Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute to expand into India

MUMBAI: In a new venture into the development of international acting talent, the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute has partnered with Optimus Management Group, of Hartford, Connecticut, to open the first Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute India. The partners plan to open Strasberg Institute India in two locations, Mumbai and Hyderabad, by early 2010.

Optimus Management Group founder and CEO Ahmed A. Ahsan, and director Rahuul Rawail have formed an exclusive partnership to operate the Lee Strasberg Institute in India. In a contract signed with Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute co-founder Anna Strasberg and CEO David Lee Strasberg, they have entered into an agreement to develop the first Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute India which will offer students the only sanctioned "Method" training facility outside of the US.

Currently, there are two Strasberg Theater and Film Institutes operating in this country; at their headquarters in New York City and in Los Angeles. The Strasberg Institute India will be run by Rawail. As CEO of the institute in India, Rawail hopes to offer the next generation of talented Indian actors the chance to compete globally as the country continues to export more of its films and its stars to the international market.

Strasberg Institute India co-founder Ahmed A. Ahsan, has grown the Optimus Management Group in Hartford, Connecticut into an award-winning company which provides management consulting and human resource solutions throughout the country. He envisions the long-term potential for attracting a stream of production opportunities to Connecticut and North America. The development of the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute India is the first step in that direction.

Lee Strasberg inspired and trained some of the greatest talents to emerge on the screen including James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Al Pacino, Robert Deniro and his training model continues to inspire some of today’s biggest stars including Julia Roberts, Uma Thurman and Scarlet Johannson.

Strasberg and his wife Anna Strasberg co-founded the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in 1969. Their son, David Lee Strasberg, is CEO of the Strasberg Institute.

At the event David Strasberg expressed his excitement at the Institute opening up in India, and also said that now the Strasberg method of training actors would be available closer home to India and the SAARC countries. He said, "As of now the Strasberg family has been extended to include two more members Ahmed Ahsan and Rahuul Rawail."

The faculty in India has already been identified and approved by David Strasberg. The India faculty members would soon be visiting New York to be trained in the method established by Lee Strasberg.

The Indian Operation will be launched in the first quarter of January and Anna Strasberg would like to have the alumni of the school, from USA and India, come together for the launch of the Indian operation which would also serve as a reunion for the alumni.

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