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Prairie Theatre Exchange was born as a theatre school in 1972. PTE is committed to theatre education as a way to build confidence, to encourage self-expression and to nurture a love for the art form. PTE is also dedicated to being a home for professional artist development through workshops that inspire, provoke and challenge.

Photo: Suzuki/Viewpoints workshop, photo by Leif Norman

In addition to PTE's work with partners like Winnipeg School Division and the University of Manitoba, in 2018-19, PTE is offering skill-specific classes for adults, including Comedy and Movement in the fall, and Spoken Voice and Voice-over Level 2 in January.

For those ready to take their skills to the next level in performances, PTE offers two performing companies - Adult Company and Youth Acting Conservatory.

ACTcessible is a program for adults with special needs that runs from September to March.

And through-out the year, special professional development workshops will be offered with established professionals in a range of subjects, for artists who are looking for an opportunity to enhance their skills.

Questions about classes? Call Sandra McEwing, Education & Tour Coordinator, at 204-925-5253, or .



    Fringe Stage Management with Melissa Novecosky | Monday, June 17, 2019 | 7 - 10 pm

    Class Fee: $30
    Maximum Participants: 25


    So, you just agreed to stage manage your best friend’s Fringe show – NOW WHAT?!?

    This three-hour crash course in stage management for the Fringe Festival is perfect for first time stage managers and those seasoned veterans wanting to brush up their skills. This hands-on session will teach you how to set-up your calling script, place and call cues, and use your tech time effectively. We’ll also discuss some organization and leadership techniques so you can spend more time at Old Market Square and less time trying to find lost props.

    All you need is your script, a binder, and a great sense of humour!


    Melissa Novecosky has had the pleasure of working on over 50 productions at theatres across the country since 2006. Trained at the National Theatre School, she has honed her skills on a variety of productions from some the smallest stages to some of the largest.

    As a member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and a member of Equity’s National Council, representing the stage management region, Melissa is committed is advocating for stage managers and mentoring young artists.


    Suzuki/Viewpoints with Will Bond (Bondo) | August 6 - 10 | 10am - 2 pm

    Class Fee: $275 (5 sessions, 4 hours each)
    Maximum participants: 26



    Developed by internationally acclaimed director Tadashi Suzuki and the Suzuki Company of Toga, the Suzuki Method’s principal concern is with restoring the wholeness of the human body to the theatrical context and uncovering the actor’s innate expressive abilities. A rigorous physical discipline drawn from such diverse influences as ballet, traditional Japanese and Greek theater, and martial arts, the training seeks to heighten the actor’s emotional and physical power and commitment to each moment on the stage. Attention is on the lower body and a vocabulary of footwork, sharpening the actor’s breath control and concentration.


    A technique of improvisation that grew out of the postmodern dance world. It was first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie, who broke down the two dominant issues performers deal with—time and space—into six categories. She called her approach the Six Viewpoints. SITI’s Anne Bogart and company members have expanded Overlie’s notions and adapted them for actors. The Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively, and to generate bold, theatrical work quickly. It develops flexibility, articulation, and strength in movement and makes ensemble playing really possible.


    Bondo is a founding member of SITI. Credits include The Medium, Small Lives/Big Dreams, Culture of Desire, Cabin Pressure, War of the Worlds (by Naomi Iizuka for SITI), War of the Worlds: The Radio Play, Bob (Drama Desk Nomination), La Dispute, bobrauschenbergamerica, Radio MacBeth, Who Do You Think You Are, Death and the Ploughman, Antigone, A Rite with Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Persians, and Chess Match #5. Regional Credits include: The Tale of Lear with Tadashi Suzuki, Persephone with Robert Wilson, MacBeth, Hamlet, The Lover, A Slight Ache, The Baltimore Waltz, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and Greater Tuna. Original works for Dance for Camera include: Option Delete, The Perfect Human 2.0, Submerged with Marianne M Kim, I'll Crane For You with Deborah Hay and currently Wicked Bodies with Liz Lerman.



    Masterclass in Stage Managing Musical Theatre with Melissa Novecosky | May 13, 2019 | 7 - 10 pm

    Class Fee: $30
    Maximum Participants: 25

    Musical theatre provides some of the most exciting and challenging work for stage managers. Join Melissa Novecosky for a masterclass in stage managing musicals, where she digs into what separates musicals from regular plays and shares tips and tricks gleaned from years of experience. This seminar provides instruction and hands-on activities including blocking for musicals, scheduling multiple rehearsal halls, calling cues for musicals and more.

