As the Artistic Director of the Howard Fine Acting Studio, Howard Fine has built an unshakeable reputation as the most gifted acting teacher in the business today.
Beginning his career in Los Angeles in 1985 by privately coaching students in his living room, Howard has gone on to receive recognition for his teaching when, in 2006, he was named ‘Best Acting Teacher in Los Angeles’ by BackStage Magazine in a one time only poll. Since then, Howard has established studio in both Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia.
During his 30-year teaching career, Howard has personally coached Hollywood stars including Oscar winners Jennifer Connelly and Jared Leto, Oscar nominees Brad Pitt, Michelle Williams, Bradley Cooper and Selma Hayek, Golden Globe nominees Simon Baker, Rosanna Arquette, Brooke Shields and Mark Harmon and Emmy winners Kim Delaney, Sela Ward and Michael Chiklis. In addition to this, Howard has also worked with literally hundreds of actors including Chris Pine, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman, Gerard Butler, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Dwayne Johnson, Val Kilmer and Amy Smart.
As a lover of the craft of acting, Howard is one of the few elite acting experts who have devoted their primary career to perfecting the teaching and coaching of professional actors and his outstanding reputation is the product of his remarkable expertise. In 2008, Howard published his book ‘Fine on Acting: A Vision of the Craft’ in which he outlines his approach to and philosophies on acting, which closely reflect those of his mentor and close colleague Uta Hagen. ‘Fine on Acting’ is now taught in many leading colleges and universities.
Marilyn McIntyre - Head of Acting
As a member of the Howard Fine Acting Studio faculty, Marilyn McIntyre specialises in teaching Scene Study, Foundation and Personalisation. Marilyn developed the Personalisation program at Howard Fine’s request, as a way of helping actors harness their personal experiences to bring their most authentic selves to their work.
Marilyn studied at HB Studio in New York, with Michael Shurtleff and was also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Actors Workshop. In Los Angeles, Marilyn had the privilege of studying with Uta Hagen, and is featured on Uta Hagen’s ‘Acting Class’ DVD, performing Hagen’s tenth object exercise: Historical Imagination, in which she plays Charlotta from the Cherry Orchard. She has also trained with esteemed director Anna Bogart and leading members of the SITI Company, as well as holding a Master of Fine Arts (Penn State University) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of North Carolina School of the Arts).
Marilyn is a multi-award-winning actor, whose credits include leading roles on and off Broadway as well as in Los Angeles, where she garnered multiple Ovation, LA Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and BackStage Garland awards, and several nominations for her work with companies such as Rogue Machine Theatre, VS. Theatre Company, Matrix, Open Fist, Deaf West and Interact among others. Most recently she made her fourth appearance in Rogue Machine’s ‘Around-the-Clock’ play festival. Her film and television credits include ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Cold Case’, ‘Watch Over Me’ (series regular), ‘Judging Amy’, ‘LA Law’ ‘X-Files’, ‘Shuffle’, ‘Heaven’s Rain’, ‘On Holiday’, ‘The Ring Two’, the hit short ‘George Lucas in Love’ and many more. Most recently she worked opposite Brenda Vaccaro in the independent feature ‘30-Love’.
In addition to the Howard Fine Acting Studio, Marilyn also teaches at the Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA Conservatory at AFI, and is the coordinator of the acting program for Elon in LA: ‘Climbing the LAdder’ at Elon University. She has taught at California State University-Northridge (CSUN), the Old Globe/University of San Diego MFA Program, University of Southern California, University of Texas-Austin and Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy, among others.
David Coury - Creator of SFA
David Coury is the vocal director at the Howard Fine Acting Studio, where he specialises in teaching his self devised Singing and Speech for Actors and Vocal Lab programs, which are designed to empower actors through speech and voice work.
In addition to his private practice in LA, David has established himself as a world leader in the field, having worked with many leading professionals in the entertainment industry and corporate world, including actors, broadcasters and Top 40 recording artists such as Leona Lewis. David demonstrated his transformative techniques on ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover’, when he helped a rapper with a cleft palate overcome a speech impediment that had plagued him for twenty years. As well as this, he has appeared on ‘American Idol’, and worked with MTV, NBC, Fox, TV Guide Network and ‘E!’.
Penny McDonald - Alexander Technique Expert
Penny McDonald joined the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia faculty in 2013, at the request of Howard Fine, having previously worked closely with Jean-Louis Rodrigue, as well as with Howard in his 2013 Master Class. Penny teaches as part of the Full-Time course, as well as ongoing Alexander Technique classes.
Penny first began having Alexander Technique lessons in the early 1980s when she was performing with ‘Death Defying Theatre’, a Sydney based street theatre company and in 1996 completed a three-year training course to teach the Alexander Technique. Since then, she has taught in her own private practice, as well as at the Australian National Academy of Music, The Alexander Teacher Training Course, Victorian College of the Arts and the National Theatre Drama School. Penny specialises in working with people involved in the performing arts, is always evolving her process and is constantly delighted to see the change in someone’s performance when they apply the Alexander Technique.
Shane Connor - Screen Acting
Shane Connor specialises in teaching acting technique for the screen at the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia.
Shane graduated from the VCA in 1983 and has since performed extensively across film, television and theatre. Well known for his work in Neighbours, Shane has appeared in numerous television dramas, including ‘Dirt Game’, ‘Blue Heelers’, ‘City Homicide’, ‘A Country Practice’, ‘Stingers’ and ‘Killing Time’, not to mention many films and mini-series, including ‘The Harp in the South’, ‘Fir’ ‘Playing for Charlie’ ‘Emerging’, the internationally released ‘Moby Dick’, and recently, ‘Wolf Creek 2’. Shane has been recognised for his work in film and television with four AFI (AACTA) Award nominations and a Penguin Award. Shane has also been awarded for his work on stage, performing with well renowned companies such as the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company and Playbox.
