Bard Studio provides free training for theatre professionals at any stage in their career. All classes take place on Mondays at the BMO Theatre Centre. This year’s series celebrates the wide range of talent in our theatre community by featuring guest facilitators from diverse disciplines. See our Fall 2023 schedule below!
Bard Studio sessions are free. Spaces are limited.
The Bard Studio Fall Workshop Series is now complete. You can view last season’s schedule and guest facilitators below.
Registration for the Winter Workshop Series will open on January 2, 2024. Check this page or follow us on social for the update.
Fall 2023 Schedule
View schedule by selecting the days listed below. There are no sessions scheduled for Monday, November 13, 2023.
Bard Studio sessions are free. Spaces are limited.
- Create your patron login. Note: do this now before you apply, as you will need this in place for us to process your registration.
- Enter payment info *please see Cancellations for more details
- Fill in the Bard Studio Fall Workshop Series request form
- Double-check your cancellation deadline and review the policy below
**We will confirm your workshops via the email you provided 7-10 days before the session.
Due to the popularity and capacity of these classes, we have a very strict cancellation policy. All cancellations must be made before 6pm on the Thursday before the workshop date. There is a $20 fee that will be applied if you are absent without notifying us. To cancel, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadlines below.
Why the cancellation fee?
The $20 fee will be directed to the Education Bursary. We want to continue offering this training for free, and to do this we must ensure that the classes will be filled. When someone doesn’t notify us that they can’t make it, they are in effect preventing another person from participating and altering the experience of those who do attend. In the spirit of honouring the time of our facilitators and participants, we have put this policy into place.
If you cancel by the deadline (see below), you will not be charged.
2023 Fall Cancellation Deadlines:
|Workshop Dates||Cancellation Deadline|
|Monday, October 16, 2023||Thursday, October 12, 2023|
|Monday, October 23, 2023||Thursday, October 19, 2023|
|Monday, October 30, 2023||Thursday, October 26, 2023|
|Monday, November 6, 2023||Thursday, November 2, 2023|
|Monday, November 20, 2023||Thursday, November 16, 2023|
|Monday, November 27, 2023||Thursday, November 23, 2023|
|Monday, December 4, 2023||Thursday, November 30, 2023|
Fall 2023 Guest Facilitators
Victor Ayala has been an actor for twenty years, appearing in a variety of TV, Film, and theatre projects, most recently as Ejlert Lovborg in United Players' production of Hedda Gabler. He taught as part of the conservatory program at Vancouver Acting School between 2016 and 2021, and has a fascination with how the actor's instrument can expand its range.
Laura Di Cicco
Laura's career as an actor, singer, writer, director, educator, and producer has spanned over 30 years. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BFA in Acting, and most recently graduated from UBC with an MFA in Directing. Laura has worked in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. From 2004-2019 founded and was the Artistic and Managing Director for Fugue Theatre, a theatre company dedicated to the commissioning and production of original Canadian chamber operas and musicals. As an artist transitioning into directing, Laura's goal is to continue expanding her craft. Most recently, she spent two weeks in Spoleto, Italy, learning from four master directors from around the world on their approaches to theatre at La MaMa Umbria. Laura loves to learn and impart her learnings on to others.
Stephanie is a London/Vancouver actor, puppeteer, and puppet maker/director. As a puppet maker, she has worked for Wilton’s Music Hall, The Old Vic, Birmingham Rep, and Nick Barnes Puppets (UK), as well as The Cultch, Brock University, Ghost River Theatre, Carousel Theatre, and the National Arts Centre (CA). As a puppeteer, she studied with puppetry icons such as Sue Buckmaster, Mervyn Millar, Sandglass Theatre, Pickled Image, and Blind Summit, and has puppeteered for companies across Canada and the UK. This work has taken her into puppet directing and puppetry movement coaching, specializing in three person puppetry and object puppetry. She is now mostly based in Vancouver where she builds and directs puppets for theatre, and teaches puppetry performance.
Ming is a Vancouver based artist who pays rent on the lands stolen from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. For over 15 years, she has worked as a freelance performer, devised theatre creator, collaborative director, independent producer, and teaching artist on the west coast, nationally, and internationally. Her specializations are in physical theatre and the creation of new work as a collective ensemble. A graduate of the Advanced Devising Practice program at LISPA (now arthaus.berlin), Ming also holds a MA in Ensemble Theatre (Rose Bruford), and a BFA in Acting (UVic). In her various roles, Ming has worked for: Chemainus Theatre Festival, UVic, CCPA, Bard on the Beach, Dell'Arte International, Gwaandak Theatre, The Arts Club, TheatreOne, Two Planks and a Passion, Studio 58, Green Thumb Theatre, Theatre Replacement, Atomic Vaudeville, The Firehall, Boca del Lupo, Concrete Theatre, and Kaleidoscope Theatre. In addition, she has created nine new independent productions, which have been performed in five different countries.
