Check Out This Video Excerpt of a Lesson

Lesson Synopsis

This lesson focuses on how we tend to think of ourselves as being flat, like a paper cut-out. This affects and limits how we interact with other characters and the stage space. Feeling how the actor can express emotion in all directions is inspiring and opens new pathways of creativity. Each lesson also includes drop downs with added information such as critical analysis questions, journal topics, vocabulary, written step by step descriptions of foundation exercises, and tendencies to be aware of.

Check Out This Video Excerpt of an Actor Prep

Actor Preps

Actor Preps include a wide range of "Exercises for Daily Practice" that are connected in a visceral and dramatic way to get your actor instrument energized, balanced, strengthened and creatively inspired. There are two types of Actor Prep warm-ups, those that focus on a broader range of skill sets, and those that have a more specific theme. Actor Preps range from 15 to 35 minutes and can be combined for more intensity of training. Short Actor Preps of 6 to 12 minutes are found at the top of every class lesson.

Check Out This Video Excerpt of an Exercise for Daily Practice

Exercise Description

This exercise focuses on the tendency to make muscular, emotional and vocal expression all equal and the same. We call this harmonizing. For example, if a character is walking with a specific rhythmical beat, the tendency is to speak in the same rhythm. Or, if text is spoken with a particular cadence, the tendency is to move with the same emphasis.

An Overview of Margolis Method

Margolis Method takes the mystery out of acting by offering tangible, practicable exercises that allow the actor to build and hone their skills as a true craftsperson. Margolis Method organically synthesizes the vital connections between the physical, intellectual, and intuitive, while merging muscular and vocal expression. The Method is a three-dimensional approach to theatre training that merges the skill sets of acting, directing and playwriting to build what we call the “Actor Warrior.”

Margolis Method is not an aesthetic but a comprehensive series of highly theatrical exercises based on the universal principles of physics and communication. Training in the Method will make you a stronger theatre artist in any theatrical style or aesthetic, ranging from abstract, experimental to linear, text-based plays.

Margolis Method has been developed through daily studio research over the last 35 years by Kari Margolis and dedicated theatre artists. What initially began as a way to train actors for the MB ADAPTORS professional, touring theatre company, has grown into an internationally recognized methodology for empowering theatre artists to own their craft.

Founder Kari Margolis drew early research inspiration from the philosophies and work of such artists as Etienne Decroux, Jerzy Grotowski and Bertolt Brecht. The synthesis of such philosophies gave her the foundation for what she considers true theatre artistry -- the ability to tap into and shape one’s personal visceral impulses in a way that transforms them into universal ideas that can reach the most diverse of audiences.

Powerful Tools to Motivate and Inspire Your Training

Margolis Method Online brings the dynamic world of theatre training experienced at the Margolis Method Center and workshops worldwide right into your home. The site is organized to allow you to move at your own pace and shape your training experience to meet your artistic goals. Each class is comprised of multiple videos that hone in on specific concepts. This makes it simple to find and review information and helps keep you focused and motivated. There is also abundant written support materials and journal suggestions.

Margolis Method Online emulates the highly focused, rigorous and ensemble based training you would find in a workshop. Each class approaches building and refining the artist’s physical/vocal instrument while also developing the ability to think creatively on one’s feet. Technique will always be followed by improvisation structures. This allows each student to put specific concepts into theatrical action.
You can learn more about Margolis Method at

Shape your schedule to suit your creative needs and lifestyle. The user-friendly navigation allows you to take advantage of all the learning opportunities and tools the site has to offer. Train for five minutes or five hours — the choice is yours. Whether you decide to take an entire class, review a single exercise, or look for a skill-building warm-up for a rehearsal or an audition, everything you need is at your fingertips.

Themes and Classes

Themes are the larger umbrella concepts that contain a group of classes relating to a specific area of study. Each Theme will contain on average three to five classes. For example, Theme One is "Expressing the Internal and External World of the Character." This is a large area of exploration that is currently divided into five classes that each take on a specific aspect of the Theme.

Each class contains multiple video lessons that include a pre-class warm up, introductions to concepts, foundation exercises, examples of building stories, improvisations, suggestions for practice projects and a wrap up.

Each section of a class includes drop downs with added information such as vocabulary, written step by step descriptions of foundation exercises, tendencies to look out for and tool to develop critical analysis skills through observation and written exercises.

While the site is designed to offer many facets and ways to interact with the training, we do suggest taking classes in order and following the given structure of lessons to fully benefit from the developed progression of concepts and depth of exploration.

