educators

Erica Arvold

Erica has been a guest instructor and speaker for over 20 years, sharing insights from a career as a casting director and producer that spans major studio films, television shows and multimedia projects.

She has had the honor of collaborating with and serving students and faculty at universities, schools and acting studios across the country, including the University of Virginia, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Regent University[AQ1] , George Mason University, Longwood University, The Robert Mello Studio, Actor’s Arsenal, TRAIN/Cadence Theatre at Virginia Repertory, and The Renaissance School, among others. Her festival appearances as a panelist, moderator and mentor include the Austin Film Festival Screenwriters Conference, Virginia Film Festival, Richmond International Film Festival and the Independent Television Festival. She has been the keynote speaker for organizations outside of the filmmaking industry, such as the Philanthropic Educators Organization (PEO) and the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR). In 2010, Erica founded arvold.education with the goal of raising the bar for all film artists through training and collaboration. arvold.education offers master classes for actors and also sponsors events, panels & discussions on all aspects of the industry. Erica created and taught a six (6) week class titled The Art of Casting for the University of Virginia for those aspiring to enter the field of casting. She utilizes her training at The Theatre School, DePaul University (formerly The Goodman School of Drama) and, as the daughter of a professor, Erica believes that we are and will always be students of one another and that she continues to grow as an artist herself.

Richard Warner

Richard Warner is a master acting teacher and coach serving the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast region.  Richard collaborates with actors, empowering them to truthfully embody characters.

Richard taught acting at the University of Virginia for  30 years where he had the honor of coaching Tina Fey, Ben McKenzie (Gotham, The O.C.), Sean Patrick Thomas (Cruel Intentions, Barbershop), Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy, Mistresses), Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy, Everwood) and Emily Swallow (Supernatural, The Mentalist). He received UVa’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 1991, the Mayo Distinguished Teaching Professorship in 1998 and was selected as an inaugural member of the University Academy of Teaching in 2011. He is a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Working as an actor in New York City, Richard studied with Michael Howard and performed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Chelsea Theatre Center, W.P.A. Theatre and Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. He has acted regionally in over one hundred roles in many prestigious regional theaters.

Film credits include: Homer Benson in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Dr. Ezra Abbott in Ridley Scott’s Killing Lincoln, Chester Bowles in National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy and Vic LeClue in Patriot Son. Richard played the lead opposite Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sarah Drew in the short film, Waking Marshall Walker which screened at over 40 film festivals. He played the lead role of Davey in Farewell Old Stringy and created the role of L.P. Everett in the episode, “The 20% Solution” for Homicide, Life on the Street.

As director, Richard has staged Hamlet, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Hedda Gabler, Hay Fever, A Raisin in the Sun, Cloud Nine, Fuddy Meers, The Foreigner, A Man for All Seasons, Misalliance, Suddenly Last Summer, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Laramie Project, Lend Me a Tenor, Lost in Yonkers, Driving Miss Daisy, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and True West.

Eva DeVirgilis

Hailing from NYC, Eva DeVirgilis brings her experience as an actor, coach, and keynote speaker to the Mid-Atlantic region.  Eva teaches Acting Extravaganza and additional beginning acting classes for arvold.education.

Eva studied with prominent actor Vincent D’Onofrio and credits him for teaching her the foundation of acting craft.  She shares techniques she learned from Mr. D’Onofrio in her On-Camera Acting Intensive classes. She was recently seen on stage in Sam and Carol, a role created for her by New York Times best-selling author, David L. Robbins; and is starring in Robbins’ next world premiere, The End Of War. Eva has been featured on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Legends & Lies: The Patriots, along with numerous other TV, film, commercials and web series. Known for her comedy, she performs improv regularly at the Coalition Theater in Richmond, VA. An activist for radical self-acceptance, Eva speaks across the country to women about ‘Ending the Apology.’ Her inspirational TEDxTalk, In My Chair, is the most watched talk in TEDxRVA history. Eva has a BFA in Musical Theatre from The New School University, NYC, and is an adjunct professor at VCU School of Business. Learn more at EvaDeVirgilis.com

Scott Wichmann

Scott Wichmann is an award-winning stage, film and television actor who has served as Actor-in-Residence at the University of Richmond and as adjunct public speaking professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business.  He teaches Acting Extravaganza and additional beginning acting classes for arvold.education.

Scott is a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts whose credits include Loving, Lincoln, Shooting the Prodigal, Turn:Washington’s Spies and the Hallmark Movie Channel film Lake Effects. In 2016 Scott was featured as his hero, John Adams, on both the FOX News Series Legends and Lies:The Patriots and in the musical 1776 at Virginia Repertory Theatre. Other VA Rep credits include The Producers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Say Goodnight Gracie, Fully Committed, Last of the Red Hot Lovers and This Wonderful Life. He can be seen in the world premiere play The End of War at VA Rep in March 2017.  Scott is an accomplished cabaret performer, director, and author of several educational plays for Theatre IV America. He holds a B.A. in Theatre and Speech from Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y., and proudly serves as a Mass Communications Specialist in the U.S. Navy Reserve. 

Rob Mello

Robert owns and teaches at The Robert Mello Studio in Atlanta, GA, the only acting studio in Atlanta offering complete Meisner-based training by an instructor with over 17 years of teaching experience.  He co-teaches The Art of Reviewing Your Self-Tape with Erica Arvold.

Robert has coached winners and nominees of the Golden Globe Award and the Tony Award, and students from The Robert Mello Studio have worked on dozens of hit TV shows, in feature films, Broadway and off-Broadway.

Robert is the former on-set acting coach for MTV’s Finding Carter. Though mostly retired from acting, he most recently worked opposite Ed Helms in the feature film, Bastards. He also appeared in a co-starring role in Devious Maids.  Prior, he worked opposite Hugh Jackman in the role of Roger in the feature film, Prisoners, booked two spots for Pantech phones and appeared in Pinch N’ Ouch Theatre Company’s production of Speed The Plow. In Chicago, he worked at many top theater companies, including the internationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company.

Robert is an active film producer.  His film, Coffee, Kill Boss opened The Austin Film Festival, closed the Soho Film Festival, won the Grand Jury award at the Maryland International Film Festival, won Best Comedy Feature at the Eugene International Film Festival, and won Best Feature, Best Director and Best Actress at L.A.’s Comedy Ninja Film Festival.  In 2012 he produced a SAG short, Finale, which premiered in Atlanta at the Out On Film Festival and was an audience favorite at the San Jose International Short Film Festival.

Robert’s teaching style is compassionate, straight-forward and filled with joy and humor.

Teaching is Robert’s greatest passion.