Actor Training

Our teaching artists share a passion for bold physical expression in theatre, share decades of training between them and have extensive knowledge in a variety of traditional and contemporary physical theatre training practices.

Upcoming Workshops

SYDNEY

Viewpoints, Laban and Scenework with Shane Anthony and Tina Mitchell of Chopt Logic, and Guest Artist, Anna Houston

New dates to be announced following the end of current NSW public health restrictions.

Chopt Logic offers short intensive actor workshops in Australia for adults in several physical actor training methods, including  Viewpoints, The Suzuki Method of Actor Training, Laban Movement Analysis and Devising. These workshops are suitable for actors, dancers, directors and theatre-makers and offer a brilliant, highly practical, alternative to traditional approaches to actor training.

BENEFITS TO STUDENTS

Participants will focus on improving physical expression, stage presence, precision, range and control of their movement and actions. Workshops encourage students to investigate the elements of time and space through their body, to make bold theatrical offers, and develop a strong understanding of working together in an ensemble.

SHANE ANTHONY

Co-Artistic Director

TINA MITCHELL

Co-Artistic Director

ALISON BENNETT

Associate Artist

JULIA BILLINGTON

Associate Artist

KATE SHERMAN

Associate Artist

Paul Peers

Associate Artist

Lisa Lanzi

Associate Artist

Testimonials

SHANE ANTHONY

Shane Anthony is a director, producer, dramaturg and movement coach. With extensive directing, movement, communication coaching and teaching experience he specialises in actor training with a physical focus. 

He is a graduate of the Directing Program at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Screenwriting for Feature Film at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and has completed a BA in Theatre Studies at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

In 2007 he travelled to New York to continue training with Anne Bogart and the Saratoga International Theatre Institute. In 2012 he received a Mike Walsh Fellowship to attend the New York Film Academy in NYC. He is a recipient of the inaugural Youth Arts Queensland Spark “Jump” Mentorship and an Anna Sosenko Fellowship.

Select directing credits include Our Blood Runs in the Street by Shane Anthony and the ensemble, Anatomy of a Suicide by Alice Birch (nominated for four Sydney Theatre Awards), The Whale for Redline Productions at The Old Fitz Theatre (nominated for eight Sydney Theatre Awards in 2016), Lighten Up by Nicholas Brown and Sam McCool at Griffin Theatre, Songs for the Fallen for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (winner of Best Musical and Most Outstanding Actress), Sydney Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne and Brisbane International Arts Festival, Altar Boyz, Calendar Girls and Avenue Q for Fortune Theatre (New Zealand), My Name is Rachel Corrie for La Boite Theatre and Donwstairs Belvoir, 3 Winters by Tena Štivičić, Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, Orestes, Trojan Women and Radio Hysteria for NIDA Open, Doctor Faustus and The Crucible for RCHK (Hong Kong), Mrs Bang: A Series of Seductions for the 32nd Stage Song Festival (Poland), Often I Find That I Am Naked for Critical Stages – (Australian National Tour), Motortown by Simon Stephens for 23rd Productions (nominated Best Show, Matilda Awards).

Movement direction includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime for The Court Theatre in Christchurch, the Australian feature film, Sleeping Beauty, Angels in American for The New Theatre, Small Mercies for La Boite Theatre, and in 2009 as show director for CIRCA on their European tour of CIRCA.

Before embarking on a career as a director, Shane worked as an actor for many years. Select credits include performing with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre in Macbeth, Unleashed, Ashes of Atreus and several other devised works for the company, for Leticia Caraces in Mountain Language by Harold Pinter and for Suzanne Little in La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler.

Shane facilitates workshops, lectures and seminars for a vast range of companies, both nationally and internationally. He is a core tutor across several departments at NIDA including the BFA programs, Open Program, Education and Corporate. He also teaches and directs for the UK-based artist-in-education company International Schools Theatre Association, Australian Institute of Music, Sydney Theatre School and Sydney Actors School.

TINA MITCHELL

Tina is an international theatre artist based between Sydney and New York City. She works as an actor, director, theatre maker, teaching artist, University Lecturer and an acting and public speaking coach. Hailing from Australia, she is a graduate of the Adelaide College of the Arts and holds a Masters of Arts, Practice specializing in Performance from Charles Sturt University. She has trained extensively with The SITI Company and works her way across the United States, Australia and Colombia each year. Other training includes The Suzuki Company of Toga, HB Studios and Cicely Berry.

