Holly Gagnier, a Los Angeles native, began her acting career shooting her first commercial for Mattel at 3 years old. Her father being a cinematographer, Holly literally grew up on the sets of film and television.
Ms. Gagnier studied with the late, great, Sanford Meisner through his two year program, including training as part of his invitational summer intensive at his home on the island of Bequia. She continued to sit in on his subsequent classes as she began her training to teach. She has additionally studied on both coasts with William Esper, William Hickey, and Milton Katselas as well as the Groundlings, to name just a few. Beginning her time at Playhouse West under founders Jeff Goldblum and Robert Carnegie, she is currently a senior staff member and director at Playhouse West.
Ms. Gagnier is known as one of the top private coaches in Los Angeles. From breaking down the script for a booked job, auditioning, or career counseling, often referred by top agents and managers.
Wolfgang Bodison studied the Meisner technique for five years under the tutelage of Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West. When it was apparent he wasn’t going anywhere and that the school was never going to get rid of him, he was asked to teach the technique at Playhouse, and then after years as a teacher, was chosen to take over Tony Savant’s position as Director of the school when Tony moved to Philadelphia to open Playhouse West Philly.
As an actor, he’s best remembered for his performance as Lance Corporal Harold Dawson in the critically acclaimed, Rob Reiner film, A Few Good Men. Most Wanted, Freeway, Joe Somebody, and Legacy, are just a few more of his ever-growing film credits. Television credits include recurring roles on Nothing Sacred and Family Law, as well as numerous guest-star appearances on hit television shows. (read more)
Susan has spent many joyful years studying, acting, directing, and teaching at Playhouse West and has acted in a variety of commercials, television shows, and independent films over the years. She has worked opposite actors such as Jeff Goldblum, Scott Caan, Mark Pellegrino, James Franco, Jennifer Garner, Adam Scott, and Blair Underwood; and with directors such as Anthony and Joe Russo, Ken Olin, Tom Schiller (SNL), Mark Pellington, and Paul Dektor. She has done her most fulfilling work in theater though through characters like Ophelia in Hamlet, Elly in Sunday on the Rocks, and Stephanie in Duet for One. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Sue attended UMASS, Amherst where she played on the varsity field hockey team and competed in the NCAA Final Four. She also spent many years studying wushu and trained in China with the national Beijing team. She is currently teaming with others to write and develop several independent film and web projects.
Cindy Rucker Trost has over 30 years experience as an actress in radio, TV, film, stage and voice-overs. Early in her career, she worked as an on-air personality in news and special events. She has extensive experience producing and directing films, commercials and training videos. She is a teacher and staff member at Playhouse West in Los Angeles and she privately coaches actors for auditions and interviews.
Cindy is the assistant director of Welcome Home Soldier now in it’s 24th year and she is one of the producers ofTwelve, the 2015 winner of the Burbank International Film Festival President’s Innovation Award.
Sean Whalen is a currently working Actor, Writer, Producer, Director, Looper, Acting Coach, Acting Teacher and spreader of butter (not Margarine!!). He studied at UCLA Theater Arts, The Groundlings, and Playhouse West. He has over 120 acting credits (IMDB) and celebrates 30 years as a working actor next year. His Improv skills have landed him many jobs, including the original GOT MILK commercial directed by Michael Bay. Years later he was given one line on the movie NEVER BEEN KISSED. After improvising the first day of shooting, producer Drew Barrymore asked him to continue improvising and his part grew to the run of the picture. He has taught Improv and Comedy all over the US. He directed and created THE NOHO TOWNIES. A comedy troupe in North Hollywood who did several Improv and Sketch shows in 2017. He is excited to be back at Playhouse West… especially because they said they are giving him a FREE HUGE MANSION!! What? That’s what they said…
Christopher Liebe is a highly sought after filmmaking mentor and acting teacher based in Los Angeles. He is the Founder of the Playhouse West Film Lab program and has been sharing his extensive filmmaking knowledge for decades.