    This workshop is suitable for professional and amateur stage managers who are new to musicals and those more experienced stage managers wishing to brush up their skills and level-up. Non-stage managers are welcome as well.


    Melissa Novecosky has had the pleasure of working on over 50 productions at theatres across the country since 2006. Trained at the National Theatre School, she has honed her skills on a variety of productions from some the smallest stages to some of the largest. Some selected musical theatre credits include: stage manager for Mamma Mia!, Sister Act, West Side Story, The Producers, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Rainbow Stage), Billy Elliot the Musical (Royal MTC), Bloodless: The Trial of Burke & Hare (White Rabbit Productions) and assistant stage manager for The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Annie, Footloose (Rainbow Stage), Next to Normal, White Christmas (Royal MTC).

    As a member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and a member of Equity’s National Council, representing the stage management region, Melissa is committed is advocating for stage managers and mentoring young artists.


    Master Playwrighting Seminar with Hannah Moscovitch | February 6 | 7 - 10 pm

    Class Fee: $50
    Maximum 24 participants

    A masterclass on the structure of story. How to realize the vision for a piece of theatre via the plot. How to use narrative to hold the audience's attention. And how to omit story and create non-narrative theatre.



    Hannah Moscovitch is an acclaimed playwright whose work has been produced across Canada as well as in the United States, Britain, Ireland, Greece, Japan, Germany, Austria and Australia. Past stage work includes East of Berlin, Little One, This is War, Bunny, What a Young Wife Ought to Know, and Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story (co created with Christian Barry and Ben Caplan). Hannah has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the Trillium Book Award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, The Nova Scotia Masterworks Award, both The Scotsman Fringe First and The Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Festival, and the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize administered by Yale University. She is a Playwright-In-Residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.


    Seminar on Directing with Richard Rose | January 8 & 9 | 7 - 10 pm

    Class Fee: $80
    Maximum number of participants: 15

    This two-session seminar will focus on the directing process I employ for the variety of productions I direct from new Canadian plays to classical plays.  The seminar will discuss my directorial process from conceptualization through rehearsal to opening night. Also to be discussed is my relationship between instinctual reactions, concept, research, analysis, design, characterizations, the rehearsal process, working with all departments in theatre and the process in different theatres. Central to my directing process is the principle of action -- I believe the tool through which a director can tell stories, motivate actors, visualize designs and actualize metaphors.  This workshop is open to actors and directors alike.



    Richard Rose is the Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre. Prior to joining the Tarragon in 2002, Richard was Founding Artistic Director at Necessary Angel (a position he held from 1978–2002), Associate Director for Canadian Stage Company, Director of the Stratford Festival Young Company and spent ten seasons directing at the Stratford Festival. He has directed plays across Canada, the United States, and in London’s West End in styles ranging from the environmental to the classical. Richard is well known for developing new work, including four plays that have won the Governor General’s Award and nine other nominated plays. He is a multiple Dora Award winner for direction and production, and has received numerous nominations.



    16 + | 10 weeks | January to March

    Thursday, 7:30 - 9:30 pm
    January 10 - March 14, 2019 | 10 weeks
    Class Fee: $225
    Instructors: Vida Lamour & Pharoah Moans

    10’s, 10’s, 10’s across the Board!

    Drag queens Vida Lamour and Pharaoh Moans return to PTE for a brand new course in drag that will be more fierce and fabulous than ever before! Learn everything you need to know to transform yourself into ferocious drag royalty. Master all of the most sought after drag secrets such as makeup and contouring, wig styling, character development, vogueing, and stage presence that will leave you and your audience GAGGING for more, Henny!

    The queens will also be serving you a crash course in drag history, slang and terminology and more!

    We have also expanded this course to be 10 weeks long, building up to your very first drag show that will be FABULOUS! Start your new year off right and slay!

    All inclusive: Women, men, trans and non-binary folx are all welcome!

    There are no limits to drag: if you can dream it, you can be it!

    About the Instructors:

    Vida Lamour Decosmo has been among Winnipeg's most popular drag queens for almost 20 years. Vida's earliest stages were at local bars, reigning as Miss Happenings 2001-02, and then later as Miss Gio's 2012-13 and Miss Club 200 2013-14. But it is as Empress that Vida has contributed the most, directing the 'Court' of Winnipeg's fundraising over two 'reigns' (years). She first served as Empress of Winnipeg back in 2011-12, and then again in 2017-18. Recently, Vida has turned her attention to supporting young performers and communities outside of Winnipeg, passing on her knowledge to those who are new and emerging onto the drag scene.