She specializes in making work that fuses text, movement and music and has performed in some of the leading Arts Festivals in the world. Her project Miss Julia, a bi-lingual adaptation of Strindberg’s classic play, premiered at the prestigious Iberoamericano Festival de Teatro de Bogotá and has been performed in Festivals across Colombia, Italy, the United States and Spain. She helped create and played the title role of Mata Hari, in the interdisciplinary opera of the same name, which premiered in the 2017 Prototype Festival. This piece was reprised by West Edge Opera in San Francisco in 2018. She has worked for many international companies including Spain’s La Fura dels Baus, the English National Opera, SITI Company, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, The Brooklyn Philharmonic and Hanyong Theatre from South Korea. Tina played Lady Macbeth for Southwest Shakespeare, was part of the cast of Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More and appeared in The Event of a Thread with SITI Company at The Park Avenue Armory. Tina has worked with The Metropolitan Opera on Wozzeck and Lulu, both directed by William Kentridge.

As an independent theatre maker Tina has created work in the United States, Colombia and Australia and her work has been included in many international arts festivals including the Iberoamericano Festival de Teatro de Bogotá, The Napoli International Teatro Festival, Steppenwolf Theatre for the Chicago Latin American Theatre Festival, LATC for el Encuentro de Las Americas, La Mama NYC, the Iberoamericano Festival de Cádiz, Spain, the Manizales International Arts Festival, Colombia, The Australian Festival for Young People, The New York Fringe, the Singapore Fringe and the Adelaide Fringe. Her directing debut, Live Fish, a devised movement/theatre piece, was nominated for the Adelaide Fringe Inspace Award for best new work in 2010.

As a teaching artist, Tina has taught in many institutions in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia and Chile. She is an adjunct lecturer at Barnard College and Brown University and is part of the movement faculty at Maggie Flanigan Studios. She is a guest teaching artist for SITI Company and Atlantic Theater for NYU, and Visiting Professor at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá. Tina is a recipient of the Helpmann Academy emerging Director and Mentorship Awards, recipient of a State Theatre Company of South Australia Assistant Director Fellowship and 2015 Leimay Fellowship Brooklyn.

ALISON BENNETT

Alison has a particular interest in the use of comedy and the grotesque in the creation of both live and screen performance. She holds a Bachelor Performing Arts (Drama) from Monash University and trained at the Lecoq Internationale School of Theatre in Paris. She is currently the Program Manager for Adult Learning at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney (NIDA). At NIDA she is also a tutor on the BFA (Acting) program teaching comedy, grotesquerie and clowning.

Alison has recently collaborated with the Sydney Opera House/Sydney Festival/Spiral (Japan) on Join the Dots, a cross cultural digital drawing and performance project. She has performed The Magic Hat (Casula Power House), TROUPE (commissioned by Bestival Music Festival UK), Roadkill Confidential (Lies,Lies & Propaganda) and This is Not Mills & Boon (Glorious Theating Theatre Co), and recently appeared in Zelos (Painted Gate Pictures) and The Lonely Hearts Variety Hour (Platon Theodoris).

She is a regular collaborator on the Sydney Opera House Digital Education Program and has facilitated large scale international programs including ‘Global Conversations’ in the Asia Pacific region and ‘International Jazz Day’. She has created new works of theatre with non-English speaking students at Langues-en-Scene in Paris as well as facilitating workshops with ATYP, NIDA Open, Casula Powerhouse & Shopfront Centre for Contemporary Youth Arts. She has worked as a creative mentor for young people suffering from mental health issues with Spark Youth Theatre and as a professional mentor with Milkcrate Theatre on the Pathways Program. She was a producer for PACT centre for Emerging Artists (Rapid Response Program).

Alison is the Artistic Director of Hurrah Hurrah, a company dedicated to the creation of new work for both screen and theatre. With Hurrah Hurrah she has directed and produced TRADE, Roomba Nation, The Seagull and Frenzy for Two. She recently directed The Duck Pond by Tabitha Woo and co-produced Our Blood Runs in the Street for Chopt Logic. She is currently re-developing Roomba Nation as part of her creative practise Honours program at UNSW.

JULIA BILLINGTON

Julia graduated from NIDA in 2008 and has enjoyed a broad career across film, television and theatre. She has extensive training in physical theatre, having studied many techniques including The Suzuki Method, Viewpoints, Laban, Biomechanics, Butoh Dance, as well as aerial work. Her passion for movement took her to train and perform with New York based SITI Company in their adaption of The Bacchae as part of their 2018 Summer Intensive. She also spent a month in India with John Britton and his ensemble DUENDE, learning his ensemble building methodology “Self-With-Others”.

A qualified yoga teacher, Julia has taught movement at both the International Screen Academy as well as NIDA’s Open Program. She was the Movement Coordinator on Fierce, a Red Line Production at the Old Fitz Theatre in 2019, which received many positive reviews commenting on the physical strength of the play.

