Acting

Acting is a very popular stream with our students. And for good reason.

The sheer number of alumni who have performed – alongside Heath Ledger, Margot Robbie, Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, Dwayne Johnson, Toni Collette, and Chris Hemsworth is testimony to our world-class teaching.

We provide students with a robust education, developing a diverse range of skills that they will need if they decide this a career they want to pursue.

Students will gain a strong understanding of the expectations of the industry, and the discipline and preparation that is required to audition and gain further experience. We help them to tap into their talents and help them find ‘their voice’.

Our faculty is different from other performing arts schools as we use industry professionals to teach our students.

We partner with Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) who supply working acting professionals to teach our students alongside our Head of Acting. This arrangement provides our students with an incredible opportunity to learn from working writers, actors, directors, and producers. Our teachers are dedicated to nurturing each student to perform to the best of their abilities.

And all during the course of a normal school day, while they continue to work towards their HSC.

What you will learn

Students will receive tuition in a variety of classes and genres of performance including

  • Vocal control
  • Movement
  • Script analysis
  • Audition preparation
  • Character development
  • Acting for the stage and screen.

Performance opportunities

We offer pre-professional performance opportunities to our students to help prepare them for auditions and opportunities in their area of focus.

  • Major productions for all three Acting Streams
  • Starburst
  • High Performance Week
  • Open Days, formal functions, and assemblies

We also encourage, facilitate, and offer audition coaching to students for external acting opportunities so they can gain as much professional experience as possible, while still at the College.

We always have currently enrolled students performing in professional theatrical productions, television shows and feature films.

Students will benefit from our strong relationships with casting agents, major theatre companies and other industry-related professionals.

In addition to the technical skills required to be an actor, students will develop vital and transferrable ‘soft skills’ such as

  • self-directed learning
  • collaboration skills
  • memory development
  • confidence
  • public-speaking skills
  • persuasiveness
  • courage
  • resourcefulness
  • empathy and respect for others
  • resilience, and
  • teamwork.

Program structure

Years 5 – 6

Students in Year 5 – 6 are offered a taste of Acting on their elective Performing Arts day once a week for 2 hours.

Here they integrate with students from Years 7 – 9, developing skills in play-building, improvisation, and scripted drama.

Our Junior School Acting students also participate in one production each term. A highlight for the students is the work they prepare for Starburst during our High Performance season.

Years 7 – 12

Students receive 10 hours of training per week across three focus areas:

  • Indie film-making
  • Approaches to acting
  • Production.

Indie film-making covers such areas as Acting for Camera; Filmmaking; Writing and Navigating Scripts; and an Appreciation of the Language of Screen.

Approaches to Acting encompasses an exploration of Voice and Movement, Character Development, Script Analysis, Improvisation, Audition Technique and Repertoire. Students engage in practical-based workshops through the exploration of global theatre practitioners.

Production classes focus on the rehearsal, development, and performance of a major production. Students audition for roles and learn firsthand the skills required to successfully present a staged production.

Students who have an interest in other elements of acting / theatre such as costume / set design, directing, producing, and writing – are encouraged and supported. Students may be allocated production-like roles during the rehearsal process.

The College also offers a Technical Production stream that provides in-depth knowledge and experience in working on productions from behind the scenes.

Possible career paths

Acting students will graduate into well-rounded performers, prepared for further education, or more immediately ready to audition for professional productions.

  • Actor
  • Writer
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Teacher / Coach
  • Journalism
  • TV / Radio Presenter.

Many of our graduates go on to study at some of Australia’s leading performing arts tertiary institutions including the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), or the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).

Some graduates purposely choose to tread a different path by undertaking tertiary study or successful careers in completely different arenas.

Get in touch with our Registrar

02 9752 0507 | registrar@mcdonald.nsw.edu.au