The Drama School
Teaching Staff

“What makes the National great is how grounded it is. It teaches you so many things but most importantly that if you want to work in this industry, you have to work hard and really want it.” Eddie Orton Graduate 2014

Trent Baker Headshot

Trent Baker
Director of Drama

Trent has over 20 years experience in the Australian entertainment industry as an educator, theatre director and actor. He is a graduate of WAAPA’s three-year acting stream, the VCA’s postgraduate directing program and an International Fellow of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London. He also trained for a two year period with renowned Michael Chekhov teacher Daniele Legler.

One of the 12 actors that created Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Trent has performed for Melbourne Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Red Stitch, Railway St Theatre, 45 Downstairs and La Mama theatre. He has also worked extensively in film and television in Australia.

As a director and educator he has worked in both the Theatre and Musical Theatre undergraduate courses at W.A.A.P.A. and  V.C.A. Melbourne Theatre Company main stage and Education, Bell Shakespeare, Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Spiegeltent Melbourne, St Martins Youth Theatre, Monash and La Trobe universities and The National Theatre Drama School. He is also a teaching artist internationally for ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association).

His teaching specialties are Shakespeare in performance, improvisation and American text studies.

Danielle Carter Headshot

Danielle Carter

Danielle Carter is an acclaimed Australian actress and graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She has also trained at the Moscow Arts Theatre School, MICHA and the Michael Chekhov school in Hudson New York.

She has worked as an on set Acting tutor for various film and television productions, and also works with professional actors as a performance coach, has written a book for Currency Press called Racing Against Timean Actors guide for working in film and television and has directed productions for St Martins Youth Theatre and the undergraduate course at VCA.

She has a Diploma of Education from UWS and has taught in the undergraduate courses at W.A.A.P.A. (Acting and Theatre Making), V.C.A. (Film and Television, the Acting and Musical Theatre departments) Federation University, NIDA Open programme, The National Theatre Drama School, 16th Street, Film and Television International and St Martins Youth Theatre.

Les Cartwright Headeshot

Les Cartwright

After training as a Voice and Speech specialist teacher, he was awarded the Dorothy Dwyer Memorial Scholarship by the University of Melbourne, and pursued advanced studies in luminary teachers Greta Colson, Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenburg and Rowena Balos.

In 1992 he was invited to the first International Conference of Theatre Voice Teachers at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK; and in 2010 he presented a seminar-workshop for the British Voice Association on Extending the Actor’s Range.

In Addition to teaching at the National Theatre Drama School, Les has taught voice for the MTC and Malthouse, as well as VCA, NIDA, Federation university and 16th Street Studio.

He has worked as Voice/Dialect coach on many theatre productions, including The Boy from OZ (Todd McKenny tour), Reg Cribb’s Last Train to Freo, Stephen Sewell’s Nil, Cat and Buried, and Marguerite Duras’ Agatha.

For TV he is voice consultant to Fremantle Media Group and works regularly with the actors in Neighbours.

Vincent Crowley Headshot

Vincent Crowley

Vincent trained as an actor but has spent much of his career working in Dance Theatre and Physical Theatre. He has worked in Australia, the US and Europe with companies and artists such as Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre, TanzTheater Basel, Salzburger Festwochen, Schauspiel Koeln, Steierischer Herbst, Spike Jones and Force Majeur.

He is a founding member of both Splinter Group and Torque Show and has co-created a number of theatre works with these companies including “Intimacy”, “Madame” and the Green Room Award winning “Lawn”.  “Intimacy” was invited to London’s Southbank Centre in 2014 as part of the Unlimited Festival and “Madame” recently premiered as part of The State Theatre Company of South Australia’s 2015 season to rave reviews.

His broad range of physical training and performance experience ranges from classical ballet through contemporary dance, contact improvisation, personal training and the Feldenkrais Method.  He has taught movement to actors and dancers in both professional companies and tertiary institutions in Germany and Australia.  He has been teaching at the National Theatre Drama School Advanced Diploma since 2012.

Margaret Mills Headshot

Margaret Mills

A graduate of VCA School of Drama Margaret has performed in over thirty productions with MTC, The Malthouse, La Mama, Belvoir St, STC, Black Sequin Productions, Whistling in the Theatre and Ranters Theatre with such writers and directors as Andrew Bovell, Jenny Kemp, Neil Armfield, Roger Hodgman, Marguerite Duras, Daniel Keene, Raimondo and Adriano Cortese, Melissa Reeves, and Noelle Janaczewska. Credits include The Doll’s House, Angels in America, A Cheery Soul, History of Water, Still Angela, The Black Sequin Dress, Speaking in Tongues(from which Lantana was adapted). She has co-written several produced plays. Her film work includes The Golden Braid (Paul Cox), Bachelor Girl (Rivka Hartman) and the international award winning short film The Other Days of Ruby Rae.

Lisle Jones Headshot

Lisle Jones

Lisles early career in Australia included joining Stratford’s Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company (The precursor to the R.S.C.) on their first Australian Tour. After an extended period of work with Gertrude Johnston at the National Theatre he went to Britain in 1958 were he worked extensively as a professional actor and headed the drama department of London’s Arts Educational School for a number of years.

He was then invited to return to Australia to join recently formed W.A.A.P.A. (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) first as Head of Acting, then as Head of the Theatre Department. He retired in 1995 and returned to Melbourne (his home town) to live in St Kilda. Lisle’s many high profile ex students include Hugh Jackman, Frances O’Connor (A.I, The Importance of Being Earnest)  Dominic Purcell (Prison Break, Blade Trinity) , William McInnes (The Slap, Sea change)  and Robert Taylor (The Matrix, Longmire). In 2012, he reestablished his connection with The National Theatre and its greatly expanded drama school as an honorary lecturer.

