In The Frame – A course for Directors

Working with Actors

-A course for Directors who are serious about optimizing the actor’s potential.  


This course is specifically designed for film directorsemerging and establishedwho truly want to understand the potential of the rehearsal process and elevate their work.

This is a chance to work with professional actors analysing and expanding your current practice, improving your collaborative creative skill-set and gaining the necessary tools to run a comprehensive and ethical rehearsal process. You will also find a practical language for optimum communication with actors to create greater depth in scene work.


The relationship between Director and Actor is critical. Developing a genuine working relationship with actors is key to effectively transfer the story from the static script to the live screen performance. It requires practice.


Production budget constraints and time pressures can often reduce rehearsal time and limit the true potential of the Director, Actor relationship. This course allows you to unlock the art of playing, experimenting and authentically connecting within the rehearsal space so you can take your work to greater heights. Regardless of whether you have been in the game for years, or you’re just starting out, this course will offer you the opportunity to challenge yourself and raise your bar through a specialized directing experience.

Lead by Nadia Townsend, one of the country’s leading film dramaturgs, known for her practical and effective approach to working with actors.  Nadia’s credits include Little Monsters, Mad Max – Fury Road, Hardball, Go Karts, Secret Daughter.

The Course

Session 1: Sunday May 5, 10am-5pm with directors (full day), 5.30pm- 7pm with the actors

Session 2: Sunday 19 May,  9am-12.30 pm

Session 3: Saturday June 1, 9am-12.30 pm

Session 4: Saturday June 15,  9am-12.30 pm


Directors will be paired with professional actors from the Sydney Actors Collective studio, the directors are to rehearse, shoot and deliver 3 scenes over the duration of the course.


Session  1 – (FULL DAY)

The day will focus on the director’s current process, going deeper into the fundamentals and language of acting.

The directors will work with each other, using small scenes, to gain an experiential understanding of the work before they meet the actors that afternoon.

5.30pm to 7pm Directors will meet with their actors.

Directors are required to come to the Sunday class with 4 scene options for the duration of the course.

Session 2, 3, 4 (9am -12.30pm)

These classes will be used to watch the scenes with all the actors and directors present. It’s a chance to analyse what worked, what didn’t and to try to understand why. Time permitting, scenes will be further workshopped in class.

Directors will deliver 3 scenes throughout the course.



VENUE: SAC Studios, 299 Enmore Rd Marrickville.


Note: To do this course, directors must have access to a camera, rehearsal space of some sort and have the ability to edit the scenes for presentation, though high production quality is not a necessity.


About the facilitator Nadia Townsend

Nadia started out as an actress and has been working in film, TV and theatre for the last 20 years. In the last 5 years or so Nadia has been brought on to local and international productions as a dramaturg to rehearse actors from all levels of experience, background and ability. Her credits as dramaturg include Little Monsters, Secret Daughter, Love Child, Brock, Mad Max Fury Road. She is known for her practical and tangible approach to rehearsals and the process of acting. Nadia teaches the language and process of acting for directors and producers at the Australian Film and Television School (AFTRS).






SAC is proud to offer this innovative course for directors. SAC has had many successful directors such as Nash Edgerton (Gringo), Rowan Woods (Rake), Tony Rogers (Wilfred), Rachel Ward, (Beautiful Kate), Wayne Blair (Cleverman) and more conduct masterclasses and support us in our venture to train the new generation of Australian film makers.

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