About Robert Mello and Instructors

Robert is the former on set acting coach for MTV’s Finding Carter. Though mostly retired from acting, he recently worked opposite Tom Hardy in the feature film, Venom and Ed Helms in Father Figures. He also appeared in a co-starring role in Devious Maids.  Prior, he worked opposite Hugh Jackman in the role of Roger in the feature film, Prisoners, booked two spots for Pantech phones and appeared Pinch N’ Ouch Theatre Company’s production of Speed The Plow. In Chicago, he worked at many top theater companies, including the internationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company.

The Robert Mello Studio is the only acting studio in Atlanta offering complete Meisner-based training by an instructor with over 18 years of teaching experience. Students from The Robert Mello Studio have worked on dozens of hit TV shows, in feature films, Broadway and off-Broadway. Robert has coached winners and nominees of THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD® and THE TONY AWARD®

Robert is an active film producer.  His film, Coffee, Kill Boss, with Oscar nominee Robert Forster, Hung series regular, Eddie Jemison, and Anger Management star Nouren DeWulf –  opened The Austin Film Festival, closed the Soho Film Festival, won the Grand Jury award at the Maryland International Film Festival. It won Best Comedy Feature at the Eugene International Film Festival, and won Best Feature, Best Director and Best Actress at L.A.’s Comedy Ninja Film Festival.

In addition, in 2012 he produced a SAG short Finale, featuring Necessary Roughness series regular Hannah Marks, which premiered in Atlanta at the Out On Film Festival and was an audience favorite at the San Jose International Short Film Festival.

Currently he is appearing in the short film Photobomb directed by season one Stranger Things star Cathrine Dyer playing at film festivals around the country and internationally.

Robert’s teaching style is compassionate, straight-forward and filled with joy and humor.
Teaching is Robert’s greatest passion.

Onye Eme-Akwari

Onye has had guest-star and recurring roles on shows like Queen of the South (USA), The Inspectors (CBS), and Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings (Netflix). He has also appeared in Star, The Quad, Greenleaf, Manhunt, Cloak & Dagger, Sleepy Hollow, and NCIS: New Orleans. Onye recently played a supporting role in the Spike Lee-produced film Son of the South.

Onye is a graduate of the intensive at The Robert Mello Studio. Actors from the studio continually work in NY, LA, and Atlanta and are series regulars, guest stars, and co-stars in major network  TV shows, NetFlix and cable channels. He has also studied at the Pat Hurley Acting Clinic, Highwire Comedy, and Viewpoints/Scene Study with Eliana Marianes and Clayton Landey. 

Kate Brown

Kate Brown is an actor, musician and teaching artist previously based in Chicago and Los Angeles.  She attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, completed the core improv program at UCB Los Angeles and studied at the School at Steppenwolf under Monica Payne, Alexandra Billings, Jeff Perry and the late Sheldon Patinkin.  Kate has been teaching Meisner, improv, scene study and audition technique since 2010 and has worked at several of Chicago’s top acting schools: Black Box Acting, Acting Studio Chicago and Soul Gurgle Inc. She has worked at several prominent theater companies, TV and film. She is an associate teacher for the Meisner Evening Intensive, and she is also available for private coaching.

Stephanie Escorza

Stephanie Escorza es una hispanohablante, nacida y criada en Atlanta. Después de graduarse del Meisner Intensivo en el acreditado Robert Mello Studio, ha aparecido en escenario con Emory Theatre en Atlanta, y varias producciones con El Teatro de Act1 en Alpharetta. También ha tenido el honor de actuar anualmente con El Shakespeare Project en Alabama, un programa educativa en los artes.Stephanie recibió su Licenciatura de Artes Finos en Actuación de la Universidad Estatal de Florida, bajo la instrucción de Michael Hayden, un actor veterano nominado para el Premio del Tony, y Director de casting, John Papsidera. También estudió con el Stella Adler Studio en Nueva York con énfasis en Chekov clásico. Además de actuar, Stephanie también actúa como Directora de Casting para proyectos independientes y como directora de escena para producciones locales, como Jerry Finnegan’s Sister con la compañía Act1.

Stephanie Escorza is a native Spanish-speaker, born and bred in Atlanta. After graduating from the Meisner Intensive here at  The Robert Mello Studio, she has gone on to appear onstage with Emory Theatre in Atlanta, and several productions with Alpharetta’s Act1 Theatre. She has also been honored to perform annually with The Shakespeare Project in Alabama, an educational outreach program.
Stephanie received her BFA in Acting from the Florida State University under the instruction of Tony-nominee Michael Hayden and casting director, John Papsidera. She has also studied with the Stella Adler Studio in New York with an emphasis on Classical Chekov. In addition to acting, Stephanie also acts as Casting Director to independent short films, and stage director to numerous local productions, including Act1’s Jerry Finnegan’s Sister.

