Up Next Masterclass

Western Edge Youth Arts proudly presents our third annual masterclasses series for the next generation of emerging artists in Melbourne’s west.

Up Next: Skill Seekers is series of skills-based training workshops delivered by some of the city’s most innovative and inspiring artists who will help you develop key skills in performance, design, and building a sustainable career as an artist.

Workshops are free and open to anyone from the West aged 16 to 25. In 2020, the workshops will be held at The Bowery Theatre in St Albans.

Come and develop essential tools for your artist toolkit.

The cultural leaders of tomorrow start here.

The masterclasses are completely free, but places are limited, get in quick to secure your spot.

Register Now

Current Up Next Masterclass

  • Free Your Voice with Matt Furlani

    An in-depth, guided exploration and refinement of all fundamental components required for dynamic, truthful speech: relaxation, breathing freedom and power, resonance, responsive and limber tongue, soft palette and jaw, open channel, pitch range, articulation and imaginative connection to text and language. The Voice and the Self are intertwined; blocks in one area will affect the other. We can experience increased freedom in both through mindful exploration and practise. Free your VOICE = free YOURSELF!

    Matt Furlani is a Voice/Dialect coach and Actor, holding a Post Grad Diploma in Voice Studies and Bachelor of Dramatic Art (VCA). Matt has worked with theatre companies including OpticNerve, North of Eight, the Artisan Collective as well as the Australian E-Sports Federation and Epic Tampa Entertainment, US. In 2016 he was a recipient of The Mike Walsh Fellowship, enabling him to travel to Scotland and work with renowned voice teacher – and author of Freeing the Natural Voice – Kristin Linklater. He regularly teaches dialect workshops at TAFTA, Melbourne Actor’s Lab and Associated Studios Aus, as well as ongoing private tuition.  He has taught Voice & Dialect at 16th St since 2017. Most recently, Matt was Dialect Coach for Red Stitch’s productions of Pomona and Ulster American and was invited to work alongside Geraldine Cook on Golden Shield and Home, I’m Darling for MTC.

    When: Thursday 12 March 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

  • Sounds Allowed/Are Loud with Rex Pelman

    Learn to enhance your craft with the basics of sound.

    “Actions speak louder than words unless words are packed with action.”

    Listening to long lectures can be boring. Chuck some cartoon like sound effects alongside a superhero theme song and now you have the most entertaining lecture imagined. Come and learn in a fun, hands on workshop on how to deepen the depth of your piece with the basics of  sound. “Sounds Allowed” will make sure that your “Sounds Are Loud” and proud.

    Rexson Pelman is a performer, sound designer, facilitator, rapper, music producer and wrestler, as well as a full-time labourer and father of five. He is a Lead Artist and Sound Designer for WEYA where his work has been incredibly diverse.  In 2012 he worked on the Chronicles project, culminating in travelling to the remote Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community in Western Australia to create performance with young people. As a member of the Edge Ensemble, Rexson has performed in Fate (FCAC, 2013), Fate 2.0 (Arts Centre, 2014), Scheherazade (FCAC, 2014), Iago (Malthouse 2015) and Caliban (Malthouse 2016). He has performed in countless productions for WEYA since first joining as a participant at fourteen years of age, worked as a Support Artist with WEYA for St Albans Edge, Geelong Edge and Footscray Edge and is now a Sound Designer, Composer and Lead Artist for the company.

    Rexson has worked as a sound designer, engineer and performer for a number of other arts organisations and events, including Backbone Youth Arts QLD, Uprising Theatre, Playback West, Platform Youth Theatre and Metonnoia Theatre.

    When: Thursday 19 March 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

  • Prompting Growth with Abdul Hammoud

    After using prompts and directions to help thousands overcome writer’s block, Abdulrahman knows a thing or two about capturing creativity by thinking outside the box. Join him to discover new thinking methods that will aid in everything from novel writing to rap sessions.

