Jim Leard M.F.A.

Chair of Acting

Jim Leard works as a writer, actor, producer and director and was the founder and Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Story Theatre Company. Teaching credits include the University of Victoria, the National Theatre School and the Canadian College of Performing Arts.

Jim began his professional work at Theatre Calgary in 1970 performing and stage managing. He returned to Victoria as a performer and Assistant Director with Company One Theatre and helped develop tours to BC schools. He has appeared in many local productions from Langham Court to Pacific Opera and has several movie and television credits (‘Highlander’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘DaVinci’s Inquest’, and ‘Intelligence’).

While earning his Master’s Degree at Northwestern University in 1978, Jim participated in workshops at Second City, Chicago and observed the work of Michael Piven’s Story Theatre Centre. Returning to teach at the University of Victoria, Jim developed the first local Story Theatre Company for performances in the regional libraries. Interest in this work grew until the company was performing across Canada and into the United States. Notable stops include the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre and the Wolftrap Children’s Festival.

Jim has served on several boards of directors for Intrepid Theatre, The Other Guys, Gotta Getta Gimmick and the Blue Bridge Theatre. Most notably Jim was a board member and President of Artstarts in the Schools. Jim works as a freelance director as well as developing productions for his own video company where he creates short films, pilot projects, and music videos.

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photo credit Peter Pokorny