Peter Frechette

Peter is a two-time Tony-nominated and Emmy-nominated actor, teacher, director and coach. He taught at the Atlantic Theater School and New York University for three full years. Broadway
credits include Eastern Standard (Tony nom.), Our Country’s Good (Tony nom.), The Odd Couple, Any Given Day and The Play’s the Thing. He has acted in the original productions of many new American plays by Amy Freed, Robert Schenkkan, Nicky Silver, Alexa Junge, Richard Greenberg, Neal Bell, Paul Rudnick, Peter Parnell, Frank D. Gilroy among many others.


Recent regional theater credits include five years as a company member of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Repertory Theatre St. Louis (where this year he played Roy Cohn in their acclaimed production of Angels in America), Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, Berkeley Rep, the Old Globe, George Street Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Pasadena Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Cape Playhouse.
TV work includes regular roles on Profiler, Matt Waters, Dream Street, thirtysomething (for which he received an Emmy nomination), Picket Fences, New York News, as well as guest appearances on Devious Maids, various Law & Order franchises, Family Law, LA Law, Cagney & Lacey, Hill Street Blues among many others.
Films include Inside Man and Miracle at St. Anna (both directed by the great Spike Lee), Possible Side Effects, Barbarians at the Gate, The Savages, and many others, including quite a collection of horror and genre movies.
He has received the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, LA Drama Critics and LA Weekly awards.


Recent TV/Film credits include The Divergent Series: Allegiant and Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky along with commercials, web series and industrials. Stage work has included top Atlanta theaters including Actor’s Express, Aurora Theatre, Syncronicity Theatre and Impulse Repertory Co., which she founded in 2011.

Kara has taught acting and theatre and performance studies at the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, The University of Southern Mississippi and Georgia Perimeter College.

Kara holds an MFA in acting from the University of Georgia, a BFA in acting from Western Kentucky University, and is a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique of acting via the National Michael Chekhov Association.

Morgan Rydson

Morgan Rysdon is a nationally certified Alexander Technique teacher and founder of Center Studio. With an active private practice in New York City and Atlanta, she helps actors, singers and dancers elevate their performances as well as recover from chronic pain, injury, stress and anxiety. She holds a BA in acting and performing from Illinois State University and spent time acting professionally in Chicago working at theaters such as Victory Gardens Theatre, The Redmoon Theatre Company and The Hypocrites among others. She gained her teaching certification from The American Center for the Alexander Technique in NYC. Committed to helping others, Morgan teaches private lessons and group classes with a focus on building self-awareness, self-confidence and poise through improving the overall function of an individuals mind, body, breath and voice.

Jase Wingate

Jase Wingate holds his B.A. in Theatre from the University of Georgia where he was involved in Shakespeare, Physical Theatre, and Commedia Dell’Arte studies. He has also studied Commedia Dell’Arte and Shakespeare in Italy. He is a former teacher from the Rose of Athens Theatre Academy and the Rose of Athens Theatre in Athens, GA where he performed in their Shakespeare on the Lawn series. Jase has also worked closely with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company as a Teaching Artist, a Tour Troupe member for their classroom initiatives, and was selected as a member of their apprenticeship program. He believes that Shakespeare wrote universal themes that stand relevant even during our current day and age. Jase is a human man on the Earth right now. He is also a Leo.


Jayson Warner Smith

800 x 533 JWSBest known for his portrayals of Wendall Jelks on SundanceTV’s Rectify and Gavin on The Walking Dead, Jayson is a full-time working actor who also teaches. His feature film work includes American Made, Christine, The Birth of a Nation, Mississippi Grind, 99 Homes ...  Jayson has also worked extensively on television on One MississippiNCIS:New Orleans, Rectify, The Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow, and more. As a working actor he brings his real life on-set experience to his teaching. An Atlanta native, he knows the market and all of its players very well.

Just studied locally with Sandra Dorsey and in Los Angeles with the late David LeGrant.


Cook Headshot HorizontalCarolyn Cook has over twenty years experience as a professional actor, director, producer, teacher and acting coach. She has performed with some of the top theaters in Atlanta, including Georgia Shakespeare, Horizon Theater, The Alliance Theater, Actors Express, Theater in the Square, Seven Stages, Theater Emory, and on tour with various companies in the United Kingdom, France and the United States.