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About Anna Scher

The Anna Scher Theatre (AST) started as a drama club in January 1968. Improvisation is at the core of its teaching, combining a community spirit with excellence and professionalism. AST's Method is about addressing conflict resolution through effective communication skills, role reversals, olive branching, notice compliments and the pebble-in-the-pond philosophy.

Many television and radio series have been made about AST's Method including First Act (ITV), Acting With Anna (C4), When Will I Be Famous? (ITV), Desperate to Act (BBC Radio 4), Anna Scher on Acting (for Danish and Finnish Television) nominated for the Japan Prize, Drama With Anna (for RTE in Ireland); documentaries include Aquarius (ITV), Man Alive Special (BBC TV), The Lowdown (BBC TV) nominated for an International Emmy, The Kids From Anna Scher (ITV) plus documentaries for NRK in Norway and ZDF in Germany and further ideas are in development. Books include Desperate to Act (Collins) plus with Charles Verrall 100+ Ideas for Drama, Another 100+ Ideas for Drama, 200+ Ideas for Drama (Heinemann Educational), First Act Drama Kit (Ward Lock Educational in association with London Weekend Television). Anna Scher was a columnist with the Islington Gazette for five years and reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement. She's been the subject of the Sunday Times A Life in the Day series, A Childhood for The Times and Profile for BBC Radio 4 as well as contributing to numerous radio and television programmes such as Keleidoscope, Midweek, Loose Ends, Woman's Hour, Tonight, Richard and Judy.

Custodian of continuity, The Anna Scher Theatre has celebrated 40+ years of commitment to the community. Since 1968 AST has practised pluralism - integration through improvisation, inclusion rather than exclusion and whilst the Theatre has lauched the careers of many sucessful actors (the roll call includes Kathy Burke, Natalie Cassidy, Phil Daniels, Dexter Fletcher, Gary and Martin Kemp, Patsy Palmer, Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson, Gillian Tayforth, Susan Tully to name but a few) its ethos has always been community based.

Drama workshops on social issues such as children's rights and AIDS awareness are held at AST, in schools, libraries, hospitals, residential homes and other venues such as the National Film School, the Round House, Ruskin College Oxford, Sadler's Wells, Unicorn, Young Vic, both nationally and internationally through the good offices of the Anne Frank House, Barnardos, The British Council, the Health and Education Authority, the National AIDS Trust, the National Children's Bureau, PLAN International and Save the Children. Peace Studies play a permanent part in AST's curriculum. The Peace Pebble Theatre Workshops have been running since 1979. From "The Kids Are United" in Northern Ireland integrating Catholic and Protestant children to "Shalom Zimbabwe" running AIDS awareness workshops in the bush to "Shalom Soweto" teaching in the townships of South Africa to "Shalom Salam Israel" teaching in a bomb shelter with Jewish and Arab children through to "Shalom Salam Sarajevo" working in Bosnia Herzegovina with Serbs, Croats and Muslims - the Peace Pebble Theatre Workshops are a firm feature on the map. Gandhi said "We must start with the children" and Anna has followed this to the letter; her peace workshops in India integrated Hindus and Muslims - "Shalom Salam Delhi." She continues to study Satyagraha, Gandhi's method of peaceful protest. Workshops in Lithuania integrated people from the Baltic countries. In December 2003 Anna went to Oman and the workshops integrated students from there and the United Arab Emirates working with both communities to become peace ambassadors. Her passionate belief is that I am my sister's keeper and my sister is Irish, English, African, Jewish, Arab..... in short - WE ARE THE WORLD!

Anna has received a community award from the Irish Post and the Woman of Distinction Award from Jewish Care. In 1999, she received the Peace Person of the Year Award in Ireland and she has been chairperson of the International Song Contest for Peace also in Ireland. She has served on juries at BAFTA, Sony and the Royal Televiosion Society. She is an Associate of RADA and an Honourary Fellow of the Leinster School of Music and Drama in Dublin. Anna is a patron of Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam - Oasis of Peace. In March 2003, Anna was awarded the Freedom of the London Borough of Islington. On 18 March 2004 Anna journeyed to Auschwitz as guest of the Holocaust Educational Trust. On 15 May 2004 International Conscientious Objectores's Day Anna ran a Peace Anna will continue to rum annual peace rallies. Anna journeyed to Japan on 6 August 2004 Hiroshima Day and 9 August Nagasaki Day. In March 2005 Anna's Peace Pebble Theatre Workshops took her to mayapur for the devotees of Krishna consciousness; Anna is a kind of HOA - hands-on ambassador for the Hare Krishnas in Soho where she attends the temple. Celebrating diversity and inter-faith Anna also attends Mass, Quaker meetings, Buddhist shrines and synagogues. May 2005 saw Peace Pebbles ooooo Rwanda working together with Hutus and Tutsis her contribution to "Never Again" with reference to the genocide of 1994. She commemorated the 60th Anniversary of Hiroshima on 6 August 8.15am and Nagasaki on 9 August 11.02am in Tavistock Square August 2005. AST's Method is about addressing conflict resolution through effective comunication skills (posture and balance, projection, diction, listening with eye contact, a friendly tone of voice) role reversal, olive branching (accept, acknowledge, apologise, appreciate, amend) notice compliments and the pebble-in-the-pond philosophy.

© 2011 by Anna Scher Theatre

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