Slaight Family Academy - Shaw Festival Theatre

The Slaight Family Academy

The Academy is the artist training and development wing of the Shaw Festival repertory theatre. It began in 1985 as an informal skills exchange among Company members, and still retains that important function. Over the years it has evolved into a centre for growth and expansion in the process and practice of communication.

The Shaw Festival is a theatre working with a canon of English text, and as such, we audition, train, rehearse and perform primarily in English.

The Academy is overseen by Kate Hennig, Director of Artist Development.

Kate has an MA (Distinction) in Voice Studies (2001) from the Central School of Speech and Drama. She currently teaches Shakespeare Text Tools for the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival, and Voice and Scene Study for the Academy Intensive at the Shaw Festival. She has been on faculty at the National Theatre School of Canada-English Section teaching both Voice and Acting. Kate has been a guest teacher in musical theatre performance at Sheridan College, and of Voice at University of Toronto, Humber College, and Mount Royal College, along with leading workshops for the Magnetic North Festival, McGill University, and Nightwood Theatre. During her training Kate was a practice teacher for the MA programs in Musical Theatre and Advanced Theatre Practice at CSSD.


We are grateful to The Slaight Family Foundation for their generosity and support of our training and professional development initiatives through The Slaight Family Academy since 2009.

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The Academy Intensive

This is, as its title suggests, an intensive program of study that takes place before rehearsals for the main season begin. Entry is restricted to first and second year actors who have gained entry by an audition process, and who are contracted for the season.

The Academy curriculum is designed to introduce professional skills specific to the literary and rhetorical nature of Shaw’s plays, and the plays and musicals done at the Shaw Festival in any given season. There is an emphasis on team building and ensemble practice.

Fundamental work includes Voice, Movement, Singing, Text and Acting Classes. Each season these fundamental classes are supplemented by classes in various theatrical disciplines and styles. These have included: Viewpoints, South-Asian singing, commedia, Afro-fusion dance, ballet, puppetry, Indigenous aesthetics, directors master-class, History of The Shaw, period manners and style, Alexander technique, and grammar. Classes are taught by nationally and internationally recognized specialists, and by senior members of the Shaw Festival Ensemble.

The Intensive culminates in a performance project, created by the actors with a visiting director, applying the skills and techniques the participants have studied.

To apply for a position in the Academy Intensive please submit your photo and resume for our General Auditions noting your interest.


Il s’agit, comme son titre l’indique, d’un programme d’étude intensif qui se déroule avant le début des répétitions de la saison principale. L’entrée est limitée aux acteurs de première et de deuxième année qui ont été sélectionnés par un processus d’audition et qui sont engagés pour la saison.

Le programme de l’Académie est conçu pour introduire des compétences professionnelles spécifiques à la nature littéraire et rhétorique des pièces de Shaw, ainsi que des pièces et des comédies musicales jouées au Shaw Festival au cours d’une saison donnée. L’accent est mis sur le travail d’équipe et la pratique d’ensemble.

Le travail fondamental comprend des cours de voix, de mouvement, de chant, de texte et de jeu. Chaque saison, ces cours fondamentaux sont complétés par des cours dans diverses disciplines et styles théâtraux. Parmi ces cours, on peut citer : Points de vue, chant sud-asiatique, commedia, danse afro-fusionnelle, ballet, marionnettes, esthétique indigène, cours de maître, histoire du Shaw, manières et style d’époque, technique Alexander et grammaire. Les cours sont dispensés par des spécialistes reconnus au niveau national et international, ainsi que par des membres chevronnés de l’ensemble du Shaw Festival.

L’Intensif se termine par un projet de performance, créé par les acteurs avec un metteur en scène invité, mettant en pratique les compétences et les techniques que les participants ont étudiées.

Pour postuler à un poste dans le cadre de ce cours intensif de l’Académie, veuillez soumettre votre photo et votre CV pour nos auditions générales en indiquant votre intérêt.

How to apply

Please submit your resume and photo for our General Auditions noting your interest.

Comment postuler

Veuillez soumettre votre CV et votre photo pour nos auditions générales en indiquant votre intérêt.

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