Actor Prep

Actor Preps include a wide range of Exercises for Daily Practice that are connected in a visceral and dramatic way to get your actor instrument energized, balanced, strengthened and creatively inspired. Each Actor Prep will have a primary focus but also touch on multiple aspects of overall training.

Actor Preps will range from five to thirty minutes and can be done individually or combined for longer sessions. All pre-class actor preps can also be found in this section as well as their respective class pages. Each Actor Prep includes a detailed breakdown of each exercise and links to the Exercises for Daily Practice section with videos teaching each exercise in detail.

To truly embody and receive maximum outcome from these Actor Prep sessions, you must connect physically, intellectually and emotionally. These exercises cannot just be “done” as if in an exercise class, they must be “performed” with the actor justifying every action.

Actor Preps are organized by length of session.

Daily Exercises

Exercises for Daily Practice are singular scripts that help the actor build the skills to manifest specific dramatic concepts. Each exercise will be preceded by a "teach-in” Introduction Lesson that will identify these concepts and discuss their application as well as tendencies to look out for. The exercise lesson that follows the Introduction Video is meant to be actively practiced on one's feet.

To be helpful, the Exercises for Daily Practice are organized in a manner that highlights particular qualities within each exercise. Do not be limited by the category under which the exercise is listed--feel free to creatively bring forth other important aspects that lie within an exercise. For example, an exercise under the heading CORE, could also live under the heading BREATH, or even ELEMENTS.

As with the Actor Preps, it is important to remember that to truly embody and receive maximum benefit from these Exercises for Daily Practice, you must connect physically, intellectually and emotionally. These exercises cannot just be “done” as if in an exercise class, they must be “performed” with the actor justifying every action.

Vocabulary and Fundamentals

The Vocabulary and Fundamentals section is the place to find information about fundamentals that apply to all exercises and classes.

Various vocabulary terms have links to video demonstrations. Video demonstrations will be added regularly.

We recommend spending time with all the sections included, as knowledge of these fundamentals will deepen your understanding of each lesson.

Theme One: Expressing the Internal and External Worlds of the Character

Theme One is comprised of five classes broken into a total of 55 lessons. This theme introduces the concept of a character having an internal private life as well as an external, social, public life. Each class delves deeper into ways to practice the actor’s ability to manifest, control, and articulate what a character is feeling privately in relationship to what they are expressing publicly.

Class One: Introducing the Actor Instrument
Discover practicable exercises for five fundamental concepts for re-envisioning, enlivening, and building the actor’s instrument.

Class Two: Expanding and Compressing the Core
This class offers exercises that allow the actor to feel how changing the physical conditions within a character inspires emotional states and explores how the relationship between effort and relaxation helps the actor find connections between acting beats.

Class Three: Expressing Through the Core in Vertical
Learn how to find a character’s relationship to gravity and how it increases an actor’s storytelling ability.

Class Four: Dialoguing Between the Personal and the Public
Building on the previous classes, Class Four helps shape a more sophisticated actor who can make smooth transitions between a character’s personal thoughts and emotions and their public manifestations.

Class Five: The Geometry of Intention
Class Five offers tools to start building strong interactions with other characters and inspire an audience to discover deeper meanings within these relationships.

Theme Two: The Actor’s Relationship to Breath and Voice

Theme Two encompasses concepts and exercises to increase the actor’s ability to vocally express with more passion, spirit, and intonation by finding the natural relationship of the actor’s entire muscular instrument to the voice. Theme Two classes allow the actor to feel how changing the muscular conditions of the character transforms the essence and emotional quality of the voice.

Class One: Supporting the Voice
Works with the natural flow of gravity and helps the actor develop the ability to feel how their relationship to the floor can be a powerful tool for supporting and controlling the voice.

Class Two: Inspiring the Audience’s Understanding of a Character (Being Released October 2016)
A two-part class that applies vocal/muscular skill sets to the expression of a character’s private and public states of being.

The Following Theme 2 Classes Will be Released in 2017

Class Three: Manifesting Vocal Qualities of “AH” and “OH” Vowels
Builds on Class One while adding specific conditions of internal roundness on the Vertical and Horizontal planes to explore the round, sensual quality of a vocal state of being.

Class Four: Manifesting Vocal Qualities of “EE” and “IY” Vowels
Continues to build on Class Two, shifting the focus to the manifestation of a contrasting linear vocal character in the Vertical and Horizontal planes.

