Elements Theatre Company  Invites you to Join us
 for five days of intensive theatre immersion this
August  5- 11
This intensive acting retreat is designed for actors who want to:
Carve out a week for a “building time” towards their acting career
Upgrade their skills and expand their experience
Refresh and rejuvenate their craft

There’s room for 18 participants

Cost includes:    
Intense instruction with:

JOANNA WEIR OUSTON – Internationally renowned voice
and text teacher and theatre director, from the UK.

LENARD PETIT – Internationally sought after teacher of
the Michael Chekhov Technique, author of
Chekhov Handbook for the Actor.

JANE NICHOLS – Teacher of Clown, Games and Physical Comedy, Director of scripted and devised
theatrical productions.




Joanna Weir Ouston has worked as a theatre director and actor in the UK, USA and Australia, and is a voice and text teacher of international repute. She teaches and directs at the Oxford School of Drama, and previously at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London – two of the UK’s leading professional theatre schools. She has also worked as a Voice and Text coach for the RSC, Theatre Royal Haymarket, Young Vic, and professional regional theatres in the UK, as well as the BBC. 

For Elements Theatre Company she has directed All My SonsRichard III, The Comedy of Errors, Lettice and Lovage, The Lion In Winter, and was Voice and Text Coach on Murder In The Cathedral. Recently she directed an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It set in Oxfordshire manor houses for the Oxford School of Drama.

Joanna has given papers and lead specialist professional workshops at international theatre conferences such as Giving Voice (Wales), the European League of Institutes of the Arts (Warsaw, Poland) and the British Voice Association (London & Bristol). In 1987 she received a Churchill Fellowship and an Australia Council Award to further her work in theatre.  As an actor she has performed in London, the USA and Australia, and she has also worked professionally as a writer for radio and television.


Lenard Petit is one of a handful of teachers rained by the original members of Michael Chekhov’s Theater School. He is a founding member of the Michael Chekhov Association, MICHA, and the Director of the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio in New York City since its inception in 1996. Author of Michael Chekhov Handbook, for the Actor, he has been working in the theater for forty years collaborating with other artists to create original works for stage, film and television. He has directed plays and performance pieces on and off Broadway and in Great Britain. As an actor, he has performed in works by Julie Taymor, Meredith Monk, Richard Foreman, Ping Chong, and many others. In 2016 Mr. Petit was invited to create a Michael Chekhov Workshop and Festival in connection with the Shanghai Theater Academy in Shanghai, China. He has been invited to teach Master Classes in Munich, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Rome, Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin, Oslo, Reykjavik, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, Zurich, Dublin, London, Riga, Vilnius, and Irkutsk, Siberia. For twenty-five years he taught the Chekhov Technique in  the MFA and BFA Acting programs at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.


Jane Nichols. Actress. Teacher. Director. Her work brings together skills and techniques of Improvisation, Mask, Le Jeu, Physical Comedy, Clown, and Bouffon. She has studied with Philippe Gaulier (Ecole Gaulier), Clive Mendes (Theatre Complicite), Ronlin Foreman (DellArte School of Physical Theatre), Michael Kennard (co-founder of Canada’s Mump & Smoot, and Master teacher of the Richard Pochinko native American mask/clown technique), Avner Eisenberg (Avner the Eccentric), Davis Robinson (author of Physical Comedy Handbook), Keith Johnstone (Impro and Impro for Storytellers), Bolek Polivka, and Merry Conway.   Directing: Founder/Artistic Director of Crosswalk Theatre in Boston. Harvard University – Les Liaisons Dangereux; Feed the Monkey; Noises Off; A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Logic Limited, Ltd. (NYC company of former students ) – Desdemona’s Dream; Schaden, Freude, and You: A 3 Clown Seminar; TiVO la Resistance; New Shorts; A Night at the Trojan Wall: a Clown version of the Iliad. Cirque du Soleil – development of cabaret Your New Best Friends; Brown University – Twelfth Night; Washington Ensemble Theatre -Tall Skinny Cruel Boys; Intiman Theatre – We Wont Pay! We Wont Pay!; Clown Shorts, an original show to benefit Room Circus medical clowning at Seattle Childrens Hospital; Seattle Shakespeare Co – Comedy of Errors; Cornish College of the Arts – The Tempest; Seattle University – Our Lady of 121st ST ; Madwoman of Chaillot.    Acting: Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Stage Co, En Garde Arts, Synapse Productions, New Georges, Shakespeare & Co, Gloucester Stage Co, Nora Theatre, Lyric Stage, Berkshire Public, Counterpoint Theatre, Cambridge Theatre Co.   Film and TV: School Ties; Heights (written/directed by Chris Terrio); The Living Room Waltz; Ed; Law&Order SVU; America’s Most Wanted; Connect With English; Rachel’s Dinner with Olympia Dukakis. Numerous voice overs and TV ads.   Teaching: Yale School of Drama; the Juilliard School; Harvard University; Brown University; ART; ACT; the Actors Center in NYC; Stella Adler Conservatory;  Shakespeare & Co; Emerson College; Simon’s Rock College of Bard; Lesley College Graduate School; University of Washington.


