About Us

Unleash your inner artist at the Melbourne Actors Lab. Elevate your craft, reveal the truth, and join a legacy of passionate actors.

Our Philosophy

The Melbourne Actors LAB carries on the tradition of professional actor training in the method originated by Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford at the Group Theatre. The Group Theatre launched the careers of Elia Kazan, Clifford Odets, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner who went on to become teachers of talent like James Dean, Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Ellen Burstyn, Sally Field, Shelly Winters, Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Mickey Rourke, and so on- all because their place of training fermented the work of the actor to new levels. The Group theatre went onto become the Actor’s Studio, the home of acting giants which pushed American Theatre and Film to a whole new standard.

THE MELBOURNE ACTORS LAB is the home of the actor who takes their work to such a level, a place beyond reasonable possibility, working with an absolute commitment toward one goal; the truthful revelation of character. It's work that hones the actors instrument to a place where is it at immediate disposal wherever and whenever it is required. The repeated practice of the exercises of Lee Strasberg lead to something much more profound than at first glance - the absolute mastery of the actors' instrument, body, mind and voice - creating artists that paint with a finer brush that also have the resilience and wherewithall to work under the most difficult of circumstances, in theatre or film.

Beyond the actor training, THE LAB provides an environment where actors can meet filmmakers and start a collaborative relationship together. Filmmakers are encouraged to come into class and observe the actors process. The work in itself inspires a passion for actors to create their own work; theaTre and film projects, and that is the drive that creates, builds and sustains a career.

Peter Kalos


The Lab

Peter Kalos the founder and the sole teacher at THE LAB has studied with some of the world's most prolific acting teachers. At age 19 he moved to the USA and commenced his acting journey with master teacher Stella Adler for four years, following which he went on to study full time at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute under the tuiteledge of Anna Strasberg for over ten years. There he trained in the tradition now known as "the method". Whilst at the Institute he studied with acclaimed teachers Mark Marno, Hedi Sontag, Doug Dirkson, Suzan Peretz, Dominic DeFazio, and Sharron Chatten.

For almost 20 years, Peter honed his craft and worked as an actor and director in the USA and Australia. When he returned to Australia to raise his family he founded THE LAB. In doing so it was his desire to create a safe, nurturing environment for actors of all levels of ability to study in the tradition he did; a studio striving for artistic excellence in the style of the great master teachers of a bygone era.

Towards his later years in Hollywood Peter worked with actor / director Barry Primus where Peter says he learned all about being an actor’s actor. It’s through Barry Primus that Peter was exposed to some of the world’s most prominent actors, directors and writers. This opportunity allowed Peter to watch actors like Eli Wallach, Robert DeNiro, Martin Landau, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Mark Wahlberg, and many many more. It was Primus who took Peter to the Actors Studio where Peter met and studied with the acclaimed Suzan Peretz.

Peter also branched out into screenwriting. He has worked as a script doctor for many years in Hollywood, working with producers such as Jason Shuman (Role Models, Darkness Falls), Joe Wolf (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm St), and Stratton Leopold (Mission Impossible, Star Trek). He has also taken classes in Stand-up Comedy with Judy Carter and performed at the LA Cabaret and the Improv in Hollywood.


If one listens to either its critics or supporters Method Acting is described as a form of acting where the actor mystically ‘becomes’ the character or tries to somehow literally live the character in life. Like all clichés, both explanations are false. When Lee Strasberg defined what is popularly known as Method Acting he used a simple declarative sentence: “Method acting is what all actors have always done whenever they acted well.”

Now to the casual observer, that may sound as though he were implying that only actors who studied and used Strasberg’s particular method of work were good actors; but such an interpretation is contrary to Strasberg’s intent. He meant that what is called “Method Acting” is nothing new, but rather as old as Western Civilization itself. In fact, the Greeks were the first to identify and practice this kind of acting (despite it being credited to Constantin Stanislavsky).

For centuries, cultures used different words and phrases to describe this kind of “good” acting: Romantic Acting, Emotional Acting, Divine Inspiration, The Muses, Feeling the Role. These terms merely described an organic process of creativity that talented actors used, oftentimes unconsciously, to accomplish what audiences experienced as a moving performance; And this ‘moving’ was in fact the (re)experiencing of life by the actor within the fiction of the story as if it were true and happening now. Aristotle said that the secret to moving the passions in others is to be moved oneself and that moving oneself is made possible by bringing to the fore “visions” of experiences from life that are no longer present. In essence, Aristotle was stating the core principle of The Method—the creative play of the affective memory in the actor’s imagination as the foundation for (re)experiencing on stage.

This idea was first called the ‘System’ by Konstantin Stanislavsky, and later, as further developed by Lee Strasberg (at the Group Theatre, the Actors Studio and then at the Institute), ‘The Method’. The Method trains actors to use their imagination, senses and emotions to conceive of characters with unique and original behaviour, creating performances grounded in the human truth of the moment.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast

Lee Strasberg is recognized throughout the world as having produced three generations of actors, playwrights and directors and due to his phenomenal legacy the influence of his teachings continues to flourish today.

