Announcing our Spring 2017 Workshops! Auditioning for the Theatre with Damien Atkins Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14th from 10am-6pm $225.00 (+2

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Announcing our Spring 2017 Workshops!

Auditioning for the Theatre

with Damien Atkins

Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14th from 10am-6pm
$225.00 (+29.25 HST)

Directing for Beginners: Working with Designers

with Aaron Willis & Nick Blais

Friday May 26 from 6:30pm-9:30pm
Saturday May 27th and Sunday May 28th from 10am-6pm
$250.00 (+32.50 HST)

If you've taken classes with us previously or are a CAEA or ACTRA member , you are eligible for a 20% discount per class: $180 (+23.40 HST) for Auditioning for the Theatre; $200 (+26.00 HST) for Directing for Beginners: Working With Designers.

Take both workshops and save $20 off the total price!

See workshop descriptions and instructor bios below.

Both workshops will take place in the Queen and Spadina area.


Workshop Descriptions...

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Damien Atkins

Auditioning for the Theatre

with Damien Atkins

May 13 & 14 from 10am-6pm
Maximum 12 participants
$225.00 (+29.25 HST)

Auditions can be a bewildering, terrifying, demoralizing experience. Most of us just get through them as best we can. But there is another way!

Join ten-time Dora Award nominee Damien Atkins for his Auditioning for the Theatre workshop and learn some techniques that will help you feel better about your auditions. We’ll work on pre-audition prep (what pieces should I bring? how do I get them ready? how do I calm my nerves in the waiting room?), audition etiquette (do I shake her hand? what if I’m late? how do I make a good impression?), as well as work on your audition pieces themselves. Each participant will get some individual attention as well as participate in some group exercises. We’ll create a safe and productive environment and get some good work done. Participants should come with one monologue memorized and prepared.

Auditioning is a skill like any other; it just takes practice. This workshop will equip you with some tools to practice well.

DIRECTING FOR BEGINNERS: Working with Designers

with director Aaron Willis & designer Nick Blais

May 26 from 6:30-9:30pm
May 27 & 28 from 10am-6pm

Maximum 10 participants
$250.00 (+$32.50 HST)

Aaron Willis Headshot - Current copy

Aaron Willis

Nick Blais Headshot

Nick Blais

This workshop will explore how a director’s research and preparation needs to be translated into language that lays the groundwork for a healthy and creative relationship with your designer.

Using a series of short, previously published plays, we will look at methods of script preparation for pre-production and rehearsal that will show you how to ask questions that can lead you to clearly articulating the core premise of a script, and how to break the text down in a way that provides you with language to help your actors make strong choices.

We will discuss how the languages of directing and design can cross over as you begin to conceive the physical and visual world of the production, and how to effectively communicate your vision as you collaborate with your design team. And we’ll discuss how to best integrate the designer’s creative process and timelines with the overall pre-production and rehearsal period, and how best to prepare for and use your time during tech and previews.

Director Aaron Willis and Designer Nick Blais recently collaborated on Convergence Theatre’s production of THE UNENDING.

Recommended for people new to directing, particularly emerging and established actors wanting to branch out.

About the Instructors:


Damien has performed on many of the major stages across Canada and in the U.S. as well. Recent appearances include: Angels in America (Arts Club, Vancouver); Hosanna, A Doll’s House, The Heidi Chronicles, Angels in America (Soulpepper); The Gay Heritage Project (Buddies/Citadel/The Cultch/Belfry); Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (YPT). Selected credits: Sextet, The Clockmaker (Tarragon); London Road, The Glass Menagerie, 7 Stories, Sweeney Todd, Amadeus (Canadian Stage); Beatrice & Virgil (Factory); Mr. Burns (OtM); I Am My Own Wife (Dallas Theater Center); The Way of the World, The Caretaker, King Lear, The Importance of Being Earnest (Soulpepper); The Retreat From Moscow (Neptune); Cabaret, Amadeus, Geometry in Venice (Segal Centre); four seasons at Stratford, one season at Shaw. Playwriting credits include: We Are Not Alone (Segal Centre/2b theatre/Crow’s), The Gay Heritage Project (w/Paul Dunn & Andrew Kushnir - Buddies), Lucy (Canadian Stage/Ensemble Studio Theatre - NYC, Delaware Theatre Centre), Good Mother(Stratford), Real Live Girl (Buddies/MTC/Grand). Damien has been playwright-in-residence at Canadian Stage, Factory and Crow’s Theatre, and a Guest Instructor at the National Theatre School. He has been nominated for ten Dora Awards for acting and writing, winning four. He received the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Angels in America.


Aaron is Co-artistic director of Convergence Theatre, for which he has produced and directed the following productions: AutoShow, The Gladstone Variations, YICHUD (Seclusion), Passion Play and The Unending. He has directed plays for theatre companies across Toronto, including: Soulpepper, Tarragon, Theatre Passe Muraille and Roseneath Theatre, and has assistant directed at the Stratford Festival, and at Canadian Stage. He has also directed for many smaller indie companies, as well as worked closely with playwrights in the dual role of director-dramaturge on their new plays, many of which had their starts at The Toronto Fringe or SummerWorks Festivals, and have toured across the country.


Nick designs in all manner of venues across Canada, from Toronto's iconic Royal Alexandra Theatre to the base of the Calgary Tower. Head of Design for Outside the March, Resident Designer for Actors Repertory Company, and Board Member for the Associated Designers of Canada. Lighting Designer for the site-specific, musical-epic Brantwood inside of one of Oakville's abandoned high schools. Featured in the Fall and Winter issues of Professional Lighting and Production Magazine for his innovation in "off-the-grid" lighting design and site specific scenography. Recipient of awards and nominations in Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. Currently designing with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet on their newest creation "Vespers" and the Grand Theatre in London with their new adaptation of "A Christmas Carol".


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