The Sydney Theatre School has an outstanding teaching faculty comprising experienced industry professionals who enrich the school with their unique skills, experience and passion for their craft.

The school’s teachers and directors have been strategically assembled, to ensure a breadth of talent, knowledge and industry experience in the training offered, across every part of our curriculum.

Robert Carne – Acting Technique

With over 35 years in the entertainment industry, Robert has generated more than 100 film and theatre projects, performing the key creative roles of: Actor, Voice Over Artist, Performance Coach, Script Writer, Producer, Director, Camera Operator, Assistant Director and Editor. Robert began his career at the age of 12 when he appeared in his first commercial production, and by 21 had accumulated more than 30 Theatre, TV & Film credits. Robert trained in both in Australia and the US, completing specialist studies in Meisner, Chekhov and Stanislavski. In addition to his Drama Degree, he holds a Degree in Psychology, Cert IV in Workplace Training, and is currently completing a post graduate certificate in Directing at AFTRS. As a writer, Robert’s credits include the acting textbook, Focus on Acting (2010); plays, radio ads, and films as well as creative copy for web and print advertising. Robert’s passion is the craft of storytelling and as a fellow actor, his greatest strength is working with performers to craft authentic and emotionally charged work. He has been employed as a Director, On-set Acting Coach, Lecturer and Tutor at numerous universities and private colleges in both Australia and the USA.

Malcolm Frawley – Improvisation and Devising

Malcolm is a writer/director/teacher/actor with over 35 years of professional experience after graduating from the Independent Theatre School. His plays and productions have been performed extensively throughout Australia. He spent some years writing, and script editing, for TV shows that included Neighbours and E Street. Malcolm has taught at Excelsia College, Screenwise, Theatre Nepean (Uni of Western Sydney), A.C.T.T., Screen Actors Workshop and was co-director of NIDA’s screen acting programme for Third Years from 2000-2003 (inclusive). He has been teaching at Sydney Theatre School since 2007.

Leah Pellinkhof – Screen Acting and Showreels

Leah Pellinkhof has over 15 years of experience as an acting and filmmaking teacher having taught at many performing arts schools including NIDA, NIDA Open, New York Film Academy, Sydney Theatre School, The Performance Workshop, The Actors Conservatory and AIM. Leah has completed an Advanced Diploma in Acting (The Actors Conservatory), A degree in Film and Television production (JMC), a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Performance (NIDA) and a Graduate certificate in Directing (AFTRS). Leah is also an accomplished theatre and film director who’s experience is varied from theatre productions like Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for the Queensland Shakespeare Festival to ‘Poo Shame, Vagina Curiosity & Other Things That Won’t Kill You ’’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, several short films, music videos, the feature film ‘Killer Smile’ and the critically acclaimed web series “Thirty”. Over the past decade Leah has been writing and directing her own original theatre & film productions. She is the creator, writer and  performer in the TAFF Award winning short film ‘Chook and Maureen’ and the web series ‘QueersLand’ the short film “Count the Ways” which won her martini awards for best director and best editor. Theatrical productions include the Dell’Arte award winning play ‘The Works of William Shakespeare (BY CHICKS)’ for World Shakespeare 2006, the Matilda award nominated ‘My Pet Human’ which also scored her a Dell’Arte Award for favourite playwright. Leah is formally the artistic director of Front Row Theatre Co. and is and an artistic director and  founding member of the Queer Film Collective, She is currently a company director at Playhead Productions and is passionate about story telling and developing emerging filmmakers.

Alistair Toogood – Voice

Alistair is a WAAPA Musical Theatre and NIDA Voice Studies graduate working predominantly as a voice/dialect, singing and acting coach. He also undertook private training with master voice teacher Barbara Houseman in London. Al was Music Theatre Supervisor for the Actor’s College of Theatre and Television (ACTT), and the Course Coordinator and Voice Lecturer for the Bachelor of Performance at the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art (AADA). As a Voice Coach Al has worked on over 60 productions, including Kill the Messenger for Belvior, Griffin Stablemates and TRS/Maelstrom original seasons of Tiger Country and A Moment on the Lips, The Chronic Ills of Robert Zimmerman: aka Bob Dylan (a lie) for Critical Stages, Bell Shakespeare’s Actor’s At Work and Poetry in Action’s education programs. His performance credits include the musicals Chang & Eng (Action Theatre, Singapore), Las Vegas Confidential (Vanish Ent.), Quambatook (John Williamson), Blenderman (Short, Sweet and Song), the cabaret A Night of Crime and Passion (Stables), and Freddie Mercury in We Are The Champions: The Ultimate Queen Tribute Show. As a voice actor, he sang on the steam punk manga musical Newton’s Fable.

