Featured Image Source: Cottonbro via Pexels
By Aiden Collins
Everyone is born with emotions and so, anyone can have the talent to act. However, only the best acting school in Calgary can help improve your talents, enough for you to reach the stars.
In this article, we have the complete guide to get you started on acting. We have information on the best drama schools, costs you can expect, types of art classes, and even some answers to FAQs.
How Much Do Drama Classes Cost in Calgary
Here are the expenses you should prepare should you wish to enroll in acting classes.
|Type of acting class||Average price|
|One-year acting classes||$20,500|
|Acting essentials programs||$7,500|
Now, if you really want to pursue acting, you can take your post-secondary education in a school with dedicated performing arts programs. Here are the different schools in Canada you can apply for and how much each school may cost:
|National Theater School of Canada||$4,500|
|Vancouver Film School||$20,500|
|Toronto Academy of Acting and Film & Television School||$7,300|
|Capilano University School of Motion Picture Arts||$28,251|
|Simon Fraser University||$2,770|
|University of British Columbia Department of Theatre and Film||$4,995.78|
|Red Deer College||$5,600|
|Canadian College of Performing Arts||$15,000|
|Second City Toronto||$280 per quarter|
The Best Drama Schools in Calgary
Here are the best acting schools in Calgary for aspiring adult and child actors alike. Know that these acting schools mostly offer seasonal programs and not full-scale acting curriculum.
1. Calgary Actors’ Studio
|ADDRESS||900 47 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2H 2W2|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 617-5221|
Calgary Actors’ Studio caters to just about any Calgarian actor, whether they may be beginners or already in the advanced level. It even has classes for adults and kids alike.
This acting school is led by Daniel Libman, an award-winning director and writer who is also active in acting and adjudicating in national theatre auditions. He is also commended by previous students who have now made themselves know in theatre and film.
Daniel leads a large team of creatives composed of accomplished musical directors, choreographers, music instructors.
When it comes to acting classes for adults, Calgary Actors’ Studio conducts intro, scene study classes, intermediate acting, and even scriptwriting classes. The scene study can also come with on-camera audition training techniques.
Additionally, Calgary Actors’ Studio provides audition preparation classes to those who want to pursue post-secondary education in acting. And to truly equip you for an acting career, Dan even provides a free career counselling session.
This Calgary acting school has helped its students pass auditions for Canadian acting and international acting schools alike. That said, Calgary Actors’ Studio is more focused on professional training, so it doesn’t really cater to students younger than 10 years old.
Calgary Actors’ Studio has been praised by all of its clients, whether they may be enrolled in adult or kids classes. Here are some reviews to tell you more:
“I took Dan’s adult beginner class during COVID lockdowns over Zoom. He made it work! (actually it was very convenient for me not to have to go down to the studio every week). I really enjoyed the class and I now have a deeper appreciation for the creative process that actor’s go through when studying for a scene. I highly recommend this class!”—Amber Przybylski
“My kids have been to multiple SummerACT sessions and have always had a wonderful time. The coaches are professionals in theatre arts so you’re getting real training in a fun environment. The performances are so entertaining, it’s amazing what they can do with these kids in just a week or two! I would highly recommend this program for anyone.”—Monica Webster
2. Universal Talent Film School
|CONTACT DETAILS||(587) 582-1600|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM |
Wednesday – Friday 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Universal Talent Film School is an acting school and a global talent agency in one. So, if you’re looking for the best acting school in Calgary to launch your career, then this school can give you a start.
Before you even start classes with this school, you can request a free online agency interview. It can give sound advice as its team has a talent agent, director, actor, dialect coach, choreographer, and opera singer.
Once you decide that Universal is the perfect acting school for you, you can then choose among its method acting, Meisner, and improv classes. Specifically, its classes include musical for kids and teens, triple threat masters, and kids acting online classes.
Currently, this drama school offers a blend of online and in-person classes for a 4-month intensive program on musical theatre.
Still, most of its classes are done online. So, if you’d rather practice with like-minded people, then this may not be the best for you.
Its classes usually span months, with the shortest being four months and the longest nine months. Luckily, Universal’s classes are only held in the evenings and weekends to cater to the busy schedules of adults, teens, and kids alike.
What we like the most about Universal is that it can accommodate children as young as 6 years old.
Just be sure to check the contract thoroughly as we’ve read and heard complaints about it.
