Steppenwolf Classes West's teachers include Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble members, award-winning actors, directors, writers and academics. Our teachers are working professionals - onstage, on set, in universities; in television, film, Broadway, regional and Los Angeles theatre. Each teacher brings their unique style and voice to the classroom. Each brings a deep passion for the craft of acting, the inspiration of ensemble, and the value of practice in class. As teaching artists with decades of experience, our faculty provides an environment where students can challenge themselves, support each other, practice their craft and grow as individuals.
Ms. Billings currently co-stars as Davina in Amazon's Golden Globe Award winning comedy Transparent. She has taught at the Steppenwolf School in Chicago since 1998. Alexandra has studied Viewpoints under Tina Landau, one of the originators of Viewpoints along with Anne Bogart. She has also taught Viewpoints – as both an acting tool and a rehearsal technique – at Universities and theaters across the country since 1995, including the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Louis University, Depaul University, and has been on staff at both Act One Studios and for the Illinois Theatre Alliance. Ms Billings earned her MFA at California State University Long Beach, where she also taught. Currently, she is a faculty member at USC's School of Dramatic Arts.
Teaches: Viewpoints, Viewpoints & Improvisation for the Actor, Viewpoints + Scene Study + Improv LAB, Summer Intensive
Ms. Cochran is an actress and director who has been working in theatre, film, and television for 30 years, and has performed with Steppenwolf Theatre Company multiple times. She's been a member of the teaching staff at The School of Steppenwolf in Chicago, as well as Steppenwolf Classes West since its beginnings. She has been a visiting teacher / lecturer at USC, Northwestern, DePaul, and Loyola Universities. Ms. Cochran has directed productions for Remy Bummpo, Slaughterhouse Productions, Greasy Joan, and Chicago's Odyssey Theatre.
Teaches: Scene Study, Viewpoints & Scene Study, Summer Intensive
Ms. Deser is a freelance director, teacher, acting and writing coach. She has directed many award-winning productions across the country including at Steppenwolf Theater Company, where she directed Closer, This Is Our Youth and Disappeared. She spent many years as Associate Artistic Director at the Ojai Playwrights Festival working on new play development, dramaturgy, and directing projects including Susan Miller’s award-winning A Map of Doubt and Rescue, TD Mitchell’s Beyond the 17th Parallel, Lee Blessing’s Flag Day. Here in L.A., Abigail has directed productions at the Boston Court, Echo Theater Company, MainStreet, and at the LA Phil among others.
Teaches: Scene Study
Mr. Hunicutt is an actor, director, writer, and acting coach. His acting work includes tv, film, commercials, theatre, sketch comedy, and over two decades performing and teaching improv across the U.S. and abroad. Eric is a member of the acclaimed improv ensemble The Reckoning, which formed at Chicago's Improv Olympic (iO) Theater in 2002 and continues to perform weekly at iO West in Hollywood; he has performed at and studied with iO Chicago, Second City, UCB, ComedySportz, and more. Eric has taught at numerous acting studios in LA, as well as at California State University's annual Summer Arts Intensive and as a guest artist and guest teacher at UC San Diego. His work as a director includes world premiere and contemporary plays, sketch comedy, solo shows, web series and short films. He is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a company member at LA's award-winning Echo Theatre Co. and is a proud alumnus of The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Teaches: Viewpoints & Improvisation for the Actor, Viewpoints + Scene Study + Improv LAB, Summer Intensive
Mr. Irwin is a Co-Founder of Steppenwolf Classes West, and a Steppenwolf Ensemble Member since 1979. He has been involved as an actor or director in over 50 productions with Steppenwolf Theatre. Tom has been on the faculty of The Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University, Columbia College and The School at Steppenwolf.
Teaches: Scene Study
Mr. Perry is a Co-Founder of Steppenwolf Theatre, Steppenwolf Classes West, The School at Steppenwolf, and Steppenwolf Films. He recently worked with Chloe Sevigny, Kristin Stewart, and Kim Dickens on the indie film Lizzie Borden and currently stars as Cyrus Beene in ABC's hit drama Scandal. Since 1976, Mr. Perry has taught two-person, ensemble, Chekhov, and interdisciplinary scene study with Viewpoints and improv colleagues in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and as a part of California State University's Summer Arts intensive.
Teaches: Scene Study, Viewpoints + Scene Study + Improv LAB, Summer Intensive