Directors Acting 2013 / 2014 Workshops

Hello! Below are the workshops we’ve lined up this winter. Alongside the normal week long or longer workshops we’ve added what we’re calling ‘Taster Weekends’. These weekends are about opening up the availability of practitioners who have a high level of process in their work although not necessarily a high profile. We feel what they have to offer would benefit any director serious about their craft. We’ve kept these weekends low cost to encourage everyone to take part in as many workshops as possible. We hope you find the line-up interesting and we hope to see you this winter.

If you would like to reserve a place on any of the them or you have any queries, please email Nora at

In Rehearsal

With Ian Rickson

When: 2nd – 6th of December 2013
Where: Forest Hill Space
Times: 10.30 - 5.00
How Much: £200
Who for: Directors

Ian will be using his rehearsal process and exercises to explore Turgenev's A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY which he plans to direct in 2014.

Ian is a British theatre and film director. He was the Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre in London from 1998 to 2006 and currently works freelance. In 2009 he was made an Honorary Professor for Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Kent's School of Arts.

Wikipedia link to Ian’s biography:

Shared Experience in Rehearsal

With Polly Teale

When: 9th – 13th of December 2013
Where: ethnal Green Space, London
Times: 10.30 - 5.00
How Much: £0
Who for: Directors and Actors

Polly Teale, Artistic Director of Shared Experience Theatre, explores new play Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs, which she directs next spring in the West End. This is an opportunity to learn about key exercises from the rehearsal room while exploring this exciting new play.

She will focus on the following areas; Working with character objectives and obstacles and getting these into the actors body, making the world of the play and the character's inner life vivid, excavating the text and exploring the subtext of the scenes. Finding the character's physicality and exploring how their back story and life experience manifests in their body and emotional life.

Tom Piper, Polly’s designer on this piece, will be joining the group for a session to look at how choices about space and design affect dynamics on stage. Tom Piper is an Associate Designer for the RSC.

Some of the exercises are physical and require you to learn through experience. Come prepared to dive in and explore. Comfortable clothing please.

Polly Teale has created a unique body of work as a writer and director that has won critical and audience acclaim with productions transferring to the West End and touring internationally. An award- winning theatre practitioner, she has been artistic director of Shared Experience since 1995. She has also authored a number of original plays and stage adaptations, including Jane Eyre and Brontë, and After Mrs Rochester for which she won the Evening Standard Award for Best Director and the Time Out Award for Best West End Production. Other directing credits include: Bracken Moor, Mary Shelley, Speechless (co- writer/director), The Glass Menagerie, Mine (writer/director), Ten Tiny Toes, Kindertransport, Madame Bovary, The Clearing, A Doll’s House, The House of Bernarda Alba, Desire Under the Elms, and, as co-director, War and Peace (co- production with National Theatre) and Mill on the Floss. Polly has also written a screenplay of her 2003 play, Brontë, which has recently been sold to Pathé.


With Mike Alfreds

When: 20th January – Feb 1st 2014
Where: St Gabriel’s Halls
Times: 10.30 - 5.00 (Please note, Thursday the 30th of January will be a half day session)
How Much: £375
Who for: Directors and Actors

A 10 day workshop to discover some of the dramatic and theatrical possibilities that can be opened up by exploring a wide range of storytelling techniques, using both devised (improvised) and existing material. This will involve approaches to the adaptation of non-dramatic literature - novels, short stories, epic poems and the like. The workshop will involve a lot of physical and vocal work.

It is advised that people interested in this workshop read Mike’s book ‘Then what happens?’ before the workshop. Mike will be referencing this book for exercises. Before purchasing the book for the workshop, please speak to us first as we are working with the publishers to get a special discount for workshop participants.

Method in Practice

With Elen Bowman

When: 24th – 28th February 2014
Where: Cardiff Venue TBC
Times: 10.00 - 5.00
How Much: £200
Who for: Directors

This five day process will help you identify character beliefs and objectives and help you guide actors to play objectives more fully and fluidly to optimise conflict in the story. At times we shall be discussing our own thinking strategies and some beliefs during the week so do join us if you want to find out and are happy to share. The Text will be Tom Stoppard’s version of The Seagull by Anton Chekhov. Please bring your own copy of the play.

Elen is co-director of Living Pictures and studied at RADA, with Sam Kogan (a student of Maria Knebel trained by Stanislavski) and with Mike Alfreds. She has taught directors Katie Mitchell and Ian Rickson and her work forms part of Katie’s book on directing – The Directors Craft – published by Nick Hern.

She was an Artistic Associate at Sherman Cymru until recently and helped produce the award winning play Deepcut by Phil Ralph. She has directed for National Theatre Wales, Sherman Cymru and Theatr Genedlaethol in Wales. She is also a BAFTA nominated film director and television producer.

Elen provides one to one mentoring for directors and has just completed the second year-long LP director mentoring scheme, funded by Arts Council Wales.

