Group photo of smiling actors onstage in casual clothing.
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 monologues, both classic and contemporary, to be presented at a final showcase.

For more information, contact Kevan Ellis, Director of Education, at or 604.687.5315, ext. 244.


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

March 29–May 2, 2022
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:30–10:30 PM
Sundays, 2–10 PM
Showcase & Rehearsal: Mon, May 2, 10 AM–9 PM
Location: BMO Theatre Centre

COST (with GST)
Equity rate: $680
Non-Equity: $850

The Arts Club prioritizes accessibility in our program offerings:

  • Accessible and gender-neutral washrooms
  • Sighted guide assistance
  • A PSW is most welcome in the space; advance notice is requested so we can adjust numbers based on COVID-19 safety procedures
  • The Newmont Stage can be wheelchair accessible via a temporary ramp
  • Any Zoom events offer screen-reader access and auto-generated captions
  • Any program materials can be provided in an accessible format

We are committed to the inclusive participation of all who join our programs, and, to that end, wish to provide a safe place for everyone to share, learn, and grow. Our Accessibility Coordinator, Amy Amantea, would be happy to discuss access needs. Amy is a person who lives with a disability. Email her at


  • Students are expected to attend all classes
  • Class size is limited to 12 students
  • Total number of instruction hours: 28
  • Students will showcase material for an audience
  • Option to switch to an online program available if safety measures dictate
  • We encourage artists who identify as IBPOC, LGBTQ2+ and/or PWD to apply
  • Subsidy spots are available on a case-by-case basis. For more information, contact Kevan Ellis, Director of Education, at

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 classes are taught by working professionals, award-winning actors, and veterans of the Arts Club. Past instructors include Jo Leslie, Wendy Gorling, Christine Hackman, Bill Pozzobon, and more.


Dean Paul Gibson/Program Coordinator and Instructor
Dean is the Program Director for the annual Arts Club Actor’s Intensive and has been a Guest Instructor with Citadel/Banff Centre Professional Theatre Training, Bard Studio, Studio 58 Professional Theatre Training, and Capilano University. Dean is theatre practitioner with 30 years of experience. His passion for performance, language, and interpretation has served to make him a trusted and sought-after theatre artist in a number of roles, including as director, actor, instructor, workshop leader, adjudicator, and coach. His extended experience as a successful director over 60 productions has allowed him to further enrich his skills and create opportunities to connect with people and their stories.

Scott Bellis/Instructor
Scott is best known as a founding company member at Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, where he has acted in over 40 productions since 1990. He has performed across the country, including with the Arts Club, Ruby Slippers Productions, Touchstone Theatre, the Electric Company, Western Canada Theatre, Vertigo Theatre, Theatre Calgary, and Canadian Stage Company. Scott has been nominated for 20 Jessie Awards, receiving five, and currently serves as Council President for Canadian Actors' Equity Association. His directing credits include projects for Carousel Theatre, Solo Collective, Persephone Theatre, Studio 58, Bard on the Beach, and the Arts Club. Scott has also taught acting for the Banff/Citadel Academy, Studio 58, Langara College, and VanArts Institute. 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.

Manami Hara/Guest Instructor
Manami immigrated from Tokyo to pursue her dream of becoming a theatre artist in North America. For the past three decades, she’s been building her career as an actor, playwright, instructor, interpreter/translator, dramaturg, and director. Manami has worked with companies across Canada including the Arts Club, Boca del Lupo, Carousel Theatre, The Cultch, Factory Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Frank Theatre, Gateway Theatre, Globe Theatre, Grand Theatre, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre, ISTAZOO, La Luna Productions, NAC, NeWorld Theatre, One Yellow Rabbit, Pi Theatre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Presentation House Theatre, Ruby Slippers, Rumble Productions, Theatre Passe Muraille, Theatre Replacement, Touchstone Theatre, vAct, and Vancouver Playhouse. Manami is a Jessie Award winner and nominee for her acting and collaborative creations. Recently, she joined the Presentation House Theatre as a Director of Applied Theatre Arts. She is passionate about teaching students of all ages the magic of theatre making, acting, storytelling, and collaborative process. She’s a graduate of Studio 58.

Alison Matthews/Guest Instructor
A founding faculty member at the Arts Club Actor’s Intensive, Alison was also on faculty for five years at the Citadel/Banff Professional Theatre Program. Alison is Head of Coaching for Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, where she has coached over 40 productions since 2007. She is the performance coach for the Vancouver Chapter of The Shoe Project, a program to support immigrant and refugee women to share the stories of their journeys to Canada. She also offers public speaking training for the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia, and facilitates for Leadership Vancouver Island. Later this year, Alison will begin teaching voice at the new Realwheels Acting Academy in Vancouver. With over two decades of wide-ranging professional acting experience, Alison has numerous film and television credits, including roles on such acclaimed series as The X-Files and Battlestar Galactica, as well as featured roles in films such as Disney's Snowdogs, and Final Destination 2. She has been in demand as a professional voiceover artist for over 25 years. Alison holds a M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of British Columbia, and an Associate Diploma in Drama & Speech from Trinity College London.

Raugi Yu/Guest Instructor
Raugi has acted on stages across Canada and the US. You may recognize him from past shows at the Arts Club, such as The Men in White, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jitters, and The Shoplifters. Raugi is a Jessie Award nominee. On screen Raugi has appeared as a series regular in shows like Mr. Young and jPod, as well as iZombie, Supernatural, Arrow, and, most recently, as a recurring character on the upcoming CW show Kung Fu. Raugi directed his first feature film last year, and has been nominated for a Leo Award in direction for his episode of Some Assembly Required. Raugi has been teaching youth and emerging artists for the past 20 years and has a real passion for fostering the wave of new actors.

Week #1
Tue, Mar 29, 6:30–10:30 PM
Thu, Mar 31, 6:30–10:30 PM
Sun, Apr 3, 2–10 PM

Week #2
Tue, Apr 5, 6:30–10:30 PM
Thu, Apr 7, 6:30–10:30 PM
Sun, Apr 10, 2–10 PM

Week #3
Tue, Apr 12, 6:30–10:30 PM
Thu, Apr 14, 6:30–10:30 PM
Sun, Apr 17, 2–10 PM

Week #4
Tue, Apr 19, 6:30–10:30 PM
Thu, Apr 21, 6:30–10:30 PM
Sun, Apr 24, 2–10 PM

Week #5
Tue, Apr 26, 6:30–10:30 PM
Thu, Apr 28, 6:30–10:30 PM
Showcase & Rehearsal: Mon, May 2, 10 AM–9 PM

Applications are now closed for the 2022 Actor’s Intensive Program.

Application materials:

  • A one-page cover letter with your contact information that clearly states why you think you would be a good candidate for the class
  • A one-page résumé summarizing your performing experience and training
  • Headshot (recommended but not required)
  • Indicate whether or not you are an Equity member

Once we receive your application, we will schedule an audition on Sat, Mar 5. You will be invited to present a monologue of no more than three minutes. This monologue should be from an established play, from either the classical or contemporary canon, with at least one professional production to its credit.

Successful candidates will be notified by Tue, Mar 8.

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