Acting Classes 2021-07-13T19:53:16+00:00
haven studio

Top working actors from Canada, the US and abroad train with Benjamin Ratner at Haven Studio.
On-camera and scene study classes for beginners and up-and-comers are also available.
We keep our standards high, our class sizes small, and our prices fair.

“Ben – you have kept the integrity of my work brilliantly — and I love you for it.”

Ivana Chubbuck, Internationally acclaimed acting teacher, coach to Academy Award winning and nominated actors such as Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Brad Pitt and Elizabeth Shue.

“Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

Brian J. Smith, star of Netflix series Sense8, Tony Award/Olivier Award/Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie

[Ben]’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.

Ali Liebert, Ten Days in the Valley, Strange Empire, Bomb Girls

“I credit many of my ‘breakthroughs’ to Ben’s insight, support, and trust, and highly recommend him to any actors seeking to go deeper into the work…”

Erin Karpluk, Rookie Blue, Saving Hope, Being Erica

“Ben Ratner is an amazing teacher and mentor…and an inspiring talent.”

Ryan Robbins, Pure, Van Helsing, Falling Skies

“After too many years of lazy television acting, Ben reminded me what my tools are, provided an environment where I felt safe to take risks and gave me permission to jump!”

Sonja Bennett, Ghost Wars, Mistresses, Preggoland

“Working with Ben is an incredibly deep experience for me as an actor. I feel challenged to ground my work and find truth.”

Gabrielle Miller, Good Witch, Call Me Fitz, Corner Gas

“Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

Jadyn Wong, Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

“Ben’s class is an artistic sanctuary. He cultivates an atmosphere based on kindness, professionalism, and integrity where actors feel inspired to offer their craft the focused discipline that will bring out their best.”

Leah Gibson, Jessica Jones, The Returned, iZombie

“Ben’s the real deal who sees each student as a potential world class contender in the boxing ring of our industry.”

Olivia Cheng, Warrior, Marco Polo, Arrow

“I can draw a straight line between Ben’s class and the next few jobs that I was cast in…I’m having a ball, I feel more empowered in my work and that journey was kick-started at Haven.”

Nicholas Lea, Continuum, The X Files, international tour of Helen Lawrence

“Ben Ratner has guided me through years of training, he’s enabled me to break through many barriers and enabled me to fly with confidence and vulnerability.”

Damon Runyan, Star Trek: Discovery, Gangland Undercover, Prisoner X

“He is, without a doubt, one of the finest teachers I’ve worked with.”

Stephen Lobo, Travelers, Continuum, Arctic Air

” I can’t recommend Ben’s classes at Haven Studio highly enough.”

Brian Markinson, Mad Men, Fargo, The Romeo Section, Down River, Charlie Wilson’s War

Classes

Scene Study
with Benjamin Ratner

PREREQUISITE:
Ben works with actors with previous training and professional experience.

DESCRIPTION:
Students are assigned scenes from stage plays, and are expected to be off-book and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. There are 5 classes per session. There are 3 scenes per night, and each class is 3 hours long, so each scene works approximately 1 hour per class. Every scene works every week.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Ben before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

TUESDAY NIGHT SCENE STUDY (IN STUDIO/IN PERSON):
***MAXIMUM 10 STUDENTS PER CLASS. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

July 27 – August 17 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm *WAITLIST ONLY
Total $360 including gst for 4 weeks of class

THURSDAY NIGHT SCENE STUDY (IN STUDIO/IN PERSON):
***MAXIMUM 10 STUDENTS PER CLASS. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

July 29 – August 19 | 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm *WAITLIST ONLY
Total $360 including gst for 4 weeks of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“I wish I had known Ben Ratner when I first decided to become a professional actor. Such a relationship then would have spared me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of money… Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

~ Brian J. Smith
Tony Award, Olivier Award & Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie, and star of Netflix series Sense8

“The combination of the demanding material, the commitment and talent of my classmates and Ben’s forceful yet passionate direction and guidance made me into the actor I am today – a confident and working one! He’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.”

~ Ali Liebert
Strange Empire, Lost Girl, series lead Bomb Girls,
Canadian Screen Award & Leo Award-winning actor

“BEFORE I met Ben, I didn’t feel or consider myself to be an actor. AFTER I met Ben, I jumped and took the plunge. Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

~ Jadyn Wong
series lead Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

On-Camera Scene Study
with Benjamin Ratner

PREREQUISITE:
Ben works with actors with previous training and professional experience.

