Fun, social & challenging! This program explores acting, improv, scene study & writing, while focusing on content that is relevant and of interest to adults ages 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: Showcase with Chris Ralph and Matt Hertendy

The Studio 55 class that ends with a performance! One of our most popular courses, the AC's Showcase course offers participants an opportunity to develop a practical process for acting --- through preparation, rehearsal and right up to the performance. This 7 week course is an excellent opportunity to build upon your existing skills. Participants will work on a one-act play or scene showcase throughout the 7 week course and perform it for an invited audience of family and friends.

Location: AC Downtown

Tuesdays, November 6th - December 18th
Performance: December 21st @ 7:30PM 

7-Week Course

1:00PM - 3:00PM

$280.00 +HST

​STUDIO 55:IMPROVwith Mary Harvey

Learn the fundamentals of improv comedy, improve your storytelling skills, learn to think quickly on your feet and how to be more creative. Through exercises, games and basic short-form scene-work, you will learn how to be more spontaneous, fun and creative in a professional, supportive atmosphere. Whether you want to add more fun and spontaneity to your life or you want to improve your acting skills, our course is a fantastic way to change the way you think! 

Location: AC Downtown
Wednesdays, November 7th  - December 19th
7 week course

1:00PM - 3:00PM 
$280.00 + HST

LEAH COGAN - Speech and Musical Theatre

Leah is a trained actor and musician who has worked in performance and arts education for over 13 years. With a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Brown University and a Music Theatre Performance diploma from Sheridan College, she studied speech and voice, movement, creative ensemble, Alexandre technique, clown, and more with some of the most respected instructors in the world. Leah was the winner of CBC’s Triple Sensation – chosen out of thousands of hopefuls by a team or world-renowned artists and instructors. 

CHRIS RALPH - AC Co-Founder & Executive Director

Chris is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and has an MFA (Performance) from York University. His most recent acting credits include roles in Up to Low (NAC); Half Life (Theatre Northwest); A Christmas Carol (NAC); The Amorous Servant (Odyssey Theatre); Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Plosive Productions); 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. He also serves on the board of directors for the Ottawa Little Theatre.

GEOFF MCBRIDE - Acting Instructor 

Geoff is an Ottawa based actor and theatre creator. He has played in the parks around the city with the Company of Fools for a number of years appearing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, and The Comedy of Errors among others. He also directed the Fools’ adaptation of Henry V. He is one half of Ottawa’s THUNK!theatre and has created several shows such as bread and Far & Near & Here. A long time ago he trained at Dalhousie University and was an apprentice and a member of the Young Company at the Stratford Festival.

MATT HERTENDY - Acting Instructor 
​Matt is an Ottawa-born-and-raised actor, creator and playwright. His first professional play Rideshares received the 2016 Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding New Creation, and Emerging Artist of the Year. Rideshares has been produced internationally and across Canada. Most recently he appeared in Cart Before the Horse Theatre's production of Lungs at the Ottawa Fringe, where he was the co-winner of the Ottawa Fringe Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance with Megan Carty. He was also awarded the 2018 Prix Rideau for Outstanding Male Performance. Matt is the Artistic Director of New Theatre of Ottawa, and co-founder of Two Kind Boys (who are on hiatus). Upcoming: The world premiere of his new play The IKEA Play in April 2019. 


Ottawa's Premier Acting School

for Theatre / Film / TV since 2013

REBECCA BENSON - Acting Instructor 
Rebecca Benson has worked as an actor and director in Canada and the UK with Three Sisters Theatre, Bear and Company, Theatre Kingston, Soulpepper, Actors Repertory Company, The Ramshorn Theatre and TACTICS. She has been an assistant director at the NAC, Soulpepper and The Stratford Festival. Rebecca originally came to Ottawa in 2006 to pursue her MFA in Directing at OttawaU and, after many adventures that took her to Scotland, Winnipeg and Kingston, she returned to the Capital in 2016 with her young family. Actor credits include: Queen/Belarius/Jupiter in Cymbeline (Bear and Co), Ana in The Clean
House (Three Sisters), Pinkhead in Anybody Can Be Pussy Riot (Kingston’s inaugural StoreFront Festival).Milena in Family Stories Belgrade (ARC), Pimple in She Stoops to Conquer (Soulpepper), Dot in Sunday in the Park with George (GBC/Equity Showcase). She has taught part-time at OttawaU’s Theatre Department, Carleton University, The Prairie Theatre Exchange School, Ottawa Children’s Theatre, and works as a community artist with Branch Out Theatre. She is thrilled to continue working with the dynamic group of instructors at the Acting Company.