Maryssa Wanlass Acting

Maryssa Wanlass Acting


About this pro

I am the Artistic Director of Utopia Theatre Project, as well as an equity actor and teacher. With over fifteen years professional experience, I have performed on stages all over the Bay Area, and have done film and commercial work. I teach all kinds of acting, including Shakespeare and Improv, to all age groups. I especially love to coach for auditions! I studied at Mills College and the Moscow Art Theatre. My style is very supportive and technique-based. I look forward to helping you achieve your acting goals. 

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Emeryville, CA 94608
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Before meeting I would like to have a phone conversation to understand the student's experience, preferences, and goals. Then I can bring some appropriate material to the first session. At the first session we would do a short warm-up then dive into some acting material, whether it be improv, film scripts, Shakespeare or other theatre material. I don't tell students how a scene or monologue should be done, but rather give them the tools to arrive at their own creative decisions.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I studied theatre and acting at Mills College, Marymount London Drama School, and Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard University. I have been a professional actor in the Bay Area for fifteen years, and I am the artistic director of Utopia Theatre Project. I also teach all levels, from kids to grown ups.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I charge $60/hour over Skype or Zoom.

How did you get started teaching?

I used to be in corporate training, and then decided to shift my focus so that my "day job" would be more in line with my passion. I started teaching theatre at summer camps for kids, then directed high school students and young adults in Shakespeare productions, then worked with inmates doing Arts in Corrections, and directed professional actors in productions with my theatre company.

What types of students have you worked with?

- kids: drama classes and directed in plays

- high school students: taught advanced Shakespeare classes and directed in plays; taught film acting; coached for college auditions

- adults: directed in Shakespeare plays, led workshops in improv acting

- professional actors: directed in plays, coached monologues and scenes for auditions

Lessons offered

Acting Classes Improv Acting Classes Scene Study Classes Shakespearean Acting Classes Speaking Voice Training