Choosing an Acting School – Don’t Be a Lemming!


1. A small, short-tailed, thickset rodent related to the voles, found in the Arctic tundra.
2. A member of a crowd with no originality or voice of his own. One who speaks or repeats only what he has been told.
3. A person who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction.


It’s that time of year again when full-time acting/drama schools are making offers of places to prospective students. Some of these talented individuals are in the fortunate position of receiving multiple offers and need to make a choice as to which training provider will best suit their individual needs; provide the best quality training; and give them the springboard into a professional acting career.

There are many factors for these future actors to consider including; experience and qualifications of teaching staff; facilities; location; reputation; alumni; curriculum content; production and performance opportunities (a good school will give you the opportunity to perform in full-length productions – not just scenes from plays or shows that are only compilations of monologues); industry exposure; quality and motivation of other students; ratio of screen vs stage experience (I believe that 1/3 screen and 2/3 stage is the right balance);  and many more relevant factors.

Unfortunately, I find far too many people placing too much importance on ‘reputation’ and what others (often unqualified and/or inexperienced individuals) think of the school and not enough on the other important factors mentioned above. Just because your uncle who used to be an amateur actor 30 years ago has never heard of a school it doesn’t mean it isn’t any good. Similarly, just because a famous actor graduated from a particular school in the past it doesn’t mean that the school was the main reason why they have been successful (the likelihood is that the famous actor in question most probably would have been successful no matter which school they attended or would have succeeded even if they didn’t undertake formal training at all! Success usually springs from the individual’s talent and work ethic etc rather than the influence of the school they attend).

The reality is that any accredited tertiary or vocational training institute will provide the basics in terms of qualified staff; facilities and curriculum etc. The choice then boils down to how well you are supported and nurtured during your training and whether or not you are provided with a learning environment that will allow your potential to be fulfilled during the 2 or 3 years of the course.

This is the area that needs to be fully researched before making your decision and often it comes down to intuition and ‘feel’. How were you treated during the auditions? Were they run efficiently? Was there time wasting or a lack of respect towards the candidates? Were you treated like an individual or herded like cattle from one room to another? Your audition experience will most likely reflect your student experience after enrollment.

In the end it’s best to trust your own instincts and judgement rather than taking the easy option of doing what everyone else is doing  (like a lemming jumping off a cliff) if you want to make the best possible choice of school and have a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Mark Matthews B.A. (Theatre); Dip. Ed. (Drama); M.A. (Directing); Cert IV TAE; Cert IV Small Business Mgt.

Managing Director – Sydney Theatre School


Application and Auditions Update!


Applications for our part-time Diploma and full-time Advanced Diploma courses are now open. First round (group) auditions will be conducted on Tuesday and Thursday evenings plus Sundays (daytime) throughout November. Callbacks (if required) and final offers will be made in early December. If you can’t make these days then other dates can be made by special arrangement and/or video auditions can be submitted. There is no application or audition fee (unlike most other acting schools) and VET Fee-Help is available for the vast majority of applicants (ie Australian citizens) so there is no financial barrier to applying for most people. Youth allowance or AUSTUDY is also available for the full-time course for those who meet eligibility requirements.

This is a golden opportunity to train with some of Australia’s best teachers and directors and to spend three years immersed in acting and performing on stage and screen. As an added bonus, our second year full-time students will have the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh in August to perform at the world’s largest performing arts festival!

We look forward to receiving your application soon and to helping you to turn your passion into a profession!

Measure for Measure and Oleanna


If you missed our recent productions of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and David Mamet’s Oleanna you have three more chances to catch each of them on Friday and Saturday nights for the next three weeks. Tickets are available at the door from 6.30pm each night and the shows start at 7.30pm. The venue is located at 45 Chippen Street CHIPPENDALE. More details can be found on the EVENTS page of this website or via our Facebook page. We hope to see you there!

Ticket Bookings for Oleanna



Oleanna ticket bookings here:

Further details about the show can be found on the EVENTS page at the top right hand side of the menu.

Oleanna Opening Next Week!



Professional Australian actor and teacher Jerome Pride (Bell Shakespeare, MTC) teams up with highly gifted second year STS student Grace O’Connell to perform Mamet’s controversial play about sexual exploitation, gender and power in Sydney for two weeks only before heading off to perform the play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Jerome has over 25 years of experience as a professional actor and has been a senior acting tutor at Sydney Theatre School (STS) since 2009. Confronting him in on-stage battle, his second year full-time acting student Grace proves a formidable adversary. Jerome also directs, assisted by STS Head of School Mark Matthews.

