Prof. Geoffrey Colman, BA, MA, FRSA

Job title

Head of Acting, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Acting

Profile

I'm an acting coach, director, writer and broadcaster, and have collaborated with many national and international practitioners in theatre, film, TV, opera, musical theatre, magic, fashion, music and contemporary dance.

I was appointed Head of Acting at Central in 2002 and have led several key developments in actor training, including the introduction of the undergraduate three-course training model (Acting, Collaborative and Devised Theatre, Musical Theatre), the design of both the original MA Classical Acting (now MA Acting), and original MA Musical Theatre programmes. For several years I served on the executive boards of both the National Council for Drama Training (NCDT), and the Conference of Drama Schools (CDS), and was joint-inaugural chair of Prospero – a European Thematic Network of Higher Vocational Educational Institutes. I am the inaugural co-founder of IFTS, a professional International Actor Training hub comprising some of the world's major training academies: The Central Academy of Drama, Beijing, China; The Juilliard School, New York, USA; The Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art, Berlin, Germany; DAMU, Prague, Czech Republic; Institut del Teatre, Barcelona, Spain; The Academy of Theatre and Dance, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Escuela Nacional de Arte Teatral, Mexico. Launched in Barcelona, December 2016, IFTS (International Festival of Theatre Schools) promotes intercultural exchange within the conservatoire. I was made Professor of Acting in 2018.

I studied Drama at Crewe & Alsager College (Manchester Metropolitan University), and Royal Holloway College, London University. Before Central, I taught acting in both the conservatoire and university sectors, including Mountview Academy of the Arts, Brighton Polytechnic, Brunel University, and Sussex University. I've given acting masterclasses & workshops at theatres, cultural institutions and universities across Europe and beyond (e.g. Institut del Teatre, Barcelona, Spain; University of the Arts, Helsinki, Finland; Universitat der Kunst, Berlin, Germany; DAMU, Prague, Czech Republic; Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, China; Academy of Dramatic Art, Zagreb, Croatia), and have a longstanding association with the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London as a ‘resident master'.

I'm often invited to give keynotes on performance, recent lectures include: ‘Local / Global Shakespeares’ - the 4th British Shakespeare Assoc. Conference (Globe Theatre, Kings University 2009), ‘Acting with Facts’ (University of Reading 2009), ‘Acting Sarah Kane’ (University of Lincoln 2012), ‘Encountering the Ensemble’ (University of Huddersfield 2010), ‘A Life in 17 seconds - Acting for the Small Screen’ (University of York (2012); ‘The Idealised Actor’ (Institut del Teatre, Barcelona, 2013); ‘Marilyn Monroe and Method Acting’ (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2013); ‘The Art of Acting – Actors in Portraits’, (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2013); ‘Faster, Louder, Funnier’ (Arts Council England / Royal Academy, 2014); ‘Stanislavski and his Contemporaries’ (National Portrait Gallery, London, 2016); The Many Faces of Hamlet. Acting Life & Death' (National Portrait Gallery, London 2018).

As a freelance director I have worked in a vast range of theatre, contemporary dance and live performance settings - from (very early in my career) electro-acoustic opera with international musicologist David Osmond-Smith and composer Martin Butler (L'Orfeo by Monteverdi, Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton), to the award-winning national tour of Crying Celibate Tears by John Roman Baker (Brighton Festival, Finborough, London 1989), the interactive holographic musical, Hellsing (Musion 3D, Bloomsbury Theatre, London 2010), to Festival 10 at Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, or Chekhov's The Seagull for President Mikhail Gorbachev (Hampton Court, Raisa Gorbachev Foundation Gala 2010). In recent years I have increasingly worked in TV and Film (see below), and am currently closely associated (as both acting coach and dramaturge) with Jasmin Vardimon Company, Sadler’s Wells.

I regularly broadcast on BBC Radio and have also made guest appearances on BBC’s One Show, Reuters TV, Asia Network (NTDTV), and ITV (News at 10). In 2018 I wrote and presented 'Truth and Reality in Acting' for BBC Radio 4 (Four Thought).

Teaching Areas

  • Acting technique (Stanislavsky / post-Stanislavsky) 
  • Postdramaticism
  • Text analysis
  • Acting for camera
  • Directing public productions / showcases / festival events

Areas of Expertise

  • Late C19th / C20th Acting Methodologies
  • Acting and Actor Training
  • Post Stanislavskian acting techniques
  • Screen acting

Recent Publications

My publications include regular features for The Stage, programme notes, articles and edited collections.