    Pharaoh Moans is one of Winnipeg’s most fearless and androgynous drag performers. Her drag is a mesh of several different influences from eighties punk, 90s club kids, and contemporary high fashion. She is most comfortable in the grey areas of gender and performance. Pharaoh Moans is also one of the founders of the Like That @ Sunshine House collective. She has worked tirelessly sharing her talents and gifts with Winnipeg's 2LGBTQ+ community. Her talent and unique style have allowed her to share drag with a social consciousness within the city's art scene and as well as the many events she organizes. She is an eclectic performer and is always ready to amaze the crowd with her one of a kind make-up skills and performance style.  Pharaoh also stands proud as Winnipeg's premier Boylesque performer.



    18 + | 9 weeks | January to March

    Tuesdays 7:00-9:15 pm                  
    January 15 – March 12, 2019 | 9 Weeks
    Class Fee:  $265
    Instructor: Tom Soares                                          

    Learn to use your voice to epitomize expression and communication skills. Lead by veteran Voice and Speech Instructor Tom Soares, you will discover innovative ways to open the body and free the voice from tension. The course will focus on the relationship between the voice and the body, and the voice and the text. This course is a must for actors and public speakers.

    About the instructor: Tom Soares is an actor, a theatre educator and a voice, text and public speaking coach; he received his MFA in Acting with a further speciation in voice from York University and has worked as an actor and as a coach in film and for many of Winnipeg's regional theatres. Tom has also taught theatre at The University of Manitoba and has taught performance and voice at The University of Winnipeg for the past seven years. 

    >> Register now


    18 + | 9 weeks | January to March

    Wednesdays 7:00-9:15 pm                    
    January 16 – March 13, 2019 | 9 Weeks
    Class Fee: $265
    Instructor: Brian Richardson                                

    This challenging class will take your vocal performance to the next level. Experienced voice actor and director, Brian Richardson, will lead you into a deeper examination of voice and performance techniques, character development, and the skills needed for long form narration.

    About the instructor: Brian Richardson's association with Prairie Theatre goes all the way back to its founding days, as an actor and as a teacher. A respected voice artist with credits including CBC Radio, National Film Board of Canada, and Parks Canada, Brian delights sharing his craft with interested students.

    >> Register now


    18 + | September to February | Auditions Sept. 6

    Mondays & Wednesdays 7-10 pm
    September 17 - December 12, 2018
    January 7 - February 6, 2019
    Performances February 11 - 17, 2019 (IbsenFest)
    Class Fee:  $675
    Instructor: Brenda McLean

    The Adult Company is for students interested in getting more performance experience and is geared towards students who already have some training in theatre. For the 2018-2019 season of the Adult Company, students will work towards a presentation for RMTC's Master Playwright's Festival of IbsenFest, to be performed from February 11th to the 17th, 2019 at PTE.

    Entrance to the course is by audition and interview
    Thursday, September 6 between 6 - 10 pm.
    Applicants will present one contemporary monologue, no more than 3 minutes in length, and supply a resume and headshot.

    To book an audition, please contact Sandra McEwing via email at edu.tour@pte.mb.ca or by phone at 204-925-5253.

    Returning students of the Adult Company are not required to audition.

    NOTE: the Adult Company schedule is very demanding and regular attendance is important. Extra rehearsals will be scheduled in the weeks leading up to the performance.

    About the Instructor:  Brenda McLean is Co-Artistic Leader of Theatre Incarnate, a theatre designer, and a director. Brenda has also directed the Adult Company (ADCO) for the last six years. Brenda recently directed Tender Napalm with Theatre by the River and Theatre Incarnate; set and costume designed on Deserter for MovingTarget; and costume designed Gracie and The Good, the Bad & the Munsch for PTE.


    Grades 9-12 | September to April

    Saturdays 1-4 pm & Wednesdays 7-9 pm
    September 26 - December 8, 2018
         (performances December 9-15, TBC
    January 9 - May 4, 2019
         (performances May 9 - 11,TBC)
    Class fee: $675
    Instructor: Cairn Moore

    PTE's Youth Acting Conservatory students develop a broad range of performance skills. More than just acting or scene study, the Conservatory offers an entire program in which students will be introduced to the basics of modern acting technique through acting exercises, improvisation, movement, vocal work and script analysis.