Shane Anthony – Movement

Shane Anthony works as a theatre director and producer in Australia and overseas. He is a graduate of the Directing Program at National Institute of Dramatic Art, Screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and has also completed a BA in Theatre Studies at QUT. Recent directing credits include The Whale for Redline Productions at The Old Fitz TheatreSongs for the Fallen for Sydney Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival (Winner of Best Show), Melbourne Arts Centre, Brisbane Festival and The Old Fitz, Altar Boyz, Calendar Girls and Avenue Q for Fortune Theatre (New Zealand),Pornography, Orestes, Trojan Women and Radio Hysteria for NIDA Open, Doctor Faustus, 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 (Australian National Tour, Critical Stages), My Name is Rachel Corrie for La Boite Theatre, Motortown for 23rd Productions (Nominated Best Show, Matilda Awards) and as show director for CIRCA on their European tour of CIRCA. In 2007 he travelled to New York to continue training with Anne Bogart and the Saratoga International Theatre Institute in Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and in 2012 he received a Mike Walsh Fellowship to attend the New York Film Academy. He was a company member of Australian Physical Theatre Company Zen Zen Zo from 1999 – 2008 training extensively in contemporary Asian performing arts.

Sean O’Riordan – Acting and Shakespeare

From London, Sean worked as a journalist then retrained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, Wales. After London stand-up comedy he toured UK theatre for 7 years. In Sydney he toured Shakespeare to schools, performed stand up, began teaching and directing at drama schools and in 1996 formed Barestage theatre writing, directing, producing, performing in 12 plays. Film work includes Candy with Heath Ledger, The Man Who Sued God with Billy Connolly. Most of his directing work is focussed now on directing Shakespeare at drama schools and Sydney independent theatre companies. As well as freelance directing he also teaches/directs Shakespeare for NIDA’s second year full time course. He is currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy (Drama) at the University of Newcastle on the relevance of Shakespeare to contemporary acting training.

Alicia Gonzalez – Devised Performance

Trained at Lecoq in Paris, France, Alicia Gonzalez is a theatre maker specialising in clown and physical comedy, movement and ensemble devised techniques to storytelling. She works across theatre, film and education as devisor, director, teacher and performer. Alicia is a member of the comedy group Choo Choo Troupea clown for Clown Doctors Australia, and is Associate Director for Clockfire Theatre Company, for who she has collaborated and performed in the 1st instalment of “A Hunger Suite”, “we, the lost company” and “The Natural Conservatorium for Wise Women”. In 2018 Alicia will continue to collaborate, write and perform for Matriark Theatre Inc, Living Room Theatre and InPlay Arts. Alicia enjoys working as a performance coach and movement director for several shows including Mardi Gras favourite “The Punters Siren”. In 2016 she co-directed The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch for the Maritime Museum by DropBear Theatre. As Marquez Laundry Theatre Co Artistic Director she has been commissioned to write, direct and perform in: “Macondo’s Clothesline” and “Fred & Ginger” (The Old 505 Theatre) and her first operetta “Lemon Tree” (blank_space Gallery). Alicia was also selected to participate in NIDA’s 2014 Independent Creative Development Program in Sydney. In 2014 Critical Stages offered Alicia the Emerging Producers residency. In 2015 she had her directing short-film debut.  She has created and facilitated workshops in Lecoq pedagogy, clown, bouffon, and devising for theatre at The Clown InstituteLaugh Masters AcademyMilkcrate Theatre, Riverside Theatres and for various high-schools and drama students preparing for their HSC solo pieces. Her artistic influences include Compagnie Philippe Genty, Chiara Guidi, Ariane Mnouchkine, Peter Brook, Maguy Marin, & Pina Bausch. Alicia was the recipient of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant to help fund her studies at Lecoq. When she’s not trying to find absurdity in the everyday idiosyncratic human condition, she offers her expertise as a creative surgeon to indie theatre makers, actors and clowns.

Clara Voda – Screen Acting

Having studied a Masters of Acting Theatre and Film at Romania’s National University of Theatre and Film, Clara Voda has forged a distinguished career in European Film and Theatre. Clara’s craft has been further enhanced by her speaking 4 languages including Romanian, Spanish, French and English. Clara’s credits include If I Want to Whistle I Whistle (Winner of Berlin’s Silver Bear and Nominated for a European Academy Award), The Death of Mister Lazarescu (awarded the Un Certain Regard at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival) and Night Falls in India (Goya Nomination) and has personally been awarded Best Actress in Romania several times. Further to her film credits, Clara was a member of one of the most important Repertory Theaters in Romania, L.S. Bulandra Theatre where she played in numerous successful productions which toured all over the world. Clara has previously taught Film and Theatre acting at the Acting Film School in Bucharest, Romania and Acting for Film, Scene Study and Acting Technique at the New York Film Academy in Sydney, Australia and on the BFA Program at NIDA.

