Richmond Hill
Stage Acting Classes & Improv Classes

So you wanna be an actor, eh?!

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Improv Classes, Performances Troupes & More!

Stage Acting Program

Acting is storytelling and the study of human behaviour combined!  It’s fun and interesting and experimental! Stage Acting classes encompass learning to work with scripts, language, stories, characters, intentions, and actions.  We focus on things like: creating a character (mentally, physically, vocally); shaping scenes (thru-lines, arcs, rhythms, tempos); voice (clarity, projection, strength, dynamics); staging/blocking (movement, flow, placement); collaboration/trust (teamwork, building a cast, sharing connections on-stage and with your audience); listening/responding (effective partnering).  All in the pursuit of telling a story in a believable way that seems real and connects with an audience.

Boosted Confidence

Build your confidence and presence by learning to command attention, project your voice, and move with purpose.

Communication Skills

Learn to effectively convey emotion, intentions, and ideas through the skills you learn in Stage Acting classes.


Improv classes teach you how to collaborate with fellow actors and adapt on the go to different performances.

Actress performing during stage acting class
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Students performing in stage acting class

All Levels Program Overview

Stage Acting Classes

For students wishing to learn, develop and deliver an assured stage acting performance. There are many different types of stories to tell with so many types of characters. But as actors, how do we ‘use’ ourselves, to ‘become’ somebody else!? There are several really cool methods of acting and there’s truly no right or wrong in any acting class or methodology so it’s a ton of fun to experiment. 

Through all the Levels, students build their personal and performer’s toolkit by trying new things, experimenting, and contributing their own ideas as they discover the value of their own ‘voice’. At the youngest level students learn that “once upon a time” really is the beginning, with characters, poems and stories literally jumping off the page and into ‘real life’ on stage! We engage students in a variety of structured and improvised drama ‘games’, exercises and activities, designed to bring characters and stories to life. We focus on spatial awareness, collaboration, listening and responding. 

As we progress to the higher levels, we dig deeper, focus more intently on context, messaging, themes, emotional intention, character study, real-world connections and implications of the material. Students continue to think and work creatively, both independently and collaboratively, in a supportive and forward-thinking environment. At all Levels, students use a variety of materials and will also create stories and characters of their own, working towards demonstration/performances that could involve everything from tableaux to reader’s theatre, to mime and movement, improvisation and full-out scene/scriptwork and short plays. 

Some prop and costume elements may also be incorporated into the mix at any level, and age-appropriate materials can run from dramatic to comedic and everything in between. At the higher levels, students take responsibility for producing and acting in a play (contemporary or classic) for their final project. They apply all of the acting skills they have learned, as they audition for, research, and rehearse their part, taking more responsibility for fully immersing themselves in their roles for these projects.

Elevate Your Craft & Unveil Excellence

Specialist Stage Acting Programs

We offer a variety of Specialist Programs for you to take your stage acting to the next level.
Click each tab to learn more about the program and see if it suits you.

This program works on a variety of audition techniques working with an array of self-chosen or assigned monologues (contemporary and classical) to help prep students for on-going auditions and self-tapes for a variety of film, tv, and live stage programs and productions.  Any student interested in applying for high school drama programs, post-secondary drama programs, or auditioning now for professional stage or screen opportunities, would benefit from this program.  It looks at everything from how to slate, to how to set up your own space for best results for self-tape submissions, to how to engage an audition panel quickly and transport them into your character and moment.  How to create your best work and stay calm for your audition and how to leave a lasting impression.  NOTE:  This program does not participate in the regular shows/events produced through Ovation!

This program combines elements of both contemporary and classical theatre which could include Shakespeare, Ibsen, Moliere, Shaw.  It is often taught in conjunction with a professional theatre company called Panoply Theatre Collective and the students often work with other professional actors.  This course provides an understanding of how classical work including Shakespeare, can reach across time and affect us today – this isn’t your everyday high school English class reading Romeo & Juliet. Shakespeare’s words were written to be heard, and engaged with physically and joyfully. This class teaches students how to allow their imagination to inspire the mind, body, and heart.  Led by Paige Madsen, Co-Artistic Director of Panoply Theatre Collective, a Toronto-based theatre company dedicated to re-telling classical stories with a modern and inclusive perspective.  Students will engage with classical and contemporary work while building skills in stage acting, movement, voice, and text analysis. Monologue technique, scene work, audition skills, and the rehearsal process are all incorporated into this class. This program prepares students for post-secondary drama studies and performance.

NOTE Participation in this program could also lead to participation in the Panoply Collective Summer Program at Ovation!  Ask us for details!

