Are you thinking of studying at the National Theatre School? We are giving you the opportunity of discovering the School from the comfort and safety of your own home, wherever you are in Canada or around the world.
- Live Q&A sessions (November and January)
- Open classes
Audit a class
Classes at the National Theatre School are usually taught within our two campuses in Montreal. This year, some classes are in-person on campus, while others are taught online. This gives you the opportunity to sit in on some classes, wherever you are in Canada or abroad.
If you want to learn the art of writing for the theatre from Canada’s finest playmakers, the three-year full-time professional Playwriting program of NTS is for you! Before committing, you can get a taste of the training, as two classes are currently open to applicants.
- Adaptation Class, with Nick Carpenter, watch on YouTube
- Creative Strategies in Black Theatre, with Eric Micha Holmes, watch on YouTube
Do you want to make a living with your art? Consider working creatively in Production Management, Technical Direction, Stage Management, Lighting Design, Sound Design, and Projection Design. The Production Design and Technical Arts program trains students to work with the design teams, dialog with directors, find innovative solutions, excel in technical and management skills, and create a rigorous and collaborative working environment. Before you apply, get a taste of the training with an open class!
- Practical Production Management with Andrea Lundy, watch on YouTube
Are you considering a career in set and costume design for theatre, dance, opera, or the circus arts? The three-year full-time professional Set and Costume Design program of NTS is for you! Before committing, you can get a taste of the training. Below, watch 2 classes that were open to applicants.
- History of Architecture with Gabriel Tsampalieros, watch on YouTube
- Circus Costumes with Michael Slack, watch on YouTube
Please note that NTS training is practical, anchored by the 20 student shows created each year. These classes are examples of the training, but do not represent the whole training. Some elements of training have also been adapted due to the pandemic.
Adaptation Class, with Nick Carpenter
Through a guided dramaturgical process, the student will write a one-act play based on source material not originally conceived or created for the stage; in this case a short story.
This course is an opportunity to explore the theatrical possibilities of a favourite piece of literature. But at its core, Adaptation is an exercise in structure. Students will be weighing the building blocks and salient features of a short story against the structural requirements of a stage-worthy play; searching for the theatrical form of a narrative not intended for the stage. This requires a strong grasp of the architecture of the source document and an ongoing analysis of its new shape.
In the first term, there will be an emphasis on outline (in tandem with exploratory and ‘unlocking’ exercises). In November, students will be half-way through this process.
For Playwriting students, this course culminates in a play development reading, involving the first-year Acting students, of a first draft of students' one-act adaptation in late March.
Photo: Playwriting student at the National Theatre School in 2015. Photo by Maxime Côté
This class starts at 1:30 Montreal time, EST.Watch the class
About Nick Carpenter
As a composer and musician for the stage, Nick has worked and collaborated with the National Arts Centre; National Theatre School of Canada; Great Canadian Theatre Company; Centaur Theatre; Lucion Media; The Theatre Centre; Repercussion Theatre; Geordie Theatre; Imago Theatre; Infinitheatre; Concordia University; National Circus School; McGill and Ottawa Universities; the METAs (Montreal English Theatre Awards); Hudson Village Theatre, Theatre Lac Brome; Third Wall; Théâtre Urbi et Orbi (Urban Tales); TF1 - Rock’n’Roll Circus; Monastère - Cabaret de Cirque; and on Festival productions or concerts for Magnetic North, SummerWorks, Undercurrents and WildSide.
In 2020, Nick was Nominated for two META Awards (Montreal English Theatre) for his work as a Musician and Supporting Actor.
Nick is also a writer. His plays, radio plays, short stories and librettos have been presented across Canada, the US and Germany. Most recently, Merk's Dream was featured in Tapestry Opera's 'Songbook X' Concert, live streamed Spring 2020. Nick wrote the screenplay for Maz (Les Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma, 2018) and his Play Stained Glass won the Canadian Peace Play Competition in 2008.
Nick teaches at the National Theatre School of Canada and Concordia University. He has worked as a dramaturge for PWM (Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal); NACO (National Arts Centre Orchestra); JMC (Jeunesses Musicales Canada) and OLT’s (Ottawa Little Theatre’s) Playwright’s Weekend.
Nick is co-founder of Summersett (summersettband.com).
Practical Production Management with Andrea Lundy
This class was broadcast on October 27. You can watch it here.
This is an advanced class in Production Management which uses detail from the 3rd-year productions to guide and help the students organize their work for the process as a whole. We examine all parameters of each production and discuss impact points as they relate to schedule, design details, budgets and general production outcomes. In addition, we explore the job of the production manager within arts organizations across the country.
