top of page

bringing life to great texts and uncovering new work.

transformation for the artists and for community.


South Pasadena Theatre Workshop

SPTW outside.jpg

Sally Smythe and Stephen Godwin began their professional careers at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, from which they were invited to join the companies of Berkeley Rep and The American Conservatory Theatre. Over the next thirty years, they continued to work with prestigious west coast regional theatres. They have collaborated as parents and partners and their experiences in the theatre and in life inspired them to create a harbor and lab where great texts are worked on and new ones inspired.

Sally and Stephen founded South Pasadena Theatre Workshop over 12 years ago, and it has since offered a plethora of workshops, classes, and performances both theatrical and musical. A touchstone of creativity and innovative expression in this special community, South Pasadena Theatre Workshop seeks to enliven a spirit of PLAY through its creative offerings.


Sally Smythe

Actor – Director – Educator

"Acting engages our creativity on many different levels. It demands that we bring forth our wealth of experience and deepest humanity and then offer ourselves up to the material and to one another. It implores us to play, to be in discovery, to be curious, to be vulnerable. Acting is a practice. When we engage in the practice, we learn how to bring to the material untold riches. Acting is about connecting. It is about presence. In class, we always begin by exploring our physical life. We start with relaxation and from there, we take up our space. The Viewpoints and other creative movement increase our kinesthetic awareness and our ability to receive. The creative life can be ignited in a variety of ways but it is essential for the actor to be in community and recreate what it is to be human."


Sally Smythe is an educator and co-founder of South Pasadena Theatre Workshop where she wrote and co-created with Sydney Walsh the theatrical experiment, Esprit de Corps and played Professor Laurie in Third by Wendy Wasserstein. She most recently starred in The Chekhov Project’s productions of The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard at South Pasadena Theatre Workshop as Arkadina and Ranevskaya respectively. Sally has had the pleasure of directing Into the Woods, Oklahoma, Much Ado about Nothing, You Can’t Take it With you, Three Sisters, The Diviner’s, Our Country’s Good, and several versions of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sally has acted regionally with many fine companies including The American Conservatory Theatre, The Old Globe, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, New City, Intiman, Berkeley Rep and the Pasadena Playhouse. She is also a founding member of Pacific Resident Theatre where she played Lilian Holiday in Bertold Brecht’s Happy End and more recently Millie in The Browning Version for which she received an LA Drama Critics Circle award.

Stephen Godwin

Actor – Developer – Educator

"My style as an educator and director is to facilitate opportunities for playful invention. For me as an actor, it is the behavior of the character that is the key to discovery. I see teaching and directing as an opportunity to experience teamwork. When the focus is on exploration, curiosity, a willingness to get beyond our comfort zone and we bring an openness to receive from others then the acting experience takes off. Everyone learns how to bring their best game. I love sports. I have coached a variety of team sports, am an avid tennis player, and am an avowed fan. When I watch a great soccer team, I am inspired by the enthusiasm and focus and passion, and I seek the same dedication for the stage. My career as an actor has often given me the good fortune of working with many fine directors and in many fine companies where teamwork was the key to artistic aliveness and success. The physical warmup is key for me as it establishes an atmosphere of preparation and awakens the instrument to receive and pass the ball. That is what is so great about acting. It wakes us up to live fully in the moment."


Stephen Godwin is an educator and co-founder of South Pasadena Theatre Workshop, where he has produced such productions as Into the Woods, Esprit de Corps, Third, Our Country’s Good, A Christmas Carol, and, most recently, The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard, as part of SPTW’s 2023 The Chekhov Project. Stephen began his professional career with his wife, creative partner, and SPTW co-founder Sally Smythe at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, after which they were invited to join the companies of Berkeley Rep and The American Conservatory Theatre. Over the next thirty years, they continued to work with west coast regional theatres including Intiman, New City, Seattle Rep, The Old Globe, The Fifth Avenue, South Coast Rep, Pacific Resident Theatre and many more. They have collaborated as parents and as partners and their experiences in the theatre and in life have inspired them to create a harbor and lab where great texts are worked on and new ones inspired.

Sydney Walsh

Actor – Director – Educator

"I believe that the work of an actor includes (but is not limited to) a deep interest in playfulness, a need for meaningful communication, a curiosity about other cultures, times, and beliefs, a commitment to connecting with others, the love of tribe and working in an ensemble, and the challenge of imagining situations outside of our own contexts. I believe that the work of an actor is essential to all human learning and growth. I believe that working in the theatre helps us to understand how to work outside the box and how to work with others. As artists, we read great texts to bring them to life. We hope that our efforts can offer an entryway into the world that we live in and other worlds. I believe that teaching/learning the craft of acting can benefit anyone, anywhere, anytime because it is fun and healing. Non-actors or students interested in other disciplines are given the tools to ask “what if…?” Our job is to examine human experience and to experiment – to hold a mirror up to the world and to say, “This is who we are” – but “what if” we were this instead – or “what if” we were that… Let’s see what happens if we play, if we explore. I believe that the art of acting is essential to our health, to our wellbeing and to our imaginations… that playfulness is the key to all great endeavors.


Sydney Walsh is a mother, actress, director, teacher, and private coach who has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1985. She is a founding member of Plymouth, a small devising theatre company that has morphed into many collaborative experiences since its inception in 1998. From 2006-2018 Sydney was a member of the faculty at The Acting Corps, a small conservatory in NOHO. Since 2019 she has continued her professional teaching work at THE BGB STUDIO in North Hollywood. Since 2016 Sydney has worked as the Drama Instructor at The Waverly School, an independent, progressive K-12 school in Pasadena. Other recent directing projects include California Calling (Largo LA/Electric Ballroom NYC), Voices in My Head (LA Fringe), Third, Esprit de Corps, and The Seagull at SPTW.

Chloé Cavelier

Musical Director – Marketing & Admin Support

"Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos."

- Stephen Sondheim

CCavelier Headshot_Square.jpg

Chloé Cavelier is a longtime lover of musical theater. Her first on-stage performance as Chava in Fiddler on the Roof as a child ignited her love for the power of storytelling through song, and it is a passion that has flourished ever since. She strongly believes that everyone should have an opportunity to explore emotions, stories, and the complexities of life through music, and she loves working with performers of all experience levels (including those who have never sung anywhere outside of their shower). With collegiate training in music and choral performance, over a decade of experience as a performing singer/pianist in a variety of capacities and manager in the non-profit sphere, she is thrilled to play even a small role in South Pasadena Theatre Workshop as a creative and administrative support. When not working on SPTW projects, she uses her Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy as a psychotherapist. Chloé lives in South Pasadena with her cat Theo.

bottom of page