“If I was allowed to train again to be an actor, but I was only allowed one teacher, it would have to be Mike Alfreds.
To me he is a genius when it comes to acting and storytelling. I will spend my life trying to be true to what he perceives possible in the theatre. He is a true pioneer”.
– Mark Rylance, Tony and Academy Award Winner
Different Every Night – The Rehearsal Process
A rare and precious opportunity to work with British theatre legend, Mike Alfreds; described by Mark Rylance (one of the greatest actors of our generation) as a theatrical genius.
16th Street appreciates that for actors to have maximum opportunity of building and sustaining a career with longevity, they have to have the flexibility and skill to move between the mediums of film and theatre.
An actor’s creative growth occurs when their skill level is challenged by the right degree of demand in the material they work on.
In the British theatre tradition, director and teacher, Mike Alfreds will guide actors through his in-depth process of preparing for a role. They will learn how to truly embody the text in rehearsal so their performances shimmer with spontaneity.
This Masterclass is for anyone who wishes to develop their theatrical versatility and virtuosity from one of the greatest living teachers/directors of British theatre.
“No one brings the theatre to life – or to be more accurate, brings life to the theatre – but actors. Before actors come on stage, everything about theatre is abstract, theoretical, potential.
Actors are the ones who make theatre happen, who turn ideas into experience…Actors are the sine qua non of theatre.”
– Mike Alfreds
Theatre director Ian Rickson speaks about Mike Alfreds
Actors will work on the plays of four different playwrights to gain an experiential understanding of how to fully bring themselves to a breadth of material.
The Seagull by Anton Chekhov
Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca
Marriage by Nikolai Gogol
Private Lives by Noel Coward
Actors and Auditors will be provided with a copy of all four plays to read in preparation for this Masterclass.
In this 12-day Genre/Scene Study Masterclass Mike will take actors and auditors through his revolutionary and in-depth rehearsal process, outlined in his book Different Every Night, regarded as the most complete rehearsal methodology in print since Konstantin Stanislavski.
Actors will be cast in a scene from one of the above-mentioned plays and asked to prepare the scene on their own.
They will learn the text accurately and be totally off book for the first day. They will be asked to try and work out their intentions and objectives, i.e. what they want from their partner in the scene. Actors will try to work out what their characters super objective might be and list the facts about their character. Actors will be asked to do some research into the period/world of the play and where applicable to think about the accent.
This Masterclass is not about a showing of scenes but rather about actors at work, trying, exploring, daring and testing.
Mike has chosen this specific material because these plays are from unique and different worlds and require intense but very different levels of playing.
Actors will be spending the majority of the 12 days on the floor working on all four worlds of these plays as well as working through Mike’s process on their selected scene.
Mike’s process is a culmination of a lifetimes worth of work, a proven method to create theatre that is as alive and thrilling as a sporting grand final.
Actors who work and create in this way have the greatest sense of fulfilment in their work. It is a process that empowers actors to take the biggest risks and make the boldest choices while staying true to the intentions of the playwright and making theatre what it can be, alive and ‘different every night’.
“I make the actors forge the work on the floor. They have to discover by doing. Get them free with the text so they never do it the same way twice.”
– Mike Alfreds
Actors will be asked to be familiar with Mike’s book, Different Every Night. Each Participant once confirmed will receive a copy and extra copies will be available for sale in our office for Auditors.
Selection is by online application including a headshot, CV and link to showreel/filmed work.
Showcast and 16th Street Actors Studio are proud to offer one Showcast Member (Australia wide) an opportunity to participate in this 12-Day Genre Scene Study Masterclass in Melbourne.
Auditors have the opportunity to observe and learn about a process of rehearsal with which they can apply to their own work as actors and directors.
The relationship between actors and audience is one that Mike holds in the highest regard. The play does not exist without the shared imagination of the actors and audience.
“If theatre does have any ‘magic’, it is our complicity – actors and audiences – in an act of imagination, in this double experience of believing that something is happening when it really isn’t happening at all” – Mike Alfreds
Discount packages are available to attend multiple days.
Single Day Audit: $95 (incl GST)
Audit Package 1 (3-day): $250 (incl GST)
Audit Package 2 (6-day): $400 (incl GST)
Audit Package 3 (12-day): $650 (incl GST)
Trent Baker and Charlie Cousins speak about Mike Alfreds
About Mike Alfreds
Hailed by Sir Ian McKellen as one of the top three directors in the UK, Mike Alfreds has directed over 200 plays in the last 60 years, working at some of the greatest theatres and with some of the finest actors of our time.
In the 1970s he founded Shared Experience, one of the most successful theatre companies in the UK. He has directed for Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre where he was an associate director for 8 years. He was the artistic director of Theatre West, Tucson and then the Cincinnati Playhouse-in-the-Park, USA as well as Cambridge Theatre Company, later renamed Method & Madness.
Mike has directed and taught extensively worldwide and is widely respected within the industry.