Cathy Hurst

Cathy H.

Pittsburgh, PA
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Lesson Details



Cathy passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Cathy delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Females 14 to 65 and males 14 to 50

Teaching since:

I've been a Professor of Acting/Directing for thirty years. I direct professionally and love to explore the process of acting. It's exciting to discover moments in a monologue, song or scene that are personal and artistically original. It's time to make a difference in your work because no one is like you! Talent and competition are part of this business but what will set you apart are the strategies and techniques that make your choices stand out from the rest. Whether you want to act professionally or build more skills when you go to an audition, rehearsal or interview, I would love to meet you and work on the artistic process together.


Professor of Acting/Directing
Jul 1994 - Jul 2017
Saint Michael's College

I taught performance courses (acting, directing, singing for the actor, audition techniques) as well as playwriting, public presentations and career preparation. I directed plays, coached actors for scholarship awards and graduate school prep and also served as Co-Artistic Director of Saint Michael's Playhouse in the mid-1990's (Equity summer theatre with New York casting). I currently direct professionally and free-lance as a Teaching Artist when my schedule permits.

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M.F.A. in Acting
Sep 1981 - May 1983
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
B.A. in Theatre
Sep 1976 - Jun 1980
Saint Mary's College at the University of Notre Dame


The Kennedy Center Gold Medallion
Jan 2015
The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

8 Reviews

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Kit Aug 23, 2017
Acting · In studio

Cathy was my acting professor, mentor and coach throughout my 4 years in school. Her ability to coach actors into making their own discoveries is remarkable. As a coach and professor she never lets an actor lose sight of want they need or want from the other actors on stage. She doesn't teach you how to act she teaches you how to behave given the information your scene partner is giving you. Additionally she is one of the best audition prep coaches I've ever had. I honestly booked more roles when she was coaching me than I do now!:)

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Emma Aug 23, 2017
Acting · In studio

Cathy was my Professor, Director and mentor for my first two years at Saint Michael's College in Vermont. Cathy brought a wonderful expertise to each production we worked on and helped me improve not only in the scenes or plays we worked on, but as an actor in general. I also really enjoyed working as her teaching assistant for a beginners acting class at the college, and learned even more about the proper way to communicate my ideas in the theatre setting as well as practical, straightforward ways to improve my acting and my onstage relationships with scene partners.

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Evyn Aug 11, 2017
Acting · In studio

I have been a student of Cathy for four years and the lessons she taught me helped shaped me into the successful actor I am today. We worked on a wide range of topics from Shakespearean acting, film and tv acting and on stage. Cathy excells in all of these topics, going in depth in every one to get to the root of the character, scene or narrative. She also coached me on audition techniques and monologue and scene choices, something that has been extremely helpful in my auditions in New York City. Her experience as a director and 30 plus years in the business make her an extremely valuable partner to anyone who works with her.

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Josh Aug 9, 2017
Acting · In studio

Cathy was my teacher, director, and mentor for the three years I attended Saint Michael's College. She was the first professor I met on campus and the one I have always remained in touch with. She is the type of person who reached out to catch up with me while I lived in London and she was visiting with her husband. Her devotion to her students and her hope for their success are unwavering.

Three words to describe Cathy as an acting teacher: HONEST, CONCISE, and ENCOURAGING.

HONEST: Cathy does not sugarcoat. She tells you how she sees it. This is how she builds trust with her actors so that they can stop sabotaging themselves through internalizing and overanalyzing themselves. She creates a professional relationship with you to feel confident in making strong, bold choices and assessing the results after. This has made my experiences both in auditions and rehearsals extremely successful.

CONCISE: People in the theatre do a lot of talking. Cathy gets to the point both in how she speaks to her actors and how she directs. Acting is an art form but at the professional level there are prescriptive elements required of an actor so that text can be analyzed properly, choices can be appropriately made, and through it all there is always truth both in action and word. Cathy gets her actors to that point without grandiose tangents that, frankly, get the actor no where.

ENCOURAGING: Cathy wants everyone to succeed. She wants the story to be told truthfully. She expects a great deal from her students and in return guides you with empathy and patience so that you will be able to look back at your work and be equally as proud of yourself as she is of you.

I owe a great deal to Cathy. I have worked regionally and Off-Broadway since graduating and that has a lot to do with the tools she has given me. She helped me build a very strong artistic foundation and I continue to hone my skills because, as she always reminds her students, there is always more work that can be done.

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Katie Healy Aug 7, 2017
Acting · In studio

I was fortunate enough to study with Cathy for 4 years. Cathy gave me the foundation that most actors lack by focusing on the ability to listen as an actor, how to create a role and how to do my work but also remain playful & open to what was happening in the moment on stage. Through Cathy I learned the dedication required to pursue a professional career in the arts. I credit so much of my success as an actor and producer in New York City theater to Cathy's unwavering support.

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Michelle Aug 7, 2017
Theater Acting · In studio

Cathy Hurst is one of those teachers whose lessons service you for the rest of your life. Currently I am working in professional theatre, and do not think that I would have nearly the amount of success I have achieved if it were not for the incredible direction I was provided by Cathy during my time working with her as a college undergraduate. I think that any serious student or theatre professional would be lucky to work with her! She is the type of instructor who will push you to have a clear understanding of what it is you are creating as an artist; she has a focus on the process that is critical to anyone wishing to pursue acting and a life in the theatre.

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Shelby Aug 6, 2017
Acting ·

Cathy is certainly one of the best acting teachers you can find. I was lucky enough to work with her for 4 years, and those years were truly transformative. Cathy has a way of quickly getting to know you as an actor and as a person, and she knows how to get your unique qualities to work for you. She knows how to communicate what is working and what isn't- and when it isn't working she always has a multitude of methods to help you make it work. My time with Cathy gave me the skills and confidence I needed to book work in Equity theaters, including my apprenticeship with Barrington Stage Company. She is simply the best.

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Jessi Aug 6, 2017
Acting · In studio

Cathy Hurst is a phenomenal acting instructor. I had the good fortune of training under her for three years. This Hurst training, is why I’ve been able to book work as a professional (SAG/AFTRA/AEA) actor in major motion pictures, television series, and national commercials. She not only instructs technique, but she also instills her students with the drive and energy to pursue big roles and create their own. I was so lucky to study with her. She's the best.

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