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Actors for role plays


Does anyone have experience of using actors to play parts in role plays during workshops/training? We're considering this for our management development programme (and others) and would be keen to hear any views. I'd also appreciate any information on where these groups/agencies can be found.

Ken Smith

8 Responses

  1. Actors for role players
    Hi Ken,

    I’ve worked with a company called Impromtu (based in Birmingham)on several occasions and found that using professional role players can be of great benefit for both the trainer and participant.

    Plus points – 1.Actors can stick to the brief that they are given and play the role “straight”.
    2.Participants have no previous relationship with the actors so that role plays necessarily have a more realistic feel.

    Possible negative points – 1. Actors can be intimidating for some learner types (my lawyers are standing by on that one!) so their intoduction to the group must be carefully executed.
    2. Avoid over reliance on them in the programme as the initial “WOW” factor can quickly diminish.

    Overall though I’d say give it a go.

    Good luck and break a leg.

  2. Using Actors
    Hi Ken,

    I have used the services of a company called DVA ( who were great. Their director on the acting side is called Geraldine McNulty (herself an actress) tel: +44 (0)1256 882032.

    I have also used undergraduate students (much cheaper than fully fledged actors!) who did a great job also. I have used both film/theatre studies related undergraduates as well as those studying completely unrelated subjects. If this is something you are interested in, I suggest you contact your local university.

    At the end of the day, a lot depends on your budget and the type of training that you want to deliver. I have found undergraduates every bit as good as experienced actors but, of course, they look younger and if the role play is about dealing with experienced, senior staff then you probably want an older person playing the role.

    I agree with the other pro’s & con’s you have been sent.

    Good luck.


  3. role plays
    I have used “role plays for training” (Andrew Bagueley-owns the company). They are based in London, sorry no number, and were always really professional with a good knowledge of HR issues.


  4. Management development
    Try Stuart Esworthy at [email protected]
    His company specialises in providing management development and training, using actors to support the programmes. Great reports!

  5. Successful use of actors
    We used actors in a supervisory development programme and found it to be extremely successful. In my experience, people don’t necessarily enjoy role plays and by using actors, individuals are merely responding rather than having to create role scenarios themselves. We used drama students from a local college, which turned out to be of mutual benefit; as students, they welcomed the opportunity to practice their acting skills.

  6. Scottish based actors
    I can recommend forum interactive (based in Edinburgh). They are a highly professional group who have a good understanding of different business environments. They can be contacted at [email protected]

  7. Actors
    Like Steve Fox I’ve worked with Impromptu. We used them specifically to demonstrate the differing behavioural styles, to our sales based audience, through the use of role play.
    Impromptu were also used by a client of ours on a senior mangement roadshow, in which they highlighted (through staged scenarios) some of the key issues facing their sales people.
    The feedback received from participants is always very positive.

  8. Actors in Management
    ‘Actors in Management’ are based in London but operate over much of the UK. Very professional, their role players provide useful feedback based on their brief about objectives. Used them as roleplayers for series of meetings with managers over several days of residential course. Contact: Jill Connick 0207 689 7788


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