Summer Workshops

Our skills workshops are an opportunity to focus on important performance skills. If you’re serious about acting our skills classes are for you




Dates: 27th & 28th July 2019

Times: 10am till 6pm

Cost: £75

Tutor: Karen Brown


For those of you who want to write for Television.

TV is one of the most accessible forms for aspiring writers and regularly attracts large audiences. If you have important stories to tell TV takes you into homes, via tv or laptop. Even a daytime episode of drama or comedy can reach more than 2 million people.

Writing for TV is not the same as writing for film these are different skills and as writers we need to take a completely different approach

This weekend course is suitable for those of you who may have already written a script, had some success writing for a different medium, have completed another longer writing course or attended a University course in something similar. It is not for those of you new to scriptwriting.

If you are new to this and feel you’d like to start writing, then the 10 week MAD Playwriting For Beginners is an excellent place to start.

This weekend course explores:

Television Writing – How is it different to writing for Film? TV Stories, dialogue, characters, soap and continuing series, serial v series, what is wonderful and not so wonderful about working in TV.

There will be some discussion on opportunities terrestrial, streaming and pay per view platforms. We will be writing in the sessions and reading out your work. You will be given a short writing task to do at the end of the first day.

Imagination and a sense of humour required.

Karen is an award winning playwright and scriptwriter. She has written episodes of continuing drama and soap. She has written authored dramas for BBC 1. ‘The Rain has Stopped’ saw Sheila Hancock nominated for an RTS best actress award. Karen was nominated for RTS scriptwriting award for the The Shrine. She has written several stage plays and six radio drama for R4. She was part MediaXChange High End TV program in 2018, she’s just written an episode of CLINK for LA productions on CH5. She currently has scripts in development with the BBC, Netflix and indie production companies and is working on Deep State season 3 at Endor which is on the Fox network. She also directs theatre and has extensive experience of teaching workshops and University lecturing.




Dates: 3rd & 4th August 2019

Times: 10am till 6pm

Cost: £75

Tutor: Emma Bird


If you want to explore a different form of improvisation and stretch your improv skills, then this weekend course is for you. It is only suited to those who have regularly been improvising for a while (at least 6 months); those who have completed the 10 week improvisation course at MAD; or actors who are already very improv- confident.

Due to limited time, we will not be teaching the basic principles of improv in any depth. If you feel you need more practice of the foundations of improv then head to the 10 week MAD improvisation course.

There are lots of different forms of improvisation: from short-form (the improvisation course taken at MAD is short form), to mid-form, organic and long-form. Long -form improv is about discovering stories slower and character development to go deeper. It is about improvising a narrative, and emotionally grounded relationships and characters, rather than improvising short games and scenes.

This weekend course explores techniques such as:

Initiating ideas, Editing, Structures & Forms, Tags & Time-travel, Lateral thinking, Story-building, Game of the Scene, Character development, Environment / Object work, Ensemble work.

The focus and question for all long-form improvisers is: how can we, as an ensemble, create a believable world populated by authentic characters, who have emotional and psychological depth? How can I help make that happen on the fly? We are all actors, directors, editors, ensemble and individual in long-form. There is even more emphasis on working together for ‘the team’ than shorter forms of improv.

Emma is an experienced actor and director. Her extensive acting credits include performing at The National Theatre as well as major roles on screen in film and TV and has directed for Manchester and Brighton fringe as well as in Liverpool winning best director at Liverpool Page to Stage Festival in 2016.

Emma has trained in improvisation in Brighton, London, Chicago and Canada and founded the Liverpool Comedy improv in 2015. She has been using improvisation in teaching and training for several years and runs our regular Improvisation 10 week course here at MAD each term.




APC two day Examination Course – Basic Unarmed.

Earn a qualification with The Academy of Performance Combat in Unarmed Stage Combat.

Dates: 17th & 18th August 2019.

Times: 10am-6pm

Cost: £85

Tutor: Kaitlin Howard


This two day stage combat course gives you the opportunity to train and take one of the Academy of Performance Combat’s Basic examinations. If you are a drama or acting student, an actor new to stage combat or just looking to refresh or learn new skills, then this is for you.

This course will teach you the basic techniques and safety aspects needed to perform staged fights convincingly and will explore the different styles involved when emulating it on stage and screen.

Day one: you will learn the techniques and styles required before moving on to learn a choreographed fight with dialogue.

Day Two: working on your choreographed fight to produce a fight scene presentation, to demonstrate all aspects learnt. In the afternoon of this day an APC examiner will attend and assess the work of the students through a Basic Level Examination, which is an industry and Equity recognised certificate in Stage Combat.

The techniques the students will learn have been tried and tested in performing fights for theatre and film and will stand them in good stead for use should they be called to perform such in their careers.

The Academy of Performance Combat is fully ratified Stage Combat Organisation by Equity, with its certificates regarded in equal in standing to the BADC and BASSC exams. The APC offer its exams modularly so it’s easier for participants to digest, and to attend, and you get a grade in each weapon instead of one averaged grade over the number of weapons taken in the test. The APC offers a huge range of stage combat training, across all skill levels and a great number of weapon systems.

Kaitlin Howard is an Equity Registered Fight Director, and a fully qualified and insured Stage Combat Instructor, trained by the BADC and now affiliated to the APC. Her professional work as an Actress, Stage Combat Instructor, Fight Captain and Fight Director has led her to be considered by many as one of the best at her level. As well as being trained in Stage Combat to the highest levels, her knowledge and training in several Martial Arts and Fencing allows Kaitlin to tailor her teaching style to each student to get the best from their abilities. She has also recently been accepted onto the Examiner training with the APC. She not only teaches and directs but is also a multi-award winning professional actress and so is able to use both perspectives to aid her students’ understanding of stage combat

NB: Students attending this course do so at their own risk after consideration of their own physical fitness and physical ability. The course is intense and moves safely but swiftly. Please consider this when applying. Loose or sports clothing and suitable footwear should be worn.