I often arrive to Wendy’s classes with butterflies in my stomach, but I always leave a better actress. Expect to be invigorated, challenged, excited, tested, frustrated, have highs and lows and to discover more about yourself and your ability.
— Helena Plazzer, Melbourne
Studio Director Wendy Ward

Wendy Ward received her BA in drama in 1981 from Duke University. She continued her training at the National Theatre Institute and studied in New York with Anna Deavere Smith, James Price, and Broadway directors Larry Arrick and Vivian Matalon.  In 1989, she became Associate Director of The Acting Studio, one of New York's leading acting schools devoted to the work of Sanford Meisner. 

In 1996, she founded the Ward Acting Studio and quickly established herself as one of New York City’s foremost masters of the Meisner Approach. She has taught upwards of 4,000 actors, directed over 70 productions and served on the faculty of University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  In 2010, Australia granted Ms. Ward its highly coveted Distinguished Talent Visa, allowing her to become a permanent resident and move her Studio to Melbourne.  As well as providing Meisner training at her own studio, while in Melbourne she taught Meisner workshops at St. Martin’s Youth Arts Centre, LaTrobe Student Theatre, and The Film and Television Studio International.  In 2015, she opened her studio in Durham, North Carolina.

Her work as Artistic Director of the Ward Theatre Company has been described as “movies on stage," in reference to the uniquely intimate experiences she provides to her audiences and the extraordinarily bold and authentic performances she draws out of her ensemble.  Over the past two years, her company has been included on INDY Week Magazine and Triangle Arts and Entertainment's lists for the region's Top Ten Outstanding Performances and Top Ten Ensembles.


"I have been involved in many organizations both professionally and voluntarily and it is not often you come across someone who is the best at what they do. You are indeed that. Your commitment to your students is something that is very rarely seen, and I would like to thank you personally for it." - Geordie Worland, Melbourne