Through the Film Lab, he has taught hundreds of young filmmakers the art of making movies. Graduates of his courses have gone on to win numerous awards at film festivals all over the world. His students laud the success of the curriculum– which pushes filmmakers to progress through the fundamentals of making moves at a rapid pace. He consistently receives rave reviews -- including, “I learned more with Mr. Liebe in 3 months than I did in 4 years of Film School,” and “I spent less than $2000 for an education that would have cost me $150,000 at USC or UCLA.”
Mr. Liebe also has more than two decades of experience as an acting teacher and acting coach, teaching in the Meisner technique through one of Los Angeles’ strongest acting schools, Playhouse West.
An award-winning actor and cinematographer, he is graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a B.F.A. in Theater. He studied for many years under Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West in Los Angeles – along with many A-list actors including Scott Caan and James Franco. As a filmmaker, he is primarily self-taught, but has been mentored by such talents as Jeff Goldblum, and Academy Award-winning cinematographer Conrad L. Hall. He is also a clear demonstration of one of the principles that he likes to instill in his students: As a filmmaker, you should “Always be learning.”. He regularly attends world-class workshops and trainings. He has been lucky to study under such greats as Shane Hurlbut, Paul Cameron, Vincent LaForet, Alex Buono and many, many others.
Mr. Liebe is a member of SAG/AFTRA and a lifetime member of the Digital Cinema Society.
Kathleen Randazzo is an actress, director and producer with over 20 years in the entertainment industry. She has worked with some of Hollywood’s top talent, including Scott Caan, James Franco, David Spade, Olivia Newton John and George Segal. In 2014, Kathleen directed Scott Caan’s play Word Faithful at Playhouse West in North Hollywood. She recently directed Scott Caan’s newest play The Performance of Heartbreak: An Epilogue. As an actress, Kathleen had a recurring role on the first season of VEEP on HBO. Recently, she appeared in the James Franco project, TENN based on the life of Tennessee Williams and Ultimate Evil, A Web Series based on the Son of Sam Killings.
Kathleen is a teacher at Playhouse West in North Hollywood. In 2014 Kathleen was so inspired by her students she made her first film, Promise. The following year Promise got worldwide distribution. In 2015, her second film, April Fools was part of a feature that won the Most Innovative Film Award at the Burbank Film Festival. Kathleen is a partner in VanDazzo Productions where she is currently developing a number of film and television projects.
Scott Trost has been teaching acting for the last 25 years. He holds an MFA in Acting from the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago and trained in London at the National Theatre with Anthony Hopkins and other great English directors and actors. Trost is co-author of All You Need to Know About the Movie & TV Business published by Simon & Schuster. He founded the Playhouse West Film Festival and was Artistic Director of the American Forum Theater. Trost has multiple acting, writing, directing and producing credits on stage, and in film and TV. He has lectured on acting across the U.S. and in New Delhi, India and St. Petersburg, Russia. His latest project, the film Twelve, featured over 100 Playhouse West students and alumni and won the President’s Innovation Award at the Burbank International Film Festival. He is married to PW teacher - Cindy Rucker Trost.
Gabriel Grier is a professional actor, writer, producer, director and international acting teacher. He has taught comedy Improv workshops and performed all over the country and internationally. Gabe's improv experience has booked him numerous National commercials for Toyota, Mountain Dew, Call of Duty and Geico. Founder of Gibbon's Tail comedy group, Gabe hosts the Gibbon's weekly show here at Playhouse West, where he has taught since 2012.
Lincoln Hoppe is a film actor with 5 kids that has been teaching and directing improvisation and comedy since 1993.
Honed over the years, Lincoln's improvisation skills have directly helped him book dozens of films, TV shows, and commercials in Los Angeles. In fact, Lincoln's recent Series Regular role as Stefan in MGM’s new Stargate Origins was booked through an initial audition that was COMPLETELY IMPROVISED.
Lincoln is also a writer and has sold several screenplays, including the award winning feature film Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed.
He has over 600k social media followers @LincolnHoppe across platforms, and gets paid to create and post short comedy videos daily, using his improv and comedy skills.
Lincoln has proudly been a teacher at Playhouse West since 2009.