Posts Tagged ‘Actors


Responsive Performance Training with Leisa Shelton

I’ve added an interview here, which will particularly interest those registered for the workshop. I’m excited to hear from artists who’ll be working with Leisa Shelton TOMORROW at The Judy. Is that YOU? IT COULD BE! THERE ARE STILL A COUPLE OF PLACES REMAINING! Let me know how you go! x

XS Entertainment

A one-day workshop TOMORROW on Saturday April 20th for independent performance makers, offering an introduction to Responsive Performance Training and focussing on generative and practice techniques toward performance outcomes.



Leisa Shelton

Responsive Performance Practice is a training program developed and led by Leisa Shelton, through years of professional practice within contemporary performance and continuous investigation with many of the world’s leading teachers, directors and innovators.


It draws directly from the embodied actor training developed by Etienne Decroux, the rehearsal processes of Pina Bausch via Meryl Tankard, Autonomous Actor training as developed by Lindy Davies, alongside a continuing dialogue with Eastern principles of theatre practice.


The teaching is an act of transmission actively focusing on enabling and developing a performer’s intuitive, responsive and articulate awareness of space, those within it and their relationship to the material under investigation. The techniques offer a deeper understanding of…

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Sunshine Coast Meisner Training for Actors


Meisner Training is an interdependent series of exercises that build upon one another. The more complex work supports a command of dramatic text.

Now, for the first time, the technique comes to the Sunshine Coast.


Starting at 7pm Wednesday April 17th at the Heritage Theatre in Gympie, the program offers actors of all skill-levels an unparalleled opportunity to advance their command of their craft in a fun, friendly and supportive atmosphere. Yes, it’s a Gympie venue. Yes, you should find a way to get there. Why not do a shout out on our Facebook page and find others who will car pool and train with you?


To secure your place in the program email or call 0418 881 063



Meisner students work on a series of progressively complex exercises to develop an ability to improvise, to access an emotional life, and finally to bring the spontaneity of improvisation and the richness of personal response to text. The technique assumes that by emphasizing “moment-to-moment” spontaneity through communion with other actors, behaviour that is truthful under imaginary circumstances may be generated.


Meisner emphasized doing with early training heavily based on actions. The questions “what are you playing?” and “what are you doing?” are frequently asked in class to remind actors to commit themselves to an objective rather than a script. Silence, dialogue, and activity all require the actor to find a purpose for performing the action. By combining the two main tasks of focusing one’s attention on one’s partner and committing to an action, the technique aims to compel an actor into the moment (a common Meisner phrase), while simultaneously propelling him forward with concentrated purpose. The more an actor is able to take in the partner and the partner’s surroundings while performing in character, the more Meisner believed they are able to leave himself or herself alone and “live truthfully.”


The most fundamental exercise in Meisner training is called Repetition. Two actors face each other and “repeat” their observations about one another back and forth. An example of such an exchange might be: “You’re smiling.” “I’m smiling.” “You’re smiling!” “Yes, I’m smiling.” Actors are asked to observe and respond to others’ behavior and the subtext therein. If they can “pick up the impulse” — or work spontaneously from how their partner’s behavior affects them — their own behavior will arise directly from the stimulus of the other.



Later, as the exercise evolves in complexity to include “given circumstances,” “relationships,” actions and obstacles, this skill remains critical. From start to finish — from repetition to rehearsing a lead role — the principles of “listen and respond” and “stay in the moment” are fundamental to the work.


As for all Stanislavskian-derived approaches, for a Meisner actor traditional line memorization methods that include vocal inflections or gestures makes no sense. Doing so merely increases the chance the actor will miss a “real moment” in service of a rehearsed habit or line reading. Meisner actors learn lines dry, “by rote,” without inflection, so as not to memorize a line reading. When the line is finally to be delivered, its quality and inflection is derived from the given moment.


The improvisatory thrust of the technique should not be misconstrued as permission to wing it or to go unprepared. Meisner training includes extensive work on crafting or preparing a role. As students mature in the work, they get to know themselves and can make use of this self-knowledge by choosing actions compelling to their particular instrument. They “come to life” through informed, provocative choices. Actors prepare emotional responses by “personalizing” and “paraphrasing” material and by using their imagination and “daydreaming” around a play’s events in highly specific ways that they’ve learned are especially evocative to them personally.


When circumstances are advanced, this preparation must be accomplished with specificity and depth, or else the actor’s attention simply cannot move away from self and onto the moment. Solid preparation supports the spontaneity, an idea articulated by Martha Graham when she wrote, “I work eight hours a day, every day, so that in the evenings I can improvise.”


James Kable

James Kable has been teaching young actors since 1995, when he first started tutoring at QUT. Since then he has taught hundreds of hopefuls the rudiments of the craft. 


From 2001 to 2003 he conducted workshops all over Queensland as part of the Queensland Theatre Company’s Regional Partnerships Program and was a regular tutor at the company’s Theatre Residency Week. In 2004 he studied method acting under Martin Barter at the Sanford Meisner Center in Los Angeles and in 2005 he became the inaugural full-time acting teacher at the Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. Upon his return to Australia, he began teaching and directing for the Australian Acting Academy.


Since 2005 he has been very proud to be an Artistic Associate atZen Zen Zo Physical Theatre Company, tutoring the interns and the core company in aspects of naturalistic acting, using theMeisner technique as a primary teaching tool.


As an actor, some of the highlights include the roles of Garcin in Sartre’s No Exit, Barney in Summer of the Seventeenth DollOliver in As You Like It and Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger, all at La BoiteHe has played Verlaine in Total Eclipse, Mortimer in Marlowe’s Edward II, created the role of Nick in the world premiere of Stephen Sewell’s Frightened Heart, Fallen Soul, done both Theseusand Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, played Pozzo in Polymorphic’s Matilda Award winning Waiting for Godot, done a double-act as a transvestite and an SS captain in Bent and filled the title role in Self. Since the turn of the century, James has performed to critical acclaim as Dave No-Name in Alive at Williamstown Pier and as Hercules’s doomed stepfather Amphitryon in Mad Hercules. In 2008 he played Governor Arthur Phillip and John Wisehammer in the Gold Coast Little Theatre’s production ofTimberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good, directed by Jennifer Flowers. Last year saw his acting debut for Zen Zen Zo, playing both Alonso and Affogato in a Matilda Award winning production of The Tempest.


His directorial debut was a Matilda Award winning production of Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, at La Boite in 1989. His millenial version of Shepard’s rock musical The Tooth of Crime was one of the critical and box office successes of 1995 and in 1996 he directed Vena Cava’s inaugural production, Stephen Sewell’s ferocious political satire/black comedy/rock musical Anger’s Love. He revisitedFool for Love for Hattrick Theatre in 1997. Since then he has gone on to direct several productions for QUT, for the Queensland Theatre Company and a futuristic Faust for the Corrugated Company. In 2006 he directed three plays for Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts: Edward Bond‘s The Tin Can People, Stephen Sewell’sDreams In An Empty City and David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child




FACE IT: QTC Youth Ensemble Showcase 2012

Face It 

QTC Youth Ensemble Showcase

Queensland Theatre Company

Bille Brown Studio

06th – 07th October 2012


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward


Youth Ensemble 2012 Tutors:

Chris Sommers, Andrea Moor, Travis Dowling, Jason Klarwein, Louise Brehmer, Kate Foy, Melissa Agnew, Nigel Poulton, Brian Lucas, Catarina Hebbard

Directed by Louise Brehmer & Kate Foy

Performed by The QTC Youth Ensemble:


Face It

Clementine Anderson

Tara Barazza

Emily Geale

Meg Haslam

Skye Heales

Sam Hocking

Finlay Holmes

Joseph Howard

Eliza Huybers

Zach Jamieson

Joe Klocek

Renee Lyon

Tiama Martina

James McMillian

Erin Pattison

Mia Pattison

Maddison Perez


Face It

Max Radvan

Brodie Shelley

Andrea Zdral

Isaiah Edwards

Alex Beard

Amelia Kordic

Anna Vickerman

Ben Shaw

Bridie Devereaux

Bridie McKim

Brittany Francis

James Kehoe

Ginger Kelly Watrous

Jamilla Wynter

Jess DeGlas

Katie Mirabito

Kirsty Thatcher


Face It

Madeleine Aprile

Mia Doyle

Nikki Bell

Olivia Bird

Payton Grgurovic

Rebecca Zanetti

Shannon Widrose

Tia Auld




Pressure and a teenager’s rite of passage were the overriding themes last week at the Bille Brown Studio, for Queensland Theatre Company’s Youth Ensemble Final Performance Showcase. Highly anticipated, this was not your typical “showcase”, which by my understanding of the word would have indicated specifically, which actors were presenting which scenes, for an invited audience of agents and managers. Perhaps this is the sort of event it will evolve into. Perhaps they were there. No pressure…

Family, friends, and a few of the acting tutors enjoyed the polished performances of our next generation of working actors. I know many of our current working actors turned out to one of the Saturday performances. And look out! These kids are good. Really good. It should be no surprise really, when we look at with whom they’ve had the pleasure of working. And they are mad-keen theatre students to start with, from Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast high schools (four of the girls attend the same Brisbane school – how proud must that HOD be?!). Out of some 200 auditionees earlier this year then, these guys and girls are seriously looking like the next big things.