Shane has worked as an acting coach for the National Theatre, the VCA and numerous Sydney drama schools, as well as running his own screen classes with fellow actor Kevin Harrington (‘Cliffy’). Shane is now based in Los Angeles.
Stephen Costan - Vocal Expert
Stephan Costan is the resident voice teacher at the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia, teaching exclusively as part of the Full-Time course.
Stephen Costan has been a voice production specialist for thirty-five years, as well as an accomplished actor and director. He is a specialist in voice training for adults and was the head of voice at the Victorian College of the arts from 1996 – 2002. His other work in voice education has encompassed associations with the Universities of Western Sydney, Wollongong and Ballarat. He has been responsible for training a huge number of Australia’s most distinguished actors including Joel Edgerton, Sybilla Budd, Angus Grant, Simon Stone, Jane Allsop, Leon Ford, Nikki Whelan, Patrick Brammall and Steve Le Marquand. Stephen returned to the VCA faculty in 2008, teaching voice components in the Foundation program, and weekend and holiday intensives.
Lisa Treloar - Technique Teacher
Lisa is an actor, director and producer. Having appeared in guest roles on Blue Heelers, Neighbours, Canal Road, and featured in several TVCs and short films, it's her experience on stage that really feeds her passion for the craft. Lisa has performed in plays from Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams to John Patrick Shanley and David Mamet, to new and emerging Australian playwrights. She has appeared in productions with La Mama, Chapel Off Chapel, Monash University and with several other indie theatre companies.
Further to her acting credits, Lisa graduated from the world-class Howard Fine Acting Studio full-time program (2013), and was mentored as a young actor by Ralda Nash, whose illustrious career with both the London Repertory Theatre and Sydney University led to her driving the success of the Dorrigo Dramatic Club NSW, and is in no small part the reason for Lisa's great love and appreciation of Shakespeare, and classic theatrical literature today.
Lisa is excited to bring her experience and training as an actor into her newest role as faculty member of the Howard Fine Acting Studio, and invest the same energy and love of acting into helping others unleash their creative potential as actors.
Laura Gardner - Technique Teacher
Laura has been on the faculty of the Howard Fine Acting Studio in Hollywood for seventeen years, and specialises in teaching Foundation, Scene Study and Reading for the Pros.
Laura trained at Boston University, Rutgers and HB Studio, where she studied with Uta Hagen, Carol Rosenfeld and Ken McMillan. She has enjoyed an extensive career in both film and theatre, having appeared on and off Broadway, performing in national tours and with major theatre companies around the country, receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination from LA Weekly for her performance in ‘Fighting Words’. Her film and television credits include ‘My Name is Earl’ (along with her actor husband Frank Collison), ‘Shredd’, ‘Law and Order LA’, ‘The Forgotten’ with Christian Slater, ‘Criminal Minds’, ‘Crash’, ‘ER’, ‘The West Wing’, ‘Close to Home’ and most recently ‘Castle.’ Laura also has a recurring role as Chris’s mum in the award winning Australian web series ‘Chris and Josh’, alongside HFAS alumni Shane Savage.
As a teacher and acting coach, Laura has taught in at The Actors Workshop and The Academy of Musical Theatre in Wales, at HB Studio, The Stella Adler Institute, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, PBCC in Florida, SMCC in Los Angeles, The George Street Playhouse in New Jersey, and The Screen Actors Guild Conservatory in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Mexico. Laura has also been featured artist at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska for the last seven years, and has been honoured by Media Access for her twenty years of teaching actors with disabilities.
Shane Savage - Head of Teens
After completing a bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama/Film) at Deakin University, Shane went on to study full time at the world renowned Howard Fine Acting Studio. Recent theatre credits include Ricky in Big Al at Chapel Off Chapel and Marc Christian in ‘Playing Rock Hudson’ at the Malthouse Theatre. On screen, Shane has played the lead roles of Lindsay in ‘Anatomy’ (dir. Joe Betros), Art in 'Artemis' (dir. Daniel Higgins), Dean in ‘Nevyr Love a Vampyr’ (dir. Geoffrey Wright) and Chris in the award-winning webseries ‘Chris & Josh’ (dir. Matt Smolen). Shane's love for the craft has led him to be an Actor, Producer, Director, Writer and Coach. Recent achievements include winning Best Writing at NYC WebFest, Best Online Video at the London Film Awards, Best Comedy Series at the Online Video Awards Australia and being nominated for Best Male Performance in a Comedy by the International Academy of Web Television. Shane's latest project (as writer, director and actor) is a short film titled 'SH!T', which is currently successfully touring the international film festival circuit. Shane is also currently in preproduction on two feature films and is about to launch his own studio space and production company.
Sarah Hallam - Technique Teacher
Sarah graduated from the HFAS Full-Time course in 2012, and was handpicked by Howard to become the first Australian teacher of his technique. Sarah has worked consistently in film and television for over twenty years, appearing in shows such as Blue Heelers, City Homicide and Neighbours. On stage, Sarah has toured with Arena Theatre Company, and most recently appeared in Black Water Theatre’s production of Killer Joe (2014). Sarah has also worked behind the scenes, primarily in casting on productions such as Blue Heelers and Neighbours, as well as directing, coaching and teaching teenagers and adults.