Photo of Andrea Lundy with Production Design and Technical Arts students in 2018Watch the class
About Andrea Lundy
Andrea Lundy has been a production manager and lighting designer for the past 34 years across Canada and internationally. As a lighting designer, she was nominated 22 times and received 9 Dora Mavor Moore Awards and has also been the recipient of 2 META Awards. As a production manager, she was active in the Toronto theatre scene for many years. She began her career as the Technical Director for the Poor Alex Theatre. She went on to Production Manage at Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon Theatre and Necessary Angel Theatre. She has been the Production Designer and Production Manager of the Dora Mavor Moore awards for 18 years. She has constantly strived for excellence in her own career and wants the Production Design and Technical Arts program to inspire all its students towards the same goal.
Creative Strategies in Black Theatre with Eric Micha Holmes
This class was broadcast on October 21. You can watch it here.
Liberation—as an ideal, construct, and dilemma—will help us connect Black theatre artists over a vast and global community loosely referred to as the “African Diaspora.” Each play we discuss will provoke different questions about freedom. What is it? Is freedom possible? How can theatre help liberate its audience? What creative tools have we inherited from our ancestors? And how can they be used to liberate our community from the systems that disempower us?
This course will explore these questions by investigating the formal innovations of Black theatre artists which often predate, critique, adopt, and adapt Eurocentric models of theatre-making.
On October 21, the class will cover South Africa, the apartheid, and protest theatre.For this class, students are reading Woza Albert! by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema, and Barney Simon. You may read it also before watching the class, although it is not required.Watch the Class
About Eric Micha Holmes
Eric Micha Holmes is a playwright, audio dramatist, teacher, and cyberformance creator whose work has been heard on the BBC (Care Inc.) and seen at The National Black Theatre (Mondo Tragic,) The New Black Fest and MCC Theatre (Pornplay; or, Blessèd Are The Meek,) New York Theatre Workshop (Nimpsey Pink,) and Guild Hall (Falls For Jodie) among others.
Residencies and fellowships include Audible Playwrights Fund, Djerassi Artist Residency, The Dramatist Guild Fellowship, Space At Ryder Farm, 'I Am Soul' Playwright's Residency at The National Black Theatre, LaGuardia Performing Arts Playwriting Lab, and more.
His mono-play, Walking Next To Michael Brown: Confessions Of A Tragic Mulatto, was commissioned by The New Black Fest and has toured with Kennedy Center’s Civic Artist Award winning Hands Up: 7 Playwrights / 7 Testaments to theatres across the country including: The Brooklyn Museum Of Art, Red Door Theatre, Crowded Fire Theatre, The Museum Of The Moving Image, The Hansberry Project, Flashpoint Theatre, and The Alliance Theatre in Spring, 2021.
History of Architecture - Ancient Rome, with Gabriel Tsampalieros
This course on the general history of architecture structured into 10 presentations each composed of more than 200 slides covering major architectural works from the earliest ancient civilizations to the contemporary era. This particular class covers the Ancient Roman era.
Set and Costume Design programWatch the Class
About Gabriel Tsampalieros
Trained as an architect and set designer, visual artist Gabriel Tsampalieros has been designing sets, costumes, lighting and videos for the performing arts since 1998. In theatre, he collaborates as much in the modernization of the classical repertoire as in the creation of new plays by contemporary playwrights for productions on the stages of major francophone institutions in Quebec, Ontario and Belgium. Beyond theatre, the diversity of his skills leads him to work in several disciplines such as opera, dance, film, television and exhibition design. He has also been teaching since 2007 and has developed a variety of courses and lectures over the years that he gives in many renowned institutions such as the National Theatre School of Canada, École supérieure de théâtre de l'UQÀM, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and Laurentian University's McEwen School of Architecture. Eager to broaden his horizons internationally and continue expanding his creativity, Gabriel joined the Cirque du Soleil Group in 2017 as assistant set designer for the future permanent show, Drawn to Life, at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Circus Costumes with Michael Slack
This course offers an introduction to circus arts through two weeks of intensive reading and drawing for second-year students. Students are invited to explore and create a costume concept for an acrobatic performance. During this session, the class will participate in a discussion about different circus disciplines and their specific technical needs before students begin their individual designs.
Set and Costume Design programWatch the class
About Michael Slack
Michael Slack is a set, costume, and properties designer based in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of both the Dramatic Arts program at Queen’s University and the Set and Costume Design program at The National Theatre School of Canada, Michael has been designing for theatrical productions, opera, dance, circus, museums, film and television for the past twenty years. Some of his recent costume designs include collaborations with the National Circus School of Canada, Chicago's Joffrey Ballet and California's State Street Ballet. He is currently working on exhibitions for the Montreal Museum of Fine arts, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, and the McCord Museum as well as teaching circus costume design at the National Theatre School of Canada.