Mary Hartman combines an academic background with experience as a professional actor and director to support participants of all ages as they learn through playing Shakespeare. Before becoming Bard’s Director of Education, she worked for more than a decade at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, renowned for its innovative approaches to performance and education. Fascinated by how open Shakespeare’s text is to interpretation, Mary invites participants to explore the language and discover the unique ways it might resonate for them.
Mike Kovac is a certified Fight Director and Fight Instructor with Fight Directors Canada, and has been involved in one form of simulated violence or another for the past twenty years. He loves working with people of all ages and backgrounds in the universal language of movement. For the stage he has been the Fight Director for such Arts Club shows as Noises Off, Misery, Beauty and the Beast, among others. For the screen he has been a stunt performer for series like Supernatural, Kung Fu, Van Helsing, and a myriad of other shows. If you see him onstage or on screen, he's probably about to get beaten up.
Mario started his formal dance journey in 2008 with PraiseTEAM Studio in Surrey, BC. He wanted to further his vocabulary within the dance world, so he co-founded Epiphany Dance Crew and Epiphany Workshops just a year after starting his formal training. In 2012 Mario joined Studio 604 in Burnaby, BC and a year later he brought Epiphany to the studio where it became a competitive dance company. In 2015, Mario travelled and lived in Auckland, New Zealand, where he trained with various street dance companies and studios. He later moved to Auckland in 2017 to further his artistic development. It was in Auckland where he trained under current and former members of the world-renowned Royal Family Dance Crew. Mario has travelled to Los Angeles, San Francisco (USA), Toronto (Ontario), and Calgary (Alberta) for training.
Gabriella Minnes Brandes, Ph.D. maintains an active practice at the Alexander Technique Centre in Vancouver for over 30 years. She has run Alexander workshops for actors, musicians, singers, horseback riders, and engineers (among others). For over a decade she taught the Alexander Technique in the Theatre department at Capilano University. Gaby works extensively in collaboration with musicians, voice, movement and acting instructors. Gaby’s workshops and private lessons are experiential, encouraging students to explore, experiment with, and reflect on their habitual patterns, and seek effective and efficient ways of using themselves in any activity. Informed by her Ph.D. in education, Gaby's current work and research focuses on creativity and the links between Alexander Technique and mindfulness. She is an active member of different organizations of Alexander teachers: ATC, AmSAT, STAT and ATI where she currently serves as a Board Director. More information: https://sites.google.com/view/alexandertechniquecentre
Brian Postalian (Բրայն Փոսթալյան) is a performance creator, educator, and creative producer born and raised in Toronto/Tkaronto by way of Armenia, Ireland, Wales, and the Czech Republic. Brian is the founding Artistic Director of Re:Current Theatre which is dedicated to creating work that reimagines gathering. He recently toured their interactive playable performance of New Societies across Ontario, and presented a translated production of the Online version with the National Theatre of Taipei. His work co-creating Access Me with the Boys in Chairs collective was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press as part of Interdependent Magic: Disability Performance in Canada. Brian has been a sessional instructor within the School of Performance at Toronto Metropolitan University and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University. www.brianpostalian.com
Joyce Rosario is a performing arts curator and consultant living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver, Canada), her family is from Pangasinan (Philippines). Joyce’s practice is guided by values of collaboration, rigour and care and over her career has gained broad exposure in interdisciplinary, experimental and community-based performance. She is a certified facilitator of the Critical Response Process and is currently a Cultural Planner at the City of Vancouver. Early in the pandemic she was a freelancer with organizations such as The Cultch, Museum of Vancouver, Canada Dance Festival, and Fascinator Management. Previously, Joyce spent over 15 years in programming and senior leadership positions in Canada, including PuSh Festival, New Works and Made in BC - Dance on Tour. She studied Theatre Production/Design at UBC following her first foray in performance as a teenage participant in a ‘new genre’ public art project by Suzanne Lacy.
