Our tutors


















Anna Houston

Anna Houston graduated from NIDA in 2004. She has most recently performed in Of Mice and Men for Sport for Jove, Venus in Fur for Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Hedda Gabler for Belvoir Theatre, Jump for Jordan for Griffin Theatre Company, and a national tour of War Horse for Global Creatures. For the Bell Shakespeare Company she has performed in The Servant of Two Masters, As You Like It and The Taming of the Shrew. Other theatre credits include All My Sons for Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Blackbird and Tender Napalm for Perth Theatre Company, and the Australian/Hong Kong tour of The Woman In Black for newtheatricals. For television she has appeared in A Place To Call Home, Event Zero, Dripping In Chocolate, Blue Heelers and All Saints. Writing credits include In The Garden (Deckchair Theatre) and Vanessa Darling, selected for Play Writing Australia’s 2015 National Script Workshop.


Ben Mathews

Ben Mathews is a multi-award winning director, actor and AWGIE-nominated writer. His short film, Emily won over 20 awards around the world, screened at the Cannes Film Festival and was the first Australian film nominated for the Student Academy Awards in Los Angeles. An acting graduate of the Atlantic Theater Company New York, and a directing and screenwriting graduate of AFTRS, Ben was the recipient of both the Kenneth Myer Award for Exceptional Talent and Foxtel Scholarship for Exceptional New Talent.

In 2012, Ben directed, co-wrote and co-produced Deadbeat Dads, a drama pilot for MTV Australia, after winning the MTV/Optus ONE80PROJECT. The series is currently in development with Essential Media and Free at Last for the UK. He is also the director and co-creator of BedHead. Originating as a web series for ABC iView, in 2015 Ben directed and co-wrote a half-hour television pilot of BedHead, also for ABC iView. He was awarded Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series at LA Web Fest 2016 and was nominated for Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Comedy Series.

As an actor Ben has appeared in over 30 plays, including shows for the Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir Street and on television shows such as Love My Way.


Brendon McDonall

Brendon is an award winning screen director, screenwriter, theatre director and actor. A triple graduate of AFTRS (Grad Dip Directing, Grad Dip Screenwriting and Master of Screen Arts), his films have screened in film festivals all over the world. The Law won a Jury Prize at Flickerfest. All God’s Creatures was nominated for the 2013 Dendy Award for Best Australian Short, won Best Film at Cinema des Antipodes at Cannes and the prestigious International Iris Prize in 2014. He spent much of 2015 in the UK where he wrote and directed ** Spoilers **, which went on to receive a BAFTA nomination for Best Short Film. The Dam recently premiered in the 2016 MIFF Accelerator. Brendon won the AFTRS/Foxtel Award for Exceptional Talent and was Associate Director to Ian Watson on the ABC series Janet King. Prior to his career in film, Brendon directed over 30 theatre productions including the world premiere of the musical Somewhere... by Kate Mulvany and Tim Minchin. His acting credits include roles for Bell Shakespeare, STC, Monkey Baa, Darlinghurst Theatre and Q Theatre as well as numerous TV roles. He currently lectures in acting and screen directing at AFTRS, JMC and NIDA OPEN.


Jeneffa Soldatic

Jeneffa Soldatic is an international acting coach working on-set for network television (Emmy nominated shows), private clients and major acting schools all over the world. She has a Masters in Fine Arts from the Actors Studio Drama School at the New School University, NYC, and life membership to the prestigious Actors Studio and their Directing Unit. She is regularly invited to givemaster-classes, talk on panels and judge work internationally for Pace University in NYC, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok University, National Institute of Dramatic Art, University of New South Wales, Commune of Avigliano Umbro in Italy, Actors Centre Australia and is a current board member of Fundación Gimnasio de Actores in Venezuela as Head of the Advisory Council. Many of her clients and shows have won major international awards and nominations. She is also an award winning international actress, director and producer, and regular expert-advice columnist for Backstage. One of her happiest achievements was touring with David Bowie for The Polyphonic Spree.


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