Customers have praised Universal Talent Film School for making a personalized approach but also pushing its students outside their comfort zones. Here are the reviews that agree with such statement:
There is a huge emphasis on expressing yourself authentically and growing your comfort zone in all of universals classes. Which has me actually be more me than i AM outside of classes. Even if you dont want to persue acting as a career… i would recommend it for the confidence builder alone”—Brandon Finlay
“So grateful we found this business. Originally, my husband and I signed our kids up for their online improv classes. They loved them so much they are now taking 4 classes a week and this is seriously the highlight of their weeks. We love the convenience of their online classes, the affordability, their company transparency and just their great attitudes. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a wonderful experience.”—Hailey J
“Love these guys. I’ve taken classes with them and some of my children and we’ve all booked work. Great place, honest agency, very connected and just really good people. I was also impressed as I used to be with another agency in the city and she talked trash about every other agency and I have to say that Vivian never once put down any other agency in the city. She has class like no other agent I’ve ever met and it’s truly connected from here all the way to the UK.”Jenn Rothschild
3. Company of Rogues Actors’ Studio
|ADDRESS||The Hala Building, 1217 Centre St NW Suite 216, Calgary, AB T2E 2R3|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 228-5526|
|OPERATING HOURS||Tuesday – Friday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM|
We recommend Company of Rogues for people serious about the craft because they are a post-secondary institution under the Government of Canada with a 2-year program for professional actors.
This program trains students in scene study, Meisner technique, TV and film acting, and other fundamental acting methods and streams of study.
After training, students then get the chance to meet local and regional film, TV, and theatre casting directors, thanks to Company of Rogues connections. Those who train with this school even get lifetime mentoring perks.
Of course, the Company of Rogues also has stand-alone acting classes such as voice & movement, essentials of acting, and scriptwriting. Most of its classes have evening schedules to cater even to those studying or working part-time or full-time.
They offer an equal blend of theater- as well as film-and-television- based work. They are also non-academic based, ensuring students are working hands-on rather than receiving just theory based education.
Do know that admission to its classes requires instructor approval and a certain level of experience.
All of these acting school instructors have long-time experiences in acting, directing, and writing for all media forms. More than that, the Company of Rogues is led by Joe Norman-Shaw and Cristiane Hirt, seasoned and successful actors with many local and international stage, film, and TV credits to their names.
Their pricing is also very competitive with other post-secondary institutions.
Casual to professional actors alike have praised Company of Rogues for the valuable training it’s provided them. Here are some reviews to tell you more:
“I have taken classes with Company of Rogues for over 3 years. Having no previous experience and coming to this “hobby” late in life, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But what I found is that all of the instructors are patient, kind and offer great advice to fine tune and guide your acting path. My “hobby” pays me money now because of my commitment and of the instructors! And I’m still coming back because you can’t stop learning!”—Adena Warren
“I am and will always be in debt to The Rogues Actor’s Studio. After moving here from Regina and taking classes at the studio, it quickly became a home and a safe haven for me to explore the craft of acting. Not only the acting though, over the past two years that I studied there I have grown more as a person; mentally, emotionally and spiritually than I ever have in my entire life. Both Joe and Christiane have instilled in me a respect for the craft and a work ethic that has helped me reach my goals in the professional world. The passion they bring to the studio every day is inspiring and the tools they pass on through their teaching is what I truly believe are the essentials to real, potent, honest, stimulating acting. Their approach is pure; devoid of any of the tricks or superficial techniques that plague our craft. They believe in the importance of the role of the actor in today’s society and they promote the art as not only an art, but as a way of life, an attitude, an ethos. I truly believe that the Studio helped me to discover my true self and to realize my true aspirations in life.”—Alexander Arsenault
4. Ania Danylo Acting Classes at Prelude Artists
|ADDRESS||28 Edgemont Estates Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3A 2M5|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 547-2700|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM|
Ania Danylo Acting Classes at Prelude Artists is home to Ania Danylo, an award-winning actor, director, writer, and instructor who has been active in the industry for over 25 years.
She has experience in writing family-oriented scripts for theatrical productions, which is why it’s no surprise that her classes are applicable for children and adults alike.
Ania’s classes include improvisations, scene studies, voice and diction, storytelling, monologue, the art of conversation, and intro to commercial acting. All of these classes are very affordable, costing only $100 for a monthly subscription.
Aside from their affordability, Ania’s classes are also very accessible because they’re uploaded online. That said, if you want in-person classes and training, then this may not be for you.
