Actor’s Intensive

The Arts Club Theatre Company’s Actor’s Intensive is a multi-week course that takes a back-to-basics approach to tune up the mature actor’s instrument with voice, movement, and acting training from working pros. This course culminates in a showcase of participants for an invited audience including directors from the community.

The class structure mirrors conservatory programs and provides practice that is frequent and focused. You’ll work three days a week at 15 hours per week, for 75 hours of instruction over five weeks—enough time to polish off any rust and get galvanized for lasting change.

This is both a process and a product class. The acting training will incorporate voice and body work and examine the decision-making process that goes into crafting a performance. You will also integrate the process back into the product as you work on scenes and monologues, both classic and contemporary, to be presented at the showcase.

Please contact the Interim Director of Education, Kevan Ellis, at or 604.687.5315, ext. 244.

The Actor’s Intensive supports each actor in a different way, including:

  1. As a bootcamp. These actors want a place to work out for the duration of the program and get into prime acting shape.
  2. As a systems re-boot. These actors want to diversify their learning, add to their skill toolbox and get re-inspired by filling in some gaps in their training.
  3. Becoming part of an acting community. You will find theatre friends, future collaborators, and project ideas here by reintroducing yourself and enhancing your presence in the acting community.

All of our classes are taught by working professionals, award-winning actors and veterans of the Arts Club Theatre Company. Past faculty includes Alison Matthews, Jo Leslie, Wendy Gorling, Christine Hackman, Bill Pozzobon, and many others.

Dean Paul Gibson/Program Director and Instructor
Dean’s selected acting credits include: Tom Sergeant in Skylight for Theatre Calgary, Warwick in Saint Joan for the Arts Club, Undershaft in Major Barbara for an A.C.T/TC co-production, the Bartender in Tosca Café—another A.C.T/ TC co-pro, Patrick Flanagan in Jitters at the Belfry, and Falstaff for Bard on the Beach.

Other select acting credits include: Vigil and The Drowsy Chaperone for Theatre Calgary, Little Mercy’s First Murder and The Family Way for Touchstone Theatre, the Ruby Slippers Theatre and Pi Theatre coproduction of Shopping and F**king, original Tailor in The Overcoat at Vancouver Playhouse, where he also performed in Romeo and Juliet, The Dead Reckoning, The Music Man, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Stones in His Pockets (Belfry Theatre), Humble Boy (also at Tarragon Theatre and the National Arts Centre), and A Christmas Carol, Green Thumb Theatre’s award-winning production of Problem Child.

Dean is also a noted director of over 45 productions here and across the country. He has worked for many companies including: the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach (where he is also Associate Artistic Director), Theatre Calgary, Royal Manitoba Theatre Company, Western Canada Theatre, Chemainus Festival, Studio 58, Gateway Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Aquarius, and the Resource Centre for the Arts. He has been nominated numerous times for various awards (and won a few) for his acting and directing. He is also a popular adjudicator and workshop leader. Dean is a graduate of Studio 58.

Scott Bellis/Head Instructor
Scott is a founding member and Artistic Associate at Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, where he has played many roles including Hamlet, Petruchio, Brutus, Bottom, Friar Laurence, Henry the Fifth, and King John in over three dozen productions there. His directing credits include Twelfth Night (Carousel Theatre), The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon (Persephone Theatre), Richard III, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Studio 58) and Antony and Cleopatra, Comedy of Errors, and Two Gentlemen of Verona (Bard on the Beach).

He has performed with most theatre companies in Vancouver, including the Arts Club (Good People, Pride and Prejudice, The Philanderer, Educating Rita, Avenue Q, Cyrano), Ruby Slippers Productions (The Leisure Society, Winners, The Cat Who Ate Her Husband, Hotel Bethlehem), and Patrick Street Productions (Bat Boy: The Musical). Scott has been nominated for 19 Jessie Richardson awards, receiving four, and currently serves as Council President for Canadian Actors' Equity Association. He is excited at the prospect of another great series of classes here at the Arts Club and looks forward to sharing his personal knowledge and experience with those who have a passion for acting.

Jillian Fargey/Guest Instructor
Jillian is a graduate of Studio 58 and has worked across the country in theatre, film, television and radio. Jillian has been nominated for 8 Jessie Awards, having received one for Best Actress, was awarded a Leo for Best Supporting Actress, along with 3 other Leo nominations, and received a Genie nomination, as well as being the recipient of the Best Actress award at the Ourense international film festivals for her work in the Canadian film Protection.

Veena Sood/Guest Instructor
Veena is an award-winning actress, known for her versatility in theatre, film, television, and improv comedy. Veena co-founded Calgary's Loose Moose Theatre Company, best known for their development of the world renowned improvisational theatre format, Theatresports. Veena has acted in productions across Canada including the Arts Club, Factory Theatre (Toronto), Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary), Ruby Slippers Theatre, and Zee Zee Theatre.

She’s been a series regular on TV series, co-hosted TV specials, galas, and awards events. Veena is a 3-time Jessie Richardson nominee and award winner for her theatre work, as well as a Leo Award winner for her television work over the years. Recently, the Union of BC Performers presented Veena with the Lorena Gale Women of Distinction Award for her accomplishments that exemplify the encouragement of growth and opportunities for women in the BC acting community.

2018/2019 dates will be announced in the winter


  • Minimum age: 25
  • Significant training and/or experience in acting and performing (preferably both), experience can be recent or not
  • Non equity actors are encouraged to apply

To apply:

  • Submit a one-page cover letter that clearly states why you think you would be a good candidate for the class AND a 1-page resume summarizing your performing experience and training
  • Please include your contact information
  • A headshot is recommended but not required

Applications are now closed for the 2017/2018 season. Check back in winter 2018/2019 for more details.

Highlights of past participants:

"The Actor’s Intensive was a great boost to my career. In the year after I took the course, I booked two Arts Club shows, produced and acted in my own show and received a Jessie nomination. I got to meet great people and got to revisit and refocus my skills and technique as a performer and that is never a waste of time. Do it!! Fas a Bealac!!"
Ashley O’Connell, class of 2010 (The Graduate, Blood Brothers, Spamalot)

"The Actor’s Intensive meant a lot to me. Offering such a high calibre training opportunity with some of Vancouver’s finest is a testament to the Arts Club’s community devotion. The supportive, liberating atmosphere created by the instructors, combined with their wealth of knowledge, has sharpened my skills and greatly improved my process in a very short period of time"
Sebastien Archibald, class of 2012 (Clybourne Park)

"The Arts Club Intensive is such a stellar opportunity to work with and learn from leading industry professionals. I believe that this course is an absolute must for all actors who want to hone their skills and rediscover a passion for their work"
Lara Rose Tansey, class of 2014