The Actor's Toolkit


‘Good’ acting is about making choices: the better the actor, the richer the choice. Learn tips, tricks and tools of the professional actor and free your inner performer through guided relaxation, concentration and imagination exercises. In this introductory workshop series, you will draw from a range of theatrical periods and styles including Shakespeare, classical and contemporary drama, improvisation and commercial reading.

Target audience:
This course is an excellent introduction for anyone interested in acting, regardless of age, background or gender. You must be prepared to ‘act’ in every class.

Bring loose comfortable clothing. Be prepared to work shoe-less and to lie upon the floor or sit in a chair in a relaxed position.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course, you will have:

  • gained basic physical and vocal warm-up skills
  • learnt how to pull apart and analyse a script
  • gained a greater understanding of sense-memory training techniques
  • developed a personal style that works with a variety of written material.

Course outline:
This interactive workshop will have a physical and emotional component every week. Sessions include group exercises, discussion and workshopping. Every class will have a physical and emotional component.  Performance is mandatory, not an option. You have got to be willing to occasionally make a fool of yourself!

During the course, you will be required to find two scenes of your own choosing – one a monologue and the other to do with a scene partner. The tutor will supply suggestions for both.

Session 1

  • Introductions, ‘why’ act, the unresolved/resolved self; a basic vocabulary
  • Crossings, seven-step exercise; give and take; animals

Session 2

  • Neutral scripts part 1: playing you; listening and relaxation to place
  • Neutral scripts part 2: playing the environment

Session 3

  • The Bard: exercises in and around Shakespeare; script analysis; language
  • Monologues: the good, the bad and the ugly

Session 4

  • Meisner technique;  two-person scenes
  • First reading, commercial call: readings of commercial copy

Session 5

  • Scene and monologue rehearsal and notes
  • Scene presentations and review

Please bring your own lunch or you can buy it from nearby food outlets. Bringing water and/or snack food to class is also recommended.

Class limit:
This course is limited to a maximum of 16 participants, so please enrol early.

KC Kelly
has been a professional actor since 1975. The former senior drama tutor at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School, he is also the co-founder and artistic director of Ensemble Impact Theatrical Trust, which tours New Zealand’s secondary schools with New Zealand plays.

Relevant links:
School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies 

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email:

Please note: courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.