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Meisner Technique Actors Retreat

October 17 - 24, 2021

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Join us for an unforgettable seven-day retreat in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in August with Ashlie Walker and Nita Arpiainen. This retreat will help you access and awaken the most important skills of an actor: authentic connection and listening, moment-to-moment living, the courage to follow your instincts, body & mind awareness and clarity of your goals. The mornings will start with gentle yoga/body awareness and meditation sessions and during the days we will run two sets of acting classes still leaving time to rest on the beach or explore the beautiful city and surroundings. If desired, it is also possible to travel with a friend, partner, or family members who are not taking part in the retreat program.



8 - 9        yoga/ body awareness & meditation

9 - 10      breakfast

10 - 13    acting session 1

13 - 17    free time (beach, swimming, city exploring, snorkeling, tennis, diving)

17 - 19    acting session 2

19 - 21    dinner break

21 - 22    evening meditation / mindset coaching / movie night etc.

About The Retreat

This acting retreat will help you uplevel your acting skills, enhance your personal awareness and support you with tools to reach your career and life goals.

The Meisner Technique acting classes will help you to access and express your truthful impulses based on your partner's behavior, through an exploration of the famous 'Repetition Exercise', 'Independent Activity' and 'Emotional Preparation'. The retreat suits beginners and all levels of Meisner students as you will be paired up with someone with the same experience and you can work on the level you at the moment. At the end of the retreat, all pairs will have a rehearsed scene and the final scenes will be filmed. 

Yoga/ body awareness and meditation classes are built to connect you deeper into who you are, releasing restricting beliefs and patterns. This is crucial for creating a space that helps you tap deeper into your innate freedom and acting instincts. 

"Your responsibility as an actor is to live more truthfully than you dare in real life.”

- Ashlie Walker



For actors (advanced and beginners), performers, directors, writers, artists, coaches and anyone wanting to understand their emotional life and the authentic human connections deeper.



Through this retreat you will:

• uplevel your acting skills

• strengthen your capacity to really listen and connect with your acting partner

• deepen your emotional expression and understanding

• enhance your capacity to drop down masks and live in your authenticity

• strengthen your sensitivity and awareness of your partner’s emotional life and expression

• strengthen your instincts and capacity to take risks 

• find healthy and organic ways to let go of fear and pressure with other people and on stage

• create more freedom to be present and live in the moment

• get many useful tools for finding authentic emotional expression to any performing platform

• enhance your personal awareness

• clarity on your goals in acting and life and tools to help you reach them

• as a director get highly applicable tools and approaches on how to gently help actors connect to their authentic emotional life


• Early bird: 1.950€ / for bookings done by February 15th

• Normal price: 2.150€ / bookings done after February 15th

Book a single room for your stay: +600€

Price includes:
• Accommodation in a four-star hotel for 7 nights, shared bedroom

• Delicious continental breakfast buffet

• Use of hotel spa, sauna, pools and other amenities

• Daily acting classes, yoga/body awareness & meditation etc. (4-7h / daily)

• A welcome drink at the hotel

Direct flights from Helsinki:
Helsinki - Dubrovnik / August 9th 2020
16:50 - 18:55
Dubrovnik - Helsinki / August 16th 2020

19:45 - 23:45
Price for flights: 260€

• Book your spot by paying a deposit of 700€ (Jousto part payment available)
• Final payment due September 30th 
(Jousto part payment available)


Cancellation is done by email:
- more than 65 days prior first day of the trip: deposit payment non-refundable

- 65 - 46 days prior first day of the trip: 75 % of full payment held

- 45 – 32 days prior first day of the trip: 85 % of full payment held

- 31 or less days prior first day of the trip: no refunds


• Place is limited and will be filled on a 'first-come-first-serve' basis.

• You do not need any previous experience. Yoga /body awareness classes fit all levels.

• Teaching language is English (please keep in mind that you do not need to have perfect English skills, and you do not need to worry about accent and pronunciation).

• All rights to changes reserved.

• You can find the event on Facebook in this link here.


Click this link if you want to book a place in the retreat. The deposit payment to confirm the booking is 650€. Jousto part payment available through this booking link. After your booking, we will email you more information and ask for any specific requests. The final payment can be done either in one installment or in part payments.



