Program Faculty

Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan


Robert Murray Duncan

Acting for Animators: Character Animation Dept.

Robert has been teaching Acting for Animators at CalArts since 2008.  He has lectured at DreamWorks Feature Animation on the Meisner acting process as it relates to animation performance and directing, and was then requested to create a session on Directing Actors for Camera by Kung Fu Panda Director John Stevenson.  He has taught practicums on Directing Voice Actors for the CalArts Experimental Animation Dept, and Directing Actors for Camera at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. 

He first began teaching alongside William Alderson, Master Teacher and former Director of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.

Robert is an artist and entrepreneur.

He is Co-creator, Producer and Director of an animated series pilot entitled "LAND Of Zi," which was a finalist and won awards at leading festivals (Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, Cartoons on the Bay - Italy, Anima Mundi Cellular -Brazil, AniMadrid –Spain, and CINANIMA -Portugal.  The work created a excitement when presented at MIPCOM (Cannes, France) and led to multiple business meetings in China for ongoing discussions on co-production and distribution with companies there.

Robert was honored to be introduced to his position at CalArts through animation artist Mike Nguyen.  He came to know Mike when engaging his team at July Films for the creation of the LAND OF Zi pilot, a series designed to introduce children to the written Chinese characters. 

Robert has extensive experience as an actor, director and producer of both stage and camera work.  (NYC: Actors Studio, Circle Rep Lab, York Theatre Company.  LA: The Road Theatre Company, Company of Angles, Antaeus Theatre Company.  And Atlanta Theatre for Actors, Duke University Theatre, San Diego Rep, and many others.)  He served an apprenticeship as Understudy to John Malkovich in the world premiere of Burn This at the Mark Taper Forum.  Robert later received rave reviews after performing the role of Pale in a highly successful production of Burn This at San Diego Rep Theatre.

Robert’s first experience in animation was with Walt Disney Feature Animation where his brother Ken introduced him to animator John Pomeroy, which led to work as the live action reference character for John Smith in “Pocahontas.”

Most recently, during the summer of 2018, Robert acted in a Shakespeare in the Park production of Macbeth in Sierra Madre, CA and also directed Memorial Day - a veteran’s relationship with PTSD at The Off-Road Theatre, becoming their most successful Road production to date.  He is now directing and editing a documentary of producer/playwright Brian Delate’s development Memorial Day, as supported by Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino. 

Robert won a Los Angeles Dramalogue Critics Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Role for his work in Judevine.  He has appeared in several television Guest Star roles (Stargate SG-1, Third Watch, Dead Man's Gun, First Wave, The New Addams Family, Days of Our Lives, and others.)  He traveled to work in Kyoto, Japan for "We Met in Osaka” and more recently traveled to London, England to meet with the supportive fans of his character of Seth in Stargate SG-1.

Robert earned a full scholarship to the Master Class of the University of Alberta’s Banff School of Fine Arts and shortly after was studying in New York City where he graduated from the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre under the tutelage of Sanford Meisner, William Alderson and Richard Pinter.  He later returned to earn a certificate in Directing and Independent Production at NYU, School of Professional Studies.