Teaching

What’s great about Zandi is not only her acting knowledge, but how she makes her knowledge accessible in her teaching. She took Shakespeare, a subject I was nervous about, and made it simple for me to read between the text, and figure out EXACTLY what my character was saying. If you want someone to show you the technical aspects of preparing for a role IN ADDITION to leaving it all out on the stage in performance, Zandi’s a great choice.
— Casey Raiha, Professional Actor

I aim to create a safe environment and an energetic space. I lead students to make discoveries and have ownership over their material. I am available for coaching students privately, teaching workshops, and classes as my schedule permits. Please contact me to learn more or to inquire about booking and scheduling. 

After graduating from Oklahoma City University with a BFA in Acting, I returned to my hometown of Seattle. I completed the Taproot Theatre Acting Studio Internship, and the Seattle Children's Theatre Teaching Artist Apprenticeship. As a teaching artist, I've worked with Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Youth Theatre Northwest, Taproot Theatre, and am the former Director of Education at Bainbridge Performing Arts.

 Teaching a Shakespeare Workshop with 5th Ave Theatre Rising Star Project Students

Teaching a Shakespeare Workshop with 5th Ave Theatre Rising Star Project Students

I've taught and developed curriculum for a varying age range of students, from as young as 3 1/2, through young professionals, and adults. I teach story drama, creative drama, movement, theatre dance, musical theatre, acting and Shakespeare. I also coach private students in monologues and audition technique. My teaching style is influenced by the Stanislavski acting technique, and I like to incorporate aspects of movement and physical theatre where appropriate.

I currently work as the Education Coordinator for Seattle Shakespeare Company. Part of my job is teaching Shakespeare residencies to students in Elementary though High School. I also write curriculum, contribute to study guides, and manage the @SSCEducation Instagram account.

Zandi Carlson always provides her students with a positive attitude, in-depth explanations, and helpful feedback. [...] Zandi is kind and understanding especially when you are having a bad day or struggling with a role. She knows how to make the students laugh and is always there to listen and support you. She has really helped me learn and develop into the actor that I am today.
— Delaney Taylor, Age 14

Directing

“Zandi is an actor’s director: clear-eyed and straightforward, she brings her vision to life with a deft touch. Her collaborative process is open to ideas from the performers, but at the same time she knows what she wants and how to suggest a path to power the actor forward. Working with material that could potentially become a wallow in heavy emotion, Zandi keeps the action crisp, the staging smart, and the momentum driving. I’d love to work with her again.”
— Eleanor Moseley, Actor (The Long Road)
 Director of The Long Road. Pictured Kate Witt and Abigail Grimstad Photos by Michael Brunk : nwlens.com

Director of The Long Road.
Pictured Kate Witt and Abigail Grimstad
Photos by Michael Brunk : nwlens.com

While I began my career in theatre as an actor, I've always had an interest in the whole story. I've been blessed to work with some amazing directors. I've learned from them as an actor, or an assistant director. This has allowed me to steal their great ideas, and develop my own directing style. I am particularly grateful to have assisted Teresa Thuman with Sound Theatre Company (Three time Gregory Award recipient for Theatre of the Year) on the 2013 production of Holiday of Errors, and have her as a friend and mentor.

I've directed countless youth productions. Professionally, I've directed The Long Road with Arouet and A New Brain with STAGEright

I believe that no matter what the age, or skill level the performers you're working with, the text is always the jumping off point. Using all theatrical elements, I want to communicate the story we're trying to tell in the clearest, most cohesive way possible. With actors, I always encourage bold choices, strong actions and beat changes. 

My directing resume is available to download. 

A New Brain—book and lyrics by William Finn, book by Finn and James Lapine and directed by Zandi Carlson—makes for uplifting musical theater about valuing every moment and making the most of second chances [...] STAGEright produces plays that directors feel a passion to put on. This passion is viscerally felt throughout the whole evening.
— Mark Douglass, Drama in the Hood on A New Brain, STAGERight