DESCRIPTION:
This class gives actors a safe, yet challenging place to dive into top-notch Film and TV and stage scripts, to work boldly and freely in an on-camera specific setting, and to hone in on specific adjustments for the requirements of the camera.

Scenes will be assigned in advance and actors will work with an off-camera partner, with direction and adjustments from Ben. New scenes will be assigned when the goals have been reached. Requests for specific scenes are welcome!

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Ben before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

THURSDAY NIGHT ON-CAMERA SCENE STUDY (IN STUDIO/IN PERSON):
***MAXIMUM 8 STUDENTS PER CLASS. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

June 17 – July 15 | 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm *WAITLIST ONLY
Total $425 including gst for 5 weeks of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“I wish I had known Ben Ratner when I first decided to become a professional actor. Such a relationship then would have spared me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of money… Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

~ Brian J. Smith
Tony Award, Olivier Award & Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie, and star of Netflix series Sense8

“The combination of the demanding material, the commitment and talent of my classmates and Ben’s forceful yet passionate direction and guidance made me into the actor I am today – a confident and working one! He’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.”

~ Ali Liebert
Strange Empire, Lost Girl, series lead Bomb Girls,
Canadian Screen Award & Leo Award-winning actor

“BEFORE I met Ben, I didn’t feel or consider myself to be an actor. AFTER I met Ben, I jumped and took the plunge. Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

~ Jadyn Wong
series lead Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

Raising the Bar
with Benjamin Ratner

PREREQUISITE:
This is an advanced class by invitation only.

DESCRIPTION:
Raising the Bar is a scene study class for actors with considerable training and/or professional experience, especially those who have worked extensively with Ben in his on-going scene study classes. It is by invitation only. Students are assigned scenes from stage plays, and are expected to be off-book and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. There are 5 classes per session. There are 4 scenes per night, and each class is 4 hours long, so each scene works approximately 1 hour per class. Every scene works every week.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Ben before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

SUNDAY NIGHT RAISING THE BAR (IN STUDIO/IN PERSON):
***MAXIMUM 8 STUDENTS PER CLASS. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

TBD | 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm 
Total $425 including gst for 5 weeks of class

“I wish I had known Ben Ratner when I first decided to become a professional actor. Such a relationship then would have spared me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of money… Ben is a treasure – a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion…”

~ Brian J. Smith
Tony Award, Olivier Award & Drama Desk Award nominee for The Glass Menagerie, and star of Netflix series Sense8

“The combination of the demanding material, the commitment and talent of my classmates and Ben’s forceful yet passionate direction and guidance made me into the actor I am today – a confident and working one! He’s a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class.”

~ Ali Liebert
Strange Empire, Lost Girl, series lead Bomb Girls,
Canadian Screen Award & Leo Award-winning actor

“BEFORE I met Ben, I didn’t feel or consider myself to be an actor. AFTER I met Ben, I jumped and took the plunge. Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting.”

~ Jadyn Wong
series lead Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out

Scene Study
with Loretta Walsh

PREREQUISITE:
These classes are geared towards actors newer to Haven Studio looking to get a solid foundation before joining Ben’s scene study classes.

DESCRIPTION:
Loretta will soon be shooting her 9th season as a series regular on When Calls the Heart, but she misses Haven and is returning to her home base to teach this high energy class! Scenes from contemporary stage plays will be worked on for the five week session, focusing on Haven Studio‘s “3 C’s”:

Comprehension, Clarity and Commitment.

Do you truly understand the story you are telling? Do you have the instrument to communicate your ideas without technical obstacles? How far will you go, how much will you give, how hard will you work to deliver the goods in a truthful, entertaining, and original performance?

