The Meisner Technique
By Candice Rankin, Executive Speech Coach
When William “Bill” Esper (1932- ) was a young man, he saw Eli Wallach and Maureen Stapleton in a touring production of The Rose Tattoo … “[I] was so struck by the acting … [A]fter the play was over, I decided to go around the corner to get a cup of coffee so I could think about it some more. I walked into a little drugstore, and Eli was sitting there having a bite to eat … he talked to the actor [and] Wallach told him he had studied at Sanford Meisner’s Neighborhood Playhouse … [A]fter college he moved to New York and began studying with the teacher [Meisner] who was famous for his exercises in repeated dialogue … “I started directing. I started coaching people … “[I] lost my love of performing.” 
In 1965 Esper founded the eponymous William Esper Studio. Among those he has coached and taught are Aaron Eckhart, Richard Schiff, Timothy Olyphant and Oscar-winner Kathy Bates. The studio moved from its original location at 261 West 35 Street to its new facilities at 208 W. 37th Street in New York City.