Learn the Craft of Acting

professional techniques for community theatre artists
About Me about you

Welcome to my website

I’ve spent the past 12 of my 25 years of professional training and experience to help community theatre artists do what they do with more confidence, so they can create natural, engaging performances that they and their audiences will love.  This site is a resource for all actors and directors who want to hone their skills and achieve their artistic dreams on community stages.

 

About me

Pleased to meet You!

I’m Barbra French, a Canadian theatre artist, creator and educator. My theatrical journey began when I stepped on stage at the tender age of eight and ignited a life-long passion for the performing arts. I’m an alumnus of Vancouver Island University, the University of British Columbia (BA, Theatre) and the University of Alberta (MFA, Directing). I was founder and Artistic Director of several companies, including The Etcetera Theatre Collective (Edmonton), In Other Words Theatre (Nanaimo), and am currently reviving ETC into the Etcetera Theatre Company.

As an instructor, I’ve taught courses in acting, scene study, performance creation and creativity at universities, colleges and private theatres across Western Canada for almost 25 years. I’ve also directed dozens of productions, am a published playwright, and I’ve co-created seven full-length devised works for the theatre.  Currently, I’m finishing myscene book, Moments: 75 flexible scenes for Two or Three Actors and working on several new plays.

Since 2012, I ‘ve been working with community theatre actors and organizations, teaching, coaching and adjudicating festivals. My mission is to help these artists and groups hone their skills and gain more confidence by offering them the professional techniques that they may not have access to. As a passionate believer in the power of live, human connection to help heal the world, my goal is to bring people back to the theatre and theatre back to the people.

After a stint in Mexico, I am very happy to be back living on beautiful Vancouver Island with my beloved husband, Greg, and our rescue dog, Tucker.

ABOUT YOU

What’s the Dream?

The laughter, tears and standing ovations are some things most actors dream about.  We love the theatre, and we love performing for our audience, don’t we?.  But community theatre actors come with a wide range of backgrounds, skill sets and goals.  Some acted in high school and want to rekindle their love of performing but feel ‘rusty’.  Some have never tried acting but are curious and want to learn the ropes to see if they like it.  Some have trod the board for years but feel like they never quite mastered the art.  Whatever your dream, I can help you get there with in-person courses, books, podcasts, downloads and more.

1:1 coaching

Audition coming up?  Need help with a difficult monologue?  Feeling stuck in rehearsals?  One on one coaching, either in person or via zoom, can get you back on track. Let me know what you need.

Resources

PRE-ORDER MY NEW BOOK!

Moments is a scene book full of flexible scenes for adult students of any age, gender or skill level. Written for d

In-Person Classes

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There’s just no substitute for continuing instruction and mentorship.  Classes teach you the skill sets you need in a structured, supportive, ensemble environment. Plus, they are loads of fun!

What You Can Expect 

My Teaching Philosophy

For me, teaching is a process; an exchange of ideas in order to stimulate interest and discourse, introduce tools and techniques, and encourage exploration and growth.  Drawing from my professional work teaching university and working in my theatre companies,  I use four key steps to achieve these goals:

create a safe, fun and challenging ensemble environment,

explain concepts and use games and exercises as tools for understanding,

use practical, ‘up on the feet’ work to explore the techniques,

employ a contructive “what worked, and what do we need to work on” approach for critique.

Classes allow you to meet amazing people, express yourself and collaborate creatively in a fun and nurturing environment.  Join us.  You know you want to.

students talk

Need more info?

Schedule a free 20 minute session with me!

Quetions about my classes?  Let’s chat!  I can help steer you towards the right ones for you. Drop me an email and we’ll set up a call.  I’ll do my best to help.