MARY HARVEY - Improv Instructor
Mary is a teacher, playwright, actor, corporate writer, and public speaking coach. She is a Second City (Toronto) Alumnae. As Andrea Martin’s understudy, she had the pleasure of performing with John Candy, Dan Ackroyd, and Catherine O’Hara, to drop a few names. In fact, it was the Second City Touring Company that first brought Mary to Ottawa many years ago. They performed at the Blue Gardenia for ten weeks, and if you remember that, you're old! Mary has appeared on stage in Toronto, Ottawa, and a lot of small towns in eastern Ontario. She's been in film and television, too, but loves the stage the most. Mary is passionate about sharing the power of Improv techniques to help people feel and act more confident in conversation, on video, or in front of an audience.

DAVID MAMET Scene Study Masterclass
with Chris Ralph

Join us this summer, as we leap into the electrifying world of David Mamet - one of the most popular playwrights of all time. Chris – a veteran Mamet actor - will cast students in scenes from Mamet’s broad repertoire of award-winning plays. We will be looking at both classic Mamet scenes, as well as scenes from some plays with which you may not be familiar.

Through this scene work, Chris will be introducing actors to the popular acting technique (Practical Aesthetics) that Mamet and William H. Macey developed at the Atlantic Theater Company. 

The course will conclude with an invitation to friends and family to see some of your exciting work firsthand.

“Art is an expression of joy and awe. It is not an attempt to share one’s virtues with the audience, but an act of selfless spirit.” – David Mamet

Location: AC Downtown

Thursdays, July 11th - August 22nd
8:00PM - 10:00PM 

​7 Week Class

CHRIS RALPH - AC Co-Founder & Acting Instructor

Recent acting credits include roles in The Virgin Trial (GCTC); Up to Low (NAC); Half Life (Theatre Northwest); A Christmas Carol (NAC); Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Plosive Productions); The Amorous Servant (Odyssey); Glengarry Glen Ross (Avalon Productions – Capital Critics Award for Best Production); Billy Bishop Goes to War (Plosive Productions – Capital Critics Best Actor nomination); The Game of Love and Death (Odyssey); and Death and the Maiden (Plosive Productions). Chris has taught Voice and Acting at York University and the University of Ottawa. He is a proud member of Plosive Productions – one of Ottawa’s longest-running theatre companies. Chris also serves as a Board Member for the Ottawa Little Theatre. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and has an MFA Theatre from York University.

STORYTELLING with Laurie Fyffe

Do you want to entertain with a personal story? Do you want to bring an intriguing ancestor to life? Storytelling is the oldest art form, and it is the newest. Your story may begin with a faded photograph, a diary, or long ago letters. Or, it may begin with a recent life-altering experience. But where do you begin to tell the tale, and how do you shape a narrative to keep your listeners engaged. In this six-week course, participants will complete exercises designed to help them remember and re-create stories that engage the listener with suspense, conflict, and emotional impact. Come to discover, come to tell, and come to listen.  ​

Location: AC Downtown

Wednesdays, May 15th - June 19th

6-Week Course

6:30PM - 8:00PM
$240.00 + HST

with Mary Harvey

​​​​Have you left a conversation, or a business meeting, thinking "I wish I had said...?" Are you someone who gladly helps with the dishes at a party to avoid small talk in the living room? Have you been told more than once, "You need to speak up!" If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, this super-relaxed introduction to the fundamentals of Improv is for you! Low pressure, lots of laughs, and no performance at the end. These simple-to-learn, fun-to-practice techniques will help you learn to trust your instincts, think faster on your feet, and speak up!

Location: AC Downtown
Saturdays, June 1st - June 22nd

4 Week Course
1:30PM - 3:30PM
$165.00 + HST

with Chris Ralph & Guests

​What does a Director do? In this new course, the AC’s Chris Ralph introduces students to the wonderful world of the theatre director! You will learn how professional directors bring stories to life; how they prepare for rehearsals, block scenes, communicate with actors and help them to develop characters. Chris will also introduce you to a few of Ottawa’s leading professionals, who will drop by, to answer questions and share stories about their biggest successes… and their biggest flops! No experience is necessary for this course – only your enthusiasm and willingness to laugh and learn new theatre skills.

Location: AC Downtown
Mondays, July 8th - August 12th

6:30PM - 8:00PM

6 Week Class




LAURIE FYFFE - Storytelling Instructor
Laurie Fyffe is a playwright, actor, dramaturge, and Artistic Director of Evolution Theatre. Acting credits include, Ava Wolfe in the Counterpoint Players production of Darrah Teitel’s Corpus, and France Brooke in The Secret Life of Emily/Frances, 2015 Fringe.  Laurie’s plays have been produced at the Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre, Blyth Festival, and Theatre Kingston. From 2014 to 2017, Laurie was Managing Artistic Director of Ottawa StoryTellers (OST). Laurie directed Evolution Theatre’s The Home Show produced at the 2017 Ottawa Fringe. In March 2018, Laurie’s play Mirage: The Arabian Adventure of Gertrude Bell was read as part of Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival, and Being Helen received a workshop and reading at the 2018 Ergo Pink Festival, Toronto.  Laurie has her MA in Theatre from the University of Ottawa, 2010, and teaches Scriptwriting for Actors at Algonquin College, School of Media Design.

ALLISON GRAHAM - Acting Instructor
Allison Graham is a respected member of ACTRA and WGC. She is a graduate The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts (Los Angeles, California). She holds an Associate Degree in Theatre Arts from Pasadena City College. In addition to an extensive list of Feature Film & TV credits, Allison has also appeared in 'Da Vinci's Inquest', 'The Line', 'Being Erica', 'The Ron James Show', 'Stargate: Atlantis', 'Rumours', 'The Best Laid Plans', 'Doc', 'Trailer Park Boys', 'Deadfall', among many others.