2018. Actors & Performers Year Book, What are Drama schools looking for? (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

2016. ‘Alan Rickman - An Appreciation’, Contemporary Theatre Review, 27.3

2016. New Monologues for Women, edited by Geoffrey Colman (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

2016. New Monologues for Men, edited by Geoffrey Colman (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

2016. Actors & Performers Yearbook. What are Drama Schools looking for?  (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

2015. ‘A Close Friendship Among The Debris. Acting, breath and truth in Jasmin Vardimon's Justitia.’ In Justitia. Multidisciplinary Readings of the work of Jasmin Vardimon Company, edited by Paul Johnson, Sylwia Dobkowska, Jasmin Vardimon (Bristol: Intellect),

2012. Steven Berkoff One-Act Plays, edited and introduced by Geoffrey Colman (London: Bloomsbury Methuen)

Research Funding

2018 Lead Academic, Anne Bogart, Leverhulme Professorship awarded to: ‘… explore the internationally renowned director Anne Bogart’s distinctive perspective on theories and practices of actor training, and to re-evaluate the historical influence and significance of her philosophical training technique, ‘Viewpoints.’

Details about Professor Bogart’s forthcoming 2018 /2019 visit will be published in due course. Enquiries should be directed to geoff.colman@cssd.ac.uk

Practice

Recent theatre credits include:

2018. Acting Coach, Dirty Dancing, UK Tour

2018. Acting Coach, Shot to Fame, Soho Theatre, London

2018. Acting Coach, Young & Strange, International Tour

2017. Acting Coach, Cabaret, New Wimbledon Theatre / UK Tour

2017. Acting Coach, An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre, London

2017. Acting Coach, Carousel, English National Opera, London

2016/7 Acting Coach, Pinocchio. Jasmin Vardimon Company, Sadler’s Wells (National /International tour)

2016. Acting Coach, JV2. Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler’s Wells (National UK tour)

2015. Acting Coach, I Loved You and I Loved You. Sweetshop Revolution / National Theatre Wales, National UK tour

2014. Acting Coach, PARK Jasmin Vardimon Company, Sadler’s Wells, London (National UK tour)

2013. Acting Coach / Dramaturg, Justitia, Jasmin Vardimon Company, Peacock Theatre, London (International tour)

Recent TV / Film coaching credits

(includes cast-driven content, green screen, hidden-camera etc.)

2018. Derren Brown. The Push, (Netflix)

2016. Derren Brown. Pushed to the Edge, (Channel 4 / Vaudeville Productions) single episode

2014. Derren Brown. Apocalypse (Objective Productions / Channel 4) BAFTA AWARD two-part special

2015. World’s Most Talented - with Laura Jackson (UKTV / Sky) 5 episodes

2014. Mind Games - Katherine Mills (Objective productions / Watch TV) 5 episodes

2013. Kick Ass 2 (Marv Films / Universal Pictures - dir. Jeff Wadlow)

2012. Derren Brown. Fear & Faith / Placebo (Objective Productions / Channel 4) BAFTA AWARD two-part special

2012. Mother of Invention (Objective Productions / HBO / Sky 1) single episode

2011. Derren Brown. Miracles For Sale (Objective Productions / Channel 4) BAFTA AWARD two-part special

2010. Skillicious (RDF Media Group / ITV) single episode

2010. Pineapple Dance Studios with Mark Battershall (Pulse Films / Sky Television) episode 3

Extensive on-screen coaching includes:

Young Gifted and Broke, (Hewland International / ITV 1999), Culture Fix – Acting (BBC Knowledge 2001), La Fabrique aux Acteurs  (ADR Productions, Paris 2001), Britain's Next Top Model (Sky Living, episode 4, Cycle 3 2007).

'In Conversation':

I'm regularly invited to host in conversation events and literary salons at Barbican Theatre, Haymarket Theatre, ICA, National Theatre, Bloomsbury Institute, Cam Word Fest, Round House, etc. The list is extensive but includes:

John Arden, Eugenio Barba, Claire Bloom, Peter Bowles, Bradley Cooper, Steven Berkoff, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Esther Freud, Michael Fryan, James Graham, PD James, Keith Johnstone, Cush Jumbo, Angela Lansbury, Adrian Lester, Robert Lepage, Sian Phillips, Stephen Poliakoff, Vanessa Redgrave, Ruth Rendell, Willy Russell, Fiona Shaw, Simon Stephens, Roy Williams, Julie Walters, Patterson Joseph etc.

Courses

Acting, BA

Acting (CDT), BA

Acting (Musical Theatre), BA

Actor Training and Coaching, MA/MFA

Acting - Contemporary, MA

Acting - Classical, MA

Website

www.geoffreycolman.com

E-mail

geoff.colman@cssd.ac.uk

Twitter

@geoffreycolman