Class Five: Journeying with Vocal Transformation
Culminates the previous class research and adds a the final “OO” Vowel to build stories through journey improvisations across the space based on a character’s conditions and vocal manifestation.

Theme Three: Emotional States of a Character

Theme Three will be released in Fall of 2016 and focuses on building the actor’s ability to express the emotional journeys of a character, and increasing the actor’s palette and vocabulary to manifest emotional states of being.

Theme Four: Enlivening the Theatrical Space

Theme Four will be released early 2017 and explores the depth and breadth of story the actor can create by infusing the theatrical space with energy, meaning, and metaphor.

Theme Five: Imbuing Inanimate Objects with Life

Theme Five will be released in 2017 and reveals the potential to transform everyday objects into a theatrical extension of a character’s inner world and the skill sets to manifest these ideas.

Kari Margolis

Kari Margolis is an award-winning Playwright, Director, Master Teacher, Performer, Keynote Speaker, Theatre Researcher, Designer and Published Author. She is Co-Founder with Tony Brown of the international touring MB ADAPTORS Company founded in NYC in 1984. She has directed 18 evening-length productions for the Company that have toured nationally and abroad. She has also created several large-scale, site specific events for such places as the Brooklyn Museum, the Minnesota Science Museum and beach at Coney Island, NY.

As a Guest Artist, Kari has led hundreds of workshops and residencies at Universities, theaters, and private studios nationally and abroad. She has been a returning teaching artist for the Association of Professional Actors and Directors of Catalunya, Barcelona, and has been a Master Teacher for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival for 15 years. Each year, the Kennedy Center offers one full scholarship to a National Irene Ryan finalist to train with Kari at the Center.

Ms. Margolis has created several original productions with students at Universities including The Love Me Knot, Viterbo University, Insula, Montclair State University, Deja Vu, Fort Lewis College and The Human Show, University of Las Vegas, Nevada, all of which were invited to the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre’s Festivals.

She is creator of the Margolis Method, a comprehensive methodology for training actors and empowered theatre artists for the modern theatre, now taught and recognized internationally. Kari is the Director and lead faculty at the Margolis Method Center in Highland Lake NY. She has developed and oversees the Center’s Summer Program, Professional Certification, University Professor Certificationand Long Distance Learning Programs.

Kari was faculty at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, from 1997 to 2004. In this time she played an integral role in reshaping the BA Theatre Program to have a focus on the actor/creator. Kari has sat on numerous theatre panels including three years for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kari is presently: completing a book entitled The Physics of Theatre, building a full-time training program in Barcelona, Spain, working as a freelance director, certifying multiple artists, and continuing research on the Company's newest production, HEADSHOT!.

Click here to view a full Curriculum Vitae.

Six National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, Pew/TCG National Residency Fellowship, Creative Capital Foundation National Fellowship, “Bessie” NY Performance Award, Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Two Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships , National McKnight Foundation Fellowship, Two McKnight Intermedia Arts Fellowships, Jerome Foundation Travel Grant

Tony Brown

Tony Brown is Co-Artistic Director of the international touring theatre company MB ADAPTORS, founded in New York City in 1984. In this capacity he has created and performed in sixteen original performances, composed music and created video imagery and computer graphics. Many of these productions have toured nationally and to Barcelona, Berlin, London, Singapore and throughout Canada and Mexico.

Mr. Brown has most recently created the multimedia imagery for the world premiere of Galt McDermot’s production of GODDESS WHEEL at Snug Harbor, NYC. He has also created multimedia and original sound scores for The Children’s Theater in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Chorale, the University of Minnesota, Shapiro and Smith Dance and Ball State University among others. At the University of Minnesota he helped design the media studios for the Theater Department and has taught multimedia production and acting. He has been a guest artist for several universities and has created theatrical multimedia installation works for Intermedia Arts and the Second Story Theatre in New York.

Tony has served on numerous arts panels and boards, and was a National Endowment for the Arts site-reporter for twelve years. He ran a multimedia studio in New York where he designed and ran a re-grant program for the New York State Council on the Arts. He has created sound design for several commercials and conducted master classes in his unique physical acting techniques, throughout the United States and abroad.

