Directing Actors with Mike Alfreds

Directing Actors with Mike Alfreds & Iain Sinclair

Following our highly successful directing workshop with Ian Rickson, we’re bringing our second course for emerging directors to the studio – presented by legendary theatre director and master of preparation and process, Mike Alfreds. 

“No one matches Mike’s painstaking preparation in the elements of storytelling for the actor,” Academy award-winning actor, Mark Rylance. 

Over six weeks, you’ll be guided by Mike Alfreds through his process and approach to directing. Each week, you’ll participate in a two-hour online session with Mike, focusing on topics such as structure and form, character analysis, ensemble work, theme and communication, the physical world of the play, and rehearsal/performance techniques.

In addition to the online sessions, you’ll also attend studio sessions at 16th Street with mainstage theatre director, Iain Sinclair, providing a hands-on experience. You’ll apply Mike Alfreds’ approach to specific scenes and moments in his translation of “Blood Wedding” by Federico Garcia Lorca (Iain also directed and translated Blood Wedding for STC). 

Engage in lively discussions and immerse yourself in the practical application of the concepts covered in the online sessions. This program is starting soon, don’t hesitate to apply.


Explore the course – Starting August


Mike Alfreds’ Online Sessions: Every Tuesday at 7:00 PM.

Iain Sinclair’s Studio Sessions: Every Thursday from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Week 1: Structure and Form in Dramatic Writing

Week 2: Character Analysis

Week 3: Ensemble and Multiple Characters

Week 4: Theme and Communication

Week 5: The Physical World of the Play

Week 6: Rehearsal and Performance


Online sessions (2 hours each):

  • Join Mike Alfreds and Iain Sinclair on Zoom and be guided by Mike Alfreds through his process and approach to directing.

Studio sessions (4 hours each):

  • Hosted in-house at 16th Street by Australian theatre director Iain Sinclair, with engagement and discussion based on the concepts covered in each of the online sessions.
  • Application of Mike Alfreds’ approach to specific scenes and moments in  “Blood Wedding” by Federico Garcia Lorca, translated by Mike Alfreds.


Mike Alfreds is widely regarded as a legendary director due to his innovative and influential contributions to theatre directing and training. Mike has been a pioneer in the field of ensemble theatre, an approach that emphasises collaboration and the creation of a shared vision among actors and creative team members. He has also developed a unique approach to text analysis and interpretation that is grounded in a deep understanding of the language and context of the play. He has worked with some of the most prestigious theatre companies in the world, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and the Royal Court Theatre. He has directed numerous award-winning productions, including “The Caretaker” by Harold Pinter and “Danton’s Death” by Georg Büchner. 

In addition to his directing work, Alfreds has also written several influential books on theatre, including “Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor” and “Then What Happens?: Storytelling and Adapting for the Theatre”.


Iain Sinclair is well recognised as one of Australia’s finest directors of actors in performance consistently helping them generate empowered, sophisticated and dignified work.

Actors working alongside Iain are regularly nominated for Best Actor awards here and overseas. 

After graduating from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and King’s College London where he specialised in directing actors and developmental dramaturgy Iain has had a rich and successful career alternating between bold new plays and the classics, he has directed celebrated major productions for state companies at STC, Belvoir, MTC and Queensland Theatre, he has directed for numerous professional companies and also consistently works outside of the mainstream paradigm creating top-level independent productions. He is also an avid student of Mike Afred’s work. Iain is best known for his groundbreaking five-star production of A View from the Bridge at MTC and his most recent critical success, The Caretaker at The Ensemble Theatre in Sydney.



We encourage directors in the early stage of their careers and professional artists with an interest in directing actors to apply for this intensive. 16th Street has a strict policy of not discriminating on the basis of age, race or gender in any form.

Applicants are invited to complete an online application form alongside their CV and a short video introducing themselves and sharing their intent for this intensive. Places are limited and we encourage interested applicants to apply at their earliest convenience to avoid disappointment. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.



Intensive course fee: $972 incl GST

Course Start Date: 22 August 2023

Applications Close: 1 August 2023


Required Reading:

  • “Different Every Night” by Mike Alfreds (as the core study text) with particular reference to “Concepts”, “Preparation” and “Worlds”. Chapters 2,3 and 4.
  • “Blood Wedding” by Federico Garcia Lorca, translated by Mike Alfreds (provided).
  • Notes for Preparation for online classes with Mike Alfreds (provided).