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Sydney Theatre School Embraces Prestigious Production-based Training Methods from the UK


SYDNEY, Australia April, 2012 – There has been a lot of hype about production-based acting training, a method popular in the UK, in recent times. The only school in Australia that currently offers this particular type of acting course is the Sydney Theatre School with its signature course – the Diploma of Theatre Performance.

Mark Matthews, Sydney Theatre School’s Managing Director and Course Director, brought the production-based style of training, one which focuses more on experience and practice than theory, to Australia after his experience with its success in the UK, and quickly became the industry’s leading authority on this method of actor training.

“I started the school in response to my dissatisfaction with traditional actor training methods that spent too much time on classroom work and theoretical techniques, such as Stanislavki and Meisner, and failed to acknowledge the importance of practical experience performing in front of audiences,” Matthews said.

The concept of production-based training was developed in the UK as a way of addressing the significant problem of courses heavy in theory and lacking in experience, and Matthews became aware of it while working there in 2003.

Since then the Sydney Theatre School has had many successful graduates pass through its doors, many of which have gone on to star in international feature films and TV shows or continue their training in full time courses at NIDA, VCA and QUT.

“The course was good. Very good,” says Ingrid Hu, former Sydney Theatre School student. “It has certainly changed me as a person, and for that I am eternally grateful. The production-based aspect of the course was what drew me to it, and it has made me into a more experienced performer. This wouldn’t have happened if all we’d focused on was technique.”

Sydney Theatre School has had many significant directors teach at the school and support the renowned production-based training method including Kate Gaul (STC; Belvoir); Chrisabel Sved (Belvoir St; Griffin); Sarah Goodes (STC); Michael Pigott (Belvoir; Darlinghurst Theatre) and Jerome Pride (Bell Shakespeare; Melbourne Theatre Company).

Satisfied former Sydney Theatre School student, Amber Smith says “Sydney Theatre School gave me all the tools, techniques and most importantly the experience to enter the acting world confidently with the skills and knowledge I require.... it’s a great place to meet like-minded people and be coached and directed by some of the best in the industry.”


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