Be Inspired. Dig Deep. Rejuvenate your craft with a five-day Intensive Acting Retreat! Elements Theatre Company invites you to join us for a week of theatre immersion set in the beautiful, restorative atmosphere of Cape Cod Bay. Learn from some of the best instructors in the business, upgrade your skills, reignite your passion, and expand your experience. 

Instructors Include: PATRICE EGLESTON – Head of Movement and Head of BFA Acting, DePaul University SUSAN DIBBLE–Choreographer, Dancer and Painter; Professor at Brandeis University, Choreographer and Master Teacher for Shakespeare & Company
LOUIS COLAIANNI – Acting, Voice, Speech and Dialect Coach  
The Feedback: “For students and teachers alike, Elements provided a safe, nourishing environment in which to thrive! Take risks! Expand!!” —Jane Nichols, 2018 Retreat Leader, Director, Actor, Teacher (25 years Teaching Clown) including Yale School of Drama, Harvard University, Juilliard, Brown University, Emerson, the Actors Center of NYC “The curriculum was rich and yet not too rigidly planned. It was ‘in the moment’ enough to be genuinely responsive to our needs as individuals and as a group.  I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt so well cared for and at the same time so free to focus entirely on work I love.  The retreat was nourishing to my soul.” —Lynn Brenner, 2014 Retreat Attendee

“For those who are looking to dive into new areas or simply to reconnect to fundamentals in a fresh way, the Elements workshop offers world-class training in an unparalleled setting.” —Hollace Starr, 2018 Retreat Attendee
“An Elements acting retreat is a real treat for the actor. It’s an invaluable opportunity for top level professional development with first class teachers in beautiful surroundings, and in a safe, generous environment, all of which combine to inspire, extend, feed and re-ignite your craft, talent and passion for your work. An Elements retreat offers a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the thing you love – your creative work – and to be nourished in your art as well as your mind, body and soul. Take up this unique opportunity to release higher levels of creativity, freedom and joy in your work.”  — Joanna Weir, 2018 Retreat Leader

  Retreat Package Includes:

  • Intense training with highly-acclaimed acting instructors
  • Opportunity to upgrade acting skills, expand experience and refresh your craft in a beautiful, newly renovated workspace
  • 5 days and 6 nights accommodations overlooking Cape Cod Bay
  • All meals provided

Cost: $1600 (Early Bird Cost: $1450) Rehearsals will take place at Joppa, Elements Theatre Company’s new rehearsal facility:

Registration Information:



PATRICIA EGLESTON, INSTRUCTOR Patrice Egleston is the Head of MFA and BFA Movement-for-Actors at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.  She is also Head of BFA Acting. Recently, she choreographed the stage violence there for “Water by the Spoonful” and “One Flea Spare”. A certified Feldenkrais practitioner, a student of Bartenieff Fundamentals, and the Michael Chekhov work, she recently completed workshops with Frantic Assembly of Great Britain and the MoCap Vault Summit in L.A. At Elements Theatre, she choreographed the violence for “The Pilgrim’s Progress” in 2017.  As a professional actress, Patrice has worked at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Steppenwolf, Remy Bumppo Theatre, First Folio, Light Opera Works, several regional Shakespeare festivals, and other Chicago and Texas theaters including the Dallas Theater Center. 


