‘The Chops’ Classical Acting for Contemporary Mastery

‘The Chops’ Classical Acting for Contemporary Mastery


Dr Geraldine Cook-Dafner, Iain Sinclair, Lyndall Grant


A new 16th Street Professional Postgraduate Program: Classical Acting for contemporary mastery.


“Classically trained actors tear open the roof of heaven.”
– Sir John Gielgud


A unique 12-week intensive program to weaponise your acting, providing working graduate actors with classical skills to equip them with a leading edge in contemporary work.

Speak, feel and fight like a classically trained actor.

World-class experts in classical training will equip a select group of actors for elevated contemporary performance. This tailored course will combine ancient skills, mindset, specialist knowledge and practical training with leading modern techniques.

Participants will be set on the path toward classical excellence and contemporary mastery.

The 16th Street, Classical Acting Program, is geared towards disciplined working actors who wish to elevate their craft way beyond the noise, dig deep into their own humanity and demonstrate genuine old school chops in performance.

Patsy Rosenberg and Mike Alfreds alongside many other internationally acclaimed specialists will join 16th Street on our journey deep into the foundations of our civilization, our shared human heritage and our universal collective consciousness.

Spaces are limited and standards will be high for this tailored specialist program.

Course Outline

  • Intensive scene work in Ancient Greek and Roman, Renaissance and Restoration work with a view to transferring the epic dimension into their contemporary acting on stage and screen.
  • Advanced voice training in heightened text, verse, blank verse and prose.
  • A fully integrated 12-week program in ancient movement, combat and swordplay embedded in text.
  • Specialist training in emotional and spiritual access and personality theory, both ancient and modern.
  • Ensemble training – Experience the ancient version of being in a company of players.
  • Practical working knowledge of applied acting theories ancient and modern. Aristotle, Quintillian, Shakespeare, Lysart, Stanisklavski, Adler and Michel Saint Denis.
  • Regular lectures and seminars ranging from Classical Rhetoric to The Enlightenment through to Post-modern Classicism, Marvel movies and their classical counterparts and more.
  • Exposure to world-renowned leaders in the form of mentorships, seminars and tutorials with classically trained teachers, directors and actors.


Course Outcomes

  • All participants will finish the course with: 2 Classical scenes, 2 Renaissance or Restoration scenes and 2 Contemporary
  • Screen scenes specially selected to highlight the specific skill sets acquired.
  • Graduates will finish with professionally coached deliverable monologues in Classical, Renaissance or Restoration and epic contemporary Screen and Television texts.
  • Competence in ancient unarmed and armed combat including swordplay.
  • Confidence in Classical Acting, Voice, Combat and Movement.
  • A demonstrable ability to transfer classical skills to all contemporary work.
  • A scripted and professionally directed showcase demonstrating all the skills acquired over the course in the form of scene work, monologues and choreographed sword fighting.


Lead Professionals

Iain Sinclair: Mainstage director text and performance specialist. RADA/Kings College London Masters program graduate.

Dr Geraldine Cook-Dafner: World-class vocal coach and specialist in classical voice training.

Lyndall Grant: Australia’s leading stage combat specialist, fight director and performance and motion capture artist.

World-renowned guest teachers and mentors will regularly join the program as mentors, seminar leaders and colleagues.


Patsy Rodenburg, Ian Rickson, Mike Alfreds

Industry Mentors

Patsy Rodenburg OBE is widely regarded as the world’s leading voice teacher and coach, with over 40 years experience. Patsy is a renowned authority on Shakespeare, and she combines principles found in classical theatrical texts (including classic Greek texts) with the study of the body, breath and voice. Patsy has worked with the best-known actors of British theatre, including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and Daniel Day-Lewis, as well as many of the biggest stars of film and television including Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Orlando Bloom, Hugh Jackman and Natalie Portman. Patsy has worked with some of the greatest playwrights of our generation including Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett, as well as world-class directors such as Trevor Nunn, Richard Eyre, Franco Zeffirelli and Tim Burton.

Ian Rickson, is a British theatre director. He was the artistic director at the Royal Court Theatre in London from 1998 to 2006 While there, he directed Joe Penhall’s play Some Voices, Jez Butterworth’s play Mojo, Conor McPherson’s play The Weir, and Butterworth’s play The Night Heron. Rickson has also directed a production of Hamlet at the Young Vic, starring BAFTA Award-nominee Michael Sheen.

Mike Alfreds, is an acclaimed theatre director, author, translator and teacher. Mike was Artistic Director of Cambridge Theatre Company (Method & Madness) for ten years and has directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal National Theatre where he was an associate director. Mike has staged over two hundred productions, with many receiving critical acclaim. He has adapted novels and stories for the stage, devised performances and translated the texts of several of his productions.

World-renowned guest teachers and mentors will regularly join the program as mentors, seminar leaders and colleagues.


Classically trained actors are plugged into 2600 years of continuous acting culture. They have technical proficiency combined with a deeply integrated spiritual and emotional world. Tap into the very best that human culture has to offer. This course will introduce you to techniques that have been honed and perfected over thousands of years. It will teach you “the chops”.

Jorge Luis Borges said that “art is fire plus algebra” – we will stoke your fires and then teach you the algebra. A vast unopened treasure chest awaits you so … “put forth thy hand and reach the glorious gold!”

Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.


Scholarship Opportunity

We are proud to offer a unique scholarship opportunity, which will be awarded retrospectively to an actor who has gone beyond the mark of excellence, the scholarship will cover the full tuition fee. This will be decided at the end of the program by the 16th Street Heads of Department.

Questions & Studio Tour

If you’re interested to learn more or have questions about the program, your aspirations, career, and 16th Street. Use this link to arrange a call with the team. We can also arrange for a ‘tour and talk’ with Head of Acting and Program Lead Professional, Iain Sinclair.

Application Process

Places are limited, and selection is very competitive for this bespoke specialist course.

We invite trained and working actors to submit an application, resume and self-tape.

Once you have submitted the application form, you will receive an email with instructions for your self-tape submission.

Applications close on 20 May 2022, and self-tapes are due by 22 May 2022.