Taster Sessions


With Alex Dower

When: 18th and 19th of January 2014
Where: London Venue TBC
Times: 10.30 - 5.00
How Much: £25
Who for: Directors

In this workshop Alex leads an in-depth study of the role and importance of Imagination. Through practical exercises, particularly looking at how directors can guide actors into being in the world of the play and develop atmosphere, character and relationships. There will also be some work on purposes and actions, and working with untrained actors.

Alex Dower is an actor, director and one of the leading tutors of the Science of Acting, having trained under Sam Kogan at the School of the Science of Acting (now the Kogan Academy). He has been a visiting lecturer in Liverpool, Latvia, Wales & Russia and he assisted with the book ‘The Science of Acting’ published by Routledge.

Alex has won awards for his directing of theatre, film, commercials and music videos, most recently an award for Humanity and Social Responsibility from Krivoy Roh film festival, Ukraine. He is also the Artistic Director of Creating Freedom, a company producing theatre and film internationally in prisons and with other marginalised groups, and has worked in over 50 prisons of all categories in the UK, Ireland and Russia. As an actor he has worked at the National Theatre, in the West End and in TV, film & radio.

The Science of Acting in Practice

With Audrey Sheffield

When: 8th and 9th of February 2014
Where: London venue TBC
Times: 10.30 - 5.00
How Much: £25
Who for: Directors

Audrey trained at the Science of Acting as a director. Upon graduating from the school she has honed what she has learned, making the process accessible to main stream theatre practitioners.

The weekend will focus on key elements derived from her training, in what promises to be a text-based analysis approach that is practical and active.

The weekend will touch on exercises in how to prepare for rehearsals (whether working with classical or new writing texts), working with actors, investigation of Events and Episodes, Objectives, Actions and the Germ of the play. These exercises will be supported with further games and exercises that Audrey has found useful and fun during the course of her career.

Audrey’s directing credits include ‘June’ by Isley Lynn (Park Theatre), ‘Apples’ by Brian Walters (Theatre503), 'The Little Flower of East Orange' by Stephen Adly Guirgis (National Theatre Studio) 'Bohemians' by Jaki McCarrick (Etcetera), 'Alice, Jim & Janice' by Janet Amsden (Theatre503), 'Moony's Kid Don't Cry & The Case of the Crushed Petunias' by Tennessee Williams (King's Head Theatre), ‘Albert’ by Richard Harris (Canal Café), 'Popcorn' by Ben Elton (Schepkin Theatre, Moscow). Associate/Assistant Director credits include ‘Rapture, Blister, Burn’ – Hampstead Theatre (Dir: Peter DuBois), 'Antony and Cleopatra' - RSC/Public Theatre New York (Dir: Tarell Alvin McCraney), 'The Effect' - National Theatre/Headlong (Dir: Rupert Goold), 'One Man, Two Guvnors’ - Theatre Royal Haymarket (Dir: Nicholas Hytner), 'Troilus and Cressida' - RSC/The Wooster Group (Dir: Mark Ravenhill & Elizabeth LeCompte), 'The Coronation of Poppea' - OperaUpClose (Dir: Mark Ravenhill).

Audrey is currently Co-facilitator on the NT New Views London Programme 2013-2014 (& 2012-2013), and will direct ‘Almost Near’ by Pamela Carter in March/April 2014 (Finborough Theatre).

What to do when you haven't got a voice coach...

With Morwenna Rowe

When: 15th and 16th of February 2014
Where: London Venue TBC|
Times: 10.30 - 5.00
How Much: £25
Who for: Directors

Voice, text and movement coaches bridge the gap between the actor's organic, impulsive physical state, and the sometimes analytical process of rehearsal. They ensure fitness and availability of all the physical processes of acting, and also provide ways to provoke those processes, so that the imagination of the actor and the insight of the director have the most fertile ground.

Voice, text and movement coaches are often a luxury. So what skills can directors bring to the room to create this physical and vocal availability and creative fertility? In a fully practical workshop, voice, text and movement specialist Morwenna Rowe, will help you discover some of these skills: from the basic principles of warming-up; to encouraging greater vocal commitment and presence; and ways of exploring and energising text.

Morwenna Rowe is a voice, text and accent coach with over 15 years experience. She has taught extensively at CSSD, RADA, and Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance and is currently teaching at the Oxford School of Drama, covering for their Head of Voice. In addition to a Distinction in Voice from CSSD, she has also trained in depth in the Meisner technique and physical theatre (Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris). She has coached many productions, including Class Dismissed for BBC 2 with Miles Jupp and Mickey Flanagan, and most recently worked with Living Pictures as accent/voice coach for Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Dower


How to apply: Please send your CV and a paragraph stating why you’d like to take part in a particular workshop and what you hope to gain from it. We will then let you know if we can offer you a place.

Securing your place: Once we’ve confirmed your place we will ask you to make a deposit of £50 for week long or longer workshops and £10 for the Taster Sessions. This deposit is refundable if you cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the start of the workshop.

Deals: Sign up for two or more workshops and receive £25 off week long courses and £10 off each ‘Taster Weekend’

Please email your CV and paragraph of intent to: Nora Wardell Project Manager:

Please note: There are limited places for actors. The majority of places will be given to directors.