City Studies: A Studio for Working Artists

City Theatre Company is Pittsburgh’s home for new work. A nationally recognized institution, the theatre fosters artists and professionals at all stages of their careers. In that spirit, City is proud to announce a new series of workshops and intensives to help nurture the careers of Pittsburgh-based artists. This new educational initiative will offer career development in various theatrical disciplines, including acting, playwriting, and arts administration.


Active Analysis Immersive

with Cotter Smith


February 29 & March 1, 2020, 11am – 5pm

Cost: $125


Veteran actor and teacher Cotter Smith (Nextflix series Mindhunter, the Tony Award nominated Next Fall) will lead a two-day workshop using the little-known late-period Stanislavsky technique called Active Analysis. Open to both actors and directors, each participant will explore a scene utilizing this technique in which actors examine the dynamic physical and emotional life of a text without using predetermined objectives.  Initially focusing on what they are doing in a scene rather than what they are saying, actors concentrate on the body rather than the mind as the starting point for approaching both the character and the scene.

About Cotter Smith

COTTER SMITH is happily settled in his new hometown of Pittsburgh after first coming here three years ago for his role in David Fincher’s Netflix series Mindhunter. His local theater work includes the recent Pittsburgh Public Theatre production of A Few Good Men, Rules of Seconds with barebones productions and the Midnight Radio production of Frankenstein for Bricolage. He has spent the majority of his professional life in New York and Los Angeles and has appeared in many plays on and off Broadway and numerous films and television shows along the way.  He has been teaching acting for many years and served as the Department Head of the MFA Acting Program at The New School for Drama in New York.

He is honored to now be teaching workshops in Pittsburgh, both privately and at Carnegie Mellon and Point Park Universities, exploring Stanislavsky’s empowering “Active Analysis” technique, which is only recently finding its way into American actor training programs.



Freeing the Natural Voice, Part I

with Lisa Velten Smith

June 6 & 7, 2020, 11am – 5pm

Cost: $125

Discover and release the true resonance of your voice!  The Linklater Method is a series of exercises designed to bring awareness to habits that restrict expression.  In this initial workshop, you will explore ease in breath, develop resonance throughout the body, and learn to soften the muscles of the jaw, tongue and throat – opening the channel for sound to flow forth.  Connection to thought, feeling impulses will be strengthened – activating the wide range of possibilities of expression that an actor needs. (Please prepare a 1.5 min monologue or poem as we will incorporate text into the work. )

About Lisa Velten Smith

LISA VELTEN SMITH is an actor and Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (DLT).  She has worked on Broadway, off Broadway, Regionally, as well as in television and film.  Lisa studied with renowned Voice Teacher Kristin Linklater and after five years of intense training received her certification in Ms. Linklater’s home of Orkney, Scotland in 2017.  Having received a BFA from the Theatre School at DePaul University and an MFA from University of California, San Diego, Lisa has a deep appreciation for the training of the artist. She believes in the power of the voice to facilitate change and that each individual is unique and crucial to the balance of our world.  Lisa is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and maintains a private practice with artists and non-artists alike.  She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, two young kids, two dogs and beast of a cat.

For more information and to register, please email resume to and state which class you are interested in.