Nicholas Hope – Screen Acting

Nicholas shot to international fame in art movie circles as the star of Bad Boy Bubby, a cult Australian film directed by Rolf de Heer and released in 1994. Born in Manchester, UK, and raised in Whyalla, SA, he acted in several productions with the State Theatre Company of South Australia but had been in only one short film before being cast as Bubby. Having won the Best Actor AFI award and the Australian Cinematographers’ Society award for the role, he spent some years promoting Bad Boy Bubby at international film festivals. He won the popular award for best actor at the Venice Film Festival in 1993, and the Best Actor Award at the Valenciennes Film Festival in France in 1995. Since then he has appeared in Scooby Doo (2002) and Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004) and starred in the Australian drama Lost and Found (2005). He has appeared in several stage productions including Simpatico for the Sydney Theatre Company, and on television in Changi (2001). Recent film and TV credits include: Book Week; Cleverman; Picnic at Hanging Rock; Janet King; Rake; Offspring; Mrs Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and many more which can be found here: IMDB

Kate Walder – Movement and Devising

Kate is a graduate of the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris and the Music Theatre BA from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She has created and performed work for the Old Fitz Theatre (BAD), Legs on the Wall (The Raft CD) Old 505 Theatre (Roomba Nation, Satellite), The Eternity Playhouse (WITS Festival Fatale), Ricca Ricca Festival Japan (The Story of the Little Gentleman), Adelaide Fringe (BAD), Melbourne Fringe (Lost in Space), Sydney Fringe (Le Voyage), the Soho Theatre London (La Dispute), Edinburgh Fringe (La Dispute) and for cabaret events across Sydney (Twisted Broadway, Broadway Live and Unplugged, Slide Lounge). She was Assistant Director for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (VIC Theatre Company at MTC), and ATYP’s award winning production of Spring Awakening. Kate founded Steps and Holes Theatre Company in 2017 and created Le Voyage for the 2018 Sydney Fringe Festival, which won the Critics Choice Award and the EDGE Artist Development Award. Kate is currently directing the Sydney Uni Best of Revue The Void and is a regular clown and physical theatre tutor for NIDA, ATYP, the Arts Unit and NORPA.

Damien Ryan – Shakespeare

Managing Artistic Director of Sport for Jove theatre is the multi award winning director Damien Ryan, who is at the forefront of directing Shakespeare in Australia. From Romeo and Juliet to Titus Andronicus, Damien is a master of finding a truth and relevance that connects classic texts to modern audiences. Sharing Damien’s passion for these plays, you can gain an insight into interpreting, performing and staging the Bard’s work with theatricality and clarity.

Damien Ryan is Managing Artistic Director of Sport for Jove Theatre, recently directing their new Australian production The River at the End of the Road in 2018.  He recently performed in Twelfth Night for Belvoir, directed by Eamon Flack, NORA for Belvoir, directed by Anne-Louise Sarks and Julius Caesar for Sport For Jove, directed by Michael Pigott. He has also directed the national touring productions of Hamlet and Henry V for Bell Shakespeare.

Previous directing credits: for SFJ include No End of Blame, Cyrano de Bergerac, Antony and Cleopatra, Antigone, Away, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Importance of Being Earnest, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys (with Terry Karabelas); and for Bell Shakespeare, co-directing Henry 4 with John Bell, Romeo and Juliet over three seasons, and the Actors at Work program. He founded the Sydney Hills Shakespeare in the Park and The Leura Shakespeare Festival.

He has acted and directed many plays across Australia, celebrating over 20 years in the industry. Recent acting credits include Othello for SFJ, directed by Matt Edgerton, Hamlet directed by David Ritchie, and As You Like It directed by John Bell. He has also worked heavily in the Australian education sector, and bringing Shakespeare and theatre to young audiences is his life’s ambition.

Awards: Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Supporting Actor in Independent Production for Iago in Othello; Best Director and Best Production for Antigone; Best Independent Production for All’s Well That Ends Well; Best Director and Best Mainstage Production Henry V; Best Director and Best Production for Cyrano de Bergerac; Best Production for The Libertine; and nominations for Best Director for The Libertine, Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew.

Take your first step towards a successful career in acting with a course from Sydney Theatre School!