Meet Sonya

To Act is to Transform with Ease and Authenticity.

Sonya Cooke

Author and Creator of Seven Pillars Acting

Sonya Cooke is the creator and author of Seven Pillars Acting, with branches in Los Angeles and Orange County, namely The Actor’s Studio of Orange County and Seven Pillars Acting Studio. She recently relocated to the Southeast to head the undergraduate Performance Track at Louisiana State University's School of Theatre. Her book, Seven Pillars Acting, is the main textbook for students of the technique across the country. Currently, she teaches at the grad and undergrad level, and she leads the teacher certification program. She has worked with many institutions all over the country as a teacher, curriculum writer and program developer, such as The Studio School in Downtown LA, University of California at Irvine, The Guthrie Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and more. She is an international private acting coach via Skype and coaches locally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sonya's article, titled “Circumstance in The Seven Pillars Acting Technique,” was published in The International Journal of Arts Education in 2016. Originally from Texas, she has acted in TV, film, New York and regional theatre, as well as commercials, print, and voice-over mediums. Most recently, she played the title role in Gloria by Brendan Jacobs-Jenkins at Swine Palace. Other career highlights include Louie by Louie C.K. on FX, working at The Guthrie Theatre, and playing the title role in feature film, Lily Grace: A Witch Story. She trained at UC-Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts where she achieved an MFA in Acting, and previously she studied at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received a BFA in Drama. She is passionate about acting technique and loves helping her students discover their talents.

Meet the Pillars



David Mudge, Actor

The teaching methods, the theory, the pillars of acting, the exercises -- it all just works together beautifully. 

Iris Gonzalez, Producer

Sonya is one of the best teachers I have ever had. Not only is she brilliant as a teacher but she really does give you real tools to work with as an actor. Her reading material, her experience as a professional actress, and her mastery are worth your time, energy, and money :)

Ryan Tran, Actor

She has a very specific, tangible method that works a lot like muscle memory in sports, where you can physically and emotionally feel  growth and advancement.


Meet Seven Pillars Acting Instructors

Michael Matthys


Actor's Studio of Orange County

American Academy of Dramatic Art

Hazel Lozano


Actor's Studio of Orange County

Danielle Reynolds


Actor's Studio of Orange County

Philip Orazio

Head of Studio and Instructor

Actor's Studio of Orange County

Brett Duggan

Master Seven Pillars Instructor

Louisiana State University

Thomas Varga


Actor's Studio of Orange County

Cypress College

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