I have been teaching drama classes for students, from ages 4 to 7, since 1988.
The #1 fear in our society, greater even than Death itself, is the fear of public speaking. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to stand and deliver in front of an audience.
I do my best to create a safe and challenging environment where students can take risks and make miss-takes (“take two”). We create this environment by respecting each other and the work.
I try to make my classes fun, because although there is a lot of effort, concentration and teamwork involved in drama classes, we do it because acting is fun.
I have taught drama classes at:
- Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam. Sept 2008 to present. Performing Arts Education Coordinator and Lead Drama Instructor, Storytelling Through Drama Games, Physical Theatre workshops, Mask, Voice and Speech workshops, Kids On Stage collective creations, Director of The Evergreen Teen Ensemble, Drama Birthday Party facilitator. Video >
- North Vancouver Recreation and Culture– August 2017 to Present. Sing, Dance, Act, Physical Theatre classes and Teen Improvisation
- The City of Burnaby, Shadbolt Centre Community Outreach at Eilene Dailley Recreation Centre, Gilmore, Inman, Buckingham and many more Schools. October 2013 to Present. Children’s Recreational drama classes.
- Westside Montessori Academy, Vancouver. April 2013 to present. Director of student productions, Summer drama camps.
- Vancouver School Board, Continuing Education. 2005- 2008. Adult Acting For The Fun of It.
- The Burr Theatre – New Westminster, BC. 2004- 2008. Spring: Intro to acting for Teens and Adults. Fall: Advanced Teen Acting – The Burr Young Company.
- InterPlay Festival – Ft. McMurray, AB. 2003- 2001. Summer Drama Camps.
- Theatre Zocalo – Edmonton, AB. 1998- 2000. Summer Drama Camps, full-term courses;
- Stage Polaris Academy of Drama – Edmonton, AB. 1998- 1997. Spring and Summer Drama Camps, full-term courses for students aged 5 to adult.
Presentation of plays, improvisation, voice and speech, movement, scene study, auditioning, TV/film acting, acting for musical theatre, specialty workshops in physical theatre (clown, mask) and juggling.
Every class for adults is unique because the students always have a sense of what they want to accomplish. They also bring a valuable commodity to the table – life experience.
I like to tailor-make the content of the course to fit the needs of adult students, but it’s usually a combination of improvisation leading to scene study; a monologue (audition scene) then a duet scene. It’s important to keep these classes fun, because that’s why we do it!
Favourite plays directed with adults students include: The Birds (1994), Cameras (2003), The Blue Moon Café (a collective musical) (1996).
TEENS (aged 13 to 19)
Presentation of plays, improvisation, voice and speech, movement, scene study, auditioning, TV/film acting, acting for musical theatre, speciality workshops in physical theatre (clown, mask) and juggling.
This is my favourite age group to work with because this is the age where I “caught the bug”. With this age group I’ve worked with beginners to pros- from street, stage to film. I have had the good fortune to work with advanced teen actors at Stage Polaris in Edmonton and the Burr Theatre in New Westminster.
Students at this age are coming into their own, creating their sense of self and gaining control of their physical bodies. This is the age to start learning how to juggle and to challenge their sense of self with strong choices of literary material.
Favourite plays directed with teen students include: The Caucasian Chalk Circle* (2000), MacBeth: The Musical (2002), Last Chance High (1993), Little Luncheonette of Terror (1994).
YOUTH (aged 8- 12)
Presentation of plays, improvisation, voice and speech, movement, scene study, auditioning, TV/film acting, and acting for musical theatre.
Drama classes are great for improving reading and writing skills and for teaching compassion and co-operation- creating characters makes you walk in the shoes of others.
At this age the students can read and we can move beyond creating our own stories to interpreting the words of others- “Let’s put on a show!”. With this age group I have presented full-term courses, Spring Break and Summer Drama Camps as well as specialty workshops. With full-term courses I like to lead off with improvisation then move into interpretation of written material, then on to presentation of a play.
Students at this age really like the improv games of Viola Spolin and Keith Johnstone and they take to singing quite well. It is always fun to put on little musicals with this age group for Summer Drama camps.
Favourite plays directed with students age 8 to 12 include: You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (1994), How to Eat Like a Child (1990), Don’t Count Your Chickens Until They Cry Wolf (1995).
CHILDREN (Aged 5- 8)
Story theatre, structured play, physical development.
With this age group I have taught this age group at Stage Polaris, Theatre Zocalo in Edmonton and in Vancouver for the City Of Burnaby and the Westside Montessori Academy in full-term courses, and Spring and Summer drama camps. I like to read stories out loud, then we act them out a few times. I usually act as Narrator, while the students take on any role they fancy.
The students usually have a great time using furniture in the studio to create sets. I like to keep these little folks moving, spending time on their physical control and expression.
I have taught this age group at Stage Polaris and Theatre Zocalo in Edmonton in full-term courses and at Spring Break camps.
*Co-directed with Elisabeth Ebbels.