SHE knows what it’s like to grow up in the south-west and dream of a life on the stage.
Now, Jennifer Monk is back to help other budding actors find their feet.
Since graduating from the London School of Dramatic Arts in 2008, Monk has held drama workshops in Warrnambool and is back this month to host a series of casual classes before casting for a new production she is directing and producing to be performed here next month.
Now living in Sydney, Monk has been working as an actor, director and acting coach and will travel back to her home town to host the weekly classes.
Monk said youngsters now had more chances to stretch their acting muscles than she did growing up, but felt it was important for her to be able to return to her home town to share her experience.
“I remember growing up in Warrnambool and I wish I had more opportunities to perform — they didn’t even have drama at my high school,” she said.
“People helped me along the way and now I want to give something back to the town and it’s exciting I’m able to come back and give opportunities to kids.
“This is why I want to direct a show in Warrnambool, to give the young (kids) and talented teenagers a performing opportunity and chance to create their own work.”
She said the casual drama classes would provide opportunities not always available in rural communities including training in improvisation, characterisation, voice technique, movement skills, story-telling, scene and monologue work and acting for both stage and camera.
“Not everyone can get to Melbourne or Sydney for acting opportunities, but that doesn’t make them less talented or inspiring,” she said.
“As a performer I know how important it is to continue one’s training in their chosen field.
‘‘If you play football or a musical instrument you must practice, it is the same when acting ...”
The classes will be held every Thursday until April 1 and are open to all age groups and levels, from kindergarten to adults, and are not just for aspiring actors.
“It’s also for people who want to have fun and build self-confidence,’’ Monk said.
Places are limited and bookings essential. For more information visit this website.