The internationally renowned director, producer, actor, teacher, lecturer, coach, and writer was born in Budanov, Austria-Hungary on November 17, 1901, the son of Ida and Baruch Meyer Strasberg. Lee Strasberg began his preparation for the stage with Richard Boleslavski and Maria Ouspenskaya at the American Laboratory Theatre in Los Angeles City.

Lee Strasberg made his professional acting debut in 1924, as the First Soldier in Processional, a Theatre Guild production which opened at Los Angeles's Garrick Theatre. Lee Strasberg also served as stage manager for the Guild's production of The Guardsmen, starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, followed by more stage roles in such Theatre Guild presentations as The Garrick Gaieties, Goat Song, and Green Grow the Lilacs.

In 1931, Lee Strasberg co-founded the now-legendary Group Theatre. As co-founder, he was able to aid in the development of such distinguished artists as Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, Franchot Tone, and Robert Lewis. There, he supervised the Studio's productions of Marathon '33,Baby Want a Kiss, and Blues for Mr. Charlie. For the next twenty years he directed dozens of original plays and classics for the Group Theatre, including the revivals of Strange Interlude and The Three Sisters, and other such outstanding Group Theatre productions as The House of Connelly (co-directed with Cheryl Crawford), Johnny Johnson, Sidney Kingsley's Men in White (which won the Pulitzer Prize), Ernest Hemingway's The Fifth Column, and Clifford Odets’ Clash By Night.

In 1949, Lee Strasberg joined the Actor's Studio in Los Angeles and within a year became the Artistic Director, spawning two more generations of actors, directors, and playwrights. The list of actors who have studied under Lee Strasberg's tutelage is staggering (to name a few like Geraldine Page, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Kim Stanley, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Fonda, James Dean, Dustin Hoffman, Eli Wallach, Eva Marie Saint, Robert DeNiro, Jill Clayburgh, Jack Nicholson, and Steve McQueen).

Among his prestigious contributions to European theatre, Lee Strasberg conducted an International Seminar on Acting at the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds (1962), represented the American Theatre at the Stanislavski Centennial held in Moscow (1963) and lectured on the Stanislavski Method of acting in Paris (1967). He held seminars in Argentina and his renowned seminar held in Buchem, Germany, carefully chronicled, is still today one of the most sought-after references on acting in that country.

In the United States, Lee Strasberg lectured at Harvard, Brown (where there is a small theatre which bears his name), Tulane, Yale, UCLA, Brandeis, Minnesota and Northwestern Universities. And because his influence on modern acting and directing techniques, as espoused at the Actor's Studio, has had a profound worldwide effect, Lee Strasberg was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Florida.

Early in 1966, a West Coast branch of the Actor's Studio was established in Los Angeles and three years later, The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute was created in Los Angeles and then in Los Angeles, in order to make Strasberg's work (previously confined to the Studio) available to a wider public. As part of that endeavor, Lee Strasberg also organized study units for teenagers and non-actors to stimulate and train the development of the creative faculties in young people. Hence, a Young People's Program was established for this purpose.

With the demise of the major studios' system of contract players (and the massive publicity efforts that constantly touted them), Strasberg emphasized that "the Hollywood actor can't just be a name anymore...he must be an ACTOR. And because today's production budgets allow for less rehearsal time and re-takes, the need for training is more essential than ever."

Lee Strasberg did a bit of acting himself -- most notably, perhaps, with his Academy Award nominated performance in The Godfather: Part II. Lee Strasberg can also be seen in the film Skokiewith Danny Kaye, a true story in which he played a Republican contributor who withdraws from the American Civil Liberties Union for defending the Nazi's right to march. He also played a major role in the all-star film, Cassandra Crossing and his television acting debut was in an ABC Movie-of-the-Week, The Last Tenant. The latter has Lee Strasberg starring as an elderly Italian who, on the verge of senility, returns to the old house he shared with his now deceased wife. Boardwalk also co-starred Lee Strasberg, this time with Ruth Gordon, as a husband and wife in a study of changing neighborhoods and the problems of being senior citizens in a jungle society.

"Acting is relaxation for me. I enjoy it more than directing or teaching because I don't have to argue with myself," quipped Lee Strasberg, adding humorously: "I understand what the director wants more than he does himself." One of his greatest ambitions was to play the life of Albert Einstein - "During his latter years, of course."

Lee Strasberg was a frequent contributor to publications, including books, magazines, newspapers and reference works. Lee Strasberg was the only acting teacher ever invited to write about acting, directing and production for the Encyclopedia Britannica. His own book, published by Little Brown, and titled A Dream of Passion, has been printed in nine languages and is available in hard copy as well as paperback editions, as is his Strasberg at the Actor's Studio.