Actors Playground School of Theatre

The most progressive school for young actors, directors, playwrights, and screenwriters anywhere.

Actors Playground School of Theatre is located in Monmouth County, NJ and is one of the premiere acting schools in New Jersey. Offering acting class for all ages.

Dan Cooley

Dan has been a director and actor for 10 years, having worked extensively at various professional theaters in New Jersey and New York City. He has studied with Ralph Colombino at the Actors Playground for many years and quickly became known as a versatile director with a passion for social issue theater.

For five years, Dan was the Asst. Artistic Director and head of artistic operations for the New Mystics Theatre Company North, a non-profit organization whose mission was to educate the community about issues such as bullying, drug abuse and racism. Their show: I Am Not Other, went on to be performed at the Teen Arts Festival at Monmouth University and the Independent Voices Festival at the Centre Theater in Norristown, PA. In 2011, Dan became a co-founder and producing director of the Playground Theatre Project, an amazing group of young actors who use theater to fight for what they believe in, and to change the world. In the summer of 2013 their production of Bang Bang You’re Dead by William Mastrosimone, a show that tackles the difficult subject of school shootings and teen suicide, performed as part of the New York City International Fringe Festival. Other notable performances include: the Stop Gun Violence Now theater festival in New York, the Monmouth County School Counselor Association’s Good Ideas Conference at Georgian Court College, and Monmouth University. Not to mention, performances for hundreds of high school and middle school students throughout the East Coast.

Dan believes that theater has the power to promote change in the world, and it is this belief that has made him decide to devote his life to educating children in the art of acting. In 2008 he began teaching at the Actors Playground in subjects such as scene study, improv, and directing; as well as the Uta Hagan and Meisner techniques. Dan’s classes are designed to challenge the students and to help them hone their craft while nurturing their love of this art.

Dan’s students have been accepted to many of the most esteemed colleges in the world including Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and USC. He also has many students in the biggest fine arts high schools in New Jersey such as the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts at Red Bank Regional and the Freehold Performing Arts Center.

In June of 2013, Dan was lucky enough to have been accepted to take part in Labyrinth Theater Company’s Summer Intensive Ensemble. Through this program he was fortunate enough to work with renowned acting teacher Maggie Flanigan and Tony Award Nominated Playwright Stephan Adly Guirgis. As well as accomplished actors Stephen McKinley Henderson, Craig “Mums” Grant and the Artistic Director of The Farm Theater Padraic Lillis.

Dan is very excited to continue to be a part of what he considers the “Greatest acting school on earth.”

Actors Playground School of Theatre
922 State Route 33 / Building 7, Suite 7 / Freehold, NJ 07728

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