Performance workshop

The drama teacher at Canberra Girls' Grammar School, Sophie Benassi, is co-ordinating an advanced acting workshop at the school next month run by National Institute of Dramatic Art graduate Olivia Simone with Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduate James Monarski.

Simone, who's worked in film and television and on stage with credits ranging from All Saints to Bell Shakespeare, says the three-day course, Performance Classes Off the Beaten Track, is aimed at ''people who want to learn how to be actors or creatives''.

Students can work in theatre or musical theatre and there is also an acting-to-camera option with a professional showreel included. Students will be able to prepare texts in advance to work with during the course.

Monarski, with credits including Neighbours and Underbelly, studies with Los Angeles acting teacher Larry Moss, whose students include Hilary Swank and Leonardo DiCaprio, and teaches the Moss method which is, Simone says, aimed at ''bringing your true essence out'' through working closely with the text.

The course also includes an industry talk with the actors with practical advice on how to start a career.

Benassi says Simone came to the school to take classes with its students in October which were a success, leading to the decision to do a workshop that would be open for wider participation.

Simone says she hopes people who take the class will learn a lot about themselves through the work and will leave with a sense of empowerment.

Performance Classes Off the Beaten Track is at Canberra Girls' Grammar School on December 14-16, 10am to 5pm daily. Cost is $275 (theatre or musical theatre) or $375 (theatre/musical theatre and acting to camera with a professional showreel edited together). For ages 16 and up but younger people with experience might be considered. Inquiries and bookings: performanceclasses@gmail.com or 0408466006.