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Women Working Workshop


The workshop is inspired by a directing actors class given by self-taught actor-director Micheline Lanctôt at Concordia University, and it is conceived as an exercise in directing actors, in which both directors and actors can practice their craft in a safe and friendly environment as well as receive invaluable feedback from peers. The main goal of the workshop is to provide an opportunity to both groups to develop their skills. Faced with the reality of the industry, most directors, and especially women and emerging directors, have very few opportunities to practice and hone their craft. This workshop is a direct solution to this problem, allowing directors and actors to regularly spend productive time together, extending their practice and developing skills required for filmmaking, but without the financial and other burdens of the film set.

In our long-term vision, we would like to transfer the idea of this simple, but invaluable exercise to the community, thus inspiring self-organized replication of the exercise that would benefit an even larger number of directors and actors.


  1. Each director submits a script for a short scene for two characters that can be shot in one long take (between 0.30 seconds and 5 minutes in length). Keep in mind that you will be working with two actresses.
  2. The participants will be assigned to groups of 3 or 4 directors and two actors (depending on number of participants).
  3. Each person in the group takes the role of director for 30 minutes. The other group members will alternate the following roles:
    A. camera operator (who films the director’s vision)
    B. videographer (who films the director directing — both the actors and the camera operator)
  4. Before filming, a short casting will take place, where directors and actors will agree on which scenes they will collaborate on.
  5. The director can have as many rehearsals as they want during the 30 minutes, but the final take is shot only ONCE, and the session is over. The next person then steps into the director’s role.
  6. After everyone has had their turn, we view the material as one large group and discuss the director’s instructions, behaviour, gestures, speech, trying to see where they made mistakes and where they succeeded. Actors give their feedback to directors, and are welcome to ask directors and other for feedback on their performance if they wish.

*A REMINDER that we will be focused on directing and acting — not cinematography. Each group will receive a basic tripod and 2 camcorders, and the use of other materials is discouraged.



ACCESSIBILITY: The location is accessible by wheelchair.
BATHROOMS: Gender neutral bathrooms are available on location.
CHILD-CARE: Please send us a message if you are concerned about finding child-care for this date. If there are enough interested parents, we can try and coordinate a baby-sitter for a group rate.

Note: ACTRA is happy to support this important initiative, but is not responsible for the design, administration or execution of this workshop.


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