Amanda Bearse, Seattle Film Institute’s Faculty Lead - Acting For Film program, recently directed “Party Face,” an off-broadway play at New York City Center. This show, written by Irish Playwright Isobel Mahon, tells the story of a mother’s comedic intervention at her daughter’s party. Bearse will also be stepping on stage to play the character “Bernie” in the play’s final week because the actress currently in that role, Klea Blackhurst, has a scheduling conflict.
“The entire process of working on Party Face has been the most creatively fulfilling experience of my career,” Bearse said. “I am about to step into one of the roles for the final week of the New York run and that will only be icing on the cake!”
Bearse maintains a balance between teaching classes in Seattle and building her own career as an actress and director. With over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry, she has a long list of credits to her name. Bearse helped launch the FOX network, where she created the role of Marcy D’Arcy on Married…With Children. She has directed and acted for Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Paramount and 20th Century Fox. Some of her recent projects include producing and directing The Big Gay Sketch Show, directing and producing Skirtchasers, and most recently directing Party Face.
"Amanda’s three decades of experience as a professional actor and director for film and television has made for a seamless transition into teaching,” said Chris Blanchett, SFI’s Director of the Acting for Film program. “She runs her classroom like a professional set in the best sense of the term: high expectations, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence in a safe, comfortable space where students are motivated to risk, grow, collaborate, and experience the joy of creativity."
A member of SFI’s faculty since 2016, Bearse brings her expertise from her career as an actress and director into the classroom. She first became involved with the school through the MA in Producing program. Now an integral part of the staff, Bearse has created novel ways to integrate the Acting For Film and Filmmaking programs.
“Acting is instinctive, combining emotion and doing, and the energy behind that lives in me, regardless of what job I’m approaching,” she said. “I know that helped me to be the director I’ve become. Having that history, that understanding, enables me to teach the SFI students from a place full of experience.”
Bearse says teaching and working with students at SFI is a privilege. Seeing her students grow in their acting abilities and in their confidence from the beginning of a class to its end is her favorite part of being a teacher. As she builds her own professional career, she brings insight she has gained from the professional world back to her classroom.
“We all share our stories in the classroom, because it’s what makes us who we are, and gives us the foundation from which we work,” she said. “I am excited to share this latest creative adventure with everyone at SFI. It has taken me back to the roots of my relationship with acting and directing, and the learning continues!”