Julia’s teaching is broad spectrum and sensitive to the individual projects’ needs. She was Drama coach on the highly successful children television show First Day (ABC) assisting first-time transgender actress Evie Macdonald and the rest of the youth cast in shaping their performances. Julia is also an Arts Educator for the Bell Shakespeare Company, which has seen her travel nationwide leading workshops and residencies in several remote areas of the country. She is passionate about enthusing, educating and empowering the youth of Australia through movement and performance. Collaboration is at the heart of Julia’s work; she is an Associate Artist with independent theatre company Arthur and has been involved in the creation and devising process of many of their projects over the past decade. These include: The Myth Project: TWIN, CUT SNAKE, CUTE SNAKE, Bill W and Dr Bob, and The Superhero Training Academy. Her physical awareness, vocabulary and breadth of knowledge gives her an intimate understanding of the devising process, making her an invaluable member of this team.

Julia’s cinematic presence sees her touring International Film Festivals with current Australian Feature Ellie & Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt). Her first feature film All About E was screened internationally reaching audiences across 15 countries. And her latest feature, Canadian-Australian produced Buckley’s Chance starring Bill Nighy is in post-production.

Julia’s acting television credits include: Janet King (ABC); the telemovie Catching Milat, (Shine Productions); East West 101 and Starting From Now (SBS); as well as Tricky Business and In Your Dreams (Southern Star). She has appeared in several short films including Shopping; Manmares; The Filmmaker; and Thanks For Coming.

Julia’s theatre credits include: For STC – Embers; Gallipoli; For Belvoir St – Baghdad Wedding; For MTC – The Myth Project: TWIN; For Bell Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet; For La Boite – My Name Is Rachel Corrie for which she received a Greenroom Groundling Award for Best Performance in an Independent Production.

KATE SHERMAN

Kate is an Educator, a Movement Researcher and a Performance Maker. She is currently the Program Manager of Schools and Community at NIDA and teaches creative practice for actors of the Batchelor of Fine Arts at NIDA and at The University of Notre Dame. Kate is a Certified Yoga Teacher, has studied advanced yoga teacher training with Embodied Flow Yoga and is currently studying Mind Body Therapy.

Her most recent performance work, Animal won multiple Green Room Awards and was performed in the Dark Mofo Festival. She was recently invited on an Artist Residency at Chateau Orquevaux in France to research the project, Wildone. She has worked as a performer with organisations such as Critical Path (Australia’s Centre for Choreographic Research and Development), Dance Massive, UNSW Art and Design, exhibited work at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, presented work at Arts Basel in Hong Kong, The Festival of Live Art Melbourne, Performance Space (Wayfarer, a real-time game and multi-media performance), MAKEbeLIVE Productions (Ruby’s Wish), STC (Macbeth), Downstairs Belvoir (Checklist for an Armed Robber), Erth Visual and Physical Inc (Gargoyles), Legs On The Wall (Beyond Belief, My Bicycle Loves You) and Campbelltown Arts Centre. She was funded by The Ian Potter Cultural Trust to study at Ecole Philippe Gaulier (Paris 2012) and performed in The Republic of Trees, a large-scale, site-specific work for the Castlemaine Festival.

She was awarded a Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and researched various contemporary performance companies methodologies in NY with dance theatre company Witness Relocation, Les Ballets C de la B (Belgium), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), observed Frantic Assembly (UK), studied at The Live Art Development Agency (UK) and studied dance improvisation and choreography with Deborah Hay (UK).

She created a site-specific performance art piece entitled Under Harry’s Circumstances for Harry Seidler’s Expanded Architecture: Temporal Formal Exhibition which was published in Bauhaus Publication. She also devised a play called Once Under A Sky and has also studied with International companies Arch8, Complicite, Mimecentrum, Kneehigh Theatre and La Fura Dels Baus.

PAUL PEERS

Paul is a stage director whose work spans theatre, music-theatre and opera. He is currently the Artistic Administrator at URBANARIAS, working with Executive and Artistic Director, Robert Wood in commissioning, presenting and producing modern chamber sized opera in the Washington DC area. He has directed for regional and international companies; Vancouver Opera, Utah Opera, Boston Baroque, Hawaii Opera Theatre, West Edge Opera, and recently directing the US premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Monster in the Maze for Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

Paul’s international directing credits: Australia; David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross for the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Shakespeare’s King Lear for Lightning Strike Theatre Company, Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade, Menken and Ashman’s Little Shop of Horrors for Adelaide College of Arts. Germany; Geoeffnet for the Dosto Projekt in Berlin. In 2017, Paul completed his residency at the HERE ARTS CENTRE, New York where he created and developed in collaboration with the late composer MATT MARKS a new opera-theatre piece about the courtesan spy Mata Hari, which premiered in the Prototype Festival NYC in January 2017.

