In School

Find out more about our in-school season of performances and workshops here.

Weekend Intensives (2 - 2½ days)

Breathing Life into Shakespeare's Language

Unleash the power of your voice and speak Shakespeare's texts with Passion, Precision, and Presence!

The Weekend Workshop is aimed at actors of all levels of experience, and is also suitable for directors, writers, and teachers. The weekend will focus on personal connection to the words, sounds, and rhythms of Shakespeare's text - explored physically, psychologically, and intellectually through a variety of exercises. Each day will begin with a thorough physical and vocal warm up (based principally on the work of Kristin Linklater). We will then go on to explore some of the techniques used by QSE in our own training and rehearsal processes. At the end of the workshop, you will be able to approach Shakespeare's text with renewed confidence, capacity, and connection. You will be able to let the language and poetry work for you.

The workshop will be led by Dr Rob Pensalfini - QSE's Artistic Director - and assisted by other Core Ensemble members. Rob is an award-winning teacher, director and actor, a designated Linklater voice teacher, and a member of the renowned Shakespeare and Company's text faculty, as well as Senior Lecturer in linguistics and drama at the University of Queensland.

Limited to 14 participants.

Short Workshops (from 2 hours to half a day)

Mix and match The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble's fun, practical, and engaging workshops to suit your company or community's wants and needs. Cost: FROM $200, depending on length and content, plus reasonable transport costs and accommodation if applicable. Choose from:

Group Mind Work and Improvisation

Led by Anne Pensalfini (availability allowing). Anne is passionate about training, and the idea that anyone can learn to improvise. She teaches beginners and advanced classes for EDGE Improv and the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble. Anne has also taught improvisation for the University of Queensland, the Queensland University of Technology, Livewire Theatre for Young People, the Australian Acting Academy, Fusion, and other Brisbane groups. A working actress since 1993, Anne has an eclectic variety of stage and on-camera experience (most recently in The Woman Before with the Queensland Theatre Company). She has performed improv comedy since 1996 - entertaining more audiences than you can shake a stick at for The Brave New Workshop (US), the Disney Cruiseline, EDGE Improv, Imagination Workshop (ITA) and Hoozat. Anne has also been a Core Ensemble member, director and teacher with QSE and trained extensively in voice, movement, Shakespeare and Theatre of the Oppressed with QSE and the US Shakespeare & Company. Anne's most recent and important production was the birth of her now-toddler daughter (the best improv teacher of all!)

Improvisation and group-mind training is something that anyone can benefit from, and is made up of games and simple exercises from a variety of improvisation schools and teachers. Classes are tailored to what each group needs. Anne's approach can help groups:

  • Enjoy working together
  • Communicate with ease
  • Cooperate
  • Support each others ideas
  • Break habits of negativity
  • Increase creative thinking
  • Trust each other

It can help individuals:

  • Gain confidence
  • Think on their feet
  • Break negative thinking habits
  • Solve problems spontaneously
  • Feel confident being part of a group
  • Have more fun

Voice Coaching and Training

General work or coaching for specific productions. Teachings are based on the Linklater Voice Progression, and will be lead by Dr Rob Pensalfini - one of only 5 designated Linklater teachers in Australia. The workshop will focus on releasing habitual tension and increasing resonance in different areas of the body while keeping a connection to breath, thought and psychophysical sensation. Articulation and clarity of thought are also covered. The Linklater Voice Progression is one of the most popular and comprehensive methods for strengthening and toning the speaking voice worldwide. For more on the methodology, visit

Working with Classical Text

Unleash the power of your voice and speak Shakespeare's texts with passion, precision, and presence! Includes some activities from our weekend Shakespeare intensive (see the weekend intensive outline above for more detail). Perfect for casts embarking on a Shakespearean or other classical play, or simply for those wishing to increase their understanding of and connection to Shakespeare's texts.

Forum Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed

Learn to create theatre with your community, for your community and by your community. Includes some activities from our weekend intensive (see the weekend intensive outline above for more detail). This workshop will be led by Dr Rob Pensalfini.

customised Training

Are your student actors:

  • Having trouble being heard?
  • Straining their voices?
  • Acting Shakespeare for the first time?
  • Looking for a unique way to foster teamwork?

QSE training is at the heart of the company's philosophy. The Ensemble can customize one-off voice or Shakespeare text workshops, or a whole training series to the needs of your school, theatre, work group, or community group. Courses may consist of simple voice exercises and/or introduce tools such as personalization, working with verse structure and rhythm and the actor's use of the First Folio. Training in Theatre of the Oppressed games and methodologies are also available. QSE can also as help with script analysis and provide techniques for opening up the actors connections to the language and creating an ensemble, making the rehearsal process or class experience effective and meaningful. Dr. Rob Pensalfini, a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Drama at the University of Queensland, is also available to lead talks on a number of topics including Shakespeare's English, Taking Care of Your Voice, Shakespeare's First Texts and others.

QSE has provided customised training for the World Shakespeare Congress 2006; the Alternatives to Violence Project (Inc.); Borallon Correctional Centre and the University of Queensland's Underground Productions and Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education. Workshops and residencies have also been given for students and teachers at schools such as Brisbane Girls Grammar School, St Lawrence's College, St Peters Lutheran College, Sandgate District State High School and Merrimac Senior High School.

Please email QSE Education for more information.