Skip to main content

Empowering Transformation for Actors and Non-Actors

[T]he ability to create an alter ego, literally an alternative version of themselves [the presenter], who gets up and does the hard work on their behalf. This can be a very helpful technique when attempting to overcome nerves and deliver a big presentation. In a sense, it is the more confident, outgoing, risk-taking side of our character that comes to the fore.

(Theobald 2019, p.7)


Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain is a creative academic in the field of acting and performance. A teacher, researcher, actor, and innovator, her passionate, disciplined relationship with theory and practice compels Suzie to understand acting and performance at its origins. This empowers her to innovate on techniques, methods, and thinking. Graduating from the School of Creative Arts at Wollongong University in 1993, she now holds three more tertiary degrees including a scholarship-supported doctorate (2021) in addition to a variety of complimentary certifications. Alongside professional development training with the Michael Chekhov Association (US), and the Royal Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (UK), Suzie has undertaken classes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (UK) and Actors Centre Australia (AUS).  Suzie has worked with worldwide companies such as: National Theatre of Scotland (UK), BBC Scotland (UK), Traverse Theatre (UK), The Arches (UK), North Edinburgh Arts Centre (UK), The Performance Space (AUS), Melbourne Theatre Company (AUS), La Mama Theatre (AUS), NIDA Open (AUS), Victorian College of the Arts (AUS), and Union House Theatre (VIC) amongst others.

For seventeen years, Suzie has been a teacher of acting and stage performance skills working with Stagecoach Theatre Arts (UK), Australian Theatre for Young People (AUS), Shopfront Theatre (AUS), ), Melbourne University (AUS), Monash University (AUS) and presents papers nationally and internationally. Specialising in the relationship between identity and acting, her published article Acting Dangerously: confessions of a Transformational Actor with ArtsHub (AUS) discussed trauma in character acting, and her essay My Name Is…? examines the loss of the actor’s original self in a role and will published in the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies general issue (82) in 2023.

Suzie’s work also involves ‘pulling apart’ existing realism-based acting tools aiming towards innovating and shaping them for actors and mining their transferable skills for presenting and performing. Her goal is enabling greater artistic freedoms for actors and non-actors in the telling of stories. She is the multiple award-winner of Short and Sweet, Sydney (NIDA, 2010), and recipient of the Phillip Parson’s Prize for practice-based research (ADSA 2016). Suzie’s solo theatre works include Elizabeth Taylor is My Mother (2015), The Disappearing Trilogy (2019), and Non-Celebrity, (2023) a practice-based hybrid between lecture, documentary, and fiction interrogating identity, acting, and celebrity culture (2023).

Photography by Darren Gill.

Download Suzie’s CV

The Paradox of the Actress – Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain Thesis

Suzie is without a doubt the best acting teacher I’ve ever had.

Connor MorelMusician/Actor/Performer/Musical Theatre Artist

Suzie’s lived research-practice offers practical support for actors who care about having joyous and sustainable careers and I commend her for such needed service to the acting community.

Dr Mark Seton (PhD)Honorary Research Associate, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, The University of Sydney and co-investigator of the Australian Actor Wellbeing Study (2013)

She is a one-of-a-kind practitioner and an absolute invaluable asset to the acting craft.

Emma GoughArtistic Director/Founder of The Melbourne Actors’ Guild

I completed Dr. Suzie J. Jarmain’s The Laboratory and it was probably the most memorable and practically useful experiences I’ve ever had as an actor, having done lots of training with different organisations and teachers in both London and Melbourne.

Sam ZawadiActor

The Laboratory is a super exciting learning environment for actors to play and experiment with Suzie’s invaluable knowledge and energy that is so freely shared.

Sandy MorrisonActor