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Program Information

A group of people are rehearsing a play

Slaight Theatre Workshop 2024. Photo by Rita Taylor. 


Actor training returns to Banff Centre!  Slaight New Play Actor Training is a two-week workshop intensive for Canadian actors, rehearsing and workshopping two new Canadian plays ahead of premiere.

Actors can spend large portions of their career acting in premieres, but there is very little training specifically for this practice.  New Play Actor Training provides an opportunity for actors to learn and implement the skills needed to work in this environment, including script analysis, and when and how to make offers. Join us to develop and refine the expertise that directors and playwrights look for when working with actors in the early stages of their projects.

This exciting new residency offers early career and established performers the opportunity to explore two new plays: DUCKS by Ellen Close, and Kohkom’s Babushka by Joleen Ballendine and Lianna Makuch, thanks to the generosity of The Slaight Family Foundation.

What does the program offer?

During this two-week residency, participants will benefit from:

  • Mentorship with leading playwrights, directors and dramaturges
  • Daily warm ups and rehearsals in studio
  • Public readings at the end of the program.

Who should apply?

Canadian actors at any stage of their career, ideally with some professional training in a post-secondary training environment and some experience in a rehearsal room, are eligible to apply.  Those with the ability to move well, sing, and / or play an instrument are especially welcome. 

Please note: whilst the character descriptions are listed below, applications of all ages (18+), backgrounds, gender identities and expressions are welcome to apply. Applicants must be Canadian, a Permanent Resident or eligible under the terms of the Jay Treaty. 

All characters are part of an ensemble that brings magic to our world through movement. The ages listed reflect their essence and role rather than their actual age as performers.

The Plays

DUCKS by Ellen Close, directed by Marie Farsi.

DUCKS, based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Kate Beaton, follows the story of 22-year old Cape Breton cartoonist, Katie, as she attempts to pay off her student loans by working in the oil sands.

Actor 1 - Katie, 22, from Cape Breton

Actor 2 - female, 30-40s, to play all other female characters including:
*Laura, 40s, a warehouse supervisor from Saskatchewan
*Darlene, 50s, a tool crib attendant from Newfoundland
*Carmen, 20s, a tool crib attendant from Alberta

Actor 3 - male, 20s, various male characters including:
*The Baby (Shane), mid-20s, mechanic from Newfoundland

Actor 4 - male, 20-30s, various male characters including:
*Tyler, 20s, engineer from Newfoundland

Actor 5 - male, 30-40s, various male characters including:
*Ken, 40s, warehouse supervisor from Ontario
*Radar, 40s, driver from Newfoundland
*Brent, 20s, mechanic from Newfoundland

Actor 6 - male, 40-50s, various male characters including:
*John, late-40s, field liaison superintendent from Cape Breton
*Chuck, 30s, mechanic from Newfoundland

Actor 7 - male, 50s, various male characters including:
*Jeff, late-40s, office manager from Cape Breton
*Ambrose, 50s, mechanic foreman from Newfoundland

Kohkom's Babushka by Joleen Ballendine and Lianna Makuch, directed by Lianna Makuch.
Inspired by the book by Marion Mutala.

Kohkom’s Babushka is a family theatre production inspired by the book by prairie author Marion Mutala. The story opens dialogue to re-examine the legacies of traditional Canadian settler narratives. Celebrating both differences and similarities, the story embraces the enduring values of cultural traditions, the beauty of generosity, and the spirit of friendship.

Paulette - a young Métis girl, 12
Introspective, sensitive, with a quiet strength. You’ll often find Paulette lost in books or sketching in her journal, attuned to the world in her own thoughtful way. 

Natalia  - a young Ukrainian Canadian girl, 12
Extroverted, outgoing, lively. You’ll often find Natalia hanging out with her friends. She’s the kind of person who would be captain of the volleyball team while also leading student council then making it just in time for dance class.

Kohkom / Rosalie - woman, 50s.
Warm-hearted, nurturing, grounded. She's passionate about her beliefs and motivates others to stand up for what's right.

Dad / Taras - male, 40s
Hardworking, resilient, and determined. He has a deep connection with nature and is always ready to roll up his sleeves and tackle any challenge.

City Official / Northwest Police Officer - 30s-50s
A formidable, threatening presence, strictly adhering to the rules and regulations without question. 



What's Included

Travel Grant Read more Close

A grant towards your travel costs to and from Banff.

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Full Flex Meal Plan Read more Close

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay. Banff Centre can respond to most dietary requests. 

The Full Flex meal plan is equivalent to $70 credit per day, equivalent to breakfast, lunch and dinner at our Buffet service.

Single Room Read more Close

Your program fee includes a single bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives Read more Close

The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives - Current Services

The Library is delighted to support Banff Centre Participants, Artists, and Faculty with the following services:

  • Open hours:  9:30 am to 1 pm, Mondays and Wednesdays; 9:30 am to 4 pm on Fridays.
  • Access to collections, including program relevant books, scores, artists’ books, recordings, periodicals, and object library.
  • Library accounts for borrowing materials.
  • Digital Library, on campus and remote access.
  • Library research assistance, by appointment.
  • Archives research, by appointment only.

Please email or for more information or assistance.

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Gym Membership Read more Close

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

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Participant Resources Read more Close

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

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Box Office Discounts Read more Close

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

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Showcase Your Work Read more Close

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in one of our performance venues.

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Group Seminars/Workshops Read more Close

Join in group seminars and workshops.

Fees & Financial Assistance

You Pay (fee after scholarship applied)
Total Fee (Tuition, Accommodation and Meal Plan)
$3 785.25
Scholarship Amount Applied*
$3 785.25

Due to the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation, there is NO APPLICATION FEE for this program. Please SKIP STEP 2. 

*Scholarship of 100% is available and will be applied to cover tuition, meal and accommodation costs. A travel bursary is also included.

If you would like to be considered, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials.

Banff Centre will issue official tax receipts for eligible tuition fees and financial assistance and awards as required by the Income Tax Act. You will receive a T2202 (Tuition and Enrolment Certificate) for eligible tuition fees paid and a T4A (Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income) for applicable financial assistance and awards.

Help fund your experience at Banff Centre. View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

How to Apply

Learn more about the steps to Complete Your Application.


Please provide a one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience.

Cover Letter

A one-page cover letter explaining why you wish to attend this program, what you hope to learn or achieve and what impact it could have on your artistic practice. When uploading your materials, please also state which role(s) you would be interested in playing.


Please record a video of you performing a 2-minute monologue from a contemporary Canadian play.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program.

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete. 


Applicants must be ages 18+ at the time of the program start date. Applicants must be Canadian, a Permanent Resident or eligible under the terms of the Jay Treaty. 


All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Contact Admissions

For questions on preparing your application, please contact Admissions:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)