Greetings Folks, my name is Kyra Soko. I have spent seven years as the Head Sound Technician and A1 Mixer for the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (The Cultch) and Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS). I was originally trained as a musician, a recording/mix/video post engineer and a studio technician. Along the way my training expanded to include acoustic/audio system design for studios and live performance venues. Today my skill set includes digital audio networking, broadcast mastering for video streaming/recording and advanced remote show control programming. With a special focus on musical theatre sound design/mixing and Qlab remote programming. During Covid I spent much of my time at the Cultch mostly centred around video streaming and video/audio recording/mixing of theatre shows and live music. I was originally hired in 2015 to mix musical theatre (East Van Panto) on their Digico SD9 digital audio mixer. Funny the turns life takes. As of May 2020 the house crew were back on full time regular theatre schedules with the season being extended a month to July 2021. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, we “lead the country” in online theatre. That was largely due to a very talented tech crew and video designer/editor. All of this is to say that I have very special skills to offer a production and a great deal of experience with cutting edge theatre tech. With a studio and film audio background my bar for production quality is set very high. I do not however strive for perfection in my shows but rather just plain excellence. Mostly I try to figure out how to have as much fun as possible while doing a crazy wonderful job with crazy wonderful humans. Seven years at the Cultch has taught me plenty about working with other departments too. We were mostly all venue techs so we cross trained and learned respect for each other’s skills pretty quick. I can now run a fly rail, hang/focus lights and video projectors and rig speakers and drops safely. I have a recently updated OFA Level 1 first aid, fall arrest training and a LPEC certificate. Kyra Soko e. email@example.com c. 604-230-5459 pronouns - they/them
Cydney is a British-Canadian director, choreographer and movement coach. She has worked at venues including The National Theatre (UK), The Royal Albert Hall (UK), The Royal Opera House (UK), The English Theatre Frankfurt (Germany), Parco Theatre (Japan), Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (Portugal), & Théâtre du Châtelet (France). Her experience involves stage productions that integrate physical theatre, musical theatre, commedia dell’arte, dance, puppetry, opera, and circus. She is passionate about exploring, reimagining, and discovering new possibilities with classic texts and narratives. Cydney's Shakespeare credits include tour Movement Director on the National Theatre's production of 'Macbeth', directed by Rufus Norris, and Guildford Shakespeare Company's 'All's Well That Ends Well' directed by Tom Littler. Cydney combines devising games and improvisation tasks to discover universal physical languages for productions, distinct character traits and stylized movement sequences. Alongside her work as a theatre practitioner, she has worked as a facilitator at the National Theatre's New Work department (UK), Central School of Speech & Drama (UK), Creation Theatre (UK), Studio 58 (CA), & Arts Umbrella (CA). Play, creativity and curiosity are fundamental elements of Cydney's collaborative approach and artistic practice.
Andrew Wade is an award-winning actor, playwright, and stage manager, and works as Executive Director for the Richmond Arts Coalition. A 2011 University of Victoria graduate (BFA in Acting, BA in Writing), he won the 2011 Vancouver Young Playwright's Competition for The Romantics and has written and performed his own original works in twenty-seven festivals across Canada, including The Most Honest Man in The World, The Hatter, William vs The World, and Hullaboo and The End of Everything. Wade co-created and wrote book+lyrics for TITUS! The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus, which received a five star review from the Vancouver Sun and won Vancouver Fringe’s “Pick of the Fringe”. Insta: @Andrewdewade . TikTok: @adelphis, www.andrewwade.ca
Jackson Wai Chung Tse
Jackson Wai Chung Tse 謝瑋聰 is an interdisciplinary artist, facilitator, and consultant who has been designing and delivering transformative workshops for groups around the world since 2003. With both an engineer’s and an artist’s brain, Jackson keeps his projects on time and on budget while demonstrating exceptional empathy, relational, and storytelling skills. Active in his community, Jackson has consulted on issues of cultural sensitivity with the UBCP/ACTRA, BC Arts Council, and the University of British Columbia. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University, a postgraduate teaching certificate from The University of the State of New York, and is an alumni of The Writer’s Studio: a Creative Writing certificate from Simon Fraser University. Born in Hong Kong, Jackson is a settler on the stolen lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaɬ First Nations.
Gordon is an actor, a physical comedian and a writer who’s been ‘treading the boards’ for 40+ years. For over 15 of those years, he travelled the world as a featured clown at Cirque du Soleil. Other credits include numerous writing & directing collaborations plus performing principal roles for stage, television, and international festivals & corporate events. His one-man physical comedy shows have been featured on the main stages at Montreal’s Just for Laughs, the Singapore International Arts Festival, The Vancouver Comedy Festival, Seattle’s Bumbershoot, The Winnipeg International Mime Festival, and Festival d’ete in Quebec City. Gordon has taught Clowning, Physical Comedy, Improv and Mime at various schools, festivals and theatre companies across Canada.
Zach Wolfman is an actor, improviser, and educator living on Coast Salish territory. Zach is a graduate of the BFA Acting program and BEd at UBC. Zach has completed Canada's National Voice Intensive with David Smukler, LEAP playwriting intensive with Shawn Macdonald, Theatre for Living levels 1 and 2 with David Diamond, and Baby Clown and Bootcamp with John Turner. Zach is a member of The Spontaneous Shakespeare Company that produces monthly improvised Shakespeare shows at Tightrope Theatre and Sin Peaks the improvised Soap Opera. Zach has been improvising for over a decade, and has taught for Actorium, UBC improv, and Young Moviemakers. Zach is a secondary drama teacher at Cambie Secondary in Richmond.