Instructor Shawn Macdonald - Photo by Moonrider Productions
Donor Funded

Digital Leap

An outreach component of the Arts Club’s LEAP Playwriting Intensive, Digital LEAP extends our dedication to playwriting instruction across the province. This program connects through high schools to smaller communities in British Columbia and engages directly with youth from grades 10 to 12 and offers online instruction via the internet and streaming technology.

Ten online classes are offered to the participating student, whose work is shared with their colleagues and feedback is offered in a safe and supportive environment via a web-based video conferencing software. Each student is guided through the creation of a short original play which is then workshopped by a cast of professional actors. The workshopping process is streamed from the Arts Club in Vancouver directly to the students’ computer. The program culminates in a showcase of play readings that take place in front of a live audience at the Arts Club in Vancouver and the entire event is streamed live to the participating communities.

Digital LEAP is a full-scholarship program, and is 100% funded by donors and sponsors. There is no cost to the student whatsoever.

Please contact the Director of Education, Kevan Ellis, at kellis@artsclub.com or 604.687.5315, ext. 244.


Art Vertlieb and Bev Briscoe

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The program is open to students in grades 10–12 living in smaller communities outside the Lower Mainland and across BC.


All successful applicants must have access to a computer or similarly capable device for all of the classes, workshops, and readings. The computers must have microphones and webcams as well as Skype software.

Students should use headsets during class time, and should be in a quiet space with no background noise. Computers should be connected to a reliable wifi signal.


Instructor Shawn Macdonald - Photo by Moonrider Productions Shawn Macdonald is an award-winning playwright and actor. His play Prodigal Son won the Jessie Award for Outstanding Original Script in 2006, and his play Demon Voice was produced by Touchstone Theatre in 2009. He co-wrote the comedies World’s Greatest Guy and Fear Knot (with Gary Jones) for the Arts Club Theatre Company, and his newest play, Sister Judy, was commissioned by the Arts Club as part of the Silver Commissions program and premiered at the Arts Club in the spring of 2015. Shawn has been the Instructor for the LEAP Playwriting Intensive at the Arts Club in Vancouver for 10 years.


The application deadline for the next Digital LEAP class is TBA.

  1. All applicants must fill out a registration form.
  2. Submit a 1–2 page sample of ANY writing you feel good about—a poem, essay, monologue, short scene, play, letter. It can be something you wrote a while ago or something brand new. Maximum 2 pages, 12-point font.
  3. Submit a paragraph about you and why you'd like to participate in LEAP.

It is recommended that students advise their Drama or English teachers that they'd like to apply and include contact information for the teacher with their application. This will help the Digital LEAP leadership coordinate with the school when it comes time to set up our livestreamed public reading event.