Take the plunge in Haven’s challenging, yet always supportive atmosphere, lead by this veteran performer of of stage and screen. Loretta will guide you in taking your work to the next level, and prepare newer students for admission into Benjamin Ratner’s advanced scene study classes.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Loretta before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

MONDAY NIGHT SCENE STUDY (IN STUDIO/IN PERSON):
***MAXIMUM 8 STUDENTS PER CLASS. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

July 19 – August 23 | 10:30 am – 2:00 pm (NO CLASS AUGUST 2nd) *WAITLIST ONLY
Total: $375 including gst for 5 WEEKS of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Working with Loretta has been a wonderful experience. She is constantly pushing you to strive for honesty and challenging you to push limits in your craft. Her passion for acting has inspired me to pour 110% into my work. Loretta creates a safe and open environment to explore aspects of yourself as well as characters. She creates a feeling that you are among friends, while guiding you to step outside of your comfort zone. I felt like I really learned what it means to jump into things without hesitation and to let go of my fear of judgement with her. Her support and encouragement have given me so much confidence!”

~ Melissa Roxburgh
Star Trek Beyond, Valor, In God I Trust, Travelers

“Loretta is such an exceptional teacher and no wonder, she was taught by the best, Ben Ratner. I am grateful to have the pleasure of studying with Loretta in her Actors’ Cross-Training and Scene Study classes. She is such a talented and lovely human being that is so nurturing and caring to the point of guiding you until you get what is needed to fulfill your objective as an actor. She is so supportive and encouraging in a way that guarantees to bring out your best in any circumtances in a very safe environment. Loretta’s classes are invalualbe to any actor. Much Respect. Highly recommended!”

~ Jerry Trimble
Supernatural, The Flash, iZombie, Heat,
Green Hornet, Charlie’s Angels, The Package

“Loretta is uncompromisingly passionate about taking herself and the actors she works with to new heights. I am totally confident that anyone who studies with her will be well-prepared to take on the challenges of my scene study class and the realities of what’s required to compete as a professional actor.”

~ Benjamin Ratner

Scene Study
With Nelson Wong

PREREQUISITE:
These classes are geared towards actors newer to Haven Studio looking to get a solid foundation before joining Ben’s scene study classes.

DESCRIPTION:
Since 2002, Vancouver’s top working actors have been training at Benjamin Ratner’s Haven Studio.  Many of Ben’s students, past and present, are working in lead and recurring roles on film and Television projects, as well as stage productions, across North America, and abroad.

Haven is also home to a great many ambitious up-and-coming actors, and this Scene Study class with Nelson Wong is your chance to see for yourself what makes Haven so special.  This is an intensive scene study class, every Saturday afternoon for 5 weeks in a row.  You’ll be performing long scenes from great contemporary plays, with a maximum 8 students in class.  You’ll be working on the key steps to becoming a solid, strong, prepared actor – ready to face the realities of working professionally.

You’ll be challenged to work on clearly understanding the story you’re telling, developing the techniques required to deliver your part confidently, and you’ll be encouraged and guided as you discover the freedom and creativity that follows a lot of hard work.

As a student at Haven, you’ll also be able to audit one of Benjamin Ratner’s classes and see many of Vancouver’s top actors honing their chops.

FORMAT:
Students are assigned scenes from stage plays, and are expected to be off-book and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. There are 5 classes per session. There are 4 scenes per night, and each class is 4 hours long, so each scene works approximately 1 hour per class. Every scene works every week.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Nelson before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

***Maximum 8 Students

SATURDAY SCENE STUDY (IN STUDIO/IN PERSON):
***Maximum 8 Students. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

June 19 – July 17 | 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Total: $375 including gst for 5 WEEKS of class

***Maximum 10 Students. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

August 7 – September 4 | 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Total: $375 including gst for 5 WEEKS of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Nelson is knowledgeable, fun, humble, kind-hearted and totally passionate about the craft. I trust him completely to guide his students in an always challenging, but totally safe atmosphere. That’s what Haven is about, and Nelson fits right in.”

~ Benjamin Ratner

Online Audition Breakthrough
with Nelson Wong

MASTERING YOUR SELF TAPES FROM HOME

PREREQUISITE:
This class is for actors with previous acting training.

DESCRIPTION:
In this fast-paced online audition workout led by seasoned actor Nelson Wong, you will learn and refine the vital skills necessary to deliver unique, confident, well-prepared auditions that will help you break through your fears and enjoy the casting process.

