The Actor's Intensive group - Photo by Moonrider Productions
Donor Funded

Actor’s Intensive

The Arts Club’s Actor’s Intensive, established in 2010, is a multi-week course that takes a back-to-basics approach to tune up the professional actor’s instrument with voice, movement, and acting training. This course culminates in a showcase of participants for an invited audience including directors from the community.

The class structure mirrors conservatory programs and provides practice that is frequent and focused. You’ll work three days a week (15 hours per week), for 75 hours of instruction over five weeks—enough time to polish off any rust and get galvanized for lasting change.

This is both a process and a product class. The acting training will incorporate voice and body work and examine the decision-making process that goes into crafting a performance. You will also integrate the process back into the product as you work on scenes and monologues, both classic and contemporary, to be presented at the showcase.

Please contact the Education & Outreach Associate, Hila Graf, at or 604.687.5315, ext. 250.


  • Minimum age: 25
  • Significant training and/or experience in acting and performing (preferably both), recent or not
  • Non-Equity actors are encouraged to apply

Class Schedule
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30–10:30 PM, and Sundays, 2–10 PM
Location: BMO Theatre Centre

Cost (includes GST)
Equity members: $640
Non-Equity members: $799

Other Details

  • Students are expected to attend all classes
  • Class size is limited to 12 students
  • Total number of instruction hours: 75
  • Students will showcase material for an audience that will include directors from the community

The Actor’s Intensive supports each actor in a different way, including:

  1. As a bootcamp. These actors want a place to work out for the duration of the program and get into prime acting shape.
  2. As a systems re-boot. These actors want to diversify their learning, add to their skill toolbox and get re-inspired by filling in some gaps in their training.
  3. Becoming part of an acting community. You will find theatre friends, future collaborators, and project ideas here by reintroducing yourself and enhancing your presence in the acting community.

All of our classes are taught by working professionals, award-winning actors and veterans of the Arts Club Theatre Company. Past faculty includes Alison Matthews, Jo Leslie, Wendy Gorling, Christine Hackman, Bill Pozzobon, and many others.

Dean Paul Gibson/Program Director and Instructor
Dean is the Program Director for the annual Arts Club Actor’s Intensive, Instructor with the Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Training, Bard Studio, Guest Instructor at Studio 58 Professional Theatre Training and Capilano University.

Dean is an award-winning theatre practitioner with 30 years of experience. His passion for performance, language and its intent has served to make him a trusted and sought-after theatre artist in a number of roles including: Director, Actor, Instructor, Workshop-Leader, Adjudicator, and Coach. His extended experience as a successful director over sixty productions has allowed him to further enrich his skills and create opportunities to connect with people and their stories.

As an actor, Dean’s credits include: Otto in The Shoplifters for the Arts Club, David (and others) in The Full Light of Day for Electric Company, Tom Sergeant in Skylight for Theatre Calgary, Warwick in Saint Joan for the Arts Club, Andrew Undershaft in Major Barbara for an A.C.T/TC co-production, The Bartender in Tosca Café—another A.C.T/ TC co-pro, Patrick Flanagan in Jitters at the Belfry, Falstaff for Bard on the Beach, Vigil and The Drowsy Chaperone for Theatre Calgary, Little Mercy’s First Murder and The Family Way for Touchstone Theatre, the Ruby Slippers Theatre and Pi Theatre coproduction of Shopping and F**king, the original ‘Tailor’ in The Overcoat at Vancouver Playhouse, where he also performed in Romeo and Juliet, The Dead Reckoning, The Music Man, Little Voice, Stones in His Pockets, Humble Boy (also at Tarragon Theatre and the National Arts Centre), and A Christmas Carol and Problem Child (Green Thumb Theatre).

Scott Bellis/Head Instructor
Scott is best known as a founding company member and Artistic Associate at Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, where he has played many roles including Hamlet, Henry the Fifth, and King John in over 40 productions there since 1990. His directing credits include Twelfth Night (Carousel Theatre), The Piano Teacher (remount, Arts Club), Red Birds (Solo Collective) The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon (Persephone Theatre), Richard III, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Studio 58) and Antony and Cleopatra, Comedy of Errors, and Two Gentlemen of Verona (Bard on the Beach).