LISA LANZI

Lisa has worked in all areas of the performing arts, securing her first professional gigs at only eight years of age.  Training extensively in her home-town of Sydney in classical, tap, jazz and contemporary, Lisa worked as a freelance performer whilst completing a Diploma in Visual Arts (TAFE NSW) and teaching dance at the famed Bodenweiser Dance Centre. Upon moving to Adelaide she completed a degree in Performing Arts (Dance) at Adelaide University followed by an Advanced Diploma of Acting at Adelaide College of the Arts.

As a teacher, lecturer, performer, mentor, director and choreographer Lisa has worked for The Australia Council, Country Arts SA, Carclew Youth Arts Centre, State Theatre Company SA, Australian Dance Theatre, Adelaide Festival and Fringe, Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Cabaret Fringe, Adelaide University, Adelaide College of the Arts, in secondary schools across South Australia, local Councils and private corporations plus the curated Singapore International Fringe Festival to name a few.  She co-founded dance theatre company Splinter and was a cabaret performer with The Tapperuccis for many years.  Lisa’a practice has encompassed community and professional arts projects and her latest projects are with BodySONG and BODYmap.

As co-director of BodySONG Lisa runs community singing events across Adelaide plus a number of movement, theatre and cross-artform in-theatre projects as well as presenting at national conferences and for corporate team-building through song and movement.  With BODYmap, Lisa runs community dance projects and events for older persons, intergenerational groups plus master classes for the likes of Parkinson’s SA and Active Ageing Australia.  “The work I embark upon with people who have not trained as dancers gives me a rare insight into meaningful movement and the enormous impact of dance which subsequently imparts knowledge and intent to my professional areas of practice.”

Lisa is also regularly invited to perform, choreograph and direct work for various companies and institutions in Adelaide and is exploring new horizons as a performer in film and television.  She continues to undertake professional development in theatre and film and is furthering her study of Estill Voice Work. Her career as an actor and theatre director has also imparted much to her choreographic praxis and a desire to make work that combines text with choreography.

SYDNEY

Viewpoints, Laban and Scenework

with Shane Anthony and Tina Mitchell of Chopt Logic, and Guest Artist, Anna Houston

This winter, week-long intensive offers artists with an exciting approach to acting and stagecraft. A highly practical workshop, participants will train in the core principles of The Viewpoints, Laban Movement Analysis and examine their application to staging monologues and contemporary scenes.

Ideal for performers, theatre makers or educators who want to

  • hone their physical and vocal expression,
  • develop new tools to assist with active listening and ensemble work,
  • explore a richer, theatrical use of the elements of Time and Space in the staging of work, and
  • discover approaches to text through deep connection to physical and inner impulse

Morning sessions will focus on Viewpoints and Laban and will be led by Shane Anthony and Tina Mitchell. During these sessions participants will be introduced to the individual Viewpoints, investigating the elements of Time and Space to make bold and considered theatrical choices. Wednesday and Thursday morning will be devoted to the exploration of Laban Movement Analysis.

Afternoon sessions will focus on Scenework technique and will be led by Anna Houston and Shane Anthony.

Suitable for artists with mixed levels of experience with these training forms.

GUEST ARTIST – ANNA HOUSTON

Anna is an actor, playwright and director. In 2004 she graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in Acting. In 2010, Anna travelled to Paris and trained for twelve months at Ecole Philippe Gaulier.

As a professional actor, she has performed for the Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare Company, Belvoir St Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, and Sport for Jove. Her work as an actor has taken her around Australia on five national tours, and internationally to Europe and Asia for commercial theatre productions that include the National Theatre of UK’s production of War Horse.

Anna’s directing credits include Cyprus Avenue at the Old Fitz Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company’s Lysicrates Prize, Eight for the Sydney Fringe Festival, and the 24 Hour Party Playwright for Bondi Feast. Anna has taught acting at NIDA, Belvoir Street Theatre, Hub Studio, 16th Street Actors Studio, and ATYP.

Teachers
SHANE ANTHONY

Co-Artistic Director

TINA MITCHELL

Co-Artistic Director

ANNA HOUSTON

Guest Artist – Actor, Director, Writer

Dates and times

New dates to be announced following the end of current NSW public health restrictions.

Time

10am-5pm

Cost

Early bird $550 before May 28th
$590 full tuition after May 28th

Venue

Sydney Actor’s School,
242 Young St,
Waterloo NSW 2017

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