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David Gideon

Lecturer in Acting

David Gideon joined the acting faculty in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts in September 2007. For 12 years before coming to Purchase College, he taught in the MFA program in dramatic arts at the Actors Studio Drama School/New School University.

Gideon was born in New York City, but grew up mostly in Monsey, N.Y. After Franklin & Marshall College, where he worked with directors Hugh Evans and Ed Brubaker, he began studying with Lee Strasberg at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York in 1971 and continued studying with him until Strasberg’s death in 1982.

At Strasberg’s urging and under his tutelage, Gideon began teaching his work at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in 1976 and continued there for 15 years. In 1978, Strasberg appointed him as the director of his New York school; in that capacity, Gideon was responsible for coordinating all classes and programs. In 1990, he was appointed to the position of producing director of the Lee Strasberg Creative Center. He was also selected as one of a handful of teachers to teach courses in the undergraduate drama department at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where he taught for 13 years (1978–91). 

In June 1991, Gideon resigned from the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in order to form his own independent classes, known as the Acting Class. These classes, for professional actors, operate continually throughout the year. His private coaching in acting and public speaking has included working with major personalities, and many of his students have achieved a high level of success in film, television, and theatre. These include Karen Allen, Bridget Fonda, Ed Norton, Connie Nielsen, Adam Sandler, John Leguizamo, Bradley Cooper, Katherine Erbe, Jesse Martin, and Ken Marino, among others.

Gideon’s work is also well known in the European theatre and film community. Over the years, many actors have come to the U.S. specifically to study with him, and he was featured in the Canal+ documentary for European television on the Actors Studio and its work. Since October 2009, he has been invited to represent Lee Strasberg’s teaching at Metodi Festival, an annual event that is a compendium of the top teachers of the various branches of Method Acting from around the world. In 2015, he was invited to introduce his work to actors in Africa and teach in Accra, Ghana.