Performance Clinic with Tanya Gerstle

Performance Clinic with Tanya Gerstle

Come to the Performance Clinic for an instrumental workout and focus on what stops you from doing your best work. In this six-week course, Tanya Gerstle will help you self-diagnose and offer strategies for connecting to your physical and emotional power.

Be the best you can be.

The Performance Clinic is designed as a collaborative incubator for problem-solving. Acting challenges, obstacles, habits, and tendencies will be diagnosed and worked on from different angles giving the actor an experience of release and a blueprint for tackling such issues independently. Prepare to be provoked and to explore alternative approaches. This course is an instrumental workout and will focus on the embodiment of the physical and emotional life of the character.

Tanya Gerstle is a performance coach and director who was Head of Acting (2007-2012) at the Victorian College of the Arts. As a performance coach, she specialises in diagnostics and kinaesthetic processes to enliven the physical presence of the actor.


Course Material

It is up to you to bring material you are yearning to work on. Bring a scene that you’ve done before but maybe never quite cracked, or a character that intrigues you and you’ll be partnered with another actor and work on other scenes as well.

Alternatively, bring a monologue that you are working on for an audition or from a classic role that you always wanted to play.

Enjoy the process of working on material to perform while at the same time embracing solutions to consistent challenges in your work.

Please note this course is for experienced and/or trained actors as the course material is at an advanced level.


Tanya Gerstle


“Tanya has great charisma, and she had a huge impact on me…I think her style of communication is rare. She’s often five steps ahead of you. She processes things very quickly, sifts through the rubble at speed and analyses very fast. She isn’t narrowed by preconceptions but open to ideas. You go a long way very quickly working with her.”

Astrid Grant, company member, Théâtre du Soleil, Paris.


Tanya is a theatre director, performance maker and teaching artist who has worked in many contexts in Australia, the USA and Europe over the past 35 years. Most recently Tanya has been training actors at the VCA, University of Melbourne (Head of Acting 2007-2012, Head of Theatre 2010-12) where she received a Teaching Excellence Award, a master’s degree in Directing (by research) and has just completed a Doctor of Visual and Performing Arts on her actor training process.

Tanya has also trained actors at The Oxford School of Drama, England, Studio Wokalno Actorskie, Poland, The Artists Institute and De Stalhouderij, Amsterdam, The Actors Centre Australia (Co-Director 1996-98), NIDA and WAPPA. She has taught at the Universities of NSW, Western Sydney, Newcastle, and has been a visiting teaching artist at Penn State University, USA, the University of York, UK, the University of Caen, France as well as a consultant on an international Knowledge Exchange Project (UK) 2011-13 investigating global teaching practices. As a director, her body of work includes texts by Barker, Brecht, Lorca, Churchill, Kushner, Wertenbaker, Tolstoy, and Shakespeare as well as adapting novels, film, and radio texts to the stage. Tanya is the founder and Artistic Director of OpticNerve Performance Group which has been nominated for six Greenroom Awards.


“I am dedicated to enlivening the presence of the speaking actor through deep connection to the character’s physical and emotional life. I approach language and meaning through the body where instinctive spontaneous action leads to unearthing a character’s ‘hidden story’- where the character finds the actor”

– Tanya Gerstle