The pieces selected covered a broad range of issues (I’ve listed them below), and represented the wonderful depth of the texts available for young people who want to work on something more challenging than your standard high school curriculum texts. Having said that, some of the best excerpts are of course from the plays included in our curriculum lists. Some of the most interesting came from our local playwrights, including Matthew Ryan, Robert Kronk, Bridget Boyle and Liz Skitch.

Too many of these students gave extraordinary performances to mention them all but a couple of the girls in particular managed to capture the entire audience, as if they had the performance experience of those actors rehearsing Bare Witness and Managing Carmen in the same building. In fact, one of the most poignant comments made by QTC’s Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch, in his introduction to the evening’s program, was about the developing confidence of the students and their increasing levels of comfort whilst in the building, in the first instance, spotting actors, Anna McGahan and John Batchelor on the other side of the space and whispering to each other rather than approaching them, then striding up to them to say hello in the next and just about taking over the building! I love this aspect of Wesley’s direction of the company; he’s always made it very clear that the actors are welcome to hang out there, at “home”. I remember this being central to Wesley’s launch speech last year, both for the mainstage and Greenhouse programs, and I’m looking forward to hearing about the next chapter on Sunday at QTC’s 2013 Season Launch.

Still in my head and somewhere just outside of my heart (when one has a child one tends to distance oneself from the horrifying possibility that anything at all could harm said child), was a performance by an actor who delivered the challenging monologue from Joanna Erskine’s Boot, which Erskine wrote for the The Voices Project (2010). The piece was adapted into a short film, which was released in March this year. Take a deep breath before viewing it. I feel we were incredibly privileged to see the powerful performance delivered by this young lady. The final monologue stayed with me too. This was a moving delivery of Stick by Carolyn Burns, also written for The Voices Project (2011).



get onto Currency Press and get your copy of The Voices Project.


It is wonderful – heartening and inspiring – to see so many young actors with half the battle won. With the opportunities afforded them by QTC (and let’s not forget the support from families) these actors are well on their way to making an impression in the industry. Indeed, they already have.






After an incredibly successful inaugural year the Queensland Theatre Company Youth Ensemble program returns for 2013 and applications for auditions are now open.

Queensland Theatre Company will provide access for motivated, passionate and talented young performers to develop their skills as actors by working with theatre professionals throughout the year long Youth Ensemble program. The program will demand a high level of commitment from participants and will celebrate and strive for excellence.

Upon the outcome of a successful audition a select group of students will be invited to join the Youth Ensemble in 2013. The Ensemble trains out of school hours with theatre professionals to advance their skills as actors. The groups will work towards a performance showcase season at Queensland Theatre Company’s Bille Brown Studio. All Ensemble members receive a season ticket to all Queensland Theatre Company productions in 2013 and are invited to participate in group excursions to the theatre throughout the year.

FACE IT included scenes from the following texts:

THE STONES by Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou
SNAGGED by Robert Kronk
POPPING LEAD BALLOONS By Bridget Boyle, Liz Skitch and Robert Kronk
TRANZITIONS by Stephen Davis
BLACKROCK by Nick Enright
WAR CRIMES by Angela Betzien
ALL STOPS OUT by Michael Gow
ENGINE by Janis Balodis
THE GOLDEN AGE by Louis Nowra
AWAY by Michael Gow
DAGS by Debra Oswald
BOOT by Joanna Erskine
PRINCIPAL by Zoe Hagan
THE LAST POST by Sarah Gaul
STICK by Carolyn Burns


QTC Youth Ensemble 2012


Open Letter from Artists

Live Theatre

Ninety-nine Helpmann Award winners – including Richard Roxburgh, Geoffrey Rush and Rachel Griffiths – signed an open letter to members of Live Performance Australia (LPA), the hosts of last night’s Helpmann Awards, calling on them to reconsider their abandonment of a long standing agreement on the use of overseas artists. The letter was published in The Australian yesterday.

LPA, the peak body representing theatre producers, abruptly terminated the Agreement Governing the Use of Foreign Artists in Live Theatre in Australia in April and has since refused several requests from Actors Equity to discuss a new agreement.

