Michael Howard, Founder

Michael Howard
"We, student and teacher, master and novice are all on the same road. We have decided in our hearts, deeply, even secretly, that it's worth it;  that we are strong enough and tough enough to stay the course. Good. Because we are needed - have been needed for millennia. Even before Shakespeare shook the world, we went into the churches, and in the streets, helping to overcome the dark and laugh at the devils. The Athenians knew they needed us; behind the mask we went, our voices magnified searching into their very souls. And eons ago, when one of us in that cave stood up before the fire, his shadow cast large on the stone behind and acted out the hunt, the watchers better understood their courage. We were needed then; we are needed now.

So, here's to courage and risk-taking."

- Michael Howard, Founder 

Michael Howard was born in New York City in 1923.  He was an actor, director, expert teacher, and founder of Michael Howard Studios.

In the fall of 1942, as a scholarship student, Michael studied at The Neighborhood Playhouse with Sanford Meisner. After World War II, (where he served with the 101st airborne as a paratrooper) he began to pursue his acting career and joined Equity in 1947. He began studying with Lee Strasberg, and then in 1950, along with many of his generation's most influential performers, he became a member of the Actor's Studio. Michael vigorously pursued his artistic growth, and enjoyed a career of hundreds of roles on stage and screen, including Odets' The Country Girl on Broadway and the film, The Men, with Marlon Brando.

Michael recognized that both Meisner and Strasberg made unique and significant contributions articulating particular truths about acting. As a natural extension of his pleasure in theatrical form and the ensemble, Michael began to direct as well as act. Then, when Sidney Lumet asked Michael to replace him at the High School of Performing Arts, Michael's teaching career began in earnest. In 1953 a group of his friends that met regularly to practice their craft asked Michael to lead their sessions, and that was the beginning of Michael Howard Studios. Over the next five decades Michael taught at Yale School of Drama, Juilliard School, American Conservatory Theater, and Boston University – all while his Studio continued to grow.

Michael believed that most important to the Studio’s development, was his ability to surround himself with other artists of the highest caliber to complete the faculty.  The Studio encompasses many schools of thought: the influence of the great teachers mentioned above as well as techniques developed by great teachers from around the world.

For 70 years Michael Howard Studios’ core belief that there are many pathways into the craft of acting – that all actors must develop their own method – has not changed, and is carried on in Michael’s name every day.