub's original songs. She earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for her portrayal of Princess Mary in the Kazino production of Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 directed by Rachel Chavkin. She sang back-up for Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in O's psycho-opera, Stop the Virgens at St. Ann's Warehouse and the Sydney Opera House, and arranged/played the songs of Tom Waits in the American Repertory Theater's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Taub was in the original Off-Broadway cast of Anais Mitchell's Hadestown at New York Theatre Workshop, and is featured on the live cast album. She played the role of Emma Goldman in the Ragtime on Ellis Island concert, and performed in Jeanine Tesori's 2016 Off Center Jamboree.

A fellow of the MacDowell Colony, the Yaddo Colony, the Sundance Institute and the Johnny Mercer Songwriter's Project, winner of a MAC John Wallowitch Award, a TEDx conference speaker, Taub served on the music theatre faculty at Pace University, and is a University Scholar alumnus of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. 

Students with Alexander Gemignani.

Students with Alexander Gemignani.

ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI is a Tony-nominated actor, musical director, composer/lyricist, and educator and is thrilled to add artistic director of the NMTC to his resume. He recently starred in the Broadway revival of Carousel (Mr. Snow) after leading the Chicago company of Hamilton (King George III).

His Broadway acting credits include: Violet (Father), Chicago (Billy), Les Misérables (Valjean, Drama League nomination), Sweeney Todd (Beadle, Drama Desk nomination), Assassins (Hinckley, Theatre World Award), The People In The Picture (Moishe), Sunday in the Park With George (Boatman/ Dennis). Off-Broadway: Road Show at the Public (Addison Mizner, Drama League nomination), Headstrong at EST (Nick) and Avenue Q at the Vineyard Theatre (Brian). Favorite Regional: The Three Sisters at Cincinnati Playhouse (Andrei), Oklahoma! at THE MUNY (Jud Fry), The Boys From Syracuse at The Shakespeare Theatre of D.C. (Sergeant) and the title character in the world premiere musical Saint-Ex at The Weston Playhouse. Concerts: Encores! 1776 at New York City Center (Rutledge), the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl, and Lincoln Center’s American Songbook.

He has premiered solo shows at the Kennedy Center (Barbara Cook’s Spotlight), The Sheen Center, Birdland, and Feinstein’s. TV/Film: Empire (recurring), Homeland (recurring), Chicago FireThe Good WifeEmpire State (pilot), and the film The Producers. As a composer/lyricist, he is currently developing four new musicals and has composed the incidental music for several plays. As a musical director, he is currently in development for productions with The Public Theatre and Roundabout Theatre Company.

He has served on the faculty of the National Theater Institute and NYU. Alexander is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a proud graduate of the University of Michigan. His greatest joys are his incredible wife, Erin Ortman and their amazing daughter, Olive.

Congrats to our students at our George Salazar Master Class!

Congrats to our students at our George Salazar Master Class!

GEORGE SALAZAR is best known for originating the role of "Michael Mell" in Be More Chill and for his Drama Desk-nominated performance in off-Broadway's The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical. Next spring, he’ll be returning to Broadway in Be More Chill after a sold-out off-Broadway run. Previous off-Broadway credits include Keen Company's Drama Desk-nominated revival of tick, tick... BOOM! and David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's hit off-Broadway immersive musical, Here Lies Love. George made his Broadway debut singing "Light of the World" in the 2011 Revival of Godspell and toured with the second national company of Spring Awakening. Regional credits include the world premieres of Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz's Be More Chill and Joe Iconis, Lance Rubin, and Jason "SweetTooth" Williams' Broadway Bounty Hunter. He was also a cast member of the 10th Annual CBS Diversity Showcase in Los Angeles.

George's TV credits include CBS' BULL and HBO's DIVORCE. He appears on various recordings including GEORGE SALAZAR & JOE ICONIS: TWO-PLAYER GAME (Ghostlight), BE MORE CHILL (Ghostlight), THE LIGHTNING THIEF (Broadway Records), GODSPELL (Sh-K-Boom), BROOKLYN CRUSH (Broadway Records) and MOMENT BY MOMENT.