Oleanna exposes the power struggle between a male university professor and one of his female students who accuses him of sexual exploitation, threatening his career. It is a play about gender, sex, power, prejudice, and perception. The real-life teacher/student relationship between the actors (never before attempted with this award-winning play) adds an explosive edge to a story that is already timely and relevant.

Premiering in the 1990s, Oleanna continues to provoke fierce debate about sexual harassment and gender politics, often dividing audiences with its controversial, even disturbing, insights.

This new production is co-produced by STS and Jerome’s own company Actors Not Feelers. Actors Not Feelers produced the highly acclaimed Footprints on Water at Sydney Fringe Festival in 2012.

Oleanna will be performed at Sydney Theatre School from June 25-July 6 and in Edinburgh from Aug 3-9.


Measure for Measure Opening Mon 16th June!


Sydney Theatre School Gives Shakespeare’s Darkest Comedy a Contemporary Makeover

Sydney Theatre School’s second year students are travelling across the globe in August to give Edinburgh audiences a preview of the next generation of rising Aussie acting talent in a cutting-edge contemporary version of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

Before they leave, the production will be performed in Sydney at our Chippendale campus for a strictly limited season.

A world of seedy nightclubs; exotic dancers; political corruption and even a gay-marriage proposal twist at the end highlight the contemporary themes which resonate throughout the production and make it a unique and must-see event.

Sometimes described as a ‘problem play’, Measure for Measure is Shakespeare’s dark comedy about justice, morality and mercy in which a nun pleads for her brother’s life and unleashes the lust of the strict deputy who offers to spare him – in exchange for her virginity.

The Duke of Vienna has handed the reins of his government to Angelo, only to discover that Angelo’s rigid adherence to the law is tainted with hypocrisy. A young nobleman, Claudio, is sentenced to death for premarital relations with a woman to whom he is betrothed. His fate is thrust into the hands of his sister, Isabella, who now must choose between her brother’s life and her own salvation. Wickedly comic and strangely tender, Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful plays.

“The tempter or the tempted, who sins most?” 

Sydney Theatre School was established in 2005 and since then has launched the careers of several up and coming Australian actors. We offer a three-year full-time professional actor training program with many of Australia’s leading actors; directors and teachers on staff. This will be our second Edinburgh Fringe production following the season of This Mortal Coil in 2009 which received four stars from Three Weeks.

Measure for Measure will be performed at STS Studios from June 16 to July 25 and at theSpace on North Bridge in Edinburgh from Monday 4th August – Saturday 9th August 2014

Production: Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

Venue: Sydney Theatre School – Level 1/45 Chippen Street CHIPPENDALE 2008

Dates: June 16, 18 & 20 plus July 11, 18 & 25

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: $25 Full / $20 Conc.



Fee-Help for Part-Time Course!


We are very pleased to announce that our renowned part-time acting course is now fully-accredited and qualifies students for VET Fee-Help so there is no financial barrier for anyone who meets the requirements (ie most Australian citizens).

The other exciting change is that the course will now be conducted over three years (two evenings per week plus Saturdays) allowing students even more time to develop high-level skills in acting for both stage and screen, voice, movement, performance and contextual studies. In addition to this, students will be gaining substantial experience working on stage with our highly-qualified directors and teachers and perform in high-quality productions for invited guests and industry professionals such as agents and casting directors.

The course will have one mid-year intake of new students each year starting on June 30th in 2014. Applications and auditions are free and are being accepted  now with auditions commencing in April. Successful applicants who access Fee-Help will pay NO DEPOSIT and NO FEES provided they meet the Vet Fee-Help and income threshold repayment requirements.

To apply for an audition and interview, simply click the APPLY NOW tab on our website. We look forward to meeting you at the auditions!


Full-time Places Now Available!


Due to some last minute changes, we currently have a few places remaining for our 2014 Advanced Diploma of Arts (Acting) full-time acting program. With VET Fee-Help available there are no payments required for the duration of the course and AUSTUDY is available to approved students. We have the best teachers in the country and a production-based training program that includes screen acting from week one (and all through the course). Classes start next week and new enrollments will be accepted until mid-February until all places have been filled. Submit your on-line application and arrange your audition now to develop the skills, knowledge and experience you need to start the journey towards a professional acting career!

Three Places Left!


We only have three places left in our part-time acting course for 2014 starting on February 4th. Classes are held on Tues & Thur evenings plus Saturdays so can be fitted in around full-time work or university study etc. Applications are free and may be submitted via our website. Following each audition, the remaining spots will be offered to suitable candidates on a first-in first served basis so don’t delay!

Final Round Applications


Applications for all courses are still being accepted. Offers are currently being made for the last few available places in both the full and part-time courses and applications will close when all places have been confirmed (most likely in early January). If you are interested in applying, we suggest you fill in your on-line application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.