TESOL Drama offers exclusive dramatic training workshops for teachers and artists all over the world facilitated by performing art scholars, professionals, and practitioners. We are a NYC based art education institution and conduct creative professional development workshops in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Florence. No art or teaching experience required, just a passion for art and drama!


Dr. Marisol Santana (maiden name Tirelli), founder of TESOL Drama, has designed curriculum using the most innovative arts education and communication methodologies for grades K-12 and at the college level for the last nine years. In 2010, she founded TESOL Drama which has provided professional development workshops for English teachers in New York City; Los Angeles; Paris, France; and Florence, Italy. In conjunction to the workshops, she also created the TESOL International Film and Art Exhibit which has produced multimedia art shows in New York City and in a Montmartre, Paris gallery. My experience has also included coaching senior executives and professionals from China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, India, Russia, Iran, Europe, South America, and more to successfully achieve high level communication skills and cultural assimilation, and has facilitated employee development training for the Estée Lauder Companies, NYC corporate headquarters. She also developed a 12 week online for executive American English conversation and American cultural understanding. 

She has performed in various venues in Los Angeles and New York City over the past twenty years. Marisol is a graduate of Pepperdine University, with a BA degree in Theatre Arts/Acting, where she also studied opera with the Mozartum, in Florence, Italy. She is a graduate of NYU with a Masters degree in Educational Theatre, and has a doctorate in Art and Art Education from Columbia University, Teachers College. In 2011, her play Fashion the Musical won Best Overall Musical for the West Village Musical Theatre Festival. Marisol is the founder of TESOL Drama and continues to perform, teach, and create in global venues, transcending cultures though the universal expressions of art. She is currently on the faculty as a Professor of English in the ESL Department at New Jersey City University where she teaches English composition and courses in critical thinking, speaking, and writing for undergraduates.

Other clients have included: International TEFL Training Institute, Posco America, Samsung, ING Financial Services, and more.

Awards Include: The Haven Foundation Grant, Dissertation Research Grant, Columbia University- Teachers College, Dean’s Grant for Student Research, Columbia University- Teachers College, Dramatist Guild Playwriting Grant, Max’s Kansas City Project Grant, Moser-Burton Art Education Fellowship, Columbia University- Teachers College, Minority Scholarship, Columbia University- Teachers College, Dean’s Opportunity Scholarship, New York University, Hispanic Scholarship Award, Lily Endowment for the Arts, Pepperdine University, and Ahmanson Arts Foundation Scholarship, Pepperdine University.

For more info, visit www.marisolsantana.com


José Angel Santana, Ph.D., Director of Mutual Understanding for TESOL Drama, is an educator, a Bravo Network "Arts for Change” award-winning director, accomplished actor, and innovator in the field of interpersonal communication. He was a student of the great Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre and appears throughout the documentaries Sanford Meisner Master Class directed by Sidney Pollack and Sanford Meisner: The Theater’s Best Kept Secret.


Today he serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Directing Actors, in the Columbia University Graduate Film School, New York City; and has taught his course The Art of Connecting, in the Professional Development Division at The School of Visual Art, in New York since 2007.


As the Head of the Acting Program at the NYU Graduate School of Film from 2008 – 2012, he influenced and continues to mentor some of today's most promising and award-winning young filmmakers. His association teaching actors and directors at NYU dates back to the early 80's when, in association with David Mamet, he was among the first teachers of students who founded The Atlantic Theater Company.  


As an acclaimed young actor, José Angel Santana recognized pervasive media violence's destructive influence on young people's lives. Rather than continue making such programs, in 1987 he set out to work full-time to help young people.


Over his 35 years of working with teenagers, first as Drama Director of Jane Fonda's Laurel Springs Performing Arts Ranch, then as co-founder and Drama Director of Santa Barbara's award-wining City At Peace Youth Program, Dr. Santana combined professional actor training with the openhearted methods of conflict resolution/mediation to create a unique approach to reaching and teaching "empathy" to young people, who otherwise might have fallen through society's cracks. Today, he provides consulting services to teachers and students for the Board of Education in his hometown of Union City, NJ, teaching professional practices in the Performing Arts and Film & Television. 


For his work with City At Peace, he was recognized as a Santa Barbara "Local Hero" in 1999.


As a young actor, José Angel Santana received critical acclaim for his heartbreaking debut performance as "José - the Junkie" in Sidney Lumet's Prince Of The City and is remembered as the "Strange Boutique Owner" with Madonna in the ‘80’s cult classic Desperately Seeking Susan. Among his other featured performances in film are, “Benny” in Batteries Not Included with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, along with roles in Night Hawks, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Garbo Talks and The Morning After with Jane Fonda.


He has originated leading roles in works by some of our most important international contemporary playwrights: three world premiers of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet's works: The Blue Hour directed by Mr. Mamet at the New York Shakespeare Festival; Edmond directed by Gregory Mosher at Chicago's Goodman Theater and in its OBIE Award winning production at the legendary Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village; and Mamet's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard directed by Mosher with Oscar Nominees (Fargo) W.H.Macy and (Places in the Heart) Lindsay Crouse.

In 1979, he acted alongside Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington in the New York Shakespeare Festival's Central Park production of Coriolanus.


He originated leading roles in Academy Award Nominee (Reds) Trevor Griffiths' Real Dreams directed by Mr. Griffiths and opposite two time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey at the Williamstown Theater Festival; in Joe Cacaci's Self Defense directed by Arvin Brown at the Long Wharf Theater and Off-Broadway; in Eduardo Machado's The Modern Ladies of Guanabacoa directed by James Hammerstein, at Ensemble Studio Theatre, in New York City; and the title role in Felipe Santander's, Casa de Las Americas award-winning play, El Extensionista directed by John Dillon, at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.


In television he co-starred alongside renowned playwright/actor and leading member of the Nuyorican literary movement, Miguel Piñero in the Emmy award-winning episode of Miami Vice - Calderon's Demise; as well as in episodes of Hill Street Blues, The Twilight Zone and Beverly Hills 90210, and once again with Oscar nominated actress Lindsay Crouse, in the Lifetime Channel movie Stranger In My House.


He is a lifetime member of New York's Ensemble Studio Theater. 


For more information, visit www.joseangelsantana.com.