Teaching Team

Thomas Prattki

Lead Teacher

Thomas is the Founder and Director of LISPA.

He is the former pedagogical director of the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. 

As a performer, he has toured the world with Mummenschanz, a world renowned company combining movement, puppetry and visual arts. He has directed, taught and lectured in over 30 different countries at institutions such as the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis USA, the Aarhus Theater in Aarhus, Denmark, and the Ilkhom Theater in Taschkent, Uzbekistan, among others.

His most important reference point next to the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq is the strongly Jungian and Zen based work of Maria Hippius and Karlfried Graf Duerckheim, where life, art and spiritual practice all serve the same purpose: to become transparent for the grand movements of Life and how they resonate in our body and personal life.

Amy Russell

Lead Teacher

Amy is the Deputy Director of Pedagogy at LISPA. 

She studied at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq from 1990 to 1992, and completed her pedagogical training with M. Lecoq in 1997-1998, as well as the course in scenography (Laboratoire d'Etude de Mouvement). She also holds an MFA from the University of Tennessee, and a certificate from the London Academy of Music and the Dramatic Arts(LAMDA). She has worked as an ensemble member with the Lecoq based Touchstone Theatre, and has toured the United States and Europe with several collaboratively devised shows.

As a playwright her credits include five professionally produced plays. For Company Ajar, which she co-founded, she wrote Je t'embrasse, Elvis, which toured to Avignon in 2000, and her award-winning show, Killing Lincoln, continues to tour in the U.S. Amy has taught Lecoq based theater in the U.S. and abroad, and is also inspired by her study of Topeng with I Made Djimat in Bali. She has studied mask creation with Donato Sartori in Italy, and I Made Muji in Bali.

Ariel Gutierrez


Originally from Buenos Aires, Ariel has a background in international politics, Literature and Performing Arts. He studied at the Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in 1996 and joined LISPA in 2011, where he completed the Advanced Devising Practice program as well as the pedagogical training.

An active collaborator with companies in the US, Europe and Latin America, he also holds a PhD in Modern Languages and Literatures from the University of Miami with an emphasis on Performance. His dissertation “Scenic Landscapes: The theater in the global city” explores the relation between globalization, theater and non-conventional performance spaces.

Aurelian Koch

(guest teacher)

Aurelian trained for two years at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, where he also studied for two years at the LEM (Laboratory for the Study of Movement), a course relating movement to architecture. In 1993 he co-founded Bouge-de-là Theatre in Oxford. He was joint artistic director of the company for ten years and produced, designedand toured 7 professional shows and worked with young people on over 80 projects,of which over 15 were devised shows.

Aurelian has also designed for other companies, among them Foursight Theatre and Pop-up Theatre. In 2002, Aurelian completed a three month animation course in Bristol and has since worked with Aardman Animations. In 2005, he was appointed as the lead artist in the development of the new Pegasus Theatre building, working in collaboration with the design team to implement the public art aspect of the project. Aurelian lives with his family in Oxford, where he works as a freelance designer and design teacher.

Debra Stych

(guest teacher)

Debra has worked as a teacher, director and performer in Singapore and the United Kingdom. She graduated from Dartington College of Arts with a BA in Devised Theatre and Bretton Hall University with a PGCE in Drama Education.

Whilst in Singapore Debra taught the Drama Diploma at LaSalle-SIA.  She also directed and performed with Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company, The Young Company and Luna–id Theatre Company.  Upon returning to the Uk, she trained for three years at LISPA.

Heriberto Montalban

(guest teacher)

Heriberto trained at LISPA and graduated with an MFA in Actor Created Physical Theatre from Naropa University, as well as subsequently completing the pedagogical training program at LISPA.  He also holds a BA in Education and Theatre from the University of Puerto Rico.

He has worked as a teacher with disadvantaged communities in his native Puerto Rico, and as a freelance performer and collaborator with Les Mondes Contraires, Infectious Theatre, Cia Huma and The Gate Theatre.


Jonathan Young

(guest teacher)

A theatre-maker, performer, scriptwriter and director, Jonathan trained in theatre at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq, and in clowning with Sue Morrison and Philippe Gaulier. From 2001-12 he was artistic director of Shams, a touring theatre company for which he co-created 8 productions.

He has worked as a performer/devisor with other companies, including theatre O, as dramaturg on the award-winning Hysteria for Inspector Sands; and in directing aod’s solo aerial show, Bacchic, which he also co-wrote. He has also devised interdisciplinary, outdoor and site-specific work with a range of artists.

He is a teacher of many years’ experience including work at Birkbeck University, Guildford School of Acting, London Metropolitan University, Northampton University and Birmingham School of Acting. He is also a qualified Feldenkrais practitioner, teaching the Method to both performers and the public.


Kelley Soul


Kelley has worked professionally as an actor, director, stage manager and arts administrator.

She trained as an actor, director and dramaturg at the University of Northern Colorado (1994), before completing her MFA in Actor Created Physical Theatre at Naropa University (USA) in collaboration with LISPA.

Before moving to Europe, she performed with a number of US-based theatre companies, devising experimental work, whilst working as an arts-in-education activist with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Kelley completed the pedagogical year at LISPA in 2004, and has taught with the LISPA team since 2005. She is also a visual artist, working primarily in acrylic, ink and watercolour, and has a deep interest in the creative space that is opened when different artistic and educational practices meet and transform.

Patrick Soul


Patrick graduated from Cambridge University in 1991, following this with PGCE training. In the mid-1990s he founded and ran a music school in Bristol before joining the LISPA team in January 2005.

In 2006 Patrick completed an MMus in Jazz Performance from the the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and he is a keen jazz musician and composer with over 20 years of experience both performing and writing in many different styles of music. He is a singer with the London Vocal Project, a group establishing itself as one of the top jazz gospel groove music groups in the country, having performed at London's best jazz clubs as well as at the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican.


Philipp Schaefer


Philipp is an actor, clown and licensed TaKeTiNa Rhythm Teacher. An alumnus of Jacques Lecoq, he has performed his show “stäx rhythmclown” in street theatre festivals all over Europe. As a teacher he has worked at theatre schools and universities such as LISPA, Universität für Musik und darstellende Künste (Vienna) and Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding (Munich).

He is a drum circle-facilitator and works as well with Himalayan singing bowls. “Rhythm is my tool as a clown and as a teacher in order to create a space for new experiences and personal development. There is no need to learn a new instrument, since you are the instrument. You will find out how to play it in the best possible way.”

Valentina Bordenave


Valentina is a dancer, choreographer and Alexander teacher. She trained at the Folkwang in Essen, Germany and has worked among others with Hamid Thargi, Susanne Linke, Editta Braun and Marc Siezcarek.

She has taught at the National Conservatory Luxembourg, Duncan Center Prague, and the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas in Buenos Aires. She is currently a faculty member at the University of the Arts Berlin.