A wealth of experience as a professional actress for 20 years and extensive training in Meisner Technique, Ashlie is a highly respected international teacher, tutor and personal coach. As a tutor, she especially focuses on unlocking the actors' instinct for truth, elevated by dramatic choices in performance. She guides actors to deepen their understanding of the craft, experience emotional freedom, build their actors' faith and, perhaps most importantly, to take risks. ​Alongside teaching, Ashlie has numerous directing credits and holds a Bsc (Hons) in Psychology and Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy, both of which expand her capacity to work with and empower her actors on and off stage. As a personal transformation coach, Ashlie guides those living in fear, anxiety and stress to discover a life of freedom, purpose and joy. Ashlies soul calling is to guide others back to love and into their light.

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Nita Arpiainen is is an actor and acting coach, yoga teacher, health and life coach and the founder of Actors Academy Finland. In her previous career, she has also worked as a TV presenter and producer. 

Nita's deep passion and curiosity for acting, learning and personal growth is the underlying motivation for AAF to come alive. The vision for AAF was formed while Nita attended numerous acting schools and workshops in London at the Actors Studio, Giles Forman Acting Studio, City Academy and the Actors Temple to name a few, ultimately falling profoundly in love with the Meisner Technique, and it making a powerful and lasting impact on the way she viewed acting. Nita has been studying the Meisner Technique with various teachers since 2015.

AAF has put together the One Year Actors Training as the optimal training course. It combines the expertise Nita has gathered on the subject around the world and eager to share it with her fellow actors.



You can check out more testimonials as well as feedback from students on video here.

"As I said over and over again, it was transformational! I think the best thing about the course and about the way Ashlie taught Meisner was the simplicity and effectiveness of focusing on one another’s feelings. While I’ve always had a part of me thinking whether I should provoke or not, act or not, do or not, be one way or another, or otherwise analyzing the right way of doing the repetition, with Ashlie I was able to settle down into my acting partner’s feelings as well as my own. It was powerful to just see the other person and let them affect me, to see how they affect me. In the end, it all made me learn heaps about not only acting but myself as well. It’s come up in most acting related situations that “why go to therapy when you can go to acting class”, but Ashlie’s course took it to a new level. Hands down, I would give the workshop a 10/10.”

- Timo Utterstöm, actor & writer, Helsinki


"The Meisner experience with Ashlie was eye-opening for me not only from an actor's point of view but also from a human being’s point of view. I learned a lot about listening to your intuition, being "alive" and not thinking too much, and especially Ashlie's brilliant way to teach and how she guides away from controlling the scene is something to experience… It was a massive experience for me and for all the good reasons!" 

- Jani Airiainen, actor, Helsinki


"It was safe, even therapeutic to work with Ashlie, and I feel that I was able to extend both my emotional scale as well as let go of learned patterns limiting it.

- Iris Olsson, actor & director, Helsinki


"The workshop woke me up and got me into creative flow. I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I would give it 9/10. My only complaint is that I wish it went on longer!” 

- Daniel Louis, actor & musician




The Meisner technique is an approach to acting which was developed by the American theatre practitioner Sanford Meisner. The focus of the Meisner approach is for the actor to "get out of their head", such that the actor is behaving instinctively to the surrounding environment. To this end, some exercises for the Meisner technique are rooted in repetition so that the words are deemed insignificant compared to the underlying emotion. In the Meisner technique, there is a greater focus on the other actor as opposed to one's internal thoughts or feelings associated with the character.

Meisner Training is an interdependent series of training exercises that build on one another. The more complex work supports a command of dramatic text. Students work on a series of progressively complex exercises to develop an ability to first improvise, then to access an emotional life, and finally to bring the spontaneity of improvisation and the richness of personal response to textual work. The techniques developed the behavioral strand of Stanislavski's. The technique is used to develop improvisation skills as well as "interpreting a script, and creating the specific physical characteristics of each character the actor played”.

Sanford Meisner said that his approach to training “is based on bringing the actor back to his emotional impulses and acting that is firmly rooted in the instinctive. It is based on the fact that all good acting comes from the heart, as it were, and that there’s no mentality to it.”

Learn to live in the moment as an actor, and let go of any idea of the result. Learn what it means to really “do” and to respond truthfully to a given moment based on what you get from your partner. Through improvisation, emotional truth and personal response learn to resonate authenticity within a given circumstance. Only in this way will you begin to understand the definition of real acting, which is “to live truthfully under the imaginary circumstances”.


“If you want to reach every person in the audience, it's not about being bigger, it's about going deeper.”

- Sanford Meisner

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