About

Mission

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Our Mission

We train human beings to be extraordinarily alive by developing a vivid imagination, an expressive body, an open heart, a searing intellect, and finally a desire to communicate what it means to be human in the world.

All of these are talents reflected in the imaginary circumstances of a play or film. Yes, it's true. Dedicating yourself to becoming an actor/artist/director is a daunting task that requires plenty of patience and love. In a world that is becoming increasingly isolated by science and technology, our common humanity still is what matters. The entertainment industry has pillaged the art and craft of acting and directing and has tried to reduce its power to a mere 15-second subliminal spin. We reject this abuse. We honor the artist's true calling toward a conscious outpouring of love and wisdom. We need truthful actors/artists more than ever. Their stories promise an illumination of the human condition. This is worth dedicating your life to and whether you are a new student or a seasoned professional, we offer a place to train in an environment of respect.

Students at the Shelton Studios gain much more than the common experience of acting in front of other students; they gain the craft which lasts for life and applies to all mediums. They gain the love of acting as an art form. And, they gain the inspiration to dedicate themselves to working professionally as actors/artists. Actors, directors, filmmakers, and writers continue to attend our classes to further their understanding of the art of acting and we develop this potential through analysis and collaboration with classical and contemporary literature and through fully exploring the possibilities for truthful human interaction within that context.

Who We Are

Shelton Studios is nationally recognized as one of the finest professional film and theatre schools for actors and directors. The Shelton Studios is recommended by agents, casting offices, directors, and filmmakers as one of the leading schools in the country (see testimonials).

Founders Robert Elross and Jean Shelton brought with them from New York an extensive knowledge of method acting for film and theater. Past faculty included: legendary Stella Adler (teacher of Brando, De Niro), Harold Clurman (finest mind in the American Theater), Jack Garfien (Filmmaker and Head of Actors Studio Los Angeles), Wendell Phillips (Broadway Actor/Director/Teacher and member of the legendary Group Theatre and teacher for the Actors Studio in New York), Robert Elross (New York Actor/Director and musician was recognized as a leading actor and director in the country) and Jean Shelton has been a talent consultant for major agencies and television networks, and an acting coach for feature films and television.
Executive Director, Matthew Shelton (son of Jean and Bob) has assembled the finest staff available and thoroughly trained them to teach her Acting Technique and Multi- disciplinary programs using the techniques from some of the best minds in the country.

Students have won Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards, Obie Awards and countless local awards.

Our Alumni

In recognition of the prospective student's desire to ascertain the professional quality of this institution and particularly of those prospective students who are new to the film and theatre communities and therefore unaware of the reputation of the Shelton Studios, we have produced the following list of former students. We would like to state that it is our belief that many of the finest artists who have attended this institution do not appear on this list and many of their names might not be recognized by prospective students. This list is by no means complete and we apologize to former students that we have not been able to contact and accordingly, do not appear on this list.


Rob Epstein-Filmmaker
Lisa Fruchtman- Editor
Nancy Kelly-Filmmaker
Lourdes Portillio- Filmmaker
Jeremy Larner- Author
Richard Bratigan-Author
Pierre Delattre-Author
Danny Glover-Actor
Scott Paulin-Actor/Director
Wendy Phillips-Actor
Christian Phillips-Actor/Director
Matthew Shelton-Actor/Director
Bill English-Actor/Director
Luis Oropeza-Actor/Director
Catherine Castellanos-Actor/Director
Luis Saguar-Actor/Director
Howard Hesseman-Actor
J.E. Freeman-Actor
Anthony Cistaro-Actor
Peter Coyote-Actor
John Callahan-Actor
Laurie Walters-Actor
Maurice Bernard-Actor
Jeff Friedman-Filmmaker/Actor
Jim Wilson-Producer
Nancy Hayes-Casting Director
Peter Tripp-Director
Trevor Tuttle-Filmmaker
Terry Zwigoff-Filmmaker
Kenj Yamamoto-Editor



Established 1961 San Francisco, California






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