Artist Series Welcomes Jim Jarrett and "MEISNER"

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University will feature actor Jim Jarrett in a performance of his original, full-length play titled “MEISNER” at 7:30 p.m. on September 13 in its first Artist Series event of the academic year. The play will take place in Greathouse Theatre of the Miller Center for Communication Arts; admission is free and the public is invited.

Jim Jarrett plays Sanford Meisner in a dramatic protrayal of the influential teacher's acting classes.
Jim Jarrett plays Sanford Meisner in a dramatic protrayal of the influential teacher's acting classes.

The play recreates the classroom of one of the most influential — and seldom heard-of — acting teachers in the United States, Sanford Meisner. Meisner developed his technique at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York in the mid-20th century, and over the course of his 65-year teaching career he trained actors including Robert Duvall, Sydney Pollack, Jon Voigt, Grace Kelly and Diane Keaton.

“The technique teaches a person the importance of being authentic and truthful,” said Jeff Day, a theatre and cinema performance professor in Asbury’s School of Communication Arts. “People who studied with Meisner, all of them, learn more about themselves than anything else, because it’s very much about who you are and being authentic, truthful, honest and real.

“Jim Jarrett is a very warm person and teacher — I’m sure it will be a great show,” Day said.

Jarrett, a graduate of Meisner’s classes and the last teaching protégé Meisner trained before his death at age 91, is the founder and director at The Meisner Techniqe Studio in San Francisco. He also trains actors through his schools in Los Angeles; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Hawaii. In addition to teaching actors, Jarrett himself regularly performs in “Vincent,” a touring production written by Leonard Nimoy about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, as well as three shows for children.

The Artist Series will continue on Nov. 8 with a performance of the Lexington Brass Band, directed by Asbury Professor Ron Holz, and on April 4, 2014, with a performance of the Leipzig String Quartet. All events begin at 7:30 p.m.