Award-winning actor and director Sally McLean believes that Shakespeare is for everyone and has set out to prove it with her critically-acclaimed web series Shakespeare Republic (winner of nineteen highly-prestigious international awards*). In an exclusive Howard Fine Acting Studio course, Sally will further explore this concept with you in Playing the Bard: Shakespeare in Performance.

Sally will take you through the process she uses with her award-winning cast (Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Scott Major, Christopher Kirby and Dean Haglund to name an exceptional few), exploring not only how to understand Shakespeare, but also personalise his words and characters to enable you to make his words truly your own.

In the first two weeks of the course, you will be guided to understand the text and historical context of the assigned pieces, the next three weeks will be spent discovering the modern equivalent for character/setting, embodying character in the given circumstances and making place, and finally bringing it all together with a presentation for family, friends and guests in the final class.

“... polished, beautifully made series from director/producer Sally McLean ... a fine use of the platform and, more importantly, a very fine adaptation of the Bard ... Shakespeare Republic is put together with grace and wit. An assortment of actors do terrific work making the (non-dumbed down) dialogue accessible, prying it open with great care and skill.” - The Guardian


Wednesdays, 21 August - 25 September (6:30-10:30pm)




Each student will be given a Shakespeare monologue or scene (maximum duration of four minutes) prior to the commencement of the class. Initially, actors are simply asked to be familiar with the piece. However participants are expected to learn the text within the first two weeks of class. Please bring clothes that allow for physical work and be prepared to provide clothing and props that will support the circumstances of your piece.

Please note: once you have reserved your place in to the course, please email a copy of your headshot and resume to (these will be used for casting purposes by Sally McLean)


Sally McLean


Best Mobisode or Web Short (for Episode 6: Sonnet #18) – 2016 Peak City International Film Festival (USA)
Best Web Short (for Episode 6: Sonnet #18) – 2016 StoneFair International Film Festival (Romania)
Best Picture (Web Series) – 2016 Indiepossible International Film Festival (USA)
Best Director (Sally McLean) – 2016 Indiepossible International Film Festival (USA)
Best Actor (Ben Steel) – 2016 Indiepossible International Film Festival (USA)
Best Web/New Media – 2016 Los Angeles Cinefest (USA)
Best Shakespeare Short – November 2016 British Council Short Film Competition (UK)
Best Male Lead In A Web Series (Christopher Kirby) – 2017 Austin WebFest (USA)
Best Digital Series (Director: Sally McLean) – 60th CINE Golden Eagle Awards (2017) (USA)
Best Cinematography (Shaun Herbertson) – 2017 Sicily Web Fest (Italy)
Special Jury Award – 2017 Portugal International Film Festival (Portugal)
EnsembleAmets Award (Best Ensemble, Selección Amets) – 2017 Bilbao Seriesland (Spain)
Best Original Idea – 2017 Rio WebFest (Brazil)
Best Actor in a Drama (Christopher Kirby) – 2017 Baltimore New Media WebFest (USA)
Best Web Series – 2017 12 Months Film Festival (Romania)
Best TV & Web Series – 2018 Canada Independent Film Festival (Canada)

Playing the Bard: Shakespeare in Performance - August 2019
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Sally McLean Playing the Bard Shakespeare in Performance


A graduate of The Actors’ Institute, London (UK) with further training undertaken at Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia, Sally’s acting credits include roles in numerous Australian and UK television and film productions including The Bazura Project (ABC2),  Elephant Princess (Channel 10), Upper Middle Bogan (ABC), Bingles (Channel 10), Utopia (ABC), Jack Irish (ABC), Comedy Inc. (Channel 9), Blue Heelers (Channel 7), The Bookworm (BBC), Poetry Nation (BBC) and the BAFTA award-winning BBC mini-series Bootleg (BBC/Channel 10).

Sally has played lead roles in over thirty UK and Australian theatre productions, including The Comedy of Errors and Romeo & Juliet with the Australian Shakespeare Company, the world premiere of Annabel’s Requiem on the West End and the all-female Macbeth, described as:

"… an utterly convincing performance as the old Scottish King, belying the fact that McLean is not only young and a woman, but also Australian." - Time Out, London.

Sally is also General Manager of Melbourne WebFest and serves on the Board for MWF, as well as the Trust for the Howard Fine Studio Australia and continues to work in Australian theatre, film and television as an actor as well as developing several projects for both the big and small screen as writer/director/producer.

Acting Website:

Production Website:

Shakespeare Republic: