Exclusive to Howard Fine Acting Studio, building further on the processes used in the six week course, Playing The Bard: Shakespeare In Performance, Sally McLean, creator/director of the critically acclaimed web series Shakespeare Republic, will be presenting this new course, rooted in the HFAS ethos, taking students through the process she uses with her award-winning cast (Best Ensemble Cast award winners: 2017 Bilbao Seriesland & 2019 London International Motion Picture Awards, among others*).

Taking place over two and half days, this advanced Shakespeare intensive will take the work a step further, as students are guided in pairs and trios to take scenes from Shakespeare’s works from rehearsal through to performance over the space of a weekend. Students will be pre-assigned scenes and modern settings for the scenes, to provide the experience of performing Shakespeare according to a director’s vision, putting the techniques taught into a real-world setting. This course will culminate in a showcase performance of the work on the Monday evening to invited industry guests, friends, family and the HFAS community at the conclusion of the course.

“... 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


Tuesday 26 November (6:30-10:30pm) - first explorations of the work

Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December (9:30am-6:30pm) - intensive exploration of the work

Monday 2 December (7:30-10:30pm) - presenting the work to a live audience




Graduates of Playing The Bard: Shakespeare In Performance weekly classes or Full Time Graduates from Howard Fine Acting Studios who have worked with Sally previously.


Each student will be assigned a scene and scene partner/s, as well as a modern setting to prepare before the first class commences.  Students are expected to learn the dialogue and have rehearsed together before the first day of the class – as well as doing the historical homework, table reads, first moment work, character homework, etc. Students are expected to bring wardrobe and props with them on the first day that will support the circumstances of the scene, as this class will also involve making place.

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)

Best Ensemble Cast (Series) – 2019 London International Motion Pictures Awards (UK)
Best Director (Sally McLean) – 2019 Côte d’Azur Webfest (France)
Best Dramatic Web Series – 2019 Côte d’Azur Webfest (France)

Playing the Bard: This Wooden O - November 2019
from 190.00
Add To Cart
Sally McLean Playing the Bard Shakespeare in Performance


Award-winning actor, writer and director Sally McLean believes that Shakespeare is for everyone and has set out to prove that with her critically-acclaimed web series Shakespeare Republic (winner of over thirty international awards, most recently winning “Best Director” and “Best Dramatic Series” at the 2019 Côte d’Azur Web Fest in France, part of the Marché du Film: Festival de Cannes official program), as well as her short film Speaking Daggers (Awarded “Highly Commended” Finalist by Jury President, Sir Kenneth Branagh at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Film Festival, UK), working with actors such as Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Scott Major, Alan Fletcher, Christopher Kirby and Dean Haglund, among others.

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, UK & USA television and film productions including The Bazura Project (ABC2),  Elephant Princess (Channel 10), Upper Middle Bogan (ABC), Preacher (AMC/Sony), Utopia (ABC), Jack Irish (ABC), Comedy Inc. (Channel 9), The Bookworm (BBC) and the BAFTA award-winning BBC mini-series Bootleg (BBC/Channel 10). Sally has also played 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.

Currently working on the third season of Shakespeare Republic, Sally will also be taking her work with Shakespeare into Australian secondary schools, via an official curriculum program facilitated by Independent Schools Victoria from 2020. Her first published work on Shakespeare, an essay exploring her methodology behind Shakespeare Republic and Shakespeare performance in general, will be published in the UK by Routledge Press in 2020 as part of the academic collection, Playfulness In Shakespearean Adaptations edited by Marina Gerzić and Aidan Norrie.

Acting Website:

Production Website:

Shakespeare Republic: