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.

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.

Kate Sherman – Movement and Devising

Kate Sherman is a multi disciplinary performer, performance maker, choreographer, movement researcher and educator. Most recently she was a part of a creative development for a new VR work entitled Ascencio at Artist in Residence Chateau Orquevaux (France) Directed by Liberte Grace. She was a Scribe Artist at Dance Massive with Fragment 31 (Leisa Shelton) which is a project which transposes the experiences of Festival of Live Art audiences and public alike. She currently teaches Performance Making at The National Institute of Dramatic Art in the Movement department for BFA Acting students. Kate Graduated from NIDA in 2005 and completed a Graduate Certificate in Arts and Community Engagement at The VCA with the Centre for Cultural Partnerships. She is also a Yoga Teacher and has recently studied Embodied Flow’s first Advanced Yoga Teaching Model.  Her latest full length work is Animal which premiered at Theatre Works, was showcased at APAM and was presented at Dark Mofo Festival in Tasmania in 2018. Animal explores the circumstance we are born into and the cycle of violence created with Susie Dee and Nicci Wilks. Animal was nominated for 6 Greenroom Awards and won Best Direction, Best Ensemble, Best Sound and Lighting Design. In 2017 she undertook a responsive residency at Critical Path in investigating how the concept and aesthetic Wabi Sabi can be interpreted into choreography with collaborator Ryuichi Fujimura and made a work for the Exhibition “A Working Model of The World” in a program exploring the social space at UNSW – Art and Design. In 2015 she had a short film exhibited in the RoslynOxley9 Gallery in Sydney entitled Perfect Boy Redux – Imaginarium which was also presented at Arts Basel in Hong Kong and directed by Liberte Grace. In 2015 she co collaborated on a show entitled Genius for the Festival of Live Art (FOLA) with Neurodiverse performers. She has worked with companies such as Performance Space (A real-time game and multi media performance entitled Wayfarer), 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 in 2013 performed in The Republic of Trees a large scale site specific work for the Castlemaine Festival and performed a new site specific dance work entitled Under Different Circumstances in 30 Ways with Time and Space at Performance Space/ Carriageworks. For 2013/14 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), collaborated with Director DJ Mendel (NY) on her new work Out of Order, observed Frantic Assembly (UK), studied at The Live Art Development Agency (UK) and studied dance improvisation and choreography with Deborah Hay (UK). In 2014 she performed and puppeteered in Ruby’s Wish at Downstairs Belvoir, did a residency for a new work Out of Order and created a site specific performance art piece entitled Under Harry’s Circumstances for Harry Seidler’s Expanded Architecture: Temporal Formal Exhibition. This work was published in a recent Bauhaus Publication. In 2015 she had a film exhibited in the RoslynOxley9 Gallery in Sydney entitled Perfect Boy Redux – Imaginarium which was also presented at Arts Basel in Hong Kong. In 2011 she devised a play called Once Under A Sky with her Company at the time Cursing the Sea. She has also studied with International companies Arch8, Complicite, Mimecentrum, Kneehigh Theatre and La Fura Dels Baus.

Raechyl French – Voice

Raechyl is a graduate of the NIDA MFA (Voice) program. She formed her love of language, words and communication through a lifelong passion for books and film, furthered by her undergraduate degrees in English, Event Management and Italian. She found her passion for voice through her acting training, graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Diploma of Screen Performance in 2016, completing a summer semester at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting (NYC) in 2018 and undertaking ongoing study through short courses, workshops and masterclasses. During her training at NIDA, Raechyl aligned with the work of Cicely Berry, Frankie Armstrong, Patsy Rodenburg and Arthur Lessac. Her practice is rooted in imagination and play, emphasising a body-led approach to finding authentic, instinctive and creative expression of text and language. In 2020, Raechyl worked on Ghost Lights for NIDA’s Digital Theatre Festival and taught students at NIDA, Sydney Theatre School and Neuroscience Research Australia.

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