The course is designed to deepen understanding of the actor’s role, the preparation and analysis expected in the profession, and provide the tools necessary to achieve those goals. This course is broken into four units each year.
The focus of Acting studies in Year 1 includes ensemble work, basic improvisational skills, story-telling and beginning scene work; text-based scene work, scene analysis, discovering character, playing objectives; Canadian scene work using modern/contemporary Canadian plays; exploration of character and truth within our own culture context; an introduction to acting, classical text using monologues and scene work.
In Year 2 students study: scene work to develop a natural presence onstage and to find the honesty of the character and their motivations drawing on a series of “World Plays” from Brecht to Tennessee Williams; Chekov through analysis and scene work using the characters found in plays as the catalyst for discovering the truth of the moment; Solo Flight – the analysis of character background within the structure of a “solo” presentation (a storytelling, story theatre exploration); scene work that explores “playing the truth” of the moment while exploring classical comedy in the plays of Moliere and Shakespeare.
This foundational year will introduce the actor to key aspects of voice production for the actor. This course will include the following topics: Semester One, vocal anatomy and physiology, alignment, the International Phonetic Alphabet. Texts used will be self-generated monologues and poetry. Semester Two will include further development of vocal practice. An introduction to self-lead vocal practice, vocal strength and flexibility utilizing select text material as determined by the instructor.
This class explores text and script analysis of assigned play or plays to interpret leading to monologue preparation and performance in class. It is designed to be an introduction to text analysis providing students with techniques, methods and practices to equip them to begin to develop their own process and preparation of scripts and scenes. The instructor will introduce them to wide variety of styles and genres of text to explore and practice with. It will also address some areas of the technical approach to speech and voice as it applies to work with text.
The primary emphasis of Physical Theatre I will be an introduction to performance languages which focus on the physical playing of the actor based on the Lecoq Pedagogy. Improvisation will be at the heart of the learning process. The course will encourage skills of observation to ﬁnd a reference point of neutrality. Supplemental to analytical ability will be an understanding of the necessity of error in discovery and creation.
Year 2 offers the opportunity to develop the skills which focus on the physical playing of the actor based on the Lecoq Pedagogy. These skills may be applied to both the creation of new work and the interpretation of written text. Improvisation will be at the heart of the learning process and an understanding of the necessity of error in discovery and creation will be integral to the work.
The course will include three main modules of study:
- Module 1 Movement Analysis
- Module 2 Human Nature
- Module 2 The Clown and the Red Nose
The Creative Development course offers the opportunity to experience the creative process related to ensemble work. It is an intensive training experience designed to encourage the development of individual and ensemble skills through a wide variety of techniques related to the process of collaborative play-building. The ensemble learns to actively participate in the creation of an original theatrical piece.
The student is instructed in unarmed and armed combat with a strong emphasis on safety procedures; proper approach to the work; proper warm-up; practice techniques and how to “sell” the illusion. Techniques in armed and unarmed combat provide the student with a foundation and vocabulary which enables them to devise their own choreographic sequences using both traditional and non-traditional weapons.
Transition to Screen
The introduction to acting for the screen includes the transition from stage acting technique to screen acting technique and vocabulary. You will be introduced to the basic differences between camera and stage performing, and will begin practice adjusting power and focus when on camera. You will also practice slating, hitting marks and auditioning for film and TV. The roles and responsibilities of cast and crew will be taught. Creating and updating skills for demo-reels will begin.
Year 2 offers advanced acting for the screen with practice of both long and short scenes. Includes more complex transition from stage acting technique to screen acting technique and vocabulary. Study and practice of on-camera performance with emphasis on storytelling is continued through techniques such as eye-lines and body language. Every student will graduate with a demo-reel.
An overview of important theatre practices and developments starting with Ancient Greece through to the beginnings of modern theatre.
- Ballet Levels 1, 2, 3, Advanced
- Tap Levels 1, 2, 3, 4
- Jazz Levels 1, 2, 3, 4
- Musical Theatre 1&2; 3&4
This course provides an eclectic classical ballet training at appropriate levels from beginner to advanced. Emphasis is placed on developing technique, building ballet vocabulary, and cultivating expressiveness. Pas de deux is offered to the men and to the advanced women.
