Bruce Katzman has had a bug for acting since he was five years old, always gravitating toward drama clubs and play productions in public schools, summer camps, and community theaters. His first formal acting classes were in 1964/65 at age 13 with Gene Feist, under a supermarket at 6th Avenue and 25th St., in the very first incarnation of New York City’s Roundabout Theatre.
Bruce’s education continued in Sarasota, Florida, as an apprentice, then an intern, with Asolo, the State Theatre of Florida, under the stewardship of Eberle Thomas and Bob Strane. He received his BFA from Ithaca College in 1973, took summer classes in NYC at the HB Studio (Aaron Frankel, Bill Hickey), and migrated to San Francisco where he studied at the famed American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) under the direction of Bill Ball.
Moving to Los Angeles in 1977, Bruce studied with the legendary Viola Spolin, then Nina Foch, who directed him to Stella Adler, then teaching in Los Angeles in the summers. After three summers with Stella in LA, Bruce followed her back to New York where he enrolled full time in her NY Studio.
In the summer of 1984, Bruce attended the inaugural season of Midsummer in Oxford (England), co-sponsored by the British-American Drama Academy (BADA) and the Yale School of Drama. Teachers and guest artists that summer included Maria Aitken, Judy Dench, Derek Jacobi, Simon Callow and Earle Gister of Yale.
Earle encouraged Bruce to audition for the Yale School of Drama and in the fall of 1985, Bruce moved to New Haven to be immersed in the three-year Master’s program in Acting. As a result of that experience, Earle brought him back to BADA/Oxford to be his teaching assistant, and trained him to become one of a handful of acting teachers in the world to specialize in Earles’s unique approach to Actions, practiced using the major plays of Anton Chekhov.
In 1988, Bruce began to teach Acting in New York City, conducting workshops at Circle Rep, and classes at the Actor’s Center and at Stella Adler-NY. Additionally, he taught at the Yale School of Drama, Princeton University, Scranton University and BADA. He was invited by the National Theatre of Denmark to conduct seminars in Alborg, Aarhus and Odense. In 1999, with a delegation from Stella Adler NY, Bruce led Chekhov workshops at the famed Teatro Andamio in Buenos Aires, where he returned the following year to focus on the plays of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams.
In 2000, Bruce moved back to Los Angeles where he continued teaching and coaching privately. He was recruited in 2006 to teach Shakespeare at the Stella Adler Academy-LA, where he also has taught his Chekhov classes.
...The exploration of Chekhov’s plays in Bruce’s class felt more like an investigative journalism class. Bruce was so precise and accurate in lifting the veil of mystery of those plays.
...class his detailing of how important the language is and creating specific images for that language I found the key to not only improving my memory skills but to finding the truth for my understanding...