Acting Workshop Producers and Directors

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This two-day practical workshop is for content makers, directors, producers and writers, who are looking for a practical approach to working with and getting the best out of actors. It is run by Nadia Townsend who is an actress, dramaturg, film/theatre maker and educator renowned for her work with actors.


This intensive will focus on the language and process of acting. It covers:

  • How to communicate your ideas with actors in a clear and practical way

  • understanding of the possibilities of a rehearsal process

  • Finding confidence in your ability to see clearly what the actor is doing and what they may need from you

  • solving scene problems within the scene

  • knowing when to step in and how to get out of the way

You'll deepen and widen your scope for how to explore the nature of a scene, character relationships, dynamics and character engines.

By doing practical exercises you will gain an understanding of what the actor goes through and better bridge the gap between the inside (acting) experience and the outside (director) experience of the same moment.

This course will give any producer, writer or director the tools to better identify the actors process and the language in which to engage in it.


A lot of film makers are intimidated by the idea of working with actors. In the same way that a director will have a disjointed and frustrated dialogue with their crew if their understanding of the processes of filming or their cinematic language is limited, so too can filmmakers experience this with their actors. They spend years developing and pitching a project and when it comes to working with the most visible element of their screen project, the actor, they spend the least amount of time and just hope that it will all come together. This course is designed to open up the possibilities for and the potential of the rehearsal room. A chance to engage with your actors in a way that will enrich your project extending your budget.
Nadia is often brought on to international and local productions to work in collaboration with the director and producer to design and often facilitate rehearsals for the project.


Nadia Townsend has worked in the Australian film, television and theatre industry for the last 20 years; as an actress, dramaturg, film/theatre maker and educator. Her recent credits include

Little Monsters, Blue Murder: Cop Killer, Secret Daughter, Brock, Ready For This, Soulmates and Mad Max Fury Road.

Nadia’s introduction to television was on Ben Gannon’s Headstart where she met legendary Dramaturg Nico Lathouris. Under Nico’s tutelage she discovered a passion for the language and process of acting that has become her life’s work. Nadia and Nico most recently worked together as a dramaturgy team on Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

Nadia Completed a postgraduate in theatre directing at VCA Nadia went on to co-found a performance laboratory Turtle Lab. On screen she is best known for her role in the Channel 7 police drama City Homicide, as Detective Senior Constable Allie Kingston. She also starred in Fireflies, for the ABC working under the widely respected executive producer John Edwards. Nadia's first big feature film break came when she worked alongside Nicolas Cage in Knowing (2009). Nadia’s other credits include, Little Monsters, Brock, Love Child, Rush, Home and Away, independent feature Restoration.



‘Even though I am a writer and not a director, I found it absolutely valuable and useful for understanding the dynamics of a scene and the acting process. I definitely learnt and experienced a lot and found Nadia to be supportive and knowledgeable.’

‘I learned more in two days than in three years I studied performance. It was sharp, intuitive, insightful, practical & revolutionary in regards to my directing approach.’

‘Nadia was fantastic! Such an excellent balance of theoretical and practical exercises. I would definitely recommend this course to every practicing or aspiring filmmaker. Loved every minute!'

Have any questions? Please get in touch: or 1300 065 281

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.