Susan Dibble is the Louis, Frances and Jeffrey Sachar Professor of Theater Arts at Brandeis University. Her areas of expertise, among many, include movement for the actor, historical dance, movement styles, modern dance, composition and choreography, clown, mask, Rudolf Laban Movement Theory, and history of dance and movement training. Susan served as chair of the Theater Arts Department 2007-2014 and 2017-2018. She is the director of Susan Dibble Dance Theater and has performed her work for over 30 years in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont as well as numerous times at Shakespeare & Co. (Lenox, Mass.) in the program “DibbleDance”. Susan is a founding member of Shakespeare & Co. where she is Director of Movement Training, a master teacher and choreographer. She has choreographed dances and served as movement director for Actors Shakespeare Project, Berkshire Theatre Group, The Nora Theater and Underground Railroad Theater, Merrimack Repertory, and numerous theaters in NYC. Before Brandeis, she taught at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, the Denver Center Performing Arts Center, University of Ohio, University of Utah and Webster College. She also traveled to Orvieto, Italy where she taught in a theater and movement workshop sponsored by Fordham University. Susan has presented lecture demonstrations on dance, theater therapy, and visual arts. Shakespeare Honors the Three Centers of the Bodyis an article written by Susan Dibble in Movement for Actors, published by Allworth Press.  Susan received the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Festival of Creative Arts Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Arts at Brandeis. Susan Dibble’s approach to teaching movement for actors focuses on motivation and specificity in gesture and resilient body language. She believes that versatility and physical discipline make the actor/performer a dynamic and educated artist for the stage. Clarity in movement, intelligence in form, freedom of expression, and trust in ones intuition are all woven into the art of telling a story in theater. Susan’s approach to dance training incorporate’s what  E.M. Tillyard says about dance in his book The Elizabethan World Picture-“Dance is at the heart of civilization. Susan gives the actor a chance to enjoy moving in time and space. She allows her students to discover a positive and invigorating experience of dance as “the mother of all the arts” (Curt Sachs).

LOUIS COLAIANNI, INSTRUCTOR Louis Colaianni is an acting, voice, speech and dialect coach in the professional theatre. He recently coached productions at Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Santa Fe Opera. For feature film he has coached Bill Murray in French Dispatch, Hyde Park On Hudson and St Vincent; Don Cheadle for Miles Ahead; America Ferrera for Cesar Chavez; Anna Gunn in Little Red Wagon. On Broadway he coached Will Ferrell in You’re Welcome America, and Madeleine Martin for August Osage County. Off-Broadway he coached Even Ensler’s Emotional Creature and The LABirynth Theater’s The Little Flower Of East Orange. In regional theatre he served three seasons as Voice and Text Director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and has coached at Utah Shakespearean Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Shakespeare & Company, Shakespeare Festival of St Louis, Westport Country Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Kansas City Rep, Trinity Rep, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep. He is an adjunct associate professor at Pace University’s Actors Studio Drama School, Syracuse University Department of Drama and Yale School of Drama. He has also taught at Columbia University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Trinity Repertory Theatre and Conservatory, Vassar College, Ohio University, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Dartmouth College, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, ACT, O’Neill Theatre Center. He has a teacher certification program for his method of Phonetics, Speech and Dialects, which is taught at North Carolina School of the Arts, Boston University, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Folkwang Universitat der Kunste, Cork Institute of Technology-School Of Music, University of Southern California, University of New Mexico-Albuquerque, Azusa Pacific University, Philadelphia University of the Arts, the Maggie Flanigan Studio, and many other actor training programs. He has coached professional productions for directors Nicholas Martin, Des McAnuff, Marshall Mason, Vivian Matalon, Adam McKay, Michael Gieleta, Laird Williamson, Peter Amster, Maria Irene Fornes, George Keathley, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jo Bonney, Marion McClinton, Larry Carpenter, Ed Stern, Sharon Ott, JR Sullivan, Henry Godinez, Marty Callner, David Aspaugh and many others. He is the author of The Joy Of Phonetics and Accents, Bringing Speech To Life, How To Speak Shakespeare, and Shakespeare’s Names: a new pronouncing dictionary. He has given workshops in Shakespeare performance, voice, speech, phonetics and dialects in Europe, Australia and throughout the US.


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

    TRAVEL DETAILS: Retreat participants should plan to arrive on Sunday, July 14. Registration available from 12—5 p.m., and the retreat opens at 5pm. Acting instruction begins first thing Monday morning through Saturday morning. The retreat concludes after lunch on Saturday, July 20.   ACCOMMODATIONS: Enjoy five days, and six nights of accommodations overlooking Cape Cod Bay at Rock Harbor in Orleans, MA. All rooms are single occupancy and beautifully decorated. All meals are exceptional. LOCATION & DIRECTIONS: Orleans is located about 90 miles from both Logan International Airport in Boston and T.F. Green Airport in Providence. Address: 5 Bay View Drive, Orleans, MA 02653 USA If you need any further assistance or have any questions, feel free to contact Betsy at Betsys [at] elementstheatre [dot] org or call 508-247-3147.





    Contact Betsy Sorensen, Elements Theatre Company at Betsys [at] elementstheatre [dot] org or call 508-247-3147.