This weekly workout seeks to demystify the audition process and help actors own their creative space. Actors will receive feedback and practice while exploring camera technique, genre, character choices, and personal stakes with the goal of being able to create a confident and creatively dynamic process for every audition. Classes will be conducted on Zoom.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Nelson before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

TUESDAY
June 29 – July 20 | 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Total $225 including gst for 4 weeks of class

August 3 – August 24 | 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Total $225 including gst for 4 weeks of class

THURSDAY
July 1 – July 22 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Total $225 including gst for 4 weeks of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

For all Audition Breakthrough registrations, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Nelson’s class exceeded my expectations in every way. He creates a comftoralbe and welcoming space for everyone to come in and do the work in a relaxed but focused environment. He offers an absolute wealth of knowledge, and really opened my eyes to numerous tips and techniques that weren’t even on my radar prior to learning from him! I thoroughly enjoyed the material every week, and his unique approach to recreating the audition process creates a very fun overall class dynamic that keeps everyone engaged and involved.”

~ Lauren Maynard
SIX, Man in The High Castle

“Auditions have always been a bit out of focus for me. Nelson has acted like a perfectly crafted pair of prescription glasses, opening my eyes to the audition process and presenting all of the wonderful possibilities a scene can offer in a clear, creative, and fun way. Nelson challenges you to take risks, dares you to bring your true, authentic self to the audition, and gives you the confidence to handle the many curve balls your auditors will likely throw at you. Since studying with Nelson, I walk into the room with complete confidence in my preparation, and my call back ratio has leaped to over 70%! Nelson gives you the tools to create a lasting impression that will get you seen over and over again.”

~ Jesse Carroll
Travelers, Untold Stories of the ER, Morning Show Murders

“Nelson books a lot of acting jobs. He’s clearly doing something right in those audition rooms, and he’s eager to share his experience, passion and insight with his Audition Breakthrough students. I respect and trust Nelson completely and I’m very glad to have him teaching this class at Haven Studio.”

~ Benjamin Ratner

Perfect Your British Accent
British Scene Study Workshop
With Natalie Moon

NATALIE MOON
NATALIE MOON
Natalie has been teaching and coaching for over ten years and has extensive training from the world-renowned Oxford School of Drama and Bretton Hall Arts Conservatoire in the UK. She is now working and honing her craft in the North American film and television market.

Natalie was fascinated with voice, linguistics, phonetics and deconstructing language during her studies and realised she had a real aptitude for accents and dialects which quickly became a passion for her. Natalie can confidently and naturally perform accents from around the world. Originally from England however, she specializes in accents from the United Kingdom.

Star Trek Beyond, Brahms: The Boy II (alongside Katie Holmes), DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow (CW), Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal (Lifetime), FIFA (EA), multiple commercials and more.

PREREQUISITE:
Both veteran and newer actors are welcome, and scene partners with similar experience will be paired up together.

DESCRIPTION:

Perfect your British accent whilst delving into scenes from contemporary theatre.

The first class will focus on accent specifics and attributes, consonant omissions and changes, vowel changes, placement and flow.

We will explore Haven Studio‘s “3 C’s”: Comprehension, Commitment and Clarity 

We will warm up using British texts and sounds. Throughout the five classes we will focus on objectives and analysis of the text. We will also look at how an accent can influence a character, how it makes you feel, and how it makes you behave. Over the course of the round, we will constantly improve and hone your RP accent until you feel confident and eager to get out there to share what you have learned for auditions, and in your work on stage and screen.

FORMAT:
Students are assigned scenes from stage plays, and are expected to be familiar with the scene and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. There are 5 classes per session. There are 4 scenes per night. Every scene works every week.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with Natalie before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

WEDNESDAY SCENE STUDY WORKSHOP (IN STUDIO/IN PERSON):
***Maximum 8 Students. PROOF OF COVID VACCINATION REQUIRED.

June 23 – July 21 | 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Total: $350 including gst for 5 WEEKS of class

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the class and day in which you are interested. Include the start date.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“I recommend Natalie all the time! Natalie is an absolute joy to work with and a constant professional on set. She’s incredibly gifted with accents and more importantly, she puts people at ease and creates a safe space to practice for actors of all skill levels. “

Stef Armstrong, producer (Beyond, Motherland, Ghosting)

“I had the great pleasure of working with Natalie on a production that required accents from each cast member (none of whom shared a natural accent). Natalie methodically prepared the cast, not just for the individual accent required, but explained why and how those accents existed within the greater class structure of the UK. Her knowledge and calm consistency were invaluable, helping each of us shape our characters and feel grounded on the stage.

I highly recommend Natalie as an accent coach and am very much looking forward to working with her again!”

