Stage Door News

Toronto: Canadian Stage launches CS CLASSROOM – free online masterclasses by Canadian theatre greats

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Class is back in session as Canadian Stage invites theatre artists to attend CS CLASSROOM, a live interactive 5-week online series of FREE masterclasses, seminars, and discussions. Lead by twenty exceptional Canadianartists, these highly acclaimed theatre, dance, and live performance makers will directly address the artisticneeds of theatre creators today and in a post pandemic world.

From May 24 to June 25, acclaimed artists such as award-winning playwright, actor, film director andscreenwriter Daniel MacIvor, Governor General’s Award-winning playwright and director Jordan Tannahill,dance legend Peggy Baker, Dora Award-winning playwright Hannah Moscovitch, the Banff Centre’s Directorof Indigenous Arts Reneltta Arluk, highly respected playwright, director and teacher Peter Hinton, andothers examine the future of artistic creation in Canada. Offering practical tips, inspirations and provocationsabout today's shifting approaches and opportunities, CS CLASSROOM will enable participants to acquire theskills they will need to move forward and make art.

Canadian Stage’s creation of CS CLASSROOM is a direct response to the current pandemic and its impact onthe performing arts sector. Classes will cover topics such as: artistic inspiration, adapting theatrical work tonew media platforms, artistic connection and collaboration in the digital space, choreographic and dancepractice in isolation, and more.

“We are thrilled that a group of such exceptional artists have come together to engage with the presentmoment and how it is impacting our creativity, imaginations, and ways of working,” says Canadian StageArtistic Director Brendan Healy. “I look forward to being a part of these sessions as we collectively envisagewhat our future will be as creators and what performance-based culture will look like in the coming monthsand years. Please join us in these conversations.”

This initiative is part of Canadian Stage’s ongoing commitment to provide accessible opportunities for thegrowth and development of artists in Canada.

CS CLASSROOM events will be live streamed learning experiences, recordings of which will be made availableon Canadian Stage’s new digital platform, CSGRID, until June 30, 2020. 

Free registration at



Inspiration Mondays are an invitation into the minds of leading Canadian artists and thinkers about hope andartistic inspiration in isolation. Each artist will share with us the articles, videos, thoughts, and stories that areinspiring them in this time.

  • Jordan Tannahill - Monday May 25, 2020 - 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET (Moderated by Tawiah M’Carthy)

  • Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory - Monday June 2, 2020 - 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET (Moderated by Mel Hague)

  • Denise Clark - Monday June 8, 2020 - 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET (Moderated by Brendan Healy)

  • Peter Hinton - Monday June 15, 2020 - 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET (Moderated by Mel Hague)

  • Daniel MacIvor - Monday June 27, 2020 - 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET (Moderated by Mel Hague)


    Each masterclass comprises three half-hour lecture presentations by special guests, followed by a moderateddiscussion between the artists. Viewers can participate by posting questions and comments in the streamingchat.

    Writing and the Screen – May 27 – 4 to 6 PM

    Hannah Moscovitch, Motion, Jonathan Garfinkel
    Moderated by Mel Hague
    A conversation with three leading Canadian playwright/screenwriters in how to adapt theatrical work to thescreen and write specifically for the screen. Panelists will be invited to share practical tips as well as theirfeelings on writing for new media platforms, what excites them about this moment, and where do they findhope as solo creators.

    Producing for Digital Media - June 3 – 4 to 6 PM

    Michael Wheeler, Mariel Marshall, Leah Simone Bowen, Falen Johnson
    Moderated by Mel Hague
    A conversation with three leading Canadian theatre artists and companies with success and experience in thecreation of digital media and performance. These artists will cover: the technologies they find useful, howone can build an audience online, what works are best suited for a digital space, how they collaborate acrossdistance effectively, and what skills creators in the live arts need to build to connect in the digital space.

    Choreography Now – June 10 – 4 to 6 PM

    Alyssa Martin, Peggy Baker, Andrew Tay
    Moderated by Lynanne Sparrow
    A conversation across generations and practices between leading Canadian choreographers. These artists willconsider how to practice dance in isolation, how choreographic process can transcend physical space, howone can continue to collaborate under quarantine and some discoveries arrived at in this time.

  • Devising Now – June 17 – 4 to 6 PM
    Tawiah M'Carthy, Stephen O’Connell, Milton Lim
    Moderated by Mel Hague
    A masterclass with three leading Canadian creators whose work is primarily in collectively driven projects.The panel will be looking at: how their sense of collectivity has shifted in this time, what useful tools forcollaboration have emerged from this time, what attracted each to collective work in the old world, and whatvalue can be found in going forward?

  • Dramaturgy Now – June 24 – 4 to 6 PM
    Reneltta Arluk, Mel Hague, Ute Scharfenber
    Moderated by Brendan Healy
    A masterclass in new play dramaturgical processes and how social isolation and the pandemic has shifted the dramaturgical role.

    Each week participants will have an opportunity to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the week’spresentations with a group of other attendees facilitated by a member of the Canadian Stage artistic team.Thursdays from 4 to 5 PM (May 28 through June 25). Study Group is limited to 20 participants per session.Preregistration is required.