Hub Learning

Each year in the July school holidays ACT Hub Learning Program offers a dedicated week of workshops and masterclasses designed to focus on skills development and ideas generation for the Canberran theatre community and emerging practitioners.

These Learning Program sessions, delivered by established, professional theatre practitioners, are open to emerging theatre practitioners of all ages and stages in their skill development.

In 2023 we were delighted to welcome Tony Knight, one of Australia’s most celebrated acting teachers, NIDA Head of Acting for over 20 years and known to Canberrans for Lakespeare’s celebrated ‘As You Like It’ back to Canberra to direct Chaika Theatre’s production of ‘The Children’ by Lucy Kirkwood, and to offer two masterclasses to Canberra artists.

2023 masterclasses covered topics such as:

“I was every teachers least favourite student tonight; didn’t read the email, came unprepared, claimed I had experience and then performed like a hack. 🤣🫣😂(said with much light heartedness) Had a great time and learnt heaps.”

A comment made after attending Tony Knight’s ‘Demystifying Shakespeare’ workshop had us in stitches.

“My brain 🧠 is going like a hamster in a wheel 🛞 right now as I review the notes 📝 I made on my phone. I really appreciated your teaching style. You interacted with each participant in ways which honoured and respected them – especially the shy ones – but also prodded people to take safe “baby” steps out of their comfort zones.

For me as a teacher of 38 years experience I wish the undergraduate students who come on practicum placements could have access to your masterclasses. Teachers often forget that they are, in many ways, actors playing a role. It is quite literally impossible for us to control or manage 32 snotty teenagers. Yet, if we play the “role” of “teacher” most kids will play their “role” of student. The modern obsession with online learning frustrates me no end. Learning is relational, experiential and immersive. No computer screen can ever replace that.”

Comment from a participant of the masterclass on ‘Mastering the Audition’ rub by Karen Vickery.
Demystifying Shakespeare, and Playing Chekhov
Tony Knight
(NIDA Head of Acting, over 24 years until 2011)
ACT Hub is delighted to offer ACT and the region’s actors an unparalled opportunity to learn from one of our nation’s most treasured and renowned acting coaches, Mr. Tony Knight. 
The former NIDA Head Of Acting (1992 – 2011) is responsible for training many of our country’s most celebrated actors including two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, Miranda Otto, Sam Worthington and many more. That’s right, Canberra. NIDA just came to you. 

Tony’s Shakespeare Masterclass:
All about reviving the soul and reconnecting with the scale of language and emotion often lost in our modern world. For any serious or aspiring actor, this course is a must.

Develop and enhance your knowledge of the language, the poetry, the text, the physicality and Shakespeare’s potent characters with Tony. Bring along a monologue you’d love to explore.

Tony’s Chekhov Masterclass:
Stanislavsky brought his system of modern acting to life whilst working on directing Chekhov. Chekhov’s work is unrivalled in exploring the inner life of characters and the things that are unsaid or avoided between us. As such, working on Chekhov is a boot camp for actors – both stage and screen. 
Mastering the Audition
Karen Vickery
Artistic Director
Chaika Theatre 
Auditioning for drama school or just want to find your best self in the audition room?
This course will explore how to make the most of your audition, your moment and make the most of your opportunity. Learn how to select the right piece, how to analyse the text for the acting opportunities it yields, how to rehearse and prepare, and how to seize the moment in your audition.

All participants must bring one prepared monologue (printed out for the tutor) either classical or contemporary.
So You Want to be a Producer?
Anne Somes
Artistic Director
Free-Rain Theatre Company
Anne Somes is Artistic Director and Producer with Free-Rain Theatre Company.  Anne formed Free-Rain Theatre Company in 1995 and this is the 28th year the company has been in production.

Free-Rain Theatre Company was the Company in Residence at the Currong Contemporary Arts Theatre in 1999. Free-Rain was based at the Courtyard Studio from 2000 to 2015.  In 2013, the Company staged The Phantom of the Opera in the Canberra Theatre. This was followed by Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid and Wicked. Free-Rain staged Mamma Mia in 2021 and Pricilla, Queen of the Desert, My Fair Lady at the Q in 2022. In 2023, the company will present Spamalot followed in 2024 with Billy Elliot.

