About Impulse Theatre

The company was established in 2002 by a core group of theatre practitioners headed by Stephen Wallace and Michael Gillett to not only produce dramatic works but also to explore ways of training that might enable actors to find more truth in performance.

In 2002 this group of twelve actors trained in a Grotowski workshop for 5 months in an old abandoned church in Glebe. In the last months the training group was joined by Jeff Freeman, an American who had trained with the Grotowski group in the USA. He took the group deeper into the spacial  and movement exercises than they’d ever been before. The group then performed Oedipus The King at the old church for three weeks towards the end of 2002, performing an hour of Grotowski exercises beforehand that an audience could watch.

Most of the original group stayed with the company to perform in a productions of OEDIPUS THE KING (Burton Street Theatre 2003), LYSISTRATA (Burton Street Theatre 2004), COSI (Newtown Theatre 2006), AWAY(Newtown Theatre, 2007, 2008) and THE SHOEHORN SONATA (Newtown Theatre and Figtree Theatre 2009-2013). In 2009 we performed Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT at the PACT Theatre, Erskineville, Sydney which ran from the 13th of May for a 3 week season. This was a production done after Grotowski training workshops every week of rehearsals where we utilised movement and dance as well as singing from the workshop. Schoolkids responded  well to the production. Nine actors played all the parts and used live musical instruments during the performance.Also in August 2013 we produced ROMEO AND JULIET at the King Street Theatre, Newtown,  to much acclaim, especially from the schools. One school, Campbelltown Performing Arts High School, clapped every single scene in the play, including the silent burial of Juliet…it felt like the groundlings from the old Globe theatre in Shakespeare’s day.

Our production of the short play  STOLEN at the Short and Sweet Festival in 2006 won the Best Actress Award for one of our members, Majella O’Shea. Impulse has produced five more Short and Sweet productions, CHE  GUEVARA WOULD NEVER GO TO STARBUCKS (2006), A QUIET DINNER FOR FOUR (2007) , NIGHT VISION (2009) and MUM (2011) and HANDYMAN (2013) which reached the gala finals. We have also produced a short film, DISCONNECTED, the first in a number of planned film projects.

Our training workshops start with intensive physical training combined with ritual and group impulse exercises based on the teachings of Jerzy Grotowski, who devised a system to eliminate resistance to the creative process, allowing the actor to react completely and spontaneously in performance. We also incorporate techniques and exercises derived from Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, Bryan Syron and Hayes Gordon.


This year Impulse will produce THE SHOEHORN SONATA for schools again at the FIGTREE THEATRE, UNSW, KENSINGTON from May 19 to June 6, with a brand new professional cast: Maggie Blinco and Julie Hudspeth. It will be sensational. The production will be available to schools during weekdays (for bookings contact The School Performance Tours at 9516 1613 or 1800221509 or email at spt@schoolperformancetours.com.au). If there are enough bookings there will be one matinee performance on either Sat May 24 or Sat May 31.