About us

Peter Feeney, Director, Actors Lab Studio


The Actors Lab Studio began twenty years ago in Sydney when Peter Feeney began running scene groups; a place where actors could work out with their peers and keep acting fit. Since then Peter has taught in Brisbane, Sydney, Toi Whakaari (Wellington), The Actors Program (Auckland), and in his own Studio in Auckland. Over that time, which has run parallel with Peter’s own professional career, Actors Lab has evolved in to its present form: a safe fun space where Peter and guest tutors (actors and directors at the top of their game) share their practical and hard-won wisdom. It’s the incredible teachers that make The Actors Lab Studio what it is, alongside the brilliant work of our Producer, Emma Campbell.

This evolution, and the new screen emphasis, is a response to what young actors are asking for – and need. Actor lead groups are taking us back to the way things used to be when, like the circus, people were either born into the acting profession, or ran away from home into it. There were no drama schools. People learnt, sponge like, from more experienced actors. Employment opportunities are now global and the ability to create content readily at hand. But rather more depends on luck in a career than we’d care to admit, and the idea these days of throwing $25,000 at a 3 year full time training course starts to look pretty chancy in a world where we need to be nimble, and for a profession best learnt on the job.

Our aim as teachers in Actors Lab is to build your confidence and artistry; each brings their unique perspective and wisdom to the work. Overall we share teaching is via the Socratic method: the teacher asks the questions, but does not give the answers: as they will have to on the job, the actor must struggle to figure it out on their own. This makes for hard learning that sticks.

If you choose to join us we’ll demand your very best, challenging you to get used to working under pressure and out of your comfort zone ALL THE TIME. We’ll pass on great ideas on how to prepare to perform under pressure, and develop a character. In the moment of performance we want you to act on your impulses and be plugged into your instinct. Our working environment is challenging, but safe, giving you complete permission to fail.