Lola Cohen Biography

Lola Cohen began her life in the Theater by studying acting with Lee Strasberg during the last 5 years of his life (1977 to 1982) at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Strasberg involved Lola at the Actors Studio, where Lee was Artistic Director and where Lola attended Lee’s sessions and observed Actors Studio members including, Al Pacino, Ellen Burstyn, Shelley Winters, Harvey Keitel, Jill Clayburgh and others. Lola was house manager on The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, an assistant to playwright Israel Horovitz during several of his productions; and, also worked as Strasberg’s assistant: recording and video taping his acting classes and his seminars on directing and Shakespeare.

After Lee’s death, Lola continued her training with the enigmatic Kim Stanley, who developed her own brand of training including her invaluable Need Exercise. Lola then trained with Jose Quintero and was introduced to Sanford Meisner’s work by David Proval. At that time, Lola began and still continues her acting teaching career in which she has taught thousands of actors and directors from all over the world at the Strasberg Institute in NY and LA, in Master and private classes, lectures and presentations.

In 2016 Lola was designated a US State Department, Fulbright Scholar and taught a Master Class at the Russian State Institute for Performing Arts in St. Petersburg, RU. Since 1996, Lola has participated in the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Drama at the Strasberg Institute. Lola is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School since 1999 teaching “Intensive Communication Skills for Attorneys” a class she created. Lola’s Master Classes include: The American University, Washington, D.C.; Academia 09, Milan, Italy (2015-2018); TELLTOJOYTHEATER at the Chekhov International Theater School, Melikhovo, Russia and Copenhagen, Denmark;  Act for All Theatre School, Lisbon, Portugal; The Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China; and, the Decameron Art Studio, Moscow, RU (2014-2018). Lola has lectured or given classes at The Russian Center for Science and Culture in Copenhagen, The National Film School of Denmark & The Danish Film Institute, the Holberg Film / Theatre School in Copenhagen and The Theatre High School Rødkilde in Mon, Denmark, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY – for Planning and Architecture Students – and for professional Architects at MASS Design Group, Boston, MA. 

As a member of Bob Dylan’s, Rolling Thunder Review, Lola made her film debut in Renaldo and Clara in 1975 and in 2009 played Judge Kaplan in Rik Cordero’s, Inside a Change, which won best film at HBO’s Latino International Film Festival in 2010. Lola contributed to and appeared in the American Masters documentary, There but for Fortune, about folk singer and political activist, Phil Ochs, was a source for and consulted on Liz Garbus’, Marilyn Monroe Documentary, Love Marilyn and consulted on and will appear in a Kim Stanley documentary, The Needs of Kim Stanley currently in production. See:

Lola’s directorial credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Woodstock Youth Theater; Jean Genet’s, The Maids at the Strasberg Institute; Lewis John Carlino’s Snowangel while 2009 Artist-in-Residence at SUNY-Ulster and at the Strasberg Institute; and, Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull (a Work in Progress), Melikhovo, Russia.

Lola’s book, The Lee Strasberg Notes, done in close cooperation with the Institute and the Strasberg family, was published by Routledge in 2009 and is in reprints. Lola’s second book, The Method Acting Exercises Handbook was published by Routledge in 2016 and translated and published in Russia in 2018.