To add to its acting classes, Ania Danylo also provides private coaching services, especially for those needing help with live and self-tape auditions. This service is also for people who want to improve their conversational skills, vocal quality, presentation skills, public speaking, and body language awareness.
The best thing about Ania Danylo’s acting school is that it’s open every day of the week.
Read these reviews to know what to expect should you choose Ania Danylo to be your acting coach and instructor in Calgary:
“I have been taking lessons with Ania Danylo for almost 3 years. I have been taking them primarily for public speaking in the workplace. I have received incredible positive feedback on my progress from colleagues. Whether it’s professional workplace develoPMent, stage or film acting, or musical performance lessons – Ania can do it all!”—Sarah Peck
“Having Ania as a coach and mentor has made all the difference in my life and career. Ania has helped me with everything from audition techniques to set etiquette. Her wonderful demeanor and extensive experience make for a relaxed learning environment where confidence building and fun are both inevitable. For stage, screen or voice, Ania Danylo should be your first stop!”—Chris Fuglerud
5. Stagecoach Performing Arts Calgary (Dalhousie)
|ADDRESS||5432 Dalhart Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3A 1V6|
|CONTACT DETAILS||(403) 604-0047|
|OPERATING HOURS||Saturday: 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM|
Now, if you’re looking for acting schools because of your child, then Stagecoach Calgary should be your pick. This is the best acting school in Calgary for kids ranging from 4 years old to 16 years old.
Stagecoach Calgary teaches acting, singing, and dancing through weekly classes and camps. Aside from acting skills, this school also aims to improve its students’ confidence and unleash their potential.
Its classes are led by professional acting instructors with over 30 years of experience teaching youth aspiring actors. Stagecoach Calgary follows high standards as a part of a national franchise.
Since its main demographic is children, Stagecoach Calgary conducts its classes only on weekends. Additionally, these classes are relatively shorter, spanning only two hours, to avoid any downtimes for energy-filled students.
Stagecoach Calgary has relatively affordable prices for its classes. It even offers special discounts for siblings enrolling together, early birds, and students enrolling in multiple camps.
You should know, Stagecoach Calgary also makes its students’ health and safety a priority. So, should there be any cancellations due to pandemic restrictions, Stagecoach is willing to provide full refunds.
Here are some testimonials from proud and satisfied parents who enrolled their children in Stagecoach’s acting classes:
“Our daughter has been with Stagecoach early stages at Dalhousie for 4 semesters now, and we will keep coming back! The teachers, management, and principal at this school are all highly trained, professional, and passionate about teaching theater to kids. Quality instruction, very reasonable tuition fees.”—Paul Gajda
“My child has been a part of this group for many years, starting in Early stages. She has learned many different facets of the theatre.There is always something that she comes home to show me. She looks forward to attending every class. She loves this group of kids and teachers. It’s never a struggle to get her to go. This is a fantastic place to build confidence.
Stagecoach is a Must for us!!”—J O
Common Acting Techniques
Now, before you enroll in any of these acting schools, you should first learn about the different acting techniques that each actor should at least know about.
1. Classical acting
The classical acting method is known to be invented by Constantin Stanislavski. This acting method emphasizes the importance of memory, dramatic analysis, observation, voice quality, and physical skills.
2. Meisner technique
Developed by Sanford Meisner, the Meisner acting technique is driven by external events and inspirations.
So, actors practicing this method act by reacting to events. This method usually allows actors some room to be free and improvise.
3. Method acting
On the other hand, method acting relies more on internal inspirations rather than external events. With this type of acting technique, actors internalize their characters.
Actors would then relate to their characters using their personal experiences. Once they put themselves in their character’s shoes and understand their motivations, they can then act out as if they are the characters themselves.
4. Michael Chevkov acting
This acting technique is much like method acting in a way that actors internalize their character’s experiences, thoughts, and emotions. It’s called psycho-physical as it encourages actors to express the character’s internal conflicts through movement and gestures.
5. Stella Adler acting
Stella Adler believed that drawing inspiration from one’s personal experiences can be limiting. So, the Stella Adler acting technique instead urges actors to imagine the world, the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of their character, and act out according to those factors.
FAQs about Acting and Acting Schools
And that’s it for our list, now you only need to choose the best out of them all! With the best acting school in Calgary, you’ll certainly be confident enough to land you roles in theatre, TV, and film.
Think we missed any other acting schools? If so, leave us a message so we can also review them!