ADULT ACTING CLASSES
The National Drama School provides a place for artists to develop and maintain skills in a supportive and inclusive community.
If you’ve always wanted to enter the world of stage or screen acting, our introductory courses offer the perfect opportunity for you to tap into your creative talents!
Our diverse array of short courses explore movement, voice, text and screen acting provide opportunities for actors and industry professionals to refresh their skills and check in with current developments in the field.
Engage, connect and upskill under the guidance of expert industry teachers – we look forward to seeing you in class!
Dr Jo Loth
Director of Drama
INTRODUCTION TO STAGE ACTING
Ready to tread the boards? Introduction to Stage Acting is your first step in learning the craft of stage acting with an eight-week course designed to unleash your imagination, develop your confidence and expand your storytelling skills. Learn how to create dynamic onstage energy, speak with clarity and confidence, and build ensemble skills. Introduction to Stage Acting participants will explore improvisations and short scenes in a supportive, inspiring and creative environment.
Introduction to Stage Acting
Available in terms one and three
Wed 7:30-9:30 or Sat 1:00-3:00
8-week course fees $416
INTRODUCTION TO SCREEN ACTING
Introduction to Screen Acting is an eight-week course that will help you build your confidence in front of a camera and explore the craft and skills behind acting for film, television, and social media.
Participants will develop screen acting skills through acting exercises and a combination of monologue and scene work to camera. Students will learn how to break down texts and discuss tone, while using techniques to understand and empathise with their chosen character. You will also explore the form of self-tapes that have become the industry norm for initial auditions.
While no prerequisites are required, this class is perfect for students who have completed Introduction to Stage Acting.
Introduction to Screen Acting
Available in terms two and four
Wed 7:30-9:30 or Sat 1:00-3:00
8-week course fees $416
THE CREATIVE BODY
The Creative Body workshop series is focussed on tapping into your creative expression through movement. Take the challenge to get out of your head and into your body!
In terms one and two, join Anne O’Keeffe to explore the profound expressive capacity of the body, through the lenses of Michael Chekhov Technique and Laban Movement Analysis.
The Creative Body
8-week course fees $416
Acting is about TRANSFORMATION…inhabiting the character and their given circumstances ‘from the ground up’. But how do we do this? How do we reclaim the intelligence of the body, whilst engaging with the craft of acting? These practices will open the door to the joy, dynamism and specificity of embodied acting, inviting your full sense of self to inform both character and storytelling. Whether you are new to acting or an experienced professional, this is an opportunity to deepen your awareness of the bridge between inner life and outer behaviour – leading to greater transformation as an actor.
‘I cannot speak highly enough of Anne. She is the most amazing teacher and mentor! By focusing on breath and physical exploration, Anne has given me invaluable tools to get out of my head and into my body. This process has been integral in breathing a fresh new life into my character work, taking my performances to the next level. Thanks Anne!!’ Menik Gooneratne (Neighbours, Underbelly, Lion (AUS) NCIS (LA)
‘Through her teaching, Anne offers a space free from judgement that allows the student’s creativity to come to the fore. Her intimate knowledge of the Michael Chekhov technique allows for key insights to unlock a truthful performance, where the character can be revealed through the actor. Anne’s technical expertise, coupled with her open-heartedness and generosity of spirit, allows for a very rewarding and deeply connected learning experience.’ Zoë Steiner (Significant Others, currently on ABC)
‘I had the absolute pleasure of working with Anne on the television series, Neighbours. Through my sessions with her, I was able to not only refine and nuance my performance, but also develop personally as an artist. Anne provides a space to dissect, discuss and discover; and this investigatory hub is not limited to characterisation. Anne empowers the cast to take responsibility as artists for not only cultivating their performances, but for their ultimate place in the world.’ Eve Morey (Neighbours, Total Control, Mystery Road, Intimacy Co-ordinator and Producer)
Take a deep dive into textual analysis and the power of words!
In term one, join Charlie Cousins to explore Mike Alfred’s rehearsal technique to immerse yourself in the world of play. This technique affords actors the confidence to be spontaneous and fully present in each moment in order to be ‘different every night’.
8-week course fee $416
Classes will include work on:
Actions – how to clarify and sharpen them, how to land and sustain them, and how to broaden and deepen our palette of choices.
Objectives – how to identify and truly connect with them, how to deeply embody and live with them, and how to place all of our attention and needs on our fellow actors/scene partners.
Obstacles – how they enrich the performance and make the objectives much more specific, complex and crucial.
Feeding-in – a process of slowing down and stretching out a scene so that the actor can dare to be braver, and truly play and discover in the moment.
Specific Improvisations – where we get to uncover and explore the world of the play and learn of its specific rules and conventions that make up this particular reality.
Points of Concentration – a process of applying the given circumstances to the action of the play. It gives the performance richness of texture, complexity and resonance. Whole new worlds of possibilities open up with how the moments can be played.
‘I have found Charlie’s classes to be freeing both physically and mentally. The classes are fun, active and incredibly beneficial. Charlie’s energy and passion fuels every class and has a way of keeping everyone present and engaged in the room. I cannot recommend this way of work, nor Charlie as a teacher enough.’ – Ross Dwyer.