April Albert Headshot

April Albert

April is a performer, theatre maker and educator. Her work places an emphasis on mixing theory and practice. I have a strong focus on contemporary European/ Australian theatre and global performance. Theatre with a purpose: to inform, educate, and challenge audiences.  I challenge students to articulate and evolve their practice as theatremakers, to look beyond theatre’s trivialisation as entertainment by the media, and ask what is the role and function of theatre in not only their society, but in our modern, global world.

I encourage actors to tell a story with their physical and emotional presence, as well as knowledge and research to help make intelligent choices and see the text as a whole from a director’s perspective. Previous teaching experience includes Victorian College of the Arts – Acting 1- Short Courses, Acting for Musical Theatre, National Theatre Drama School – Devising for Performance, Elements of Theatre 1 and 2 in Advanced Diploma of Acting Degree AIM (Australian Institute of Music)- Cultural Policy, and Creativity in B.A. Arts Management Degree.

Katie Cawthorne

Katie began directing in 2002, producing work in Melbourne, Mexico, Darwin, Sydney and Canberra. In 2015 she completed her Masters of Fine Arts in Directing at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), after previously qualifying at the University of Melbourne (Graduate Diploma of Education) and Flinders University (Bachelor of Arts).

She became the Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Theatre in January 2015 and has since directed SKIN, The 24 Hour Butoh Project, The Verbatim Project, The Greek Project – Antigone poem every day and Filtered with CYT. In 2016 Katie was a awarded a Canberra Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Revitalising and advancing Canberra Youth Theatre.

Since graduating from NIDA, Katie has also directed short works for Warehouse Circus, The Public Theatre (Design Canberra Festival) and Aspen Island Theatre Company. Katie is co-founder of The Anchor theatre company, which produced its first show, How Are You? at The Public Theatre in 2015. The team are developing a full length version of this work to be performed in Sydney in late 2018.

Joachim Matschoss Headshot

Joachim Matschoss

Joachim has presented Workshops and Masterclasses for Theatre all over the world, most recently in , Singapore, Uzbekistan, India, Malaysia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

Joachim is a director, writer and teacher of theatre. Joachim has published numerous artciles on creativity and Theatre. He is a poet and wrote many plays that have been performed in Australia, the UK, Germany, USA and Canada.

Lucy Velik

Lucy began her acting career at the age of ten, with guest appearances in such shows as Blue Heelers, Saddle ClubStingersRush, Offspring and Mr & Mrs Murder. Lucy’s recent credits include Mirrah Foulkes’ feature Judy & Punch, Hamish & Andy’s True Story (season two), Olivia Newton John: Hopelessly Devoted To YouThe Ex PM (seasons one & two), and Steve Oram’s UK feature Aaaaaaaah! Lucy’s theatre work includes The Dream for Bell Shakespeare, and That Face and Farragut North for Red Stitch. Lucy is also a writer and director, having written and directed for the stage and screen. She is also passionate about mentoring actors, with a particular interest in guiding young women and girls who are pursuing careers in the arts. Lucy has completed a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma of Law from Monash University, and a Cert IV in Training and Assessment from Victoria University, all of which assists her as a mentor, teacher and director.

Peter Blackburn

Peter Blackburn

Peter is a theatre-maker and acting teacher with a long history in the arts. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Film, a post-graduate degree in Education and a Masters in Directing from the Victorian College of the Arts.  Peter keeps his passion for literature and media studies alive by teaching at the esteemed Trinity College at Melbourne University, but focuses most of his professional teaching time now to training and coaching actors across a broad spectrum of experience, from emerging artists to those already fully immersed in the arts and entertainment industry.

Peter has worked with many of Australia’s leading actor-training institutions, bringing his wide-ranging approach to applied script analysis and long-form improvisational techniques for generating content and exploring text in rehearsal settings. Peter is also a dedicated (and award-winning) theatre-maker, staging numerous productions at home and abroad.

Phillipa Devine Headshot

Phillipa Devine

Philippa is an executive leadership coach and registered yoga teacher, working with people engaged in beneficial human endeavours and who want to exercise the subtle intelligences that arise in the moving field of action and reflection. She helps people find and play their unique parts well, in service of their work, their ensemble or team partners, their conversations, and even the continuum of their place of contribution.
At the National Theatre she has trained acting students since 2014 and also worked with ballet students, offering a yogic approach to the development of movement, breath and focus. Philippa has taught Yoga since 2006 alongside a professional services business career.
Philippa is accredited with the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL), registered as a senior teacher with Yoga Australia, and holds B.A. / B.Bus. (Management), B.Sc. Hons. (Psychology), and Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. She is a board member at Gasworks Arts Park, chair of a community garden in the City of Port Phillip, and volunteers with Bush Search and Rescue Victoria.

Nadine Dimitrievitch

Nadine Dimitrievitch is a multidisciplinary performer and director based in Melbourne. Nadine graduated from Swinburne University with a Diploma of Theatre Arts (2007) and completed the professional course at the prestigious L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq – Paris (2012). She recently completed her Master of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts investigating choreographic process and storytelling.

Nadine founded the physical theatre company Bone Marrow Theatre, producing several physical theatre pieces including ‘Exodus’ (2013 Melbourne Fringe), ‘La Peste’ (2014) and ‘Tales from Ovid’ (2015).  Nadine facilitates physical theatre and movement workshops and has taught at various institutions such as the Victorian College of the Arts, the National Institute of Circus Arts and BoilOver Inclusive Theatre.

Most recently, Nadine collaborated with Nancy Black on Victorian Opera’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and is currently developing a new work for Caulfield Grammar School.