Workshop: Directing The Actor, Centre for the Arts

Helping directors acquire the skill and confidence to successfully work with actors.  After successfully bringing ‘Directing The Actor’ to the NYU Graduate Film School and the National Screen Institute in Winnipeg, John Boylan is offering this uniquely focused course at the Centre for the Arts in Toronto. This course suits directors with a level of previous experience:
either in web, theatre, commercials; filmmaking, shooting tv; or a film school graduate.

  • Course available in the Spring and Fall of 2014
  • Three Eight hour days of practical and in-depth learning
  • Find out the “absolute” do’s and don’ts with actors
  • Directors will work with 6 busy, working actors
  • How to make best use of rehearsal time
  • Practice getting the actors to do what you want
  • See how far you can push an actor
  • The harmonious atmosphere will facilitate proper and deliberate practice

This course offers an intimate group of directors the opportunity to immerse themselves in acting and the actor. The directors will learn to better understand their own communication and leadership styles as well as develop a simple fluency in the grammar of the actor’s performance. As directors learn first and foremost by doing, each participant will have ample directing time as they learn the actor’s methodology, terminology and psychology.

Working with actors on scenes and improvised situations, the directors will learn to suss them out quickly and develop their ability to utilize the actors’ individual personality and psychology to get better performances. Each director will be given the skill to move an actor forward to peak performance and not ‘give up’ on performance. They will, in turn, also have the luxury of getting the actors’ feedback on their strengths and weaknesses.

Using scenes from current TV series scenes, feature screenplays and classical plays, directors will see how good writing inspires actors and how poor writing is a challenge. Together with the actors, directors will examine character, subtext, tone, rhythm and pace.

The in-class work will be based on today’s industry conditions reflecting both the art of excellent film acting and the practical necessities of time and money. Directors will see the similarities and differences between the actor’s and the director’s process of creation.

Spring Session, April 19, 20, 21 or Fall Session, Sept 6, 7, 8
Three 8-hour days
Cost: $452. (HST included)
Location: 651 Dufferin Street, Toronto
To enroll: Send cover letter and resume to John Boylan at
Directors will be informed if they are chosen for the course on or before April 1.
For more information call: 416 568 9072
Times and dates subject to change without notice.

John Boylan is a well known Canadian actor, acting coach, teacher and mentor. John Boylan is founder and Director of Toronto’s Centre for the Arts. A graduate actor of The National Theatre School of Canada, recent film and television credits include Bill & Sons, Beauty and the Beast, Dead of Winter, and Rogue. John is a 2014 recipient of an Ontario Arts Council National and International Residency grant.

As well as his ongoing classes at Centre for the Arts, John teaches at Ryerson University Theatre School and is a guest tutor at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London.  He delivered a Master Class to members of the acting company at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, taught at George Brown Theatre School and has taught at New York University: Graduate Film School; University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre; The Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin; Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh; The Actors Centre, London; and in Zimbabwe for FIA (International Actor’s Federation).

Additionally, he has taught at York University: Graduate and Under-Graduate Theatre Departments, the National Screen Institute, Humber College, Workshops in the Performing Arts-Vancouver, Moving Images Group-Halifax and Queens University. He designed and delivered workshops in the Vancouver, St. John’s and Halifax CBC studios for ACTRAWORKS.

He taught the first ever on-camera class at The Yale School of Drama.