    Then you will perform, perform, perform! From September until April, the Conservatory will rehearse and mount a full-length production, which will run in April (the company will perform a sneak peek of their production for family and friends in December). Students will also have the opportunity to work on new plays written by young emerging playwrights, in association with the Manitoba Association of Playwrights. At the end of May, the company will perform in the Manitoba Drama Festival. 2018/19 promises to be a challenging year with exciting opportunities for live performances!

    Admission is by audition and interview.

    Auditions to join the Youth Conservatory, with instructor Cairn Moore, will take place at PTE in the Imperial Studio on Thursday, September 6, between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm and Wednesday, September 12 from 7:00 pm to 9:00. Students are requested to bring an acting resume and headshot, if available, and be prepared to present one contemporary monologue no more than 3 minutes in length.

    To book an audition time, please email Sandra McEwing at edu.tour@pte.mb.ca, or call 204-925-5253

    Students returning to the Youth Conservatory are not required to audition.

    Students will be notified of their admission status by end of day Monday, September 17. 

    About the Instructor: Cairn Moore is a director and playwright. She teaches first year performance at the University of Winnipeg and is Associate Artistic Director of FemFest. Cairn’s award-winning play SHIKSA premiered with Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in 2016 and was short-listed for the Chris Johnson Award.


    18 + | 10 weeks | October to December

    Tuesdays 7:30-9:30 pm
    October 2 – December 4, 2018 | 10 Weeks
    Class Fee: $275
    Instructor: Cara Lytwyn

    Work with a professional comedian to develop your voice as a sketch and stand-up artist. Learn to formulate structured jokes, generate original material using aspects from everyday life, and build hilarious personalized routines.

    About the instructor: Cara Lytwyn is the 2008 winner of Winnipeg’s Funniest Person with a Day Job and is the first winner of Winnipeg’s Funniest Comic competition. She first performed in the Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2010’s Shock of the New Show, and 2015 marked her fourth WCF performance. At the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Cara produced her own stand-up comedy showcase and was a featured performer in several productions, including Tazzy’s Angels and WOKE Comedy Hour. Cara was selected to perform in Winnipeg’s 2010 Just for Laughs Showcase and was featured in an episode of the televised comedy series She Kills Me, which premiered in 2014 on APTN.

    >> Register now


    18 + | 10 weeks | October to December

    Thursdays 7:30-9:45 pm
    October 4 – December 6, 2018 | 10 Weeks       
    Class Fee: $275
    Instructor: Tanja Woloshen                                 

    “The physical is the known and through it we may find our way to the unknown, the intuitive, and perhaps beyond to the human spirit itself.” –Viola Spolin

    Build a solid foundation of physical performance through exploration of movement, impulses, and gesture as a tool for theatrical expression. This class focuses on the actor's body -- learn to use your body more fully in both stylized and realistic theatre. A valuable class for serious performers.

    About the instructor: Tanja Faylene Woloshen is a contemporary dance artist and educator. Her dance works and collaborations with others have given her the opportunity to perform across Canada, USA, and Europe. Last season, she was the choreographer for Theatre Projects Manitoba’s World Premiere of A Short History of Crazy Bone (2018), and also debuted her newest work Holy Wild (2017). She is also on faculty with the University of Winnipeg, RWB, MTYP, and WHEAT (Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy Institute). www.tanjafaylenewoloshen.com

    >>Register now

  • ACTcessible

    18+ | 20 weeks | September to March | For adults with special needs

    Mondays 6 - 8 pm | 20 weeks
    October 1 - December 10 (excluding October 8)
    January 7 - March 18 (excluding February 18)
    Class Fee: $475
    Instructor: Eva Lowe

    Challenge yourself in this dynamic acting class and explore a variety of acting techniques including improvisation, storytelling, character development, movement, theatre games and play building. You will develop decision-making and communications skills while growing in self-confidence, teamwork and friendship. The class will culminate in a performance for invited friends, family and other guests.

    Registration is by phone only. Please call 204-925-5253 to register.

    About the Instructor: Eva Lowe has taught classes for PTE for the past nine years and has enjoyed her time with the Monday night class. She has many years of experience teaching students with a vast range of strengths and needs. Eva has a particular interest in supporting students in their growth as individuals, and team members, through the development of social/emotional skills.


Throughout the season, PTE will offer Professional Development workshops with a variety of established theatre professionals on a variety of subjects.

If you'd like to be notified as workshops are scheduled, call Sandra at 204-925-5253 or .