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Robert Carnegie

Owner & Co-Founder of Playhouse West

Read Mr. Carnegie's bio on our History page in our Menu under About!

Wolfgang Bodison

Wolfgang Bodison studied the Meisner technique at Playhouse West under the tutelage of Robert Carnegie. After years of serving as a teacher at the school, he was then chosen to serve as Director of the school when Tony Savant 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. Since then, he has appeared in countless movies and television shows and continues to make a career as a working actor.

As well, Wolfgang has written and directed several short films which have screened in major festivals and won various awards worldwide. As a theater director, he’s constantly directing plays at the school, providing opportunities for the students to grow as artists.

He’s very proud to be a part of the Playhouse West family and is always grateful for his opportunities to play.

PWP! - Playhouse West Pride!

Holly Gagnier

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.

Kathleen Randazzo

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.

Kathleen was asked by Scott Caan to direct him in many of his original works: Word Faithful, The Performance of Heartbreak: An Epilogue, and in 2019, This Isn't 40, which earned critical acclaim and sold-out performances.

Kathleen also directed the hit comedy play “Psyche on Vine”. The play featured a cast of many recognizable film and television actors including Sean Whalen (Twister, Never Been Kissed), Sean Carrigan (American Vandal, The Young and the Restless, Ford vs Ferrari) and Wolfgang Bodison (A Few Good Men, Tucker’s War). This raucous comedy ran for a year in Hollywood to sold out shows.

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.

Froi Betancor-Toner

Originally from Manila, Philippines, he discovered Playhouse West and his passion for acting by accident. He was asked by his friend, who was a working actor at that time, to accompany him to audit a beginning class at the school. He was so moved and inspired by what he saw that he immediately signed up for class. Ten years later, he found himself being invited by the founder of the school, Mr. Robert Carnegie, to become part of the teaching staff. He has studied with every amazing teacher at Playhouse West over the years and proudly calls it his artistic home. He has acted in productions around the L.A. theater scene.

"Listen thoughtfully and you will react truthfully."

Gabriel Grier

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.

Doug van Bebber

Doug has been acting on stage since he was 14 years old. While still in high school, Doug won a coveted spot in the UCLA Theater Arts Department. Upon graduating from college, he studied for 6 years under Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West. Doug went on to write, produce and act in his own original stage shows throughout Los Angeles. His plays appeared at The Improv on Melrose, The HBO Workspace, The Tiffany Theater and The Hudson Theater.

Doug is also an award-winning writer, producer and director of both television and film. In 2020 he wrote and produced two Daytime Emmy Award winning series for NBC and CW Network. His work has appeared on numerous platforms including HBO, Showtime, Sundance Channel, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, CW Network and Bravo.

As a filmmaker, Doug’s work has screened at dozens of international film festivals, garnering top awards including Best Film, Best Screenplay and Audience Choice. His first short film was picked up by HBO, Showtime, Sundance Channel and went on to qualify for an Academy Award nomination.

In 2010, Doug graduated from the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting where his thesis script “Out of Left Field” won Best Screenplay of the Year. Doug has won numerous other screenwriting awards from Showtime Network, FADE IN: Magazine, Austin Film Festival, Nicholls Fellowship, Slamdance Film Festival, Page Screenwriting Awards and Cynosure Screenwriting Competition.

Doug teaches the Screenwriting Lab at Playhouse West.

Lincoln Hoppe

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.

Chris Liebe

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.

Sean Whalen

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…

Gar-Ye Lee

Gar-Ye officially started her acting career after too many years in the corporate world.

After attending a program that had a Meisner Intensive, she quickly found her home at Playhouse West; falling in love with the Technique, the school, and the community.

She has been in numerous commercials, movies, and stage productions, and has goals to direct soon.

Christian Liatos

Christian Liatos is an actor, producer, and director from Chicago, Illinois. He started attending Playhouse West in 2014 as a student studying under Robert Carnegie. During that time, Christian has acted and co-directed numerous plays with Robert Carnegie. (The Motherfucker With The Hat, This is Our Youth, Morning Coffee)

Christian has been a Playhouse West member for nine years, five of those
as a playhouse west staff member, where he has directed students in multiple theatre productions. (This is Our Youth, Morning Coffee, Dolores, North of Providence, The Cabin)

Christian also has a production company, Team-13 Productions LLC, where he has produced several independent films. You can follow Team-13 Productions LLC on Instagram @Team13Productions (Morning Coffee, The Long Way, Double Dealings, The Locker Room, A Couple of Issues)

Christian’s latest film, Morning Coffee (2023) by Frederick Stroppel, is a critically acclaimed one-act play that Christian adapted into a film. 

Aside from the theatre, film industry, and teaching, Christian played professional hockey. In 2010 at eighteen years old, Christian was a first round, first draft pick overall to the Peoria Mustangs as a defenseman. He has also competed in multiple state and national championship games

Michelle Hodan

Michelle is an actor, writer and producer. She started acting in high school and went on to become a member of the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After college, she moved to New York City, where she learned about acting on camera with students at the NYU Tisch Program. In 1998, she made her way to Los Angeles, and started working in TV and film, while continuing to study at several different acting schools.

In 2014, she decided to return to her roots and curate a neighborhood theatre in Hollywood. The venue features hundreds of shows and events annually and is also a participant in the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

In 2016, Michelle was introduced to many students and teachers from Playhouse West when she co-produced the 120 Hour Film Festival with Scott Haze and James Franco. She eventually started studying acting and writing there and discovered she found her creative family at Playhouse West.

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