The agreement set out the mutually agreed circumstances where producers were able to import performers in theatre and other areas of live performance. It took into account a raft of factors including the ethnic or physical requirements of a role, and whether or not the companies were taxpayer subsidised.

Actors Equity director Sue McCreadie said that without the agreement on the use of overseas artists many performers who are being recognised tonight might never have built a career here in Australia.

“Australian performers are right to be concerned about the termination of the agreement. There is no longer a requirement to consider Australian performers in the casting process and it opens up the possibility of whole casts coming in for musicals and drama productions”.

The letter states: “The unexpected termination of this agreement by LPA is of great concern to us and seriously jeopardises the harmony that performers and producers have worked so hard to achieve over the years.”

The signatories also include leading directors Neil Armfield, Simon Phillips and Gale Edwards, as well as writer David Williamson.

“Producers working on Broadway and the West End continue to operate within similar agreements. All we are asking for is a level playing field,” said McCreadie.

Over 40 working casts have passed resolutions calling on LPA to come back to the negotiating table. Recent mass meetings of performers in Sydney and Melbourne have resolved to consider industrial action if necessary.

Melbourne Actors

Last Sunday almost 200 Equity members gathered at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne to hear about the Live Theatres, Local Jobs campaign, what Live Performance Australia’s decision to rip up the overseas artists agreement means for performers and to discuss our next steps. Source:

“Actors Equity has made every effort to resolve this issue – we have listened to producers’ concerns and we are more than willing to sit down with LPA to negotiate an agreement that addresses the needs of producers and performers,” said McCreadie.

“LPA’s continued refusal to resolve the issue is disrespectful to Australian performers, without whom there would be no Australian live performance industry.”

For further information please contact Lizzie Franks, communications, 0400 717 505/ or visit


Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival 2012 – it begins!

Well, actually, it’s begun! (And our TVC on Channel 7 has been seen by many locals in the last week or so during the lead up!). Last night the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival kicked off in fine fashion, with four plays up for adjudication by Kate Foy.

Those who were in attendance (I was at Metro Arts for The Danger Ensemble’s Loco Maricon Amor – catch it if you can!), saw:

The Big Cats

Act One Theatre Inc

Drama 45mins

Chook Chook (AT)

Caloundra Chorale & Theatre Co.

Comedy 45mins

…Here’s The Thing (U) (AT) (CL)

Noosa Arts Theatre Inc

Comedy 35mins

Stoic (U) (AT) (CL)

Actor’s Gym

Drama 40mins

This morning we saw two plays.


Caloundra Chorale & Theatre Co.

Drama 40mins

Downstage (U)

Vanity Project

Comedy 25 minutes

Sessions continue today at 1pm and 7pm and tomorrow at 9am and 1:30pm, with the final adjudication to follow.

Saturday 1pm

Still Life (U) (AT) (CL)

Miranda’s Dressing Room

Drama 30mins

Day Trippers

Act One Theatre Inc

Comedy 35mins

Pieces (U) (AT) (CL)

BATS Theatre Drama 45mins

Whatever Happened To Humpty?

Fractal Theatre (JUNIOR)

Drama/Comedy 50mins

Saturday 7pm

Narcissistica (U) (AT) (CL)

Excalibur Theatre Company Drama 50mins

Anticlimax (U) (AT) (CL)

Random Acts Comedy 30mins

Three Angry Brides (U) (AT)

Noosa Arts Theatre Inc Drama 40mins

I’m a Pisces, he’s an Asshole (U) (AT)

SAD Theatre Company

Comedy 30mins

Sunday 9am

Dead End (U) (CL)

Crash Box Theatre

Drama 30mins

Crush (U) (AT) (CL)

Hills Players Inc.

Drama 45mins

Level 12 (AT) (CL)

Golden Glove Productions

Comedy 35mins

Flame (AT) (CL)

Beenleigh Theatre Group

Drama 35mins

Sunday 1:30pm

Touched (U) (AT) (CL)

Ipswich Little Theatre Society

Drama 50mins

To Whom It May Concern

Mousetrap Theatre Company

Drama 25 mins

All for The Nation (AT)

Ipswich Little Theatre Society

Comedy 30mins

Who The F*** Is Erica Price? (U) (AT) (CL)

Brisbane Arts Theatre

Drama 40mins

Check out the website for all details and grab a festival pass for just $35 at the door. It’s the best value theatre ticket this weekend! (23 plays over 3 days)!

Next weekend, see and support the Youth Theatre Festival, at Lind Lane Theatre on Saturday 25th from 9am.

Chook Chook Caloundra Chorale and Theatre Company

Chook Chook by Caloundra Chorale and Theatre Company