    Abdulrahman Hammoud is a spoken word artist based in Melbourne by way of Lebanon. He teaches writing workshops for organizations looking to explore new avenues of expression around the world. In 2013, he became founder of The Dirty Thirty online writing platform, a growing group for writers to challenge themselves every April. He is now also editor and compiler of The Dirty Thirty Anthology, a collection of poetry from the page he coordinates. He is also an avid purveyor of starting books but never finishing them.

    When: Thursday 26 March 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

  • Decolonising through Imagery with Eugyeene Teh

    As the next generation of artists, we are making work that decolonises the existing structures that plague our communities. Together, we will investigate ways to deconstruct and challenge the status quo through image making in the fields of visual and performing arts.

    Eugyeene Teh is a theatre maker, and designer across theatre, dance and opera. He has worked extensively on shows throughout Australia and internationally including Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Back to Back Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Little Ones Theatre, Fraught Outfit and Sydney Chamber Opera.

    His works, in collaboration with some of Australia’s most exciting artists, dismantle the patriarchy through decolonisation and advocate for underrepresented minority identities.

    Eugyeene is a recipient of a Green Room Award and has been nominated for three Sydney Theatre Awards. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Fellowship and the Besen Family Artist Program.


    When: Thursday 2 April 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

  • Lighting Design with Katie Sfetkidis

    Learn the basics of lighting design for performance through a range of practical exercises. No experience necessary, just bring your curiosity and enthusiasm.

    Katie Sfetkidis is a Melbourne based lighting designer and contemporary artist and a key creative of Queer theatre company Little Ones Theatre. She has worked extensively in theatre and contemporary experimental performance for almost 15 years across Australia. Katie has worked across the mainstage and Independent sectors for companies including: Malthouse Theatre, MTC, Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, La Boite, Little Ones Theatre, APHIDS, Red Stitch,  Sisters Grimm, Fraught Outfit and Field Theory. She has received one Green Room Award and several nominations. Katie currently sits as a Green Room Award panel member of both Contemporary Experimental Performance and Theatre Companies Panels.

    When: Thursday 16 April 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

Past Up Next Masterclass

  • Taking the performance out of performing: a master class for stage and screen with Sancia Robinson

    One of the first things we often take out of our acting is ourselves. We are concentrating so hard on the emotions and “playing our actions” we stop being who we really are and doing what people really do. In my work Acting is always about being real, about discovering out how to be US- under different circumstances trying to get someone to understand us, do something or feel something. This workshop takes you back to the core of you simply trying to affect someone. It helps you brings back the superpower of what makes your work unique – YOU. And also makes it FUN. 

    This workshop will involve performing monologues, please download and learn the text before the workshop. 

    Sancia is a NIDA trained actor, television casting producer, writer and acting teacher. ​Her credits include lead roles for STC, Belvoir, MTC, and Malthouse along with guest appearances on TV. Sancia has also cowritten a critically acclaimed play” What is the Matter with Mary Jane?” which STC internationally to outstanding reviews. “Five Stars out of Five- Kill to get a ticket”. Sancia is also an experienced talent producer and her credits include ‘Spicks and Specks’, ‘Filthy Rich and Homeless’, ‘First Contact II”, ‘Everyone’s a Critic’, ‘Thank God You’re Here’ and ‘The Panel’ among many others. More recently Sancia has taught at 16th Street, AP Studios and NIDA Open and The National Theatre and privately teaches “The Practice”.

    When: Thursday 20 February 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

  • Foundation Ensemble Training with Robert (Draf) Draffin

    “There is no such thing as a small part”.  Theatre is a collaboration and connection between bodies, space, and objects.  Every moment and element, no matter how small is integral to creating Theatre’s magic.  This will be explored in this workshop.

