The Owl and Cat Theatre, in partnership with Studio Welder, is extremely excited to announce the launch of its new acting school. Melbourne actors are definitely in for  a treat as the school boasts competitive pricing, world class teachers and opportunities. Company Director, Gabrielle Savrone, outlines the wonderful opportunities offered to students:

– affordable and quality headshots.

-A gym style membership to keep your craft and skills up without breaking the bank!

– a part time program that is cheaper than the others but offers more. It includes the staging and production of an in-house play by a company playwright. ​

– launch of its master class program soon with teachers from NYC’s The Barrow Group heading over to help  learn without the airfare!

Students will have the opportunity to study Shakespeare, Laban, Sensory, Uta Hagen, Viewpoints, Meisner, Alexander technique, Accent and Vocal training and upon request other techniques too, the schedule will rotate and feedback is always welcomed.

For Savrone, the project had taken root many decades ago when she had the desire to join a safe acting school environment that had a holistic approach to the craft. “I have always wanted to join a place where the training is unlimited,” says Savronne. “I had worked for a dance school that did that very thing for a few years so the idea has been brewing for around 20 years or so! Plans were set in November last year so it has taken 6 months to create and plan.”

srudio1 The school is created by actors for actors and offers an innovative mentor programme. Savronne interviewed ​over 20 potential mentors, and  chose artists displaying the same moral ethos as Studio Welder, that is, shared learning and growth through knowledge. “I chose mentors with experience, but also with a desire to empower others, all of us are working for next to nothing to enable the studio to pay for the Owl and Cat Theatre’s running costs because we believe in working together to create a stronger artistic community and enable people to do their art,” Savronne says.

The pedigree of the mentors is self evident and are listed below:

Manoela Amaral, a Brazilian director and her specialty is improvisation.

Manoela Amaral was born in São Paulo, Brazil,  from a family of musicians. As a child, she moved to Lisbon (Portugal) and started her first acting class at 12 years old.

In 1997, she started studying at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where she was given a degree as a drama teacher. During Uni years, Manoela was engaged in many different university productions as an actress and worked closely with the theatre company Os Satyros. Following graduation, Manoela went to the USA and studied acting and singing at Santa Monica College (California) and was an intern at No Limits Theatre Group  (non profit organization for deaf and heard of hearing children).

In 2004, Manoela co- founded a  professional theatre company called Pequeno Palco de Lisboa under the supervision of the director Rui Luis Bras. With Pequeno Palco de Lisboa, she worked as an actress in  15+ theatre projects. She has also worked as a director’s assistant, singer and  drama coach (adults) until 2012, when she moved back to Sao Paulo, just after getting a post graduate certificate of theatre studies, from the University of Lisbon. Arriving in Brazil, in 2012, Manoela started working with the theatre company O Grito and she also worked as a drama coach in a school called Palmares. In 2016, she moved to Melbourne with her husband and started to work as a child educator.

During her career, Manoela has performed in many different plays, working with a broad range of styles and authors such as Shakespeare, Tchekhov, Heiner Muller, Milan Kundera, Gil Vicente, Eca de Queiroz and Nelson Rodrigues.

Toby Rice, his specialty is Laban.  

Toby trained in acting at the Adelaide Centre for the Arts, and has completed teacher training at the HB Studio in NYC. After successful co-direction of the triple award winning ‘Cagebirds’ with the Company of Muses in 2009, Toby went on to co-write curriculum for the delivery of Certificates 2 and 3 in Live Production, Theatre and Events with the Company of Muses as a Vocation in Education Training program setting the benchmark across senior secondary schools in South Australia. In 2014, Toby accepted a company directorship with Waxing Lyrical Productions, directing and designing the company’s Adelaide Fringe award winning production of ‘Antillia’ in 2015, followed by the critically acclaimed production ‘The Storm’ during the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2016. Throughout this time, Toby also facilitated workshops and master classes for professional actors exploring the practical application of Laban through scene study classes under the auspices of Waxing Lyrical Productions. Toby has recently relocated to Melbourne to offer guidance and mentorship to professional actors interested in furthering their understanding of our craft.