 Adult programs at Ovation! offer a unique educational and social experience.  Adults come to classes like ours for a variety of reasons.  You may be looking to try something new, or to get back into something you’ve always loved but have been away from for awhile. Whatever your motivation, and regardless of your current ‘level’ of expertise (or not!), taking an acting class will always………  Boost your confidence & self-esteem  <> Improve your presentation skills (oral and dynamic) <> Exercise your body, mind, and soul  <>  Provide joy and fulfillment!   In this class, we explore the core elements of drama. You’ll examine voice, body, movement, characterization, speech, and thematic communication, through a variety of scene studies.  When preparing for a role every actor asks 6 questions: WHO AM I? WHERE AM I? WHEN AM I? WHAT DO I WANT? WHAT IS MY OBSTACLE? HOW DO I GET WHAT I WANT? We will learn how to answer these questions, how to pursue that powerful want, and how to recognize what is stopping you, because conflicting needs and obstacles are what create Acting!  We’ll examine these elements primarily from the live-stage performance perspective and then we’ll re-focus a bit to the on-screen perspective to identify and understand the similarities and differences between the two mediums.  You’ll work with scenes, commercials, monologues from a variety of sources/materials. This program wraps each semester with an in-class presentation of their work.

Over the years Ovation! has connected with several other professional dance, acting, and musical theatre performance companies (MOTUS O dance theatre, Marky Monday, ChannukahPalooza, Judy & David, Education Arts Canada, Shadowpath Theatre, Panoply Theatre Collective, and many independent film producers).  Our students have participated in many professional shows and events.  As new projects arise, we reach out to current students with audition notices for these extra-special performance opportunities!

Students performing in a Richmond Hill stage acting class
A script used for stage acting classes

Performances & Notes

All Levels & Specialist Programs

  • Level 1 Primary Page to Stage Acting – In January, these students perform an in-studio showcase demonstration for parents/families to observe, during regular class time at Ovation!  Then, in late spring, these students also do a demonstration and showcase as part of the Primary Get STAGEstruck event, held either at Ovation! or at an alternate small theatre venue. Details will be announced during the season!  (Additional rehearsal hours may be required for the spring demonstration – details TBA.)
  • Level 2 and Level 3 – these classes perform a short play/scene in the Winter Showcase; and a separate short play/scene in the spring Get STAGEstruck! show.  Additional rehearsal and production hours will be required when mounting the spring show. All details will be provided.
  • Level 3/4/5 Actor’s Audition Prep – this program works on a variety of audition monologues (contemporary and classical) to help prep students for on-going auditions and self-tapes for a variety of film, tv, and live stage programs and productions.
  • Level 4 – this level performs a short play/scene in the Winter Showcase;  a piece as an Opening Act for the Level 5/Senior play in April; and a separate short play/scene in the spring Get STAGEstruck! show.  Additional rehearsal and production hours will be required when mounting the spring shows (details will be provided).
  • Level 5 (or Level 4/5) Performance Troupe – This program produces a short play for performance in April.  They also perform either an excerpt from their play or a separate short play/scene at the Winter Showcase in Jan.  This program combines elements of both contemporary and classical theatre which could include Shakespeare, Ibsen, Moliere, Shaw.  It is often taught in conjunction with a professional theatre company called Panoply Theatre Collective and the students often work in their piece with other professional actors.  This program prepares students for post-secondary drama studies and performance.
  • Ovation! chooses intelligent, sometimes challenging, thought-provoking scenes and plays for our Level 4 and 5 drama programs. Any challenging subject matter is dealt with in a supportive and responsible educational manner.  We are committed to gender-blind and colour-blind casting.
  • Previous or concurrent experience with the fundamental aspects of stage acting (including: voice, text analysis, expression, intention, character) is an asset and may be a requirement of admission to the higher Levels of this Program.
Two students taking improv classes
A performance in adult stage acting classes

More Information On Stage Acting Classes

Season Overview & Student Feedback

  • Our Season runs from mid-Sept to end of May with weekly classes for each program.
  • The program Levels progress from primary through senior, introducing or enhancing the various components of the discipline and program. Each Level covers a 3 to 4 yr age range.  Depending on age, experience, and when they begin with us, a student could be in the same Level for 1 to 3 seasons.  Students learn how to function as both leaders and followers, experiencing the range of responsibilities and learning opportunities associated with being in a class with a variety of ages, personalities and types of learners.
  • As students progress each season and also through the Levels, they build their personal and performer’s toolkit with more in-depth advanced learning through various teaching tools, focused on skill acquisition, technical development, and practical performance application.  As the Level increases, the in-studio class-time lengthens and the expectations increase with more or lengthier materials, more ‘mature’ but still age-appropriate content, and more advanced learning tools requiring increasingly more at-home preparation time between classes.  The Level 3, 4 and 5 programs may also include more shows/performances/filming opportunities.
  • Each class and student is provided with a detailed Course Curriculum Outline at the beginning of the season outlining all performance or filming requirements and specific curriculum goals, learning tools and teaching strategies ~ a roadmap of where and how we’ll take the class through the season! We discuss specific goals with each student, at the start, at the mid-way point and at the end of the season so we always know what we’re working towards!  And each student receives a personalized Progress Report at the end of each season celebrating their amazing achievements and growth, setting intentions for their continued development, and recommending next steps, all based on the student’s own goals and interests for their training and development.

Beyond Stage Acting

Related Classes

Explore classes related to Stage Acting to build your skills and expand your knowledge with Ovation Performing Arts Academy.

Screen Acting

Expand your acting skills with Screen Acting classes.


Support your Screen Acting skills with a venture into Comedy.

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