Anne has directed and produced over 80 productions for Free-Rain Theatre Company. She is an award-winning Director and Producer. Productions have varied from new works, plays, cabaret and music theatre in venues from 90 to 1200 in the Canberra theatre.

In 2019, Anne was recognized as an ACT Finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

So you want to be a Producer? Start small and get bigger!
2 1/2hrs
Having an idea for a show or getting the rights to an existing one
Safe Space Policy
Planning your budget and raising the money. Taking calculated risks.
Booking your venue
Marketing and selling the show effectively
Getting the production designed, rehearsed and onto the stage
What about contracts? Dealing with agents.
Do we need a Preview/s?
Phew, made it to Opening Night!
Now, could this show go on tour?
Musical Theatre is THEATRE
(Acting Through Song)
Jarrad West (Everyman Theatre) &
Alexander Unikowski
How do people make us cry/laugh/ feel through song? Why is a musical theatre song different to something you hear on the radio? Why do some songs get described as ‘three-act plays’?
In this workshop we’re describing as ‘Intro to being a SAD’ (Singer Actor Dancer) we’ll work through your party piece or song you’ve always wanted to sing and break it down for you to see what is lying underneath, and then work on a new song as a group to figure out how to break it down ourselves, why it is more difficult than it first appears, and how can we analyse a song and whether it’s right for us vocally and dramatically.

Participants in this workshop will need to bring a pre-prepared song with them, including sheet music.
Vocal Alchemy: Banishing Anxiety, Enhancing Presence, Radiating Artistry
Sarah Chalmers
Invoke the magic within and embrace the transformative power of your voice in “Voice Alchemy: Banishing Anxiety, Enhancing Presence, Radiating Artistry.” This immersive 3-hour workshop is a catalyst for self-discovery and artistic development, seamlessly blending mystical inspiration with science-backed techniques that will profoundly enrich your performances.
Drawing inspiration from the alchemists of old who sought to transmute base metals into gold, we, as performers, strive to transform ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences. In the realm of performance, alchemy is the secret potion that transforms your creative essence into pure gold. It is the art of turning fear into courage, insecurity into the ‘unparalleled’, and vocal limitations into boundless expression.
Under the guidance of leading voice and performance coach Sarah Chalmers, “Voice Alchemy” creates a sacred space where curiosity and artistic growth intertwine. Embark on this exhilarating adventure as we explore evidence-based techniques to:
Liberate yourself from the suffocating grip of performance anxiety, empowering you to radiate relaxation and confidence in every moment. 
Refine and polish your craft, expanding your range and unlocking new dimensions of artistic expression. 
Navigate rejection and critical feedback with resilience and self-assurance, freeing yourself from the shackles of self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome.
Ignite your creativity and infuse your artistry with purpose, unveiling the driving force behind your powerful expression.
Ultimately, amplify your presence and unleash your full potency on stage, leaving an unforgettable impression on the hearts of casting directors, industry professionals, and audiences alike.
Participating in this workshop will grant you profound insights and strategic approaches to distinguish yourself in the fiercely competitive performing arts industry. Are you ready to unleash your unique artistic voice, captivating the world with your magnetic presence?
Don’t let this amazing opportunity slip away. Embrace the remarkable alchemy that resides within you. This workshop invites you to step into your full artistic potential, radiate the magic that is uniquely yours, and create performances that leave an indelible mark on the world.
Directing and Creating Your Dream Team
Ylaria Rogers
HeartStrings Theatre Co.
Who are you as a director? What is your style? Most importantly, whatever your style is, how do you facilitate getting the best out of others?
This three-hour director intensive will give you an opportunity to play in the room, explore your own style as a director and help you to facilitate getting the most out of your actors. It will enable you to feel more secure in following your instincts and get you out of your comfort zone, in a safe and exploratory space.

Please bring three to four pages from a script that speaks to you as a director (2 – 4 actors) and be open and ready to play.