Kate Isaac, producer/actor (Batwoman, The Good Doctor, Chesapeake Shores)

“Natalie Moon has coached me in different British dialects three times for different roles. Her widespread grasp of many accents and dialects is truly impressive, and her coaching is very thorough and encouraging. I look forward to future coachings from Natalie.”

Chris Cope, actor (When Calls The Heart, Bletchley Circle, DC Legends of Tomorrow)

“I contacted Natalie about polishing up my British RP accent for an audition. I had a good grounding but Natalie’s specificity, knowledge and tips and tricks definitely helped me secure the role but most importantly helped me to ensure my RP accent felt natural and easy for this audition and the future.”

Giacomo Baessato, actor (Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Motive, The X-Files, Nancy Drew)

“Natalie’s dialect coaching in RP British helped me book a role as Camilla Parker Bowles in Lifetime’s Harry and Megan: A Royal Romance. She is a consummate industry pro who is fun and thorough!”

Deborah Ramsay, actor (A Million Little Things, The Twilight Zone, The Magicians)

Workshops

2-Night Online Scene Study Workshops
with Richard J. Lewis

exclusively at Haven Studio

RICHARD J. LEWIS
RICHARD J. LEWIS
Dustin Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffery Wright, Ed Harris, Minnie Driver, Paul Giamatti, Thandie Newton, Anthony Hopkins … these are just a few of the actors Richard has worked with in over 30 years as an award-winning film and TV director. Richard’s other credits include A Million Little Things, CSI, Person of Interest and feature films Barney’s Version and Whale Music.

Most recently Richard has come on board as an Executive Producer on Benjamin’s series Trigger Me, which was created in collaboration with students at Haven Studio, and is being repped by Thunderbird/Great Pacific Entertainment.

Richard will be bringing his passion, experience and love of the actor/director process to Haven Studio.

PREREQUISITE:
These workshops are geared toward experienced actors. Please submit your current headshot and resume. Enrollment is limited to 6 students.

DESCRIPTION:
This is a chance to be closely guided by director/producer Richard J. Lewis, exclusively at Haven Studio.

Dustin Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffery Wright, Ed Harris, Minnie Driver, Paul Giamatti, Thandie Newton, Anthony Hopkins … these are just a few of the actors Richard has worked with in over 30 years as an award-winning film and TV director. Richard’s other credits include A Million Little Things, CSI, Person of Interest and feature films Barney’s Version and Whale Music.

Most recently, Richard has come on board as an Executive Producer on Benjamin Ratner’s series Trigger Me, which was created in collaboration with students at Haven Studio, and is being repped by Thunderbird/Great Pacific Entertainment.

Richard will be bringing his passion, experience and love of the actor/director process to Haven Studio.

FORMAT:

Students are assigned scenes from Film and Television Shows, and are expected to be off-book and rehearse with their scene partners between classes. The scene will then be performed live on Zoom with their assigned partner.

All scenes will be recorded and sent to you via Google Drive.

AUDIT POLICY:
To maintain the safest and most focused atmosphere for the students in class, drop-in audits are not available. If you want to speak with an instructor before signing up for a class, however, we are glad to arrange that.

2-Day Online Scene Study Workshops with Richard J. Lewis

*Maximum 6 students*

TBD | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Total $275 including gst for a 2-day intensive

These workshops are geared toward experienced actors.

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name of the workshop and dates in which you are interested.

If you are new to Haven Studio, or you haven’t attended in a long while, please also attach your HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Brian brings a wealth of experience and big-heartedness to the work, empowering the student while challenging them to reach deeper.”

~ Craig Erickson
The Man in the High Castle, Supernatural, Backstrom

“I was completely blown away by Brian’s ability to get actors to work at such a high level in such a short time. His script analysis is remarkable and he gives practical, easily accessible tips to use to make a scene come alive. Brian also creates an extremely warm and generous environment to learn and explore in. It is such a privilege to be coached by someone of his caliber. I will take any class this man has to offer!”

~ Teresa Riley
Legends of Tomorrow, Unmasked, Jaguars

Improv Workshop
with award-winning actor

Veena Sood

exclusively at Haven Studio

VEENA SOOD
VEENA SOOD
One of the original co-founders of Calgary’s Loose Moose Theatre Company, Veena Sood is an award-winning actress, known for her versatility in theatre, film, television, improv, emcee-ing & teaching improv. She has worked with Improv master teacher Keith Johnstone for the past 35 years.

Veena has taught Improv workshops to the animators of Lucas Film & Disney, has been an TV/film on-set coach, as well as teaches improv at Capilano University’s Acting programme. You can see Veena in numerous television & film productions such as Twilight Zone, Loudermilk, Charmed, Riverdale, Salvation, & The Murders.

Recently Veena was honored by The North Shore Fund for the Arts for a Distinguished Artists’ Award. In 2017 Veena was honored by UBCP/ACTRA with The Lorena Gale Woman Of Distinction Award. UBCP/ACTRA also awarded Veena the Sam Payne Award for her contributions in humanity, artistic integrity and encouragement of new talent.

Veena is a 3-time Jessie Richardson nominee/winner for her theatre work, as well as a 2-time Leo Award nominee/winner for her film/television work over the years. Currently Veena is the Artistic Director of Keith Johnstone’s The Life Game (Vancouver), which she co-produced 10 episodes for CBC.

www.veenasood.com

PREREQUISITE:
This workshop is suitable for both newer, and veteran actors. Please submit your current headshot and resume. Enrolment is limited to 12 students.

DESCRIPTION:
This workshop will focus on using Improv exercises to allow oneself to be more present, accepting your impulses, and give you valuable tools to assist you in your scene work, auditions and on set.

There is no pressure to ‘be funny’ but rather the focus will be on learning how to free your mind, unleash your imagination, and release your spontaneity.

This workshop is suitable for both newer, and veteran actors. Enrolment is limited to 12 students.

Improv Workshop with Veena Sood

TBD | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Total $250 including gst for a 2-day intensive

*Maximum 12 students*

This workshop is suitable for both newer, and veteran actors.

Email havenstudio@benjaminratner.com and specify the name and dates of the workshop in the subject line.

Please also attach your current HEADSHOT and RESUME, with your first and last name as the beginning of the file names for both.

“Improv skills are an essential tool to have in your back pocket during the audition process. Learning how to quickly think on your feet can put you a step ahead. What a great fortune to have in our own back yard one of the founders of TheatreSports, Veena Sood, available to guide actors towards excellence using the world of improv.”

~ Coreen Mayrs, Casting Director

Benjamin Ratner
Benjamin Ratner
A recipient of over a dozen awards, including the 2013 UBCP/ACTRA John Juliani Award for Outstanding Achievement, Benjamin has amassed over 100 film and TV acting credits, including lead roles in feature films that have played at prestigious festivals such as TIFF, Sundance and Berlin.

As a writer/director/producer, Benjamin has helmed 2 award-winning, theatrically released feature films: Down River (9 wins and 12 nominations, including Most Popular Canadian Film at VIFF 2013 and Best Feature at the 2014 Soho International Film Festival, NYC) and Moving Malcolm (4 wins and 1 nomination, including Best Feature Film at the 2003 Washington D.C. Film Festival). He has also written and/or directed and produced numerous short films and web series episodes, has directed Robson Arms for CTV, and has developed numerous original television series for Canadian networks.

For theatre, Benjamin has appeared in many plays including This, by Melissa James Gibson, Dinner with Friends, by Donald Margulies, and Italian American Reconciliation by John Patrick Shanley. Early in his career, Benjamin was nominated for a Jessie Richardson award for his portrayal of “Bobby” in David Mamet’s American Buffalo. He has also directed numerous plays, including the Canadian Premieres of Tommy Smith’s White Hot and Christopher Shinn’s Dying City, as well as Either We Talk or We Don’t Talk, created in collaboration with actors from Haven Studio. In 2020, Benjamin wrote and directed the one-man show Casey and the Octopus for the inspiring and dynamic 19-year-old cancer survivor Casey Wright.

Next up for Benjamin is his television series, Trigger Me, which he created and directed and features many Haven Studio actors in lead roles. HBO’s Westworld director/executive producer Richard J. Lewis has come onboard as executive producer.

Benjamin started his teacher career in 1995, under the tutelage of his mentor Ivana Chubbuck (author, The Power of the Actor). He has also studied with and been greatly influenced by Larry Moss (author, The Intent to Live), Patsy Rodenburg (author, The Second Circle) and Canada