The acting teachers at the Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School have several qualities in common: they were all personally trained by founder Milton Katselas, they all have a minimum of 10 years experience at the BHP (and some have up to 30 years), and they all work professionally in the industry as actors, directors, producers and/or writers. We don't hire teachers from outside our own system, and this ensures a consistency of approach and style across the entire staff. The Beverly Hills Playhouse holds acting classes in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
Peter Allas (Teach) born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and then in New York City, where he acquired his love of the theatre. Mr. Allas began formal studies at Boston University School of Fine Arts Program and received his degree from Fordham University at Lincoln Center. He burst onto the New York Theatre scene in the 1984 revival of William Mastrosimone’s “The Woolgatherer” as “Cliff at the Phoenix Theatre.
Allen Barton has been a part of the BHP community since 1990. He is a Los Angeles-based playwright, director, teacher and classical pianist. As a playwright, his debut feature play ENGAGEMENT ran at the BHP in 2010, and in San Francisco in 2014. His 2013 play, YEARS TO THE DAY, was named one of LA Weekly's 10-best plays, garnering huge critical acclaim, comparisons to Mamet and Shaw, as well as multiple nominations for acting and writing during its 2013 run in Los Angeles. YEARS TO THE DAY has been performed in Paris, New York, Kansas City, and was a 2014 participant in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His 2015 play, DISCONNECTION, was hailed by critics and had two successful Los Angeles runs.
Art Cohan is an accomplished award-winning actor and director who has worked extensively for over 30 years in New York and Los Angeles in theater, film and television. Some of his film and television credits are available on IMDB. Art first started his studies with Milton Katselas in 1987 in a workshop in New York and has been attending classes at the Beverly Hills Playhouse since 1992, where he is currently Director of Student Affairs.
Born and raised in New York, Howard Deutch attended Ohio State University and began his career in the entertainment industry at United Artists, becoming director of advertising and was responsible for all marketing. Eventually he formed his own firm, KMD, which specialized in trailers and created the campaigns for a host of iconic films including APOCALYSE NOW, ROCKY, ANNIE HALL, and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST.
Mark began studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1999, he was fortunate to have assisted Milton on over two dozen scenes and plays that Milton directed. In 2013 he joined the teaching staff of the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
In 2015, Mark directed the feature film, Murder In Mexico: The Bruce Beresford-Redman Story which premiered on the Lifetime network. The film based on a true story, starred Colin Egglesfield, Leonor Varela and Brianne Davis. Mark’s also directed several award-winning short films and two episode of the digital series, Suite 7.
Gary is a 22 year member of the BHP, and is currently Producing Director for the school, a member of its teaching staff, and Artistic Director for the Katselas Theatre Company. He has produced over 200 stage plays, including over 50 world premieres. Among his other celebrated productions are Romeo & Juliet (3 LADCC Awards), AIDS Us (3 LADCC Awards), Dylan (3 LADCC Awards), Lone Star, Balm and Gilead, Four and Visions and Lovers.
Melissa Hayden was nominated twice for an Emmy Award and won for her role in Guiding Light. In addition, she has won both the Soap Opera Digest Award and Young Artist Award. Melissa has been a series regular on: Almost Grown, TV 101, and Kids for Kids. She guest starred on Hunter, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Love American Style. Melissa appeared in the Movies of the Week: Silence of the Heart, Not My Kid, and Tattletales. She was in John Huston's Annie, Herb Ross' Pennies From Heaven, and on the cutting room floor of David Seltzer's Punchline.
After earning a BA degree in Theatre from the University of New Hampshire and studying Shakespeare in Performance at Cambridge University in England, Alex studied professionally with Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Since, he has enjoyed an extensive career as a stage, television, and film actor before turning his passion towards directing.
Neal Matarazzo is a Film, Television and Stage Actor as well as an in demand acting teacher and coach. He attended and graduated with a BFA in Acting from one of the top programs in nation, Ithaca College. He then moved to NYC and auditioned and was selected to study with legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen.
Rick Podell has spent his career in all areas of the business - actor, writer, producer, director, and teacher at The Beverly Hills Playhouse. Rick's theatre career began by being hired by Andrew Lloyd Webber to be the original narrator in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Leila Vatan has been a student of the Beverly Hills Playhouse since 2002. While completing a doctoral degree she began pursuing the art and career of acting. Through Milton’s teaching of Acting, Attitude and Administration she has developed her dream of living her life as an artist. She believes that the artist must truly be the one to lead the way and can also earn a living doing so.
Robert first came to the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1991 and, in the words of one his teachers, 'found [his] home.' Over the next decade plus, he dedicated himself not only to his studies, but to the other students' growth, as well. He is fascinated with the process of actors discovering what elements of the teaching work best for them. Working in as many as seven classes per week, Robert has helped guide literally hundreds of students to the rewards offered by Milton Katselas' technique and vision of 'a room full of stars.'