    Draf trained Secondary school physical education teacher and footballer and found his way into Community Theatre and has since a created body of artistic work spanning 47 years. He has directed 74 theatre productions nationally and internationally, has taught acting in Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.  Currently teaches sessionally at Victorian College of Arts and is co-artistic director of Liminal Theatre..  His work is defined by the corporeal and kinaesthetic state of liminality: the embodied creative energy held in thresholds and moments of flux.

    When: Thursday 27 February 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

  • Living as an Artist with Rani Pramesti

    During Pragmatic Approaches to Living as an Artist, we will do three things: dream up the big vision for a life built on your core values, share strategies on how to use your time wisely and identify tools to have a healthy relationship with money.The aim of all three elements is to build the scaffolding you need to do to more than survive as an artist, we want you to thrive as an artist!

    Rani P Collaborations inspires conversations, self-reflection and intercultural exchange through transformative storytelling experiences. As Founder of Rani P Collaborations Pty Ltd, Rani leads culturally diverse teams across Indonesia and Australia, working at the intersection of storytelling, technology and cultural exchange.

    When: Thursday 5 March 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Flexi Room, The Bowery Theatre, 33 Princess Street St Albans

    Register now

  • Culture and Comedy | Shiralee Hood

    Our 2019 masterclass series begins with an opportunity to learn about the oldest traditions of our First Nations storytellers through the contemporary comedic practices of indigenous artist, Shiralee Hood. Shiralee will take us through the rich and vibrant history of Original Australia and show us how humour has not only been a form of self-expression but also a survival mechanism for many years. 

    The workshop is an invitation to know first-hand where we are living and working, acknowledge the ground breaking work of our First Nations artists past and present, and be inspired to continue telling our own stories on the land we all now call home.

    Shiralee Hood is Australia’s premiere indigenous female comedian, writer, director and cultural education practitioner. Shiralee has blown away audiences throughout Australia with hilarious stories and an outrageously funny take on life. Her recent awards include: Melbourne International Comedy Festival “Deadly Funny” 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2014, Deadly Awards (Sydney Opera House) – 2013, Canberra Comedy Festival Gala – 2013, Canberra Comedy Festival “All Fired Up” (solo show) – 2013.

    When: Monday, 8 April 2019

    Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

    Venue: Film Studio, Kindred Studios, 3 Harris St, Yarraville

  • Cultural Responses to Environmental Violence | Angharad Wynne-Jones

    The workshop will include an overview of cultural responses to climate violence that Angharad has been involved with over the last decade, followed by a sharing of experiences of cultural responses you have been involved with. Then we will collaborate in a planning session on what cultural projects we might do next to move closer to creating a just and sustainable future. And take the first step.

    Angharad Wynne-Jones is currently Head of Creative Engagement at Arts Centre Melbourne and is founder director of Tipping Point Australia – a voluntary network energising the cultural responses to climate change.

    When: Monday,8 April 2019

    Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

    Venue: Film Studio, Kindred Studios, 3 Harris Street, Yarraville


  • Self Love as Cultural Revolution | Tariro Mavondo

    Tariro will be using an interdisciplinary approach working with sound, text and movement and will also share different theatre techniques and exercises from a diverse range of forms that activate and engage the body and voice.

    This is a somatic inquiry exploring how to be a dynamic performer through investigating the relationship with words, body and one’s own essence in a safe and playful space. Tariro sees art and creativity as an act of self love and self love as a culturally revolutionary act. In a world that doesn’t seem to prioritise or value self interrogation and investigation to deepen one’s understanding of the interconnectedness of all living things that make up the world and our place in it, Tariro is interested in creating and facilitating spaces that allow people to explore these themes artistically.

    Bring along a couple written poems or monologues that speak to something alive in you and try to be familiar with the piece(s). During the masterclass you will be working in groups and solos which will culminate into a showing to one another towards the end of the workshop.

    Tariro is a multi-disciplinary artist and performer, currently in Dance Nation (Red Stitch). She has worked as a voice over artist and is also an awarding winning spoken word artist. Her piece ‘The Dangers of a Single Story’ will be part of an anthology ‘Growing Up African in Australia’. Tariro is also the founder of Africa’s Got Talent Australia and a Co-Founder of Centre of Poetics and Justice.

