The Art of Acting since 1961


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 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.


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 Multidisciplinary 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.


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.

Will Marchetti-Actor/Director

Rob Epstein-Filmmaker

Lisa Fruchtman- Editor

Nancy Kelly-Filmmaker

Lourdes Portillio- Filmmaker

Jeremy Larner- Author

Bill Graham-Producer

Richard Bratigan-Author

Pierre Delattre-Author

Danny Glover-Actor

Scott Paulin-Actor/Director

Wendy Phillips-Actor

Keith Phillips-Actor/Director

Christian Phillips-Actor/Director

Matthew Shelton-Actor/Director

Steve Coleman-Set Designer

Bill English-Actor/Director

Louis Parnell-Actor

Susi Damilano-Actor/Director

Luis Oropeza-Actor/Director

Richard Harder-Actor/Director

Felicia Faulkner-Actor

Keith Burkeland-Actor

Michael McGee-Actor

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

Jeffrey Friedman-Filmmaker/Actor

Jim Wilson-Producer

Paget Brewster-Actor

Nancy Hayes-Casting Director

Peter Tripp-Director

Greer Sinclair-Actor/Filmmaker

Kindrid Parker-Filmmaker

Terry Zwigoff-Filmmaker

Kenj Yamamoto-Editor

Greg Saestero-Actor

Tommy Wiseau-Actor/Producer


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