Wendy Ward received her BA in drama in 1981 from Duke University. She continued her training at the National Theatre Institute and studied in New York with Anna Deavere Smith, Larry Arrick and Vivian Matalon. In 1987, she began her Meisner training under James Price at The Acting Studio, one of New York City’s leading acting schools devoted to the work of Sanford Meisner. Upon completion of her training, Mr. Price honored Ms. Ward by asking her ‘to sit with him’ to become a Meisner teacher. Through this apprenticeship, Ms. Ward began teaching the Meisner Approach for The Acting Studio and became its Associate Director in 1989.
In 1996, she founded the Ward Acting Studio and quickly established herself as one of New York City’s master instructors of the Meisner Approach. She has taught upwards of 4,000 actors, directed over 70 productions and served on the faculty of University of the Arts in Philadelphia teaching Meisner to sophomores. In 2010, Australia granted Ms. Ward its highly coveted Distinguished Talent Visa, allowing her to become a permanent resident and move her Studio to Melbourne. As well as providing Meisner training at her own studio, while in Melbourne she taught Meisner workshops at St. Martin’s Youth Arts Centre, LaTrobe Student Theatre, and The Film and Television Studio International. In 2015, she opened her studio in Durham, North Carolina.
Ms. Ward is also Artistic Director of the Ward Theatre Company which she founded in 2005 in New York City as a performance vehicle for her graduates. The Company offers opportunities for her actors to work as an ensemble and become collaborators in the creation of original work presented in longer performance runs. In its first season, the Company received two nominations for Outstanding Acting from New York Innovative Theater Awards. The Ward Theatre Company is unique in that it is populated solely with actors who are Meisner trained and has included performers from as far away as Austria, Australia, Israel, Germany, Macedonia and The Netherlands. Most recently, the Company opened its new space in Durham where it received critical acclaim for its premiere productions of Jacuzzi and I Wish You A Boat. Ms. Ward’s work has been described as “movies on stage” in reference to her particular ability to get compelling, authentic performances from her ensemble. (visit wardtheatrecompany.com)
She is featured in the books Acting Teachers of America by Ronald Rand and Acting Career Start-Up by Anthony Smith available in major bookstores. For more on Ms. Ward visit wardstudio.com and wardtheatrecompany.com.
Ward Acting Studio Six-Week Summer Intensive
Every year actors from all over the world travel to the States to work with Wendy in her Six-Week Acting Intensive. For twenty years, her Intensive was known as one of the most challenging summer acting programs in New York City, respected for its high quality of Meisner training and the standards of excellence to which her students are held. The Intensive is now held at her studio in Durham, NC. Beginning in 2019, two intensives will be held during summer months — one that focuses on acting technique and audition preparedness and a second that provides acting training and a custom designed show reel.
Actors in the intensive learn to work at a faster pace, become less sensitive to criticism, increase their stamina for professional life in the industry and develop new acting processes and career strategies that make them better actors and more competitive professionals. (visit wardstudio.com)