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NODA London Festival Weekend 2017 - Workshop details

Workshop Title: Song and Dance
Day: Sunday
Tutors: Annie Hertler-Smith and Graham Thomson 

Summary of the Workshop:

Annie and Graham together will teach the music and dancing of the sexy, iconic opening number from CHICAGO - ALL THAT JAZZ. It is hoped that male and female singers and dancers will join in.  Please wear black clothes that are easy to move in and suitable shoes - absolutely no trainers please. We will be working on the stage at the theatre and will perform the number in front of the delegates at the end. All music will be available on the day but a working knowledge of the song before you come would be an advantage.

Workshop Title: Accents for Actors
Day: Sunday
Tutor: Gemma Wright of Rose Bruford College

Summary of the Workshop

The workshop will introduce you to various techniques in which to help you access an accent. During the session you will explore the key preliminary sounds of the General American and Yorkshire accents using practical methods with a variety of texts. It will present different ways to keep the actor’s imagination alive whilst, at the same time, servicing the signature sounds of the accent.

It will be important to wear something comfortable, bring a notebook and pen, but, most importantly, be prepared to have a go! 


Workshop Title: Acting Workshop - Being in the Moment
Day: Sunday
Tutor: Pat O'Toole - Head of Drama at Rose Bruford College 


Summary of the Workshop

I would like to look at 'Being in The Moment.... what does that mean for an actor?' We will explore the idea of being truly 'present' with another human being in a space. Using games and exercises we will explore listening and responding, working with impulse and letting go of the idea of performing and perfecting as an actor. The workshop is experimental, focusing on process and learning with no performance element. 

Tutor Biographies

Gemma Wright

Gemma had been directing and teaching acting for over ten years before she decided to follow her love of speech and accents and pursue a Masters degree in voice.

Alongside a busy freelance practice, Gemma had taught voice and accents in a number of high profile drama schools and universities across the country including the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, Mountview Theatre School, the Birmingham School of Acting, GFCA, Staffordshire University, ICAT and The Bridge Theatre Training School.

She holds an MA (Distinction) in Professional Voice Practice from the Birmingham School of Acting, a PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University and a BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and English from St. Mary’s University. Previous to her MA, she taught acting and directing both here in the UK and in America, alongside directing 5 and 4 star shows at the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Annie Hertler-Smith

Annie trained as a dancer from the age of 3 focussing on classical ballet for most of the time. However, her last three years of training were in jazz dance and tap as well as ballet at the London Dance Centre (now the Pineapple Studios) under Gillian Gregory and many guest choreographers such as Matt Mattox  and Arlene Phillips. After many years as a performer Annie turned to Directing and Choreographing amateur shows and has now worked on over 150 shows. In addition Annie attended the NODA Ripon Operatic Summer School for 25 years both as a performer and Director/Choreographer. For 13 years she has also run ROS StageWorks and Summer Schools.

Graham Thomson

Graham was born and educated in St.Andrews, Fife. He studied music in Edinburgh and Cardiff before moving to Orkney in 1976. He founded the Orkney Orchestra and resurrected the Orkney Choral Union. Two years playing chorus and principal roles followed before he became Musical Director of the Kirkwall Operatic Society for a period of five years. He moved to St Albans in 1991 to take up the post of Head of Music at a Church of England Secondary School.

Graham has played keyboards, bassoon, double bass and bass guitar for many societies and has been Musical Director on numerous occasions for various companies including (St.Albans, Potters Bar, Green Room, Radlett, Harpenden, Empire Theatre Arts, Putteridgebury G & S Society). 

Pat O'Toole

Pat is a theatre practitioner, coach and acting tutor with 30 years experience directing and training actors and musicians. She trained as an actor at Arts Ed and worked in TV, film and theatre before starting her directing career. 

Pat has worked at many of the leading drama schools and is currently a Course Director at Rose Bruford College. Alongside running the Foundation Acting Courses and Summer Schools, Pat teaches acting ( Stanislavsky and Meisner) as well as Audition Practice, Text Class and Professional Preparation. Pat is also a qualified Personal and Business Coach and Trainer.  

Pat has an MSc. PGCE(HE) Performing Arts.

Tom Jordan

Tom Jordan is a professional Fight Choreographer and Stage Combat Instructor. He has choreographed fights for a plethora of productions across the UK for companies such as National Theatre Wales, The Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth. He has taught for several prestigious institutions including the RSC, Guildford School of Acting, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Eton College and University of Northampton