Where to study theatre: Training schools and programs for adults in Montreal

A guide to Montreal's top theatre schools, colleges, and universities in 2021

Last updated: January 5th, 2021


Looking to develop your skills or pursue a career in the theatre? From weekly courses to full-time professional programs, there are select educational institutions in the Montreal area that offer high quality training for amateur and professional artists alike. Here’s our listing of recommended local English-language and bilingual theatre schools currently receiving applications for their upcoming online and in-house sessions in 2021.


NTS – National Theatre School of Canada

Since 1960, the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) has been recognized as a leading institution for aspiring playwrights, directors, actors, set and costume designers, and production professionals. The NTS is unique in offering high-level training programs in all aspects of the theatre arts, in both French and English.

  • Programs offered:
    • Full-time professional programs: Playwriting, Acting, Production Design & Technical Arts, Set & Costume Design (3 years); Directing (2 years)
    • Public workshops: Theatre, Playwriting, Scene Study, Theatre Creation, Voice, Movement, Community Choir
  • Next intake: Fall 2021
  • Application deadline: January 31, 2021
  • Location: 5030 St. Denis Street, Montreal, H2J 2L8
  • Contact Infoinfo@ent-nts.ca | (514) 842-7954
  • Websitehttps://ent-nts.ca/en

Concordia University

Concordia University’s Department of Theatre (Faculty of Fine Arts) seeks to inspire and prepare students to enter Canada’s rapidly evolving performing arts culture, valuing creativity, imagination, and critical, analytical, and entrepreneurial thinking. The institution’s theatre programs combine hands on, practical learning with rigorous historical, critical, and theoretical studies.

  • Programs offered:
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts (60-credit Undergraduate): Specialization in Design for the Theatre, Specialization in Performance Creation, Specialization in Acting for the Theatre
    • Minor (24-credit): Minor in Theatre
    • Graduate: Individualized Programs (MA/PhD), Interdisciplinary Humanities (PhD)
  • Next intake: Fall 2021
  • Application deadline: March 1, 2021 (applicants inside Canada); February 1, 2021 (international applicants)
  • Location: 1550 Maisonneuve Blvd W, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8
  • Contact Info: theatre@concordia.ca | (514) 848-2424
  • Website: https://www.concordia.ca/finearts/theatre.html

McGill University

The Department of English at McGill is unique in that its undergraduate program brings together three different but related areas of study: Literature, Drama and Theatre, and Cultural Studies. Undergraduate students follow one of the three options in their program of study and also take courses in the other streams. Graduate students have the opportunity to explore aspects of Literature, Cultural Studies, Performance, and Theatre History in their seminar work and research.

  • Programs offered: Undergraduate (BA) and Graduate studies (MA and Phd)
    • B.A. Honours: English – Drama and Theatre (54 credits)
    • B.A. Major Concentration: English – Drama and Theatre (36 credits)
    • B.A. Minor Concentration: English – Drama and Theatre (18 credits)
    • B.A. Joint Honours Component English – Drama and Theatre (36 credits)
  • Next intake: Fall 2021
  • Application deadline:
    • Undergraduate: January 15, 2021 (all applicants from inside Canada and abroad)
    • Graduate: January 15, 2021 (all applicants)
  • Location: Arts Building, 853 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, H3A 0G5
  • Contact Info: (514) 398-5196
  • Website: http://www.mcgill.ca/english/

Bishop’s University

The department of Drama at Bishop’s offers Major and Honours programs designed to expose students to all facets of theatre practice and academic study as well as provide them with the flexibility to orient their program towards a particular field of study: Dramatic Literature and Theatre History, Performance (acting, directing, and playwriting), and Production (technical, stage management, and design). Its aim is to permit undergraduates to explore the subject as a liberal arts discipline and prepare them for graduate, professional, and conservatory schools.

