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Sonya Cooke 

Sonya Cooke is a film, television, and theatre actor based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A member of SAG-AFTRA and EMC candidate, Sonya’s career includes network television, independent film, regional and NY theatre, musical premieres, commercials, and voice-over credits.


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. Last summer, she joined the acting company of New Swan Shakespeare Festival and played the title role in Julius Caesar, among others. Other career highlights include Warner Brother’s Godzilla: Fathom, Louie on FX, and playing the title role in feature film, Lily Grace.


She 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 Seven Pillars Acting Studio: Los Angeles and has been the owner of Actor’s Studio of Orange County for ten years.


Currently, she teaches at the grad and undergrad level, and she leads the Teacher Certification Program for Seven Pillars Acting. Her book, Seven Pillars Acting, is the textbook for students of the technique, as well as at a growing number of universities and institutions across the country. 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.


Thais Francis

“The 7 pillars technique is really unique and quite helpful in digging deeper into work. It's especially helpful when you find material that you can't relate to. Sonya really is a caring teacher and makes the atmosphere fun yet very challenging. Definitely a studio that fully prepares actors to WORK.”

Erick McAllister

“Sonya caters to your needs, without you having to ask.  If you need to work out the process yourself, she allows you to do that.  If you need a more focused and direct type of teaching, she will give you that as well.  We are all different, and Sonya has found a way to reach each of us in our own way.”

Jeff Holmes

“Sonya is one of the smartest, talented, charming, gifted, patient, caring, creative person I have ever met. She has a wonderful way of keeping class moving along and making sure to include everyone in class and she truly is a wonderful teacher of the craft.”

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