A founding member of Elements Theatre Company and current Artistic Director, Danielle Dwyer, CJ  has either directed or performed in nearly eighty of the Company’s productions since its inception in 1993. Classically trained but also skilled in contemporary drama, Dwyer earned her Master of Arts Degree with distinction from England’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the University of London. She also studied voice, acting, and writing with Joanna Weir Ouston at Central School of Speech and Drama (London, England); with David Male at Cambridge University (Cambridge, England) and Shakespeare at Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA) and at the Stella Adler Studio in New York City. She is the author of video scripts, poetic monologues, and narratives for worship and meditation.

In collaboration with Spirit of America Band, Dwyer was involved with directing the Wind Opera performances in South Korea, and the band’s theatre shows in South Africa. As opera co-director of the 2005 New England premier, and in 2017 the opera director of Vaughan William’s opera The Pilgrim’s Progress, she received rave reviews. She has devised and directed several shows for performances at home and on tours in Tuscany, Italy, the Eastern U.S., New York and Chicago. Dwyer’s directorial experience ranges from the timeless humanity of Shakespeare (King LearMerchant of Venice and Julius Caesar), Ibsen (Pillars of the Community) and Chekhov (The Cherry Orchard) to the biting comedy of Oscar Wilde (Lady Windermere’s Fan) and Yasmina Reza (God of Carnage) to the razor-sharp wit and deeply felt humanity of Alan Bennett (Talking Heads). 

As an actress, Sr. Danielle Dwyer is equally highly acclaimed.  Her recent roles include Blithe Spirit, Madam Arcati,  All My Sons, Kate Keller, Merchant of Venice, Shylock; Talking Heads, Irene; Julius Caesar, Calpurnia; God of Carnage, Annette Raleigh; Pillars of the Community, Lona Hessel; Twelfth Night, Malvolio; The Cherry Orchard, Ranevskaya; Lady Windermere’s Fan, Mrs. Erlynne; The Lion in Winter, Eleanor; Doctor Faustus, Mephistopheles; Richard III, Queen Elizabeth; Everyman, Everyman; and Lettice and Lovage, Lettice Douffet.





The registration deadline is June 10, 2019
Early-bird registration (10% discount) by May 15, 2019

To reserve your place fill out the form below.
*Actors' Equity members are eligible for a 10% discount. Mention your AE status in the "How you heard about the retreat" section to receive your discount.
Or call us directly at 508-247-3147

Registrant Info







$1,600 – $200 non-refundable registration fee required at time of registration (This holds your spot on the retreat)
$1,450 - Early Bird 10% discount - Registration by May 15, 2019
$1,450 - Actors Equity 10% discount

Cost Includes:

  • Course Study with Instructors Louis Colaianni, Patrice Eglston and Susan Dibble
  • Opportunity to upgrade acting skills, expand experience and refresh your craft
  • 5 days, 6 nights accommodations and all meals provided at a beautiful retreat facility overlooking Cape Cod Bay in Orleans, Massachusetts
  • Please tell us how you heard about the retreat:

    To complete your application, please submit the following:

    • Two Monologues (video)
      One Classical - no longer than 100 lines or 2 minutes
      One Modern - no longer than 100 lines or 2 minutes
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • A headshot
    • Please write a few lines on where you are on your journey as an actor and what your hopes for this retreat might be, and how you see it helping you grow as an actor.

    Please indicate how you will be submitting these materials:

    • Upload Your Files Here

    Curriculum Vitae:
    Video: **Please email**

    • Email Betsy Sorensen at [email protected]
    • If you prefer to mail in your registration see address below:

    Return Form and Payment to:

    Elements Theatre Company
    Attn: Intensive Acting Retreat - Betsy Sorensen
    P.O. Box 2831
    Orleans, MA 02653

    Check Payable to:

    Arts Empowering Life Foundation

    Should you have any questions or need further assistance please contact us.
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Telephone: 508-247-3147

    * Required Fields



    Travel & Housing

    Travel & Housing



    Contact Karen Cragg, Artistic Administrator, Elements Theatre Company at [email protected] or call 508-247-3147