...to Bella's website, and thank you so much for visiting!
Bella is an actor, writer, and singer-songwriter. She has been working for over twenty-five years in theatre, film, television and radio, and is Professor of Acting and Directing in the department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production at the University of California, Riverside. She is also an actor-trainer and the author of several books on acting. As a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA and British Equity, she is represented by StevensonWithers Associates UK and The Zachary Company US. She lives in LA with her actor husband, Miles Anderson (www.milesanderson.us).
US Acting appearances include Jenny in the award-winning Mente Revolver by writer/director Alejandro Ramirez (Alhambra Oro for Best Movie at the Cines del Sur international film festival, Spain, 2018). Several seasons at Shakespeare & Company, Massachusetts, including Eleanor (The Contention: Henry VI, Part 2) directed by Tina Packer (Summer 2023), Ursula (Much Ado About Nothing) directed by Kelly Galvin, Maria (Twelfth Night) and Trinculo (The Tempest) both directed by Allyn Burrows; The Queen and Arviragus in Cymbeline, Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice and (at Colorado Shakespeare Festival) Margaret in Richard III, all directed by Tina Packer. Her two solo plays Tilly No-Body: Catastrophes of Love (heading to Daejeon International Theatre Festival, South Korea in 2024) and Nell Gwynne: A Dramatick Essaye on Acting and Prostitution (Hollywood Fringe Festival) were both directed by Miles Anderson.
UK Acting appearances include two seasons at the Royal National Theatre, including David Hare's The Permanent Way directed by Max Stafford-Clark (Out of Joint/Royal National Theatre); She Stoops to Conquer and A Laughing Matter (also directed by Max Stafford-Clark for Out of Joint/Royal National Theatre); many theatre roles (among her favorites being The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Celia in As You Like It and Arkadina in The Seagull), various roles in new works, and for BBC TV and Radio.
Workshops: Bella is known on the international circuit for her work on Konstantin Stanislavsky. She has conducted workshops and presentations around the world, including Japan, Australia, China, France, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, Zimbabwe and across the UK and US in theatres, drama schools and universities. She will be in Greece (2023), Brazil (2024) and Malta (2025).
Publications include the best-selling The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit (NHB 2014), Acting: The Basics (3rd Edition forthcoming Routledge 2024), Facing the Fear: An Actor's Guide to Overcoming Stage Fright (NHB 2016), and co-authored with Tina Packer Shakespeare & Company: When Action is Eloquence (Routledge 2020). She also worked with Miles Anderson on his memories Colonels, Cads and Charmers (Outskirts Press 2021).
Education: Dedicated to linking performance with education and foregrounding practice-as-research, Bella has held posts at the British Universities of Birmingham (where she received her PhD in 1997) and Exeter. She has taught extensively at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the London Actors Centre, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Metropolitan University, and many others. She is Professor of Acting and Directing at the University of California, Riverside, in the Theatre, Film and Digital Production Department.
Directing: Bella has also directed in a number of drama schools and universities, as well as co-directing Bartok's opera Bluebeard's Castle (Mondavi Centre for the Performing Arts). In 2021, she created 20:20 Vision, a hybrid musical-theatrical-film with students at UCRiverside and Dr. David Roesner (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich). She set up 'Shakespeare-On-a-Shoestring' (SOS) at University of California, Davis, leading to productions of Richard III and The Merchant of Venice. At UC Riverside she has directed Mrs Packard, Stop Kiss, Antigone, and Stu Krieger's new comedy At the Pass. Her use of Stanislavsky's rehearsal process - Active Analysis - with UCR students in Mrs Packard can be found on Digital Theatre+: Active Analysis in Rehearsal: A Documentary Learning Resource. She will be directing a new transadaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters at UCR in Spring 2024.
Thank you for visiting, and please enjoy this website!