  • Programs offered: Undergraduate (BA)
    • B.A. Major in Drama (48 credits)
    • B.A. Honours in Drama (Without Thesis: 60 credits / With Thesis: 66 credits)
    • Minor in Drama (24 credits)
    • Double Major: Secondary Education and Drama
    • Concentration in Musical Theatre (30 credits)
  • Next intake: Fall 2021
  • Application deadline:
    • Undergraduate: March 1, 2021
    • Undergraduate and Graduate application deadline for high school, CEGEP and mature applicants: April 1, 2021
    • Undergraduate and Graduate application deadline for university and college transfer applicants: May 1, 2021
  • Location: 2600 College St., Sherbrooke, J1M 1Z7
  • Contact Info: (819) 822-9600
  • Websitehttps://www.ubishops.ca/academic-programs/faculty-of-arts-and-science/humanities/drama/

John Abbott College

John Abbott’s renowned professional theatre programs teach students the essential skills required to work in today’s theatre industry as well as associated careers in television, cinema, video and mixed media. Students train for three years in either Acting, Design or Technical Production. Actors learn their craft in the intimacy of the school’s studio spaces and public performances in the beautiful, state-of-the-art, Casgrain Theatre. Designers and technicians develop their skills with theoretical and practical courses leading to extensive hands-on production experience with at least six major productions.

  • Programs offered:
    • Professional Theatre Diploma (3 year career programs that combine specialized training with the general Quebec college curriculum): Acting, Design, Technical Production
    • Quebec Diploma of College Studies (2 year pre-university program): Arts, Literature and Communication (ALC) – Theatre Workshop
  • Next intake: Fall 2021
  • Application deadline: March 1, 2021
  • Location: 21275 Lakeshore Dr, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, H9X 3L9
  • Contact Info: theatre@johnabbott.qc.ca | (514) 457-6610
  • Websitehttp://www.johnabbott.qc.ca/academics/career-programs/theatre/

Dawson College

Dawson’s three-year career program trains students to work as a professional actor, exploring a wide range of acting techniques for theatre and film, with performances both in-studio, and in full-scale theatrical productions staged in Dawson’s new theatre. Training comprises conservatory style, in-studio classes in acting, voice, movement, improvisation, stage combat (including sword-fighting), dance, and acting for camera. The department also provides a well-rounded theatrical education with classes in technical theatre, classical and contemporary text, and theatre history.

  • Programs offered:
    • Professional Theatre Diploma (3 year career programs that combines specialized training with the general Quebec college curriculum): Acting
  • Next intake: Fall 2021
  • Application deadline: March 1, 2021
  • Location: 3040 Sherbrooke St. W, Montreal, H3Z 1A4
  • Contact Info: (514) 931-8731
  • Websitehttps://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/professional-theatre/

National Circus School

International in scope, the National Circus School (École nationale de cirque) is a higher-education institution for the arts providing programs at the high school and post-secondary levels. The only school to provide advanced circus arts training in North America, it is dedicated to the education and training of professional circus artists, as well as to research and innovation in the circus arts and their pedagogy.

  • Programs offered:
    • Diploma of Collegial Studies in Circus Arts (DEC) is a 3-year program that combines specialized training in circus arts with the general Quebec college curriculum and leads directly to the professional career
    • Diploma of National Circus School Studies (DEE) is a 3-year program that leads directly to the professional career. This higher-education program focuses specifically on circus arts training and leads to a diploma issued by the National Circus School.
  • Next intake: Fall 2021
  • Application deadline: January 15, 2021
  • Location: 8181 2nd Avenue, Montreal, H1Z 4N9 
  • Contact Infoinfo@enc.qc.ca | (514) 982-0859
  • Websitehttp://ecolenationaledecirque.ca/en

ASM Performing Arts

ASM Performing Arts was created by professional actors in 1997 to offer practical workshops on character creation, scene study, audition technique, acting for the camera, voice & movement, dramatic writing and basic film making. The instructors at ASM Performing Arts are working actors with decades of experience working in film, television, and theatre.

  • Examples of courses offered: Behaviour, Performance, Laban, Improv, Shakespeare, Scriptwriting, Acting for Camera, Auditioning, Stage Combat, Clown, Monologues, 48 Hour Film Fest
  • Next intake: Winter 2021 (in-house)
  • Location: 9126 Lajeunesse, Suite 100, Montreal, H2M 1S2
  • Contact Infoadmin@asmstudio.net | (514) 358 2829
  • Website: https://www.asmstudio.net

Gilles Plouffe Actors Studio

Gilles Plouffe Actors Studio is a complete and continuous professional training program inspired from the great realistic acting studios in New York. Member of ACTRA, CAEA and UDA, founder and instructor Gilles Plouffe is a seasoned bilingual professional actor who has been working in film, television and theater industries for more than 25 years. The studio offers a comprehensive range of classes and workshops to meet the needs of seasoned, aspiring, and amateur actors alike.

  • Examples of courses offered: Introduction to Realistic Acting, Basic Training for Actors, Acting Technique, Self-Tape Analysis, Voice and Singing, Organic Script Analysis, Sense Memory, Scene Work, Acting for Camera, The Monologue, Creating a Character, Directors: How to Direct Actors, Masterclasses with John Strasberg
  • Next intake: Winter 2021 (in-house and online)
  • Location: 5445 Av. de Gaspé, Suite 407, Montreal, H2T 3B2
  • Contact Infoinfo@studiogillesplouffe.com | (514) 910-3431
  • Websitehttps://www.studiogillesplouffe.com

Straeon Acting Studios

Straeon Acting Studios is an internationally recognized acting studio with locations in Montreal, Toronto, and Boston. Known as the “Gym for Actors,” Straeon carries a reputation of being both intimate and intense. Coaching is tailored to the individual and does not adhere to one particular method, allowing each actor to discover his or her own process.

  • Examples of courses offered: On-Camera Acting, Scene Study, Co-Coaching, Weekend Intensives, On Set Camera Workshop, Stage Combat, International Workshops, Private Coaching
  • Next intake: Winter 2021 (in-house and online)
  • Location: Wireworks Lofts – 4767 Rue Dagenais, Suite 201A, Montreal H4C 1L8
  • Contact Infomontreal@straeon.co | (514) 503-9348
  • Websitehttps://www.straeonactingclasses.com

Montreal Improv

Montreal Improv is an organization dedicated to promoting the art of improvised theatre. The company started teaching in 2008 and now the school has hundreds of students studying improv in one of the many classes currently being offered, with its specialty being narrative-based improv or improvised plays. In addition to the regular weekly classes, Montreal Improv also leads specialized workshops to improve group dynamics, public speaking and team building.

  • Examples of courses offered: Improv (Levels 1-6), Physicality in Improv, Musical Improv, Longform, Sketch, Scene Study, Advanced Programs
  • Next intake: Winter 2021 (online)
  • Location: 3697 Boulevard St-Laurent, Montreal, H2X 2V7
  • Contact Infocontact@montrealimprov.com | (514) 507-3535
  • Websitewww.montrealimprov.com

I.O. Acting Studio

I.O. (Inside/Outside) Acting Studio provides adult group classes and one-on-one sessions in the heart of Montreal (bilingual English/French). Classes are available for complete beginners, professionals and everyone in-between. I.O. provides a full range of experience: from improving self-expression, to preparing the professional actor, to shooting festival-bound films.

  • Examples of courses offered: Intro to Acting, Intermediate Acting, Advanced Acting for Camera, Intro to Writing, Intermediate Writing, Audition Workshop, Masterclasses, Special Topics/Scene Projects
  • Next intake: Winter 2021 (online)
  • Location: 2151 Marcil Avenue N.D.G., Montreal, H4A 2Z2
  • Contact Info: info@ioactingstudio.com | (514) 501-3232
  • Website: http://www.ioactingstudio.com

M.S.O.P.A.

Established in 1992, Josa Maule’s Montreal School of Performing Arts (M.S.O.P.A.) is a learning institution committed to providing professional training for aspiring actors of all ages in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. M.S.O.P.A. courses and workshops focus on technique and development of the actor for stage, film, TV, and commercials.

  • Examples of courses offered: Acting (Foundation 1 & 2, Phase I, II & III), Voice & Speech, Voiceover, Comedy, Improv & Sketch Comedy, Movement, Acting for Camera, Scenework, Auditioning, Intro to Shakespeare, Musical Theatre
  • Next intake: Winter 2021 (online)
  • Location: Centre Greene, 1090 Green Avenue, Westmount
  • Contact Infoinfo@msopa.com | (514) 483-5526
  • Websitewww.msopa.com

Would you like to add your institution/program or make a correction to our listing? Contact us at info@montrealtheatrehub.com

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1 Comment on Where to study theatre: Training schools and programs for adults in Montreal

  1. I have been wanting to enroll in an acting program to more actively pursue my hobby. It is great to see that there are so many different programs around me. I think that the ASM school is interesting because it is run by working actors and I could get practical experience.

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