Based on contemporary and modern dance techniques, with the inclusion of isolations and syncopated movement and fall and recovery; this course introduces students to a variety of styles and techniques while developing strength, stamina and flexibility.
Through all levels of this course, students will explore tap technique including the formation of “combinations” and a routine, fundamental tap terminology and move into building a broader foundation of skills: musicality, advanced syncopation and rhythms with a focus on speed, precision, clarity, control and consistency.
Musical Theatre Styles
The Musical Theatre Styles course is based on the choreographic styles created and performed in the contemporary musical theatre repertoire. The student will be introduced to a variety of choreographic styles. For example Jerome Robbins, Michael Bennet, Swing, 1920s, 1950s Rock and Roll and Fosse.
Vocal exercises will be given that encourage the development of a strong “singing on stage” solo vocal technique, built on the foundation of a healthy vocal production. The voice instructor will assist and advise the selection of suitable solo repertoire for presentation in Connections, Master Classes.
You will be directed to sing in a variety of musical styles that pertain to singing in harmony in a performance ensemble and theatre chorus settings. The ensemble will sing and perform for various school functions throughout the school year (with a required dress code for rehearsal and performance). This course offers the opportunity for practical application of skills studied in Private Voice and Music Theory in an ensemble setting.
This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of music rudiments. The specific areas covered in this course are notes (treble and bass clef), rhythm (meter, note values, time signatures), scales (major, minor), intervals (major, minor, perfect, augmented and diminished), triads, basic sight singing, and piano skills. The goal is to be able to apply this knowledge to the learning and preparation of repertoire.
This course is designed as a lab with an opportunity to present prepared workshops of Musical Theatre repertoire. Class participation is essential as the craft is revealed through group exercises and process focused discussion. As “viewers” in class, critical thinking is essential to aiding your fellow students the process of their own discovery. A set number of workshops or audition pieces of prepared songs from voice lessons will be performed.
Fundamental Techniques for Singers
This course introduces students to the fundamental techniques of the singing practice. In a workshop/lab context, students will study specific technical elements of singing taught by a variety of instructors, specializing in specific topics. These may include but are not limited to:
- Basic anatomy & physiology of the singing voice
- Tools for solving common vocal issues
- Basic concepts of somatic vocal development
- A rudimentary history of vocal pedagogy
- Introduction to vocal qualities in various styles of singing using industry standard terms such as mix, belt, head, chest)
- Techniques for establishing sound
- Developing an effective practice routine
- Strategies on how to overcome performance and audition anxiety
- Fundamentals of diction
- Performance Polish – interpretation and expression
- Digital and online resources for the singer
- An introduction to sound amplification
- Information on vocal health and hygiene
This course will be presented in a series of lectures including practical exercises. The students will be provided with relevant reference material to form a source for further personal study and development. Students will have the opportunity to participate and practice techniques both individually and as a group.
Voice Master Class
Lecture and demonstration workshops will be held on topics related to vocal technique, pedagogy and the art of solo voice performance. Students will participate in the demonstration presented by Masters-qualified voice instructors and guest artists. Solo musical selections will be presented as part of the demonstration and workshop process.
In the performing arts, there are two means of employment. One will either audition and work for an existing company or develop, create and produce their own work. A healthy and successful career quite often comprises both.
Each year our students are offered opportunities to perform in and with:
- Remembrance Day Tour
- New Works Festival (Year II Mentorship projects)
- Year II plays
- Year-end show
- Community Engagement and Outreach concerts and performances.
- Victoria Symphony
- The Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy
All Year I and Year IIs will receive a Performance Evaluation for the school year based on production and presented work.
Each year, 2nd-year students are given the opportunity to work on a creative piece of their choosing in either Play-writing, Choreography, Vocal Ensemble Direction, Play Directing, Stage Management, or Music Theatre Creation. They can submit an application outlining their proposal for a project, either individually or as a part of a collaborative team. Applications are reviewed and selected by a panel of Mentors. Successful applicants are mentored through their development and rehearsal process, and they cast their project from the current student body. Successful projects are presented at the New Works Festival scheduled in the calendar year.