Making Theatre

Making Theatre | Fuelling the Creativity of the Actor with Christopher Samuel Carroll

Making Theatre: Fuelling the Creativity of the Actor
With Christopher Samuel Carroll

For ages 13-17

Tuesday – Friday 11:30am-4:30pm

1 – 4 October 2019

Christopher Samuel Carroll draws from his experiences at the renowned international theatre school, Ecole Jacques Lecoq, and a fifteen-year career as a professional theatre-maker, to lead a four-day intensive workshop in techniques for devising theatre and developing young actors’ creative possibilities.

In modern theatre and film, actors are called upon more and more to not only be performers, but creators – capable of improvising a given situation, generating dialogue on-the-spot, or ‘fleshing-out’ a character as part of a collaborative process aimed at creating more truthful, organic performances. The nature of theatre itself is shifting from a domain dominated by the writer, back to its roots as a performer-led artform. More than ever, actors have the opportunity to make their own voice heard, to be actor-creators with greater control in the creative process, and a greater sense of direction over their careers.

This workshop will help empower budding actors who wish to open up possibilities for how they approach a rehearsal, and who are eager to make their own theatre on their own terms.

About Christopher Samuel Carroll

Christopher Samuel Carroll

Christopher Samuel Carroll is an Irish theatre-artist based in Canberra, trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre of Trinity College Dublin, and Ecole Internationale du Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. As an actor, he has worked with companies all over Ireland, and as artistic director of Bare Witness Theatre Company, creates physical theatre in ensembles and as a solo performer. Described as “the master of the solo performance”(Canberra Critics’ Circle), Christopher has built a reputation as a daring and skilled creator of original one-man shows.

His Victorian blockbuster Early Grave, Fashionably Late sold out at Smith’s Alternative in Canberra after a run at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne as part of their curated summer program in December 2016. His Butoh adaptation of Paradise Lost, described as “a culturally shattering event” (CityNews), was developed during a five-week residency at Belconnen Arts Centre, before touring to the Adelaide Fringe and to Perth, where it was nominated for The West Australian Arts Editor Award and shortlisted for the Best Theatre Award at Fringe World 2017. His wordless physical odyssey, Icarus, debuted at The Blue Room, Perth, with the support of artsACT, winning the Fringe World overall award for Dance and Physical Theatre, before returning for a critically-acclaimed season at the Street Theatre in February 2019.

Since moving to Canberra in 2016, he has appeared regularly at Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, Canberra Theatre Centre, and the Street Theatre; recent credits include The Normal Heart (Everyman Theatre Co.), Anthems and Angels (Body Ecology), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare by the Lakes), and the Street Theatre’s double-bill of War of the Worlds and Tourmaline.

His latest solo project, the adrenaline-fuelled joyride Howie the Rookie by Mark O’Rowe, ran for three nights at Smith’s Alternative in June 2019, where it was described as a “tour de force performance” (CityNews). He appeared as Mr S in Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of The Metamorphosis at The Street Theatre in August 2019.

You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


In the spirit of ‘devising’ – creating from the discoveries of actors’ improvisations in a workshop environment, rather than starting from a pre-written script – we believe that everything is material for play. In an environment of openness and experimentation, we will draw from detailed observations of real life, memories of personal experiences, news reports, historical events and the limitless range of the actor’s imagination to stimulate possibilities for theatrical creation.

We will explore different approaches to improvisation drawn from the traditions of Jacques Lecoq, Michael Chekhov and Vsevolod Meyerhold; techniques for improvising effectively, as well as structures to help develop those initial sparks of inspiration, crafting and shaping them towards cohesive, meaningful storytelling.

The workshops will be quite physical, to help you ‘get out of your head’ and into your body – learning to trust your imaginative impulses, and leading to more truthful, expressive performances. No level of fitness is required (it’s theatre, not sport!), but participants should be prepared for active, demanding work that will occasionally involve breaking a sweat.



Participants need to wear clothes suitable for moving freely (e.g. tracksuit/leggings) and bring a water bottle and notebook.


Please note, enrolment closes one week prior to the first workshop.

Terms and conditions

  • Refunds are available if requested at least one week (7 days) prior to the commencement of the workshop(s).
  • Refunds requested within one week (7 days) of the commencement of the workshop(s) are only available in exceptional circumstances and must be supported by documentation (i.e. medical certificate).
  • No refunds will be given after the commencement of the workshop(s).
  • Partial refunds are not available if you are unable to attend individual workshops that are part of a workshop series.

More info

Please contact Belconnen Arts Centre via email, or phone (02) 6173 3300.