Interested in joining The MAX in the Netherlands in 2019?

The MAX: 24-28 SEPTEMBER 2018, NL

“The MAX is honest, challenging, deeply personal and highly nurturing. I now understand my obstacles to effective communication and personal fulfillment and have better clarity of my priorities. It provided me with a true, deep, life-enhancing understanding of these important forces in my life. Its an intense program that promises those who give 100% of themselves a personal cleansing and sense of renewal. Paula Shaw is a phenomenal coach who created a safe, encouraging environment that allowed us to embrace the challenges of the workshop with courage and honesty."Nan White, designer & producer, Los Angeles

“The MAX was probably the best week in my life. I found another person inside me I lost over 40 years ago. I came away more sensitive, more understanding, more loving, more certain of who I am and what I stand for. I have personally run over 600 training programmes and have attended many others. Paula Shaw is unique and the very best. “Laurie Phillips, Philadelphia real Estate

“To try to describe it would be to not do it justice. The process takes you towards who you were really meant to be, it stays with you through every moment of your day. Take the risk: you are worth it!” Mike Dennett, London, England

What is the MAX?

The purpose of THE MAX is to discover yourself beyond who you know yourself to be. It is a voyage through your own humanity—a journey to discover the extent of your self-expressive power. Employing a variety of acting, communication, and observation techniques, it’s designed to expand your limits “to the max” and move you into a new arena of personal creativity and self-expression.

In THE MAX, participants undertake a challenging exploration of the sources of their emotional limitations. Working individually, “on stage”, each person is encouraged and supported to go at their own pace, playing to and with other group members. With strong guidance, people move through lifelong fears of being “on the spot”, emerging into greater authenticity and enhanced “presence”.

There are exercises that use raw emotion, role-playing, and dress-up assignments. This is an opportunity to experience yourself in ways you may have dreamed about but never thought possible. The course is for those committed and courageous in their process. And it has been constructed with the understanding that this kind of risk requires a very safe workspace. If your heart beats faster when you think of taking THE MAX, it may be just “the thing to do”.

For more info on the MAX and a video of Paula in which she explains more about her work:

About Paula

A professional actress and master teacher of acting and self-expression courses for non-actors, Paula has taught across the United States and Canada for over 30 years. She is a protégé of the legendary actress, teacher, writer and director Uta Hagen and has been a lifetime member and moderator of the Actors’ Studio in Los Angeles, California. She has taught at CAL ARTS and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute of Los Angeles and has been a workshop and work scholar leader at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California for over 25 years. She currently acts, writes and teaches in Vancouver and Los Angeles.

For more than 40 years, Paula has conducted workshops for those interested in expanding their self-expression, well-being, and creativity, in the US, Canada, Germany, and the UK.

THE MAX HOLLAND 2018 is brought to you by STAGELOVE, the company of Fre Hooft van Huysduynen, a Dutch theatre-maker & stage-presence coach, and ofcourse a max-graduate herself with an unlimited love for The Max & Paula.

The dates

This workshop is held once or twice annually at the retreat-centre Esalen, in Big Sur, Cali-
fornia. For the first time, and only this year, the Max will be held in the Netherlands:

24-28 september 2018
in retreat centre Venwoude, the Netherlands
The workshop starts at the 24th of September, 20.30 in the evening.
You are welcome as from 14.00 to settle down and have a dinner at 18.00.
The workshop ends at noon, 28th of September, after we can have a last lunch.
Departure at around 14.00 friday in the afternoon.

The format

  • Monday night starts at 8:30pm and goes to about 10:30pm.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday start at 10:00am and go to approx. midnight each day.
  • There are breaks every 1.5 to 2 hours with a lunch and dinner break for approx. 1.5 hours at 1pm and 6:30pm.
  • Thursday starts at 10:00am and goes to approx. 11pm.
  • Friday starts at 9am and goes to noon.

The content

  • Experiencing what’s between you and “being here”, fully alive in the present moment with people.
  • Seeing the difference between existing as an ongoing taped commentary on your life and being in touch with the moment-to-moment sensory experience of life, that you actually are.
  • Expressing yourself emotionally and discovering how to deliver an intentional communication to a group of people in a personally connected way that enlivens you and them.
  • Finding out how other individuals honestly see you in a private, supportive way that informs and transforms you.
  • Taking on role-playing assignments that free the unexpressed aspects of your personality.
  • Pressing your emotional limits to reawaken sources of power and passion you’ve shut down.
  • Engaging with group members in the dynamics of co-creation and spontaneous play.
  • Embracing the notion of taking responsibility for life on its own moment-to-moment-what’s-true-now-like-it-or-not terms and self generating from there.


  • You need to prepare a 2-3 minute memorized piece. e.g. a monologue, speech, poem or a song. IT MUST BE MEMORIZED AND IT CANNOT BE MORE THAN 3 MINUTES!
  • Bring clothes of different sorts to play with.
  • You must attend all sessions.

The location

The workshop will be held at the beautiful retreat centre Venwoude in the heart of the Netherlands. Retreat centre Venwoude has been a living laboratory for 30 years for personal growth, sustainable living and spiritual transformation, and is beautifully located on an estate in a quiet area in the woods; a little paradise by itself. The workshop is in house and all-inclusive, so you will sleep at the premises and have full catering throughout the week. There is a bar and a small shop at the premises where you can buy drinks for the nights or little snacks; you can also bring your own.

For questions or request about the location, the food or any other questions (vegetarian or vegan) please turn to:

Paula is uncannily gifted with people and handling the human psyche. This workshop is worth 100 times the price!Jennifer Harris, Social Worker, Vancouver

The investment

Pricing for THE MAX (in euro), including accomodation & full vegetarian catering, coffee,
tea, snacks and fruits:

TWIN ROOM: €845,-

This price is all-inclusive.
For Dutch companies, an additional 21% tax fee will be charged.

For bookings and info: contact Fre
More on the max:


A course that puts one at the centre of their own creativity...allows one to come fact to face with where one stops, and to find a way into a new creative place... The principles Paula taught me still serve me today. I received an Academy Award nomination and I really believe I owe a lot of it to Paula.

Bruce Davison Academy Award Nominee "Long Time Companion"

I did the workshop with Paula in 1982 and I'm still getting value from it today. Through life's many challenges, it's my own authenticity that gives me power to risk and that allows me to make my unique contributions. Either I run my fear or it's going to run me. Thanks, Paula.

Sharon Mason International Award Winning Realtor, Vancouver, B.C.

She teaches people to be leaders in their own lives.

Ted Danson Emmy Award Winner "Cheers"

The MAX is the most dynamic workshop I've been involved in. The whole week was an incredible experience in which I was able to clearly see the blocks to my personal progress. Since taking the MAX I've been more focused had more energy and experienced a lot more joy in life.

Al Mason Mortgage Broker, Vancouver, B.C.

As a management consultant experienced in many varieties of personal development methods. The Max was just that; a maximum opportunity to learn how to relate more effectively to myself and therefore, how to relate more effectively to others. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone with responsibility for managing others as a powerful tool that will help you become more effective in working with people in a supportive collaborative way.'

J P Miller Management Consultant, San Francisco

Paula is an extraordinary teacher of the Stamslavsh and Lee Strasberg schools. I have known Paula for 10 years and she is a diligent, caring and loving teacher.

Shelley Winters Two-time Academy Award Winner

The Max is like an epiphany. It can't be articulated. It can only be experienced. And; the results are amazing.

July Ono Writer/Producer