2019 Drama Skills Development Workshop Synopses and Tutor Biographies

2019 Skills Development Workshop Synopses and Tutor Biographies

2 hours (Years 3-4)
Tutor: Tim McGarry

Working as a team will be the key element of this fun filled two-hour workshop as we work together to explore characterisation and build story.  In this active and practical session participants will work together to explore characters and how we develop them, together with some simple techniques on how to portray characters with consistency.  The second half of the workshop will extend upon this work as we explore and build simple stories through images or words ready for performance.  The Creating Character and Story Workshop will be loaded with drama games, exercises and practical advice that encourage young people to free and expand their creative thinking, in a safe non-judgmental environment.

2 hours (Years 3-4)
Tutor: Abbie-lee Lewis

"Did I ever tell you about the time I met a giant and..."
In this exciting two-hour workshop participants will learn the art of story telling through telling tall tales.  Full of unbelievable creatures and fanciful locations, student actors will work together to explore how exaggeration, rhythm, breath and expression can be used to blur the line between fact and fiction to create entertaining stories for the stage.  Jam packed with fun drama games and practical activities this workshop will expand your imagination, creative thinking and acting skills.

2 hours  (Years 5-6)

Tutor: Curtis Fernadez
Curly Fernandez will run his signature physical theatre workshop with the Arts Unit for older Primary students.  Here you will learn to first use the body to tell a story before adding the voice.  Incorporating games, classic French LeCoq acting exercises and American Viewpoints techniques the student actors will earn freedom with movement, space and gesture.  We will also look at the Given Circumstances as the foundations of acting; "Who?  Where?  What?"  Students will combine all of these techniques to establish a tangible process for devising and tackling scripts.  This workshop will be fun, fast and challenging.  Please bring water and wear pants you can move around in.

2 hours  (Years 5-8)

Tutor: Marg Haynes
This fun filled workshop will be a combination of theory and practical tips for auditioning in front of the camera.  Tutor Marg Haynes will give an overview of auditioning for TV commericals, TV shows and films, explain the role of an Agent and answer any questions.  Student actors will then be taught how to "slate" (introduce themselves) to the camera given a selection of TV commercials to work through.  The workshop will culminate in a mock audition where each student can put into practice the skills and techniques that they have learned.

4 hours (Years 5-6)

Tutor: Patrick Magee
Improvisation is the art of thinking on your feet and making it up as you go along – an essential skill for any performer!  This course will begin with the fundamental principles of improvisation (accepting and extending offers, creating environments and characters through voice and physicality) and move on to creating long- and short-form scenes that will amaze audiences.  Through games and discussion, we will analyse and discover what improvisation can teach us about scripted work and how improvisation can help us in our everyday life.

4 hours  (Years 5-8)
$88 + $6 materials
Tutor: Kay Yasugi

Welcome to the World of Puppetry!  Puppetry is the art of bringing inanimate objects to life - whether they be a fluffy sock, a cardboard rocket or even a full scale dragon.  Join us for a fun and hands-on introduction to various types of puppets and learn how to operate them.  You'll get to play with glove puppets, rod puppets, marionette string puppets and make your own sock puppet that you get to keep and take home!
We'll put on a show while developing some skills in performance, storytelling and improvisation.  Puppetry is a highly creative and imaginative art form that helps with problem solving and thinking outside the box.
Please Note:  Puppetry materials need to be purchased directly from the Tutor at the beginning of the workshop.  Please bring $6 exact change in an envelope on the day.

4 hours  (Years 7-12)
Tutor: Amanda Stephens Lee

The voice workshop will involve a fun morning of playful explorations of your voice – learn how to relax, breathe and use your voice safely and with more vocal variety.  The afternoon will then extend that work into learning how to speak with an American accent.  This session will finish with looking at scripts and applying accents to create meaning and texture.

4 hours (Years 9-12)
Tutor: John Suffolk

This workshop will equip you with a dependable set of essential tools to be able to act with authenticity and range in your performances.  Focusing on responding truthfully within the circumstances of scenework as well as individual performance, this workshop will guide you through ways of using your voice, body and imagination to refine characters and engage with your audience.  Open to senior acting students this will be a one-stop shop to giving your acting skills and a tune up and enhancing your performance capabilities.


Tutor Biographies

Tim trained at the WAAPA and works as a writer, director and actor.  Between 2005-2017 he was a Creative Director of Monkey Baa, one of Australia's largest TYP companies, and co-created over 20 new theatre works.  He is currently a commissioning writer for the Queensland Theatre Company and a commissioning writer/director for the Australia Chamber Orchestra creating a new stage work based on Margaret Wild's There's a Sea in My Bedroom.  This work will premiere at the Sydney Opera House in late May 2019.  In September Tim will perform in The God of Isaac at the Eternity Playhouse.  Other acting credits include Sport for Jove's Cyrano De Bergerac, Blumenthal Production's My Name is Asher Lev, Coming to See Aunt Sophie, ABC TV's Rake, Home and Way, All Saints, Hacksaw RIdge, and he toured the one-man show I am Jack to 14 cities in the USA.  In 2018 the Sydney Theatre Critics presented Tim with a special award in recognition of his 'extraordinary 20-year contribution to the theatre for young audiences throughout Australia'.

