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“Jim Brill taught me the foundation and the core of acting and what it takes to become an actor who is resilient in a very tough industry. I owe a lot to him and his classes. In my opinion he’s one of the true great acting teachers.”

Sky Lakota-Lynch

Sky is a 2024 Tony nominee for Best Performance By An Actor In A Featured Role In A Musical.

Other credits include:

Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen. Off Broadway/Workshops include works at The Public, Roundabout, New York City Center, and The Eugene O’Neill Center. TV/Film: Iron Fist (Disney Plus/Marvel), Spirit Rangers (Netflix), the final season of New Amsterdam (NBC), FBI: Most Wanted (CBS), ABC Discovers: Talent Showcase (Disney/ABC), “Half Life” (Amazon), PARTS, Boyhoarder. 

"The class will challenge everything you know to be true, and then challenge that "new" found truth. The freedom to play inside that discovery is unlike anything I've experienced. It’s what makes me the actor I am today.
Since completing the two-year program, I've gone on to star in lead and supporting roles both on-screen and on-stage. And I continue to study under Jim in various workshop classes. I am proud to say I would not be where I am without Jim Brill."

​Leonard Douglas Thomas, affectionately known as ‘Lenny’, is quickly making a name for himself as a talent to watch and you can currently see him starring in Tyler Perry’s Ruthless, the spinoff of BET’s popular drama, The Oval. Ruthless premiered on BET+ in March 2020. Lenny’s additional credits include: THE ENEMY WITHIN (NBC), Marvel’s THE PUNISHER (Netflix), THE BLACKLIST (NBC), FALLING WATER (USA), BLOOD CONSCIOUS (Old Bear Film).
"Jim Brill is as insightful, inspiring and gifted teacher as I've ever had the pleasure of observing and working with.  Several clients on my roster have come from his classes.  I know they have a strong, reliable base to work from.  I know when they go to an audition they will be prepared to deliver strong performances.  Solid training that will last a lifetime."

Judy Boals is agent and owner of Judy Boals Talent, Inc., A Talent & Literary Agency.


"Jim Brill's acting class in the Meisner Technique changed my life. Twice a week for two years I trekked out to the Neighborhood Playhouse for class, and each night was a mind-blowing, heart-opening venture into the play ground of impulses, relationships, and circumstances. I went into his class unsuspecting of the transformations I would undergo. Jim guides his students through their journey of the Meisner technique with rigor, passion, and a sensitivity to the needs of the individual. He is patient and insightful with the process, endlessly excited by the work, and his energy sets the tone of the room. The tools I have learned from Jim's class have enlivened my work professionally, and launched me on a path of continued exploration of human nature and performance. I have gained a greater sense of myself in the way I relate to people, and my interests. Prior to taking Jim's class, I was acting professionally, but without clear technique. Jim's class equipped me with the tools to penetrate a role or story deeply, whilst always working from the moment. I am forever grateful."

Sophie Traub is an actress and performer. Of her performance in the film Tenderness opposite Russell Crowe, Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, “…the movie really belongs to the young actress Sophie Traub”. In her most recent role in the film, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, premiering at the Berlin Film Festival, this accolade was given from The New Yorker's Richard Brody, "Sophie Traub reveals a blend of earthy strength and furtive gentility. The natural poetry of her immediate responses to the muddy land and the bright sky, to animals and flowers, wood and dirt, flourish".

"It is rare to find a teacher who is as passionate about teaching as they are about the art of acting. Jim Brill is that teacher. Studying the Meisner technique with Jim gave me a solid foundation on which to build my craft and start a career. If you want to take your acting to the next level, take his class."

Laurel Casillo is proud to be a working actress. Laurel recently played the leading role in Elevada at the Yale Repertory Theatre. She made her Broadway debut at Lincoln Center in the new play, Act One, written and directed by Tony award winner James Lapine. Other recent stage credits include In Naked Time (The Beckett, Theatre Row) and Bryan and Kim (NY Fringe Festival 2013, Barrow Group & Hudson Guild Theaters). Recent film credits; 1-10Merry ChristmasThe Call and Evil Things.


“Why is Jim so great? He loves collaborating with you...he is excited by investigating different paths and making discoveries...he loves the creativity of the process...and he respects the journey of the artist  but what makes him a great teacher is he does it all in a way that's unique to you, your tool, your  perspective.  There's always a perfect balance of precision and freedom in his approach, and it helps you fly.”

Darcie Siciliano is a Neighborhood Playhouse graduate and an actor living in NYC. For more information about her work see


Who or what has had the biggest influence on your career?

That’s a good question. The first person that comes to mind is my mother because she always had my back in everything ... Besides my mother I would say my acting teachers. I’ve had a few over the years, but one in particular, his name is James Brill. He’s one of the senior teachers at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He was like a surrogate father figure. He broke me down as a person and built me back up as an actor. I love him so much. To this day, I still study with him. In fact, we’re about to teach classes together.

from an interview with Lenny Thomas in May 2020 with Pop-Culturalist

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