Ottawa's Premier Acting School

for Theatre / Film / TV since 2013


Fun, social & challengingThis program explores acting, improv, scene study & writing, while focusing on content that is relevant and of interest to adults 55+. The afternoon classes offer excellent training in stage craft, and are also a great way to meet new people and have fun! ​Whether you’re returning to the stage to brush up on skills or fulfilling a lifelong dream of studying theatre, we’re here to tell you it’s really never too late!         

"The most fun I've ever had in my life!" - Joy Ralph



Studio 55: Acting Workshop with Kate Smith

Join AC Artistic Director Kate Smith in this open level Acting Workshop that has something for everyone! From those exploring acting for the first time to those with more performance experience, students will practice acting skills including voice and character work, improvisation, and scenes in a fun and supportive atmosphere. Learn new skills and make new friends in the Studio 55 Program this winter!

Pre-requisites: None. Open to all.

​Wednesdays, January 10 - February 28

8 week course

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

$295.00 plus HST

Studio 55: O Canada! with Chris Ralph & Kate Smith

Canadian plays, eh? This brand NEW course takes students on a trip ‘from sea to shining sea’ as they explore a new Canadian play and playwright each week! Students will learn about the week’s featured playwright, then focus on one of their most well-known works and get up on their feet acting in scenes from the play. A fun and fantastic way to get a taste of all Canadian theatre has to offer!

Pre-requisites: None required. Studio 55: Intro, Studio 55: Acting Workshop or comparable experience recommended.

Thursdays, January 11 - March 1

8 week course

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
$295.00 plus HST

Studio 55: Storytelling & Songwith Leah Cogan & Accompanist

Do you love music and singing? Have you noticed your voice has changed over the years? Take a musical voyage back in time in this brand NEW course with experienced Musical Theatre instructor Leah Cogan (winner of CBC’s television program Triple Sensation). Students will work with Leah and an accompanist each week exploring classic songs and jazz standards from the 1940s and beyond, learning how to tell stories through music, and embracing and harnessing the natural vocal changes that everyone experiences over time.

None required. Studio 55: Intro, Studio 55: Acting Workshop or comparable experience recommended.

Tuesdays, January 9 - February 27

8 week course

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

$325.00 plus HST


Studio 55: Showcase with Chris Ralph


Here's your chance to act in a play! You and your fellow Studio 55 classmates will be cast in a play and experience the rehearsal process working with a real director. With guidance from your instructor, students will rehearse for two hours each week in preparation for a Friday night Showcase for family and friends! This process will integrate props, costumes, sound effects, music and lights to create a memorable performance.

Mondays, January 8 - February 26* 

8 week course

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

*Final Performance on Friday, March 2 at 7:30 PM

​$295.00 plus HST​​​

KATE SMITH - AC Artistic Director & Acting Instructor

Kate is Co-Artistic Director of Skeleton Key Theatre, an Ottawa-based independent theatre company that focuses on immersive theatrical experiences. Skeleton Key's work has been presented at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the In The Soil Festival (St. Catharines), the undercurrents festival, the Fresh Meat Festival, and all iterations of site-specific theatrical event subDevision. Past acting credits include: Outside Mullingar and Romantic Poetry (Prix Rideau Award nomination, Black Sheep Theatre) , A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival), Iron, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and The 39 Steps (Prix Rideau Award nomination, SevenThirty Productions), Airport Security and Snapshot (Gruppo Rubato), Richard III in Bouffon (A Company of Fools), Top Girls (Third Wall Theatre), as well as The Rideau Project: The Rhyme of the Nicholas Street Gaol (MNTF), among others. Kate recently won an Outstanding Ensemble Performance Award for HOOTENANNY!, a dark musical comedy that she co-wrote and performs with actor Will Somers (Smith & Somers). 


CHRIS RALPH - AC Co-Founder & Executive Director

His most recent acting credits include roles in Half Life (Theatre Northwest); A Christmas Carol (NAC); Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Plosive Productions); Up to Low (Easy Street/Magnetic North Festival); Glengarry Glen Ross (Avalon Productions – Capital Critics Award for Best Production); Billy Bishop Goes to War (Plosive Productions – Capital Critics Best Actor nomination); Death and the Maiden (Plosive Productions); and The Game of Love and Chance (Odyssey Theatre). Chris is a proud member of Plosive Productions – one of Ottawa’s longest-running indie theatre companies. 

LEAH COGAN - Acting Instructor

Leah is a trained actor and musician who has worked in performance, facilitation and arts education for over 13 years. An alumna of Sheridan Institute in Musical Theatre Performance and Brown University in Theatre Arts, as well as the winner of CBC’s Triple Sensation (2009), Leah has carved a unique approach to performance coaching that combines movement, voice and speech training, trust building, and arts literacy. A nationally recognized talent, Leah has worked as an actor, coach and facilitator in Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Ottawa, Providence, Manhattan (off-Broadway) and Brooklyn.  She has now returned to Ottawa (her hometown) to raise her family, and to take part in the creative growth happening in our capital city.

Studio 55 featured on CBC TV