You can't keep fire under a bush.



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Richard Zavaglia is a career Actor, Teacher and Director known for his work as the Owner and Aritstic Director of The Cabaret Theatre in East Orange, New Jersey.  Richard studied with Uta Hagen, Michael Shurtleff and graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.  He has a true passion for the craft and his lastest directing work includes the winter 2016 stage production of BURNING DESIRE, starring Lou Diamond Phillips (LONG MIRE).  His directing credits also include nationwide productions, such as LBJ, starring Laurence Luckinbill at Fords Theatre in Washington D.C., which raised $75,000 to benefit world hunger in one night.


Richard's acting credits include his upcoming lead role of Vince Lombardi in the production Lombardi at Riiverside Theatre in January 2018, his film role as Ed Howe in GOING IN STYLE (2017) released nationwide starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Matt Dillan and Alan Arkin and his Off-Broadway run of DINNER WITH THE BOYS starring Richard, Dan Lauria and Ray Abruzzo.  He has also performed on Broadway, starring in Neil Simon's CHAPTER TWO and PASSIONE and on screen in DONNIE BRASCO and BIRD.  


Richard has taught in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Florida as both a private coach and at conservatories such as the Burt Reynolds Institute of Film and Television, the Cuillo Center and at the prestigious Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton, to name a few.

"Richard Zavaglia's talent as an actor and teacher is only exceeded by his excellence at being a human being. Any student would be lucky to have him as a teacher."


- Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds, Godfather III)



"I have had the pleasure of working with and knowing Richard Zavaglia. I know that his experience and enthusiasm will be a benefit to anyone who chooses the path of the artist and has the opportunity to work with him"  


- Lou Diamond Phillips (Numb3rs, Longmire)

"Richard Zavaglia, who remains one of the treasured few since we met and worked together some 20 years ago, is as accomplished and distinguished a creative force as I have met in my travels."


- Ron Perlman (American Dad!, Sons of Anarchy)




Working with Richie (Zee) is like unearthing your own personal treasure trove. The exhilaration of discovering creative gems that you didn't realize were there, just waiting to be claimed.  He has crafted a wonderful life, working on Broadway, in TV and Film.  He shares all that experience with his students.  His enthusiasm for acting is infectious; work with him, and you'll catch it, but be warned... there's no antidote.


  Richie and I came from similar hard-working class backgrounds, neither of us looking like likely candidates for the limelight.  However he made a great life of it, and I am now working in commercials, on TV and recently in my first Hollywood movie, Pain and Gain, directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg, Ed Harris, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tony Shalhoub, Bar Paly and many more.  I'm living the dream.  Thank you, Richie, from the bottom of my heart."


- Richard Haylor (Burn Notice, The Glades, Pain and Gain)



"Richie Zavaglia, a teacher and a mentor who has not only taught me the true art of acting but has taught me to discover and develop my talents as a true artist to utilize throughout my life. He brings out the best in every individual with passion, expression, motivation, positivity, grace, integrity, and compassion. His experience and ability to perform as a coach, director and producer has made a strong and positive impact in in my career to get the results needed. He has taught me to be what I choose to be and beyond."


- Michiko Ssaki  - (Broadway tour, White Collar)



"Richard Zavaglia loves the craft and the art of teaching it.  He inspired me to get back into acting and was instrumental in the development of my skills that helped me land national movie and TV roles."


- Peter Marzill (Burn Notice, House of Bodies)



“I worked with my good friend Richard in two plays.  He's a complete professional, and one of the best teachers in our business.  He's also a great soul.  He helped make me a more giving actor... and man.”


- George Solomon (Darkness Before Dawn, Married with Children)



“Richie was responsible for bringing me to the next level as an actor.  After years of working in community theatre, Richie’s classes gave me the skills and, most importantly, the confidence I needed to become a professional actor.  In my first year, I booked a speaking part on The Glades on A&E and two professional stage roles.  I recommend Richie Z.’s classes to anyone who wishes to pursue acting professionally.”


- Michael Beecher (The Glades, 12 Angry Men)



" When we actors venture into this crazy craft, we can only hope to find great and inspirational teachers along the path to success. For me, that instructor is Richard Zavaglia. As a world-class actor Richie knows the process well. He’s been where you’ve been and knows what it takes to get ahead. As a veteran director he can deftly digest a script and guide you through its mighty secrets in a way that makes perfect sense. As a result, his lessons take you to places that not only fill your head, but touch your heart."


- Todd Caster (10+ published plays, Dream a Little Dream of Me)



"Richard has helped me understand and break down a script like I wasn't able to before.  His interpretation of dialogue and instincts in a script uncovers subtext.  If you know anything or nothing about acting he'll help you know more and be a better version of what you are."


- Elvire Emanuelle (HITS, Rock of Ages, Eclipsed)

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