Abbie-lee Lewis is a graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).  As an actor she has appeared in numerous theatrical productions including Talk It Up (Yirra Yakkin Theatre Company) and Macbeth (Bell Shakespeare Touring Company).  In 2019 Abbie-lee will play Emily in Our Town by Thornton Wilder (Black Swan State Theatre Company).  Abbie-lee is a popular drama tutor for the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) and was the Assistant Director on their 2018 production of Charlie Pilgrim (Or A Beginners Guide to Time Travel).

Curly Fernandez is an Australian Performance artist with Inidian and Portugese ancestry. As a teaching artist Curly is a specialist creator in hybrid drama techniques, weaving literacy, leadership and visual arts for young people to unleash creativity through Play Theory.  Curly is a classically trained actor having appeared on theatre, television, film and online platforms.  As a tutor and Teaching Artist for young people, Curly has worked with Bell Shakespeare, The Arts Unit - Department of Education, Poetry In Action – Central Desert Indigenous Program, Sydney Opera House and Australian Theatre for Young People.  Curly also works as a Clown Doctor in paediatrics for the Humour Foundation at Westmead Children’s Hospital, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Royal North Shore and Bear Cottage Palliative Care.

Marg Haynes is a film producer and writer who runs The Agency at The Australian Institute for Performing Arts (AIPA).  Marg is known for her ingenuity, drive and passion and has worked for the past fifteen years directors and producer in Australia and the United States. As one of the original faculty members of KICK Performance Group (now The School at AIPA), she worked with a range of students who have gone on to highly successful careers.  Marg holds several qualifications including BA (Hons), ATCL, LTCL, FTCL (p), ACE, CSCA, CVCA.

Patrick is an award-winning improviser, actor and writer who has performed all over Australia, New Zealand and the UK, including at the Edinburgh Fringe.  He works with Impro Australia and Improv Theatre Sydney to bring the joy of improvisation to kids and adults alike and has worked as a Drama Tutor in schools since 2013.  He is currently completing a Bachelor of Primary Education at Macquarie University and is working on his second children’s book.

Kay Yasugi is a puppeteer, puppet maker and teacher based in Sydney, Australia.  She has a background in teaching and illustration, with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) from the University of Sydney (First Class Honours with University Medal).  Kay trained at the London School of Puppetry (UK) and completed a Diploma in Professional Puppetry in 2009.  Since then she has worked as a freelance puppeteer through Pupperoos. focusing on education and children's projects.  She also runs Digital Seagull, which provides professional puppetry and digital media for adults and corporate clients such as Tourism Australia.  Kay is the current General Secretary of the puppetry organisation UNIMA Australia.  She has taken part in various puppetry festivals and projects around the world including the Copenhagen Puppet Festival, the Prague Quadrennial, the Giant Puppet Project in Cambodia and the 5th China Quanzhou International Puppet Festival.  She has made and operated puppets for film, television and theatre including The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.  Kay has appeared on ABC's Play School 'Through the Window' episode on puppetry and was commissioned to make the dragon puppets for the Combined Drama segment in the 2017 Schools Spectacular.  Kay lectures on puppetry for the University of Sydney and the War Horse Australia Arts Learning Program.  In 2018 she received funding for a research and training project at the University of Washington, Bothell (USA) to explore virtual technology and its application to shadow puppetry.  This was followed by an Artist in Residency with the shadow theatre company Manual Cinema in Chicao (USA) to work on their new show Frankenstein whilst also learning their shadow puppetry techniques.  Kay is passionate about sharing the joy of puppetry with people of all ages.

Amanda is a graduate of NIDA’s MFA (Voice) program, an actor and an acting teacher.  She has taught voice and dialect at East 15 Drama School and in several acting schools in Sydney.  Amanda holds a BA (Performance Studies) from University of Sydney.  Her training includes studies at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art; The Actors Centre (London); voice with Patsy Rodenberg, Kristen Linklater and Barbara Houseman; acting with Larry Moss, Scott Williams (Meisner Technique) and Philippe Gaulier (Physical Theatre/Clowning); and singing with Elena Doria (Metropolitan Opera House, NYC).  Acting includes: On the Shore of the Wide World (Griffin), Leaves (KX Theatre), Four Places (Outhouse Theatre), Beautiful Thing (Burley Theatre, Seymour Centre), Macbeth & Taming of the Shrew (Sport for Jove), and Open for Inspection (Darlinghurst Theatre).  Amanda is a member of MEAA, Equity and the founder of Some Company Productions.  She was nominated for a Best Actress award in the Sydney broadwayworld.com theatre awards for her performance in Leaves.