Curriculum - Acting

Our training

NTS offers highly individualized training. As such, the curriculum is subject to change, following the latest development in technology, new artistic practices, and the needs of the specific group of artists making up each class.

Our training is always practical, underpinned by the 20 student shows created each year.

Learning through a diversity of texts, from classical to devised, solo to ensemble, from creation-based work to music-driven theatre

1st Year

Core Classes

  • Pure Movement and Imaginative Play for Actors including Laban, Imaginative Play, Animals, Elements with Rebecca Harper
  • Foundations of Voice and Speech: Breath / Body / Voice connection, Poetry, Sonnets with Laurel Thomson
  • Choral and Ensemble Singing Music Theory including Ear Training and Sight Reading with Doug Price
  • Vocal Play and Text with Brian Dooley
  • Stage Combat with Anita Nittoly and David Chinchilla
  • Canadian Theatre in Context with Leah Jane Esau
  • Theatre History with Willow White

Project Work

  • Silent Improvisation with Brad Cook
  • Jeu and Play with Zach Fraser
  • Neutral Mask with Rebecca Harper
  • Project MO with Amy Chartrand
  • Introduction to an Actor’s Process - Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad with Fiona Byrne
  • Shakespeare Scene Study – As You Like It - with Tim Welham
  • Improvisation with Dialogue with Dennis Cahill
  • Solo Piece Creation with Ann-Marie MacDonald and Rose Plotek
  • Creation Project (Year 1 of a 3-year process) - with Jani Lauzon
  • Canadian Theatre Study - Angelique by Lorena Gale with Quincy Armorer and Willow White
  • Full Play Study - The Love of a Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker with Fiona Byrne
  • New Play Development - Workshops and Play Readings with students of the Playwriting Program

2nd Year

Core Classes

  • Movement for Actors: Pure Movement, Laban, Imaginative Play, Animals, Elements in connection to text with Rebecca Harper
  • Breath / Body / Voice connection, Dialects, Shakespeare Monologues with Laurel Thomson
  • Choral and Ensemble Singing, Music Theory including Ear Training and Sight Reading with Doug Price
  • Stage Combat with Anita Nittoly, David Chinchilla and John Stead
  • Ballet and Contemporary Dance Forms with Andrew Giday
  • 20th-century Dance Forms with Jocelyn Coutu
  • Vocal Mask with Brian Dooley
  • Theatre History with Willow White

Project Work

  • Canadian Scene study with Brenda Bazinet
  • Acting with the Camera with Cassandra Nicolau and Jared Lorenz
  • Chekov Intensive with Jackie Maxwell
  • Creation Project (year 2 of 3) with ahdri zhina mandiela
  • Solo Song with Doug Price and Julain Molnar
  • Shaw Intensive with Graeme Somerville and Marla Mclean
  • From Page to Stage- Contemporary Theatre – 365 Plays/365 Days by Suzan Lori Parks Directed by Alisa Palmer
  • Expressive Mask with Rebecca Harper
  • Make-up Technique with Florence Cornet
  • Shakespeare Studio Production- A Most Offensive Soul a Mash up of the Henry Plays adapted and directed by Danielle Irvine
  • 15-minute and New Play Development with Students of the Directing and Playwriting Programs

3rd Year

  • Movement and Voice and Text Coaching with Rebecca Harper and Laurel Thomson
  • Music Theatre Audition Technique with Doug Price
  • Commercial and Voice-over Techniques with Alain Goulem
  • Methodology of Auditions; Classical and Contemporary Monologues with Fiona Byrne and Tim Welham
  • Professional Development -Self-initiative and Business Knowledge workshops with Caroline Aki Matsushita-Guertin and Diana Donnelly
  • Performance Coaching with Matjash Mrozewski
  • New Play Development workshops of new scripts with Students of the Directing and Playwriting Programs and Professional Dramaturges, Bob White and Erin Shields


  • Creation production Indra’s Web with Arianna Bardesono and Zach Fraser and the Company with Diane Roberts.
  • Mainstage 1 Burning Vision by Marie Clements, directed by Mike Payette, with Artistic consultation by Marie Clements and Julie Tamiko Manning
  • National Audition Showcase in Toronto, ON
  • Film Audition Workshop with Deirdre Bowen
  • Mainstage 2 Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale directed by Krista Jackson
  • Cabaret Performance with Doug Price
  • Film Intensive with Allan Hawco
  • New Words Festival / i am entitled to rest by Kalale Dalton-Lutale (NTS 2020) directed by Murdoch Schon (NTS 2020) and The Game by Gillian Clark (NTS 2020) directed by Angelica Schwartz (NTS 2020)

Note: Curriculum varies each year according to student needs and productions. Here is a sample of curriculum from the 2019/20 school year.

Discover the daily experience at NTS! | Subscribe to our Newsletter

The National Theatre School: 1 art school, 9 professional training programs