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Legendary Acting Coach Anna Scher Passes Away, Leaving a Resounding Legacy

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By: BNN Correspondents
Legendary Acting Coach Anna Scher Passes Away, Leaving a Resounding Legacy

Renowned acting coach, Anna Scher, has passed away at 78, leaving behind a legacy that has shaped the landscape of the acting world. Known for her unique and innovative teaching methods, Scher’s theatre school in north London has been the nurturing ground for many celebrated actors, including Gary Kemp, Jake Wood, Winsome Pinnock, Trevor Laird, and Ricardo P. Lloyd.

Revolutionizing Acting with Improvisation

Scher’s approach to teaching was heavily grounded in improvisation. She believed in the power of children working through personal issues while honing their creative skills. The ‘kernel of brilliance’ was what she sought in each student, creating a supportive and non-critical environment that allowed that brilliance to be nurtured and grow.

A Blend of Discipline, Goodwill, and Access

While Scher emphasized discipline and professionalism, she also cultivated an atmosphere of goodwill. Drawing from her Irish and Jewish heritage and the influences of figures like Gandhi, she instilled in her students a sense of respect, listening, and appreciation. More importantly, her approach provided unprecedented access to acting for working-class kids, challenging the traditional dominance of the middle class in the industry.

More than Just an Acting School

Scher’s school, co-created with her late husband Charles Verrall, was not just a place to learn acting. It was a safe space for actors to take risks, explore different facets of themselves, and even shape their future careers, as in the case of Gary Kemp, who found his path to music through Scher’s influence. The school also served as a hub for casting directors and auditions, but Scher always emphasized that professional acting was a byproduct, not the main focus of her teachings.

Anna Scher’s passing is a significant loss to the world of theatre and acting. Her contribution to making the arts accessible, her commitment to developing young talent, and her unique character will be fondly remembered by her students and the acting community at large.

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Arts & Entertainment Education United Kingdom

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