He has performed across the country, and with most theatre companies in Vancouver, including the Arts Club (The Matchmaker, Good People, Pride and Prejudice, The Philanderer, Educating Rita, Avenue Q, Cyrano), Ruby Slippers Productions (The Leisure Society, Winners, The Cat Who Ate Her Husband, Hotel Bethlehem), and Patrick Street Productions (Bat Boy: The Musical). Scott has been nominated for 20 Jessie Richardson awards, receiving four, and currently serves as Council President for Canadian Actors' Equity Association.

Scott has also taught acting for the Banff/Citadel Academy and Studio 58 at Langara College. He is excited at the prospect of another great series of classes here at the Arts Club and looks forward to sharing his personal knowledge and experience with those who have a passion for live performance.

Jillian Fargey/Guest Instructor
Jillian is a graduate of Studio 58 and has worked across the country in theatre, film, television and radio. Jillian has been nominated for 8 Jessie Awards, having received one for Best Actress, was awarded a Leo for Best Supporting Actress, along with 3 other Leo nominations, and received a Genie nomination, as well as being the recipient of the Best Actress award at the Ourense international film festivals for her work in the Canadian film Protection.

Veena Sood/Guest Instructor
Veena Sood is an award-winning actress, known for her versatility in theatre, film, television, improv comedy, and emceeing. By age 16, she was a drama student at the University of Calgary, where she studied with master improv teacher Keith Johnstone. She co-founded Calgary's Loose Moose Theatre Company, best known for their development of the world renowned Theatresports. Veena also co-artistic directed Keith Johnstone’s improv format The Life Game, for which she co-produced 10 episodes for CBC.

You can see Veena in numerous television and film productions such as Riverdale, Salvation, The X-Files, Corner Gas Animated, The Indian Detective, as well as the recent film Welcome To Marwen. In 2017 Veena was honored by UBCP/ACTRA with The Lorena Gale Woman Of Distinction Award, and in 2014 UBCP/ACTRA also awarded Veena the Sam Payne Award for her contributions in humanity, artistic integrity, and encouragement of new talent. Veena is a 3-time Jessie Richardson nominee/winner for her theatre work, as well as a Leo Award nominee/winner for her television work over the years.

Here’s what some of our fabulous alumni are up to!

Shannon Hanbury, ’19
Mainstage performer at Disney Cruise Line

Synthia Yusuf, ’19
Maria in The Sound of Music (Arts Club)

Praneet Akilla, ’18
The Orchard, Cipher (Arts Club); Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach); Mahabharata (Shaw Festival); October Faction (Netflix)

Cecilly Day, ’18
The Sound of Music (Arts Club), The Cake (Pacific Theatre), Virgin River (Netflix)

Stefania Indelicato, ’18
Producer and actor, A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle; performing at the PAL Studio Theatre in spring 2020

Melissa Oei, ’16
Long Division (Pi Theatre), The Audience (Arts Club)

Sean Harris Oliver, ’15
Co-Artistic Director of Hardline Productions. Co-writer and director of Redpatch (Hardline/Arts Club/Citadel Theatre). Winner of three Jesse Awards. Future projects: The Soldier’s Wife and Our Neighbourhood (Hardline Productions)

Sharon Crandall, ’14
Matilda (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre/Citadel Theatre/Arts Club), The Enemy (Firehall Arts Centre)

Kaitlin Williams, ’13
Director of Kim’s Convenience (Pacific Theatre, Arts Club). Performed in The Winter’s Tale (Bard on the Beach). Designed costumes for The Cake (Pacific Theatre)

Corey Payette, ’11
Director, playwright, composer, and performer. Wrote and directed the musicals Children of God, Les Filles du Roi, and Sedna. Artistic Director of Urban Ink

Ashley O’Connell, ’10
Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale (Bard on the Beach); The Graduate, Blood Brothers (Arts Club); The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Ensemble Theatre Company)

Sally Stubbs, ’10
Award-winning playwright. Among her plays: And Bella Sang With Us, Centurions, Herr Beckmann’s People