‘Being guided by Charlie through Mike Alfreds’ rehearsal process has deepened my appreciation for theatre and the endless possibilities lying dormant within the form. With gentleness and warmth, he has encouraged me to back myself and take risks, showing me that my choices on stage can be bold and full-bodied without losing their sense of truth or fidelity to the play. I have made many surprising discoveries in Charlie’s class, which I owe to the sense of safety he brings to the space – not to mention his sense of play! I love his passion for the work and the discipline and focus he brings to it. Working with him has given me a glimpse of the work ethic required of a committed actor and been pivotal in my development.’ – Joseph Billings
‘Charlie Cousins intuitively taps into each actor’s needs, identifying the areas they will most benefit from developing while simultaneously celebrating and validating their strengths. Like all the best teachers, he never shies away from pushing actors in necessary directions and challenging their growth areas, but always approaches feedback with genuine kindness, support and interest. He has given me real, practical techniques to help me develop characters that are complex and nuanced, and to ensure I can always inhabit a character and not simply “act” them.’ – Jen Bush
The Suzuki method for the contemporary actor
Connect the mind, body and spirit.
Tap into your expressive potential.
Ground yourself in the present moment.
Develop spatial awareness and self-discipline.
Heighten your awareness and find relaxation under pressure.
The Suzuki Method of actor training is a world-renowned technique that develops physical and vocal presence, precision and power. Train with and alongside some of Australia’s most experienced Suzuki practitioners in these action-packed workshops: each teacher offers a distinctive approach to the method.
The Suzuki Method is physically intensive with adaptations for different levels of fitness and ability. The goal of the training is to work at your own ‘edge’, whatever that may be.
Suzuki Method for Contemporary Actors
8-week course fee $416
Terms one and four will be led by Director of Drama, Dr Jo Loth. Jo has trained with Oz Frank, The Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) and Kristin Linklater and has developed a combination of the Suzuki method with Linklater voice
Term two by Emma Louise Pursey who has trained with Oz Frank, SCOT and Ellen Lauren of the Saratoga Institute of Theatre (SITI) and has created exercises that give the method a contemporary spin.
Term three by Selene Beretta. Selene has trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company ensemble in New York City as well as Saratoga Springs and includes Viewpoints explorations in her Suzuki Classes.
Testimonials for Dr Jo Loth:
“It is Jo’s vast experience as both a performer and a teacher of the Suzuki Method that makes her Physical Theatre workshops stand out. Her methodologies and temperament as a teacher allow her to work with both experienced and inexperienced performers alike. Working with Jo gave me a new perspective on the Suzuki Method affording me the time to experiment with training until I found it in my own body” Stephen Quinn, Performance maker and producer
“After a break from acting roles, training with Jo was an incredibly powerful way to retune my mental focus, strengthen and anchor my body work, and release my voice. The beautiful blend of guided practice and deep reflection helped me feel confident in my process and ability. It was a really wonderful experience” Lucinda Shaw, Actor and singer/ songwriter
“Jo is a fantastic teacher who is not only masterful at her craft but also encouraging and supportive of her students. Every time I do a series with her I find something new in the training and in myself. The Suzuki training has emboldened me to be conscious of the limitations I set myself, both mentally and physically, and to push past them. It has helped me find an inner strength as well as a physical one, that I am yet to find anywhere else. I look forward to the next series!” Heidi Harrison, Performer and Playwright
Take your ‘self-tapes’ to the next level with rising screen star Cazz Bainbridge.
The past few years have seen self-taping become the bread and butter of an actor’s toolbox; we need them for just about any type of casting (big or small) and as material for our work for prospective classes, programs and industry professionals.
In two three-hour classes, over two weeks Cazz will guide participants through techniques for breaking down a script, technical fundamentals, bringing your unique authenticity to your performance and shift your mindset from hindrance to empowerment in your self-tape practice. Actors will gain insight, confidence and experience in transferring a scene to the format of a self-tape, working with a reader and taking direction from Cazz. All participants will receive a completed self-tape.
Two x 3hr classes fee $340
vocal TOOLKIT for drama teachers
This one-day intensive, led by Director of Drama Dr jo Loth, provides Drama teachers with practical techniques for their own vocal health and dynamic vocal activities for their classes. Based on Kristin Linklater’s vocal techniques to free the voice, this workshop will cover vocal health care, postural alignment for effective voice production, vocal power for audibility, clarity of articulation, resonance for richness of vocal tone and carrying power of the voice. Approaches to develop engaging vocal expression will be woven into the workshop.
Voice Toolkits for Drama Teachers
Sunday 19 March 2023. 10:00-4:00
Full day course fee $220
“Jo’s approach to vocal training has truly been life-changing for me. A former classroom teacher, I’ve struggled endlessly with vocal tension. With Jo’s warmth, generosity and depth of knowledge, she has helped me to unlock a voice I am proud of, that supports me in the work I do at Zen Zen Zo and personally as I remember my Wiradjuri language and culture. I find her work to be accessible and rewarding. I cannot recommend Jo enough.” Nicole Reilly, Artistic Director, Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre (Brisbane)
“Jo’s voice teaching balances the technical, theoretical, personal and practical, so that by the end of each session I had both a lived experience of the benefits of this training, as well as a lot of food for thought. I found Jo’s teaching style very accessible. I felt heard on a personal level as well as professional. I have been able to take away some of the concepts to try out with my own theatre students. I look forward to further study with Jo.” Damara Sylvester, Artistic Director, Inside-Out Circus and Physical Theatre (New Zealand)