Directing Actors Workshops

The Tools is a powerful method developed by Adrienne Weiss to help directors get great performances from actors.

Mikael has taught The Tools at the Columbia University Graduate Film Program since 2012.

He also leads workshops for industry professionals, most recently in Stockholm.


"Extremely rewarding, intense and stimulating."

Johan Brisinger, director/screenwriter

"I've learnt more about working with actors in these five days than during the years in my film school."

Taisia Deeva, director

"Applying The Tools in rehearsals and on set gives a thrilling result. It frees the actors from being self conscious, it helps them connect to their characters and the situation, allows them to be fully focused on the other actors and to listen and react, rather than talking and act. And above all — it's great fun!"

Magnus Berg, director

"Mikael is dynamic and present in every moment. His technique of directing with compelling curiosity and sensitive intuition is a joy to experience."

Yiva Julén, director/screenwriter/playwright

"I cannot thank you enough for what you gave me during this course." It really has been 'life changing!'"

Johan Stavsjö, directing student

"The workshop with our awesome instructor Mikael Sodersten was amazing and I can't wait to get to apply all the techniques I learned."

Lauri Laukkanen, director

“Many thanks for five magical days. It really has been rewarding on many levels!”

Robin Günther, director

“Mikael makes the course fantastic with his pedagogical and humble attitude in teaching and caring for the course participants!”

Julia Larsson Olofsson, screenwriter


“Ever since I made ‘The New Country’, I’ve been thinking about how to get the anxious Swedish film industry to dare to take new steps. I’m so grateful that you’re bringing your knowledge, which is eye-opening… Your tools finally and brilliantly make directors understand how they can help and influence an actor.”

Lia Boysen

“These days affected me deeply. First it was just a joy to work with really good material. Then it was the clarity of this method, which was liberating. It felt like a very effective way to get genuine interaction, and to become open and receptive to what occurs in the moment.”

Melinda Kinneman

“To meet several professional actors and directors in this context was very rewarding. We created such a good scene and created so many moments that I even surprised myself while playing.”

Matti Leinikka

“Really fun! I like your questioning in the process. A big thanks for your inspiring work.”

Per Lasson

“It’s a workshop for directors where actors play an equal part. I felt that I developed and was able to lift my performance. It was a blast and very rewarding and educational.”

Carl Stjernlöf

“A very nice intimate group, safe and warm. Both the audition and the scene work were nicely set up and very wonderful.”

Anna-Lo Fjellström

“I got tools to quickly get my character's backstory. This in turn gave me a clear entry into the scene and made sure I understood the situation and was able to make choices within the given circumstances in a playful way.”

Amanda Jansson

“How important direction is if it is executed in the right way. I'd love to be back!“

Anna Åström

“The simple structure of the method, and what it results in, is superb! Everything is so easy to absorb, and facilitates seeing the emotional turns clearly.”

Matti Boustedt

For upcoming workshops, visit: