Writing/Directing Biography

Gaby Santinelli was born in Manhattan, NYC, and has been performing on stage and screen since she was four years old.  She attended prestigious training programs and acquired degrees from top arts institutions, such as a High School Diploma from Interlochen Arts Academy’s Theatre Department. She has performed in some of the world’s most memorable shows, including a year as Carlotta in Cameron Mackintosh’s The Phantom of the Opera.

Gaby has performed on the world’s most prominent stages including The Lyttleton at London’s National Theatre, where she won a 2004 Olivier Award (Britain’s Tony Award) for Best Performance In A Supporting Role In A Musical for Jerry Springer – The Opera. She also sang on the original cast recording, and performed the show in the West End (Cambridge Theatre).

Additional West End venues: The Savoy Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre. Central London: Linbury Studio (Covent Garden), Barbican Concert Hall, Queen Elizabeth II Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall. Worldwide: Prague Estates Theatre, Teatro Rossini (Italy), Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), Stadium Putra (Kuala Lumpur), Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA).

For Robert Wilson’s cult smash hit The Black Rider: Barbican Theatre (London), The Ahmanson (LA), American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco), and Sydney Festival.

A Screen Actors Guild Member since 1994, Gaby has acted alongside Academy Award Winners Jessica Lange and Halle Berry (Losing Isaiah, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal), and Colin Firth (Michael Winterbottom’s A Summer In Genoa). Reviews: www.gabysantinelli.com/reviews. She is a proud committee member of SAG-AFTRA’s CONSERVATORY, teaches at the Conservatory, and is on the Curriculum Sub-Committee.

Gaby’s acting training straddled The Atlantic Theatre Company’s Practical Aesthetics Workshop with David Mamet, W.H. Macy, Scott Zigler, and Meisner Technique with Sanford Meisner’s protégée Tom Radcliffe (London). This confluence of techniques uniquely positions her to combine Mamet’s and Meisner’s compatible, but as-yet-uncombined, acting techniques.  The resulting Text Analysis System easily delivers emotionally truthful, in the moment, focused performances: www.gabysantinelli.com/testimonials-2

Gaby first started using Practical Aesthetics as an actress, but also began applying it when directing and devising original theatrical works at Northwestern University, where she directed Brian Friel’s Lovers – Winners, Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera The Telephone, and her own original adaptations of James Joyce’s short stories Araby and Eveline.  Choosing David Mamet’s notoriously dark play Edmond as her senior directing project brought many kudos, and featured a cast of now-notable Hollywood names: Kathryn Hahn, Bruno Campos and Jason Winer.

While a scholarship student at Northwestern University, Gaby focused on Performance Studies, which is the adaptation of non-dramatic texts (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, journalism, etc) for dramatic media. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwestern’s School of Speech in Theatre, Music Theatre and Performance Studies, after which she tackled her Master of Music Degree from Mannes School Of Music (NYC) in Voice Performance.

She then pursued her stage, screen and studio career overseas, relocating to London, UK, in 1996, where she worked in all facets of the performing arts for 15 years.

In the UK, Gaby began teaching singing to adults and children, and American Accents to non-American actors. But, as acting and accents can never be divided, she also began introducing Atlantic Theatre’s Text Analysis System into the mix. This eventually led to the amalgamation of Mamet’s intellectually-driven Practical Aesthetics with Meisner’s more emotive-centric technique, which she studied at The Actors’ Temple, a Meisner training ground in London.

From 2004-2008, Gaby taught Text Analysis at The Actors’ Temple. While there, she also co-created her first script, Triptych, with Actors’ Temple Artistic Director, Ellie Zeegen. The duo workshopped the premise, coupling Meisner exercises with Mamet’s Text Analysis System. These explorations uncovered the characters’ underlying emotive behavior, before adding structure or dialogue to the scenes. They then held readings with the actors to continue honing the piece. Industry feedback: ‘An accomplished, taut piece.’ The Royal Court. ‘A unique, compelling drama.’  Soho Theatre.

In 2010, a British actress-producer asked Gaby to direct her in the eponymous role in Lady Julia, a modern adaptation of August Strindberg’s infamous classic, on London’s fringe circuit. ‘Gabriella Santinelli’s direction is taut, intelligent and highly focused. Intense and demanding though the action is, Ms Santinelli encourages the actors to re-examine their characters and movements for each performance.’ London Theatre Guide, December 2009.

In 2011, she co-founded the salon:collective, a collaborative group breaking new ground in theatre, film and music. The salon’s first exploration abstracted in-depth character segments from Chekhov’s The Seagull, which were filmed on location in Devon, UK. Gaby also taught Chekhov workshops, and created online coaching videos with the salon’s Artistic Director, Dominic Kelly.

To view 2016 Coaching Videos from Los Angeles www.gabysantinelli.com/coaching/coaching-video

Her pioneering contributions greatly influenced how both The Actors’ Temple and the salon:collective approach Text Analysis, and her system now forms part of the salon’s core curriculum. www.thesaloncollective.org

In 2016, Gaby trademarked the term Accent Integration™, which encompasses her practice of combining accent with acting at the beginning of the process; the resulting coaching could be termed “accent-friendly acting coaching.”  gabysantinelli.com/testimonials-2/

In LA, Gaby continues to consult as a script doctor, and has partnered to create original content, including a dramatic TV pilot, and several feature film screenplays.

In 2016, she wrote two solo screenplays: an original adaptation based on Victor Hugo’s 1832 melodramatic stage play, “Le Roi S’Amuse”, and a feature film based on the novel “The Patience Of Rivers” by American author Joseph Freda.

Additional courses taught since 1997: The Kent Music School (Kent, UK), Caravanserai Productions (London).

Current teaching in LA includes: Industry Hollywood, SAG-AFTRA Conservatory, and privately at her home in the Hollywood Hills.

Corporate Workshop Facilitating includes: BP/2012 London Olympics, Astra-Zeneca, Cambridge University Press, Diageo, and The World Economic Forum (Geneva). Corporate/Teaching Resumé and References furnished upon request.

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