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Who We Are


“When your heart opens, so do possibilities in your life”

To offer expansion, transformation and realization through art. To create art, artists & empowered self-actualized individuals, that make a powerful, positive difference in the world.

To open hearts and minds through the discipline of Art and Self Love.



“Doors open when you do”

For ALL HUMAN BEINGS to live healthy, purposeful lives; mind, body and soul.

A world of people living out their highest purpose, expressing their creativity and passion and practicing what they believe to be true in their everyday lives.



“When I move forward in my life, I move forward in my art.

When I move forward in my art, I move forward in my life.”

This has been our philosophy for over 20 years. And our practice for as long. Something we live by and teach and know to be true in ourselves and our students. The message was distilled from the forward of John Patrick Shanley’s collected plays, vol.1, “13 By Shanley”. He writes:

In the third scene of “the dreamer examines his pillow”, Dad says, “The individual life is a dream.” For me personally, this is a most moving idea. It frees me from my fear of death. It puts my ego where it belongs, in a place of secondary importance. It binds me to the human race, and binds the race itself to the atoms in the stars.

Who am I? This is a courageous question. As a writer and as a man I am involved in one central struggle – to discover and accept who I am. I believe all fear has its roots in denial. I have, at one time or another, denied everything. Every fact of my specific self. My parents, my Bronx origin, my Americanness, my Irishness, my appetites, my mortality, my need for love and acceptance, my jealousy, my violence, my anger.

I am not a courageous person by nature. I have simply discovered that, at certain key moments in this life, you must find courage in yourself, in order to move forward and live. It is like a muscle and it must be exercised, first a little, and then more and more. All the really exciting things possible during the course of a lifetime require a little more courage than we currently have. A deep breath and a leap.

Writing is acting is directing is living your life. I have told you the things I have just told you so that you would know something of my approach to playwriting. I see no difference between writing a play and living my life. The same things that make a moment in my life succeed, combust, move, these same things make a moment in my playwriting have life. And when I move in my writing, I have moved in my life. There is no illusion. It is all the same thing.

Acting is the same as playwriting.
-John Patrick Shanley


A Company, a School and a Community.

Who We Are

Open Door Acting is a Company, a School and a Community.


The COMMUNITY is all-inclusive. We believe that one Truth unites us all as human beings. And that when you live from your heart that Truth expresses itself naturally and perfectly; constantly uplifting, elevating, expanding and evolving the human being, mind, body & soul.


As a SCHOOL we use this awareness of Truth to inspire our students to know, honor, respect and love themselves & each other as being part of the same Universal Consciousness. (We don’t talk about it – but that’s the experience.) We use art as a tool for personal growth and self-expression. And we create seasoned actors, writers, directors, artists, teachers and leaders through disciplined and fun classes, workshops, practice, performance opportunities and work.


As a COMPANY we have 9 finely crafted plays and over a dozen screenplays ready for production. All are socially relevant, entertaining works of art.

Teaching Method

We teach through artistry. And we teach through the heart; one open heart to another. Each student’s journey is unique unto themselves. That said, among our methods used are: Meisner, Grotowski, Adler, Strassberg, Script Analysis, Qi Gong, Writing, Dance, Voice, Meditation, “The What Works” method, “The 4 processes”, personal reflection, embodied affirmation & Relaxation techniques; whatever inspires a student’s creativity and expansion.

When asked about the teaching methods used at Open Door, Stillitano and Flowers respond: “We use “everything” and “nothing”.” Both have studied and practiced a myriad of acting techniques which they use at will, depending on the specific needs of their students. They develop an actor’s instrument to be fine tuned; to tap into any emotion. actor’s body, so that they know when the energy’s dropping in a scene. And they know how to raise the stakes to bring it back to life. Everything they do with their students is to bring the work, the student, the actor “to life”. They teach compassionately and passionately, using their own unique artistries & sensibilities to guide. Stillitano’s personal technique is now as simple as, “Relax, Listen & Be Fearless. Once you have an instrument and you have confidence in your instrument, it’s really that simple. Just throw yourself in 100%. If you do, you’ll work.”

Another key component in Open Door’s teaching is the idea of “Making your Partner Great”. Flowers says, “Focussing on making your partner great, takes you out of your head and into the present moment where you need to live as an actor. The more you give your partner, the better they are. But guess what…? The better you are too. Acting is like tennis; one person can’t have a good rally alone. It takes two. It always takes two.” Master influencer’s to each’s work are: Growtowski, Meisner & Adler… As well sports, dance, music, spirituality, writing and life. But mostly, they say, whoever’s in front of them: “We teach from the moment. We have a saying: “We know we care”. That we know. So whoever’s in front of us gets the best out of us. However that looks.”

A Brief History of Open Door Acting

Open Door Acting has evolved out of the work and evolution of artists/teachers Carl Stillitano and Erin Flowers. It’s existed in NYC, under many different names for over 20 years, such as SEVA Productions, SDW Productions, J.B. Theatre Co., Actingworks, The Works For Me Foundation & One Heart LLC.

Over 25 years ago Stillitano took an acting workshop led by Jerry Brody, a protege’ of Lee Strassberg. Brody had a background in therapy and various healing modalities. He combined all of his skills into a unique workshop that opened the hearts and minds of it’s participants while challenging & moving through their personal and creative limitations and blocks. In one weekend Stillitano had an awakening. He became an artist and a seeker of the truth, and never looked back. This journey was as much about a spiritual awakening as it was an artistic one. This led him to teach and share his power and wisdom with other artists and any individual looking to expand and find more meaning and purpose in their lives. Flowers was one such student. A natural mentorship developed between them and she eventually became a leader and teacher of this work. Stillitano took the seeds of Brody’s creation and expanded upon it. And in the spirit of independence that Stillitano creates, Flowers took the seeds of both of their work and made it her own.

The core of Open Door Acting is simply the practice of living with an open heart. It’s classes and workshops inspire a joyful and courageous exploration into that experience of the heart; using acting and theatre as a vehicle to develop self-awareness, self- expression, to transform, heal, create & empower. Some of the told results are an increased experience of depth, compassion, freedom, liberation, unity, relaxation and ease as well as access to connection, joy and play. It’s plays, films and themed improv shows are each unique pieces of art and entertainment that share a common thread of depth, humanity, meaning and soul. The company as a whole works towards a vision and mission of ALL HUMAN BEINGS living healthy and purposeful lives; mind, body and soul. Open Door is proud to have nurtured and developed many individuals to realize both their artistic and personal potential; while fostering health, wellness and independence. And continuous expansion.

2014 Student Show Cast at Producer’s Club
Carl Stillitano, on the set of his indie feature TEN-13, ACTING & DIRECTING.
Carl, in between takes ACTING in his Independent Feature film TEN-13
Jan Hus Playhouse Theatre, NYC Student Show circa 2013
Open Door Acting

Open Door Acting

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