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Sonya Cooke is an Assistant Professor of Acting and Head of Undergraduate Performance at Louisiana State University’s School of Theatre. Founder and author of Seven Pillars Acting, Sonya opened and ran two acting studios in Southern California, namely Seven Pillars Acting Studio: Los Angeles and Actor’s Studio of Orange County. Her book, Seven Pillars Acting, is the main textbook for students of the technique at universities and institutions across the globe. Currently, she teaches at the grad and undergrad level, and she leads the Teacher Certification Program for Seven Pillars Acting.


A member of SAG-AFTRA, Sonya is a working actor with credits in network television, independent film, regional and NY theatre, commercials, and voice-over mediums. Most recently, she acted in Chicago PD, booked the lead role in a short horror film, and played the title role in Gloria by Brendan Jacobs-Jenkins at Equity theatre, Swine Palace. This summer she will join the acting company of New Swan Shakespeare Festival and play the title role in Julius Caesar, among others. Other career highlights include Warner Brother’s Godzilla: Fathom, Louie by Louie C.K. on FX, and playing the title role in feature film, Lily Grace.


A member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers, Sonya has worked with many institutions all over the country as a teacher, curriculum writer and program developer, such as Hussian College In Studio in Downtown LA, University of California at Irvine, The Guthrie Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Blizzard Entertainment, and more. 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.

Sonya Cooke coaching


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March 1st 2023


Booked a Co-Star on NBC, playing the role of "Child Advocate"

Summer 2023

Beware the Ides of March!

Will play the title role in Julius Caesar and Duke Senior in As You Like It at New Swan Shakespeare Festival in Irvine, California

April 2023


Will lead the upcoming biannual Seven Pillars Acting Symposium for Certified Instructors

October 2022

Playing Lead in Short

Cast as the lead in horror short film Despondent directed by Narjes Abbas and produced in New Orleans, LA

April 4th 2023

VoyageLA featured Sonya Cooke in a recent article. Click the link to read it. 

January 2023


Chapter on Seven Pillars Acting included in Vocal Traditions book, published by Routlege. 

Fall 2022

Design Mark

The unique seven-pointed star for Seven Pillars Acting is now a federally registered design-mark

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