A graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater in NYC, Kelley teaches Meisner Acting Technique and exercises, integrating his 35 years experience as a professional actor in Los Angeles, New York City, and the Southeast in all areas of the craft (stage, film, television, musical theater, and commercials) to create a supportive environment designed to develop the skills of actors of all levels.
In addition to his studies in NYC with legendary teachers Sanford Meisner and Robert Lewis, Kelley originated roles Off-Broadway at the Actors Studio, Pan-Asian Repertory, and AMAS Rep. He was a member of the ephemeral Actors Group, headed by Joanne Woodward, who applied their Meisner training to various scene styles and included such young actors as Allison Janney, Dylan McDermott, and Mark Moses.
In Los Angeles, Kelley was a member of the acclaimed Actors Co-op where his credits included leading roles in the Ovation-nominated musicals GUYS AND DOLLS and SHE LOVES ME, Thornton Wilder’s THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (as George Antrobus opposite Emily Kuroda-Gilmore Girls), and TERRA NOVA, for which he received a Dramalogue Award for his performance as Dr. Wilson.
In other LA theater, he created roles in THE WHEEL with Bryan Cranston, DELICACIES by Laura Shamas, ADAM HENRY with Richard Erdman, and the original professional production of ALL THAT HE WAS, published by Samuel French. Kelley performed improv comedy regularly at the Ice House Annex in Pasadena with the troupe Instant Gratification. His LA television work includes SILK STALKINGS, CIVIL WARS, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and LOVING.
Kelley was Artist-in-Residence at Long Beach State performing leading roles in several original productions and working with the graduate students in the MFA program. He was a full-time theatre specialist with the Arts Education Branch of LA Unified Schools, helping to develop and coordinate arts education curriculum in the public schools in theatre, dance, and visual arts.
Since moving his family to Asheville in 2007, Kelley has continued to work in film and television in the Southeast (as George Caldough in THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD with Kevin Kline, Blair Mauney in Patricia Cornwell’s HORNETS NEST, as Dr.Liddell in DROP DEAD DIVA, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING as Dennis Quaid’s friend), and professional theatre at Flatrock Playhouse (A FEW GOOD MEN, THE FANTASTICKS), the Magnetic (RUTH by John Crutchfield), S.A.R.T. (Stanley in SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN: HOMECOMING), and North Carolina Stage Company (IN THE NEXT ROOM and currently as Lyman in OTHER DESERT CITIES).
Kelley has taught Meisner Technique since 2009 with YWAM at films schools in Kona, Hawaii; Dunham, Quebec; and Brisbane, Australia. He currently teaches Meisner Acting Technique, coaching privately at his studios in Charlotte and at NC Stage Company in Asheville. He is pleased to be a part of the professional arts program at AFTA.
He has his B.A. in psychology from Rhodes College, his teaching credential in English from National University, and his Masters in Management and Leadership from Montreat College.
About Meisner Technique
Sanford Meisner, one of the founding members of the legendary Group Theatre, developed and refined what is now known as the Meisner Technique during his tenure (1935-1990) at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in NYC. Actors trained in the Meisner technique include the current 2018 Academy Award winners Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell. Other Oscar winners include Christoph Waltz, Diane Keaton, Joanne Woodward, Robert Duvall, Grace Kelly and a long list of current and well-respected award-winning actors, directors, and writers.
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