Awards and Fellowships
Six National Endowment for the Arts Theater Fellowships, a NY Foundation for the Arts
Fellowship, A NY “Bessie”, three McKnight Intermedia Arts Fellowships, a Jerome Travel
grant, two Minnesota State Arts Board Theater Fellowships, a Bush Fellowship, a
McKnight Fellowship at the Playwrights Center,and a Rockefeller Creativity Grant,

Jonathan Beller

Jonathan Beller is a director, producer, and performer. He is a member of the MB ADAPTORS Company, having contributed to the creation and performance of their most recent production, Pulling Strings. Along with his Professional Certification studies, Jonathan has completed the Level III Professor Training Program. He has assisted Kari at several workshops including serving as an Assistant Director to the Insula project created in residence at Montclair State University. Prior to joining MB ADAPTORS, Jonathan served as the Artistic Director of Theatrikos Theatre Company of Northern Arizona where he produced and directed over 75 productions–canonical plays, re-imaged classics and new work from local and national playwrights. He holds an MFA from Arizona State University and currently teaches theatre at Schenectady College where the Margolis Method is at the center of the program’s actor training curriculum.

Ian Bivins

As a Theatre Artist, Ian Bivins is devoted to transforming the mainstream approach to theatre education as well as bringing new creative ideas to one of humanity's oldest rituals. Ian received a BA in Theatre Arts from Western Washington University in 2002, where he created and produced several solo works. He relocated to Highland Lake, NY in 2004 to pursue his certification in Margolis Method. He has performed in several of the company’s original evening length shows; most notably, Cyclopedia, which toured nationally in Fall, 2008. Ian has assisted Kari at several major national and international workshops including the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival and the Cos Festival in Reus Spain.
He currently serves on faculty for the Margolis Method Center’s International Summer Training Intensive. Ian also teaches and oversees operations of Margolis Method Bellingham, a satellite school of the Center, located in Bellingham, WA.

Jarod Hanson

Jarod Hanson is out to change the landscape of theatre through the Margolis Method’s empowering approach to three-dimensional actor training. He began his studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he attained his BA in Theatre Arts, and first intersected with Kari Margolis. Soon, he was training under Kari both at the University and with the Margolis Method Center’s weekly classes and Summer Intensives. He has toured internationally as a professional actor with the ADAPTORS (Sleepwalkers, American Safari, The Human Show, Cyclopedia, and Pulling Strings note a few of his collaborations with the company), and has assisted Master Teacher Kari Margolis at workshops, residencies, and master classes across the nation. He officially joined the ranks of faculty at the Center in 2011, where he continues to hone his own skills and help develop the many exciting projects on the horizon for the Center.He currently serves on faculty for the Margolis Method Center’s International Summer Training Intensive.

Gregory G. Schott

Gregory G. Schott received his BA in Acting and Directing from UNLV where he helped create and develop numerous original productions and began his professional career in Las Vegas. Early on, he worked extensively in musical and children’s theater performing with such companies as Diamond Circle Melodrama, Climb and Rainbow Company Children’s Theater. He first began training with MB Adaptors in 1996 and began teaching at the school in 2000. He was a key artistic contributor to the MB ADAPTORS productions of American Safari, Sleepwalkers, The Human Show and Cyclopedia. Gregory most recently toured with In Search of Tonto Blue and Pulling Strings as both an actor and technical director. He has assisted Kari at residencies across the country and is very proud to be a faculty member at Margolis Method Center International.

Annual Memberships Offer Unlimited Access.

Join Today!

Margolis Method Online is a dynamic, ever-expanding platform that is continually growing in content as well as features. New lessons will be uploaded approximately every two weeks and members are notified each time videos and written materials are added.

All membership levels include automatic enrollment to the Quarterly Margolis Method Online Learning Newsletter. The Newsletter is a great forum for staying in contact with other theatre artists from around the world — all interacting with the site. You can contribute, ask questions and hear what others are working on. The Newsletter is one more feature that makes training with Margolis Method Online a way to stay focused and become part of an active, international community of theatre artists taking charge of their careers.

Membership registration re-opens October 15th, 2016. In addition to the ever-growing volume of content, we are also offering a convenient monthly payment option to annual memberships.

Basic Membership: $600 (or $50 per month)
Full payment includes one free video upload for personalized feedback - a $75 value!
Inquire about special promotion

Video Upload Packages:
Accelerate your growth by taking advantage of our Video Upload Packages! Submit up to 15 minutes of video per upload of your work with Margolis Method Online and receive detailed personalized feedback from Master Teachers!

1 Upload: $75
3 Uploads: $175
6 Uploads: $300
12 Uploads: $500

Live Skype Sessions:
Live coaching and feedback sessions are available for artists that are actively engaged in our Video Upload Packages. Contact us for more information!

The following link will take you to the Margolis Method website registration form. From there you can also learn more about other Margolis Method programs, workshops and MB ADAPTORS performances.

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