“I have a longstanding passion for our craft, and seek to offer in depth analysis and application of Laban philosophies across disciplines.  I have continually sought to apply my understanding of Laban across varying schools of thought, believing fundamentally in the importance of constantly pursuing emotional clarity and intellectual honesty whilst dealing with the inherent complexity of our selected lives on stage.”

 Alan Chambers, speciality is ACTING 101 and Monologue workshops. 

Alan Chambers is an actor and theatre director based in Melbourne. He graduated from NIDA in 2010 with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in Acting and studied Communications and Cultural Studies at Curtin University from 2004-07. Directing credits include: A Resounding Tinkle, Heads, Clear Glass Marbles, The Censor, MÜLLER (Hayman Theatre); Other People (Newtown Theatre); Cosi (Northcote Town Hall); 15 Minute Hamlet, The Education of Skinny Spew (National Theatre); Pluck! (Butterfly Club); Doomsday Devices, The Martyrs (Revolt Artspace) and Shopping and F**king (NIDA).

As an actor Alan has featured in ABC’s Australia on Trial and the short film Arrivals and Departures directed by Zak Hilditch. Theatre credits include Roger in Lord of the Flies (Dir. Kip Williams), Puck in A Midsummer Nights Dream (Dir. Tony Knight), Thomas in The Hypochondriac (Dir. Chris Hurrell), Ivan in Inner Voices, Menelaus in Women of Troy (Dir. Donald Pulford), Truffaldino in A Servant to Two Masters (Dir. Carla Moore) and Medvedenko in The Seagull (Dir. Leah Mercer). Alan is the Co-Artistic Director of Sly Rat Theatre Company and founder of the annual Shakespeare on the Maribyrnong River festival. In 2016 he directed a Mad Max-inspired A Midsummer Nights Dream which performed alongside the river and received unanimous glowing reviews.

Alan has over seven years teaching experience running acting classes for young people and adults through NIDA Open, The National Theatre and Sly Rat Theatre Co.

Mark Wong, specialty is Vocal coaching and Accent Training

Holding an undergraduate Arts degree with majors in English, Behavioural Studies and Theatre, as well as an MA in Voice Studies from the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech in Drama in London, Mark’s passion in voice work stems from having had to overcome several vocal and speech impediments in the past. He has tutored students from NIDA’s one-year part-time acting studio in Melbourne, taught on the ‘Clear Speech and Communication’ course at the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne), facilitated Voice and English speaking classes in his hometown and in London as well as teaching a range of private clients in Melbourne and abroad.

As a voice teacher, Mark’s teaching approach is greatly influenced by the works of Cicely Berry, Kristin Linklater, Barbara Houseman, David Carey, Bill Pepper and Katerina Moraitis, all of whom Mark has had the pleasure of studying with. Mark also incorporates a wide range of skills in his voice sessions such as Tai Chi breathing and movements, principles of the Alexander Technique and lyrical singing which will help actors develop more control, range and flexibility in their vocal expression.

They also have Khisraw Jones who will be teaching teens and Shakespeare, Carolyn Dawes is taking a class on solo work creation and Guest teachers in Alexander technique, Meisner and Uta Hagen, and Savrone will be doing Mock auditions and Sensory classes.

srudio2 Says Savrone: “This is a place to connect, learn, develop and communicate, we will have open feedback and ideas and are willing to work with our students to develop programs they NEED. Our mentors experience ranges across from VCA, NIDA, NYC AND local Casting Agencies.


The school will be opening an acting agency to represent artists they believe in, this will run  at an agency fee of only 10% on all jobs.

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FREE FIRST WEEK – you can sign up and try it for a week for FREE and see what you think, register online

Studio Welder is Melbourne’s newest actor trainer and is open to everyone.

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