    When: Tuesday, 9 April 2019

    Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

    Venue: Film Studio, Kindred Studios, 3 Harris St, Yarraville

  • Queer Perspectives in Performance | Emma Valente

    What makes a performance work queer? What are queer aesthetics? How can performance engage with gender and sexuality? What are some queer methodologies and processes for making work? In this workshop participants will be introduced to queer theories, dramaturgy and perspectives through practical examples and workshop techniques.

    Emma is a theatre polymath, Co Artistic Director of THE RABBLE and occasional trouble maker. She has worked as a director, dramaturg, sound designer, lighting designer and video designer for many companies across Australia.

    When: Tuesday, 9 April 2019

    Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

    Venue: Film Studio, Kindred Studios, 3 Harris St, Yarraville


  • Speak your Dance: Gurri Wanggadja Nhinggu | Jacob Boehme

    Our bodies carry ancestral experiences and stories deep in our DNA, influencing how we navigate the world around us. Gurri Wanggadja Nhinggu is a movement workshop which explores the use of memory, language and story in the creation of choreography and dance.

    Jacob Boehme will guide participants through a series of choreographic and composition techniques,  and equip them with the practical skills and tools needed for the creation of movement and choreography.

    Founding Director of Yirramboi Festival, Jacob Boehme has a 20-year history working in the Cultural Maintenance, Research and Revival of traditional dance with Elders and youth from urban to remote communities. Jacob combines dance, puppetry and playwriting to create multi-disciplinary theatre, dance and ceremony for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals.

    When: 10 April 2019

    Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

    Venue: Film Studio, Kindred Studios, 3 Harris St, Yarraville

  • Technology in Live Performance | Jolyon James

    Technology has cemented itself in our culture as a fundamental way in which we communicate with each other. It is so pervasive, that at times we may not even be aware of its effects. For me, primarily working in the theatre for young people sector, understanding the use of this technology has become a large part of my practice.

    In this workshop I plan to use the new ADOBE Character Animator application to create a live 2D animation that can be performed by the group. I would also like to explore the use of smart phones to create drama and tension in a scene and what happens when a conversation that is intended only to be intimate and private becomes projected large and publicly into a theatrical space.

    Jolyon James is a visual artist, theatre maker, writer and photographer. He has written directed and designed numerous live shows that have toured both nationally and internationally, most recently, Robot Song [currently on national tour]; Cautionary Tales for Children starring Virginia Gay [Sydney Opera House 2017]  and Trapper which he co-created with Christian Leavesley [Sydney opera house and Arts Centre Melbourne 2017/2018]. He has also created music video clips for artists such as Kate Ceberano and was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

    When: Wednesday, 10 April 2019

    Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

    Venue: Film Studio, Kindred Studios, 3 Harris St, Yarraville


  • Song and Story | Sarah Ward

    In this 3 hour intensive workshop you will write your own song and a group song. 
    We will investigate the power of story-telling through song; whether that be rap, soul, folk, pop, rock, electronic or performance art. 
    We will look at how the words of a song can disrupt, activate and inspire change and be a powerful tool for activism, self-healing and connection. 

    Sarah Ward is an experienced songwriter, teacher, actor and cabaret artist. She has received the Helpmann Award, nine Green Room Awards and three Fringe Awards for Best Cabaret Artist and Production. She is currently touring nationally and Internationally with her cabaret creations Yana Alana and Queen Kong. She teaches singing part-time at Footscray City Primary School and runs songwriting workshops with ECHO Collective, Polyglot Theatre and Womens Circus. She is passionate about the power of songwriting for healing, development and self-confidence.

    When: Thursday, 11 April 2019

    Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

    Venue: Film Studio, Kindred Studios, 3 Harris St, Yarraville