Working with Kathleen this year was an incredible experience. By looking outside myself, at the way different people present themselves to the world physically and emotionally, I learned a great deal about myself and my own process. I was truly taught the importance of specificity, that everything we wear, do, say - no matter how small it may seem - holds meaning, and can communicate a large story. Through exercises like the photograph/letter opening, the eight stages of man, the partners project and the clown presentation, I learned more about who I am and what matters to me, as well as how I can most efficiently and effectively express myself, than any acting class I've taken. Kathleen teaches with passion, clarity, excitement, humor, and an amazing amount of care and love.
Kathleen was not only exceedingly knowledgable about the industry and able to answer any questions that we had for her, but she was also kind and exceedingly personable. She made the class fun and inviting: a great stepping stone for moving into the professional world.
I have had the pleasure of being a student of Kathleen McNenny's for the past year in masks class. Before her class, I never could have imagined how much you can learn about a person by putting a mask on them. I observed our class tell complete stories with their bodies and no words. We learned how every gesture no matter how slight tells a story. Kathleen was impeccably specific and clear with her directions, which are essential elements of acting and storytelling. Kathleen was a true inspiration to our class, allowing people to feel safe making breakthroughs and redefining comfort zones in their own process. She has the utmost dedication for, and is fully focused on her students. She even took on extra projects with us to send our class off with a complete ensemble show our last day. Kathleen’s passion for the craft of acting is what feeds her, and it is so great for me to be in the company of an elite artist like Kathleen McNenny!
Kathleen instills a desire and a want in us that's like no other. Through her love, care, PASSION and sensitivity she allows us to explore new worlds of imagination that we never knew could be possible. Mask work with Kathleen is the most fun an actor can have without taking their clothes off or sometimes they just do come off!
Tom Todoroff Conservatory
Within a day, Kathleen managed to inform and inspire us about acting in the business. She is enthusiastic, truthful, and you can tell she has a sincere love for equipping actors to go out into the world. I wish I had more time with her!
Learning "Masks" with Kathleen has been a revelatory experience, in terms of observing physicality in the human body of oneself as well as others'. We were encouraged to strive to replicate the movements of the different physicalities we observed to the establishment of various characters needed for performance.
Kathleen's energetic and focused directions guided me into the advancements of my own abilities naturally without realizing it myself at first until the very end, when I reflected and realized how far I, and my group as a whole, had come. Her poignant interest in our individual artistic expression nurtured our talent and allowed us to deepen our exploration of our gifts within, all with the incorporation of nothing but fun all throughout our two semesters.
I'm excited for Masks again next year, and can't wait to see what we'll be learning then!
Tom Todoroff Conservatory
Working with Kathleen was an incredible experience. Not only did she treat me like a professional and help me with every monologue I presented to her, but she gave me the skills every actor needs to approach any piece of work. What is so astonishing about Kathleen is her ability to hear and see what each individual brings to a piece, while also crafting it in a way that makes it sharper, clearer, and more relatable. It was an honor and a privilege to work with someone who was so kind, caring, and talented.
Kathleen's workshop was an invaluable intro to all-things-industry, and gave me a robust initial understanding of how to best handle the balance of artistry and business as an actor.
Kathleen knows exactly what works and how to get it. She is able to be specific yet simple in her teaching creating exponential growth in only a short time. She is truly one of the best.
I took Masks with Kathleen at the Tom Todoroff Acting Conservatory in New York City. I love the passion that she brings into the room about the specific ways that actors can use their physical presence to communicate story. Her class is such a safe, open environment to learn and grow at any age or level.
Kathleen's workshop was the most informative class I took in graduate school. She helped me transition from ambitious student to living artist. The thing that sets her class apart is she addressed my classmates and myself the way we trained to be addressed: as the future of the American theatre. I am forever in her debt.
The information Kathleen shares is invaluable, and her passion is inspiring! I am so grateful to have learned from her workshops, no actor's education is complete without the knowledge she imparts.
I was familiar with Kathleen McNenny’s work as a screen and theater actress in such shows as Broadway’s Death of a Salesman but I had no Idea that I would be blown away by her two-day workshop for actors. McNenny is an amazing instructor and her experience as an actress has given her an acute awareness of the ebbs and flows of the acting industry. She shares this awareness while also offering tools to teach the young actor how to navigate an actor’s life. She shares things like finding affordable housing to maintaining a healthy mentality. She also shows you how to effectively implement her lessons. McNenny’s workshop has really galvanized me to change the way I think about Acting as a business and to examine what I can contribute. After hearing her story about Camryn Manheim, I’ve already started writing my own solo performance. I highly recommend this workshop to all actors.
~Shamsuddin "Sham" Abdul-Hamid
Actor & Playwright
Rutgers' Mason Gross School of the Arts
Class of 2014
Kathleen McNenny's workshop is one of the most insightful, practical, and helpful workshops an actor can take. It is jam-packed with real-world advice about how to live the lifestyle of an actor, and how to succeed. It covers everything from the practicality of filing taxes as an actor, to how to maintain a sense of humor when the going gets tough. I am so thankful and better off because of this workshop!
It's been two weeks since Kathleen’s visit and I've found myself thinking about her words a great deal lately. Her workshop was not only informative in a clear, practical sense but also inspirational.
I love this craft more than words and want nothing more then to spend my life working with it, for it, beside it. This fourth year has been overwhelming at times. One forgets that it's not enough to want it, to work at it, to put ones all into it if one doesn't know the business of it all. We have to represent and manage our own talent. Kathleen took concepts there were previously elusive and brought them right down to earth for me to understand. Sure, I need to learn a lot more but two Sundays with her at least made me feel like I know how to begin post showcase.
What was most inspiring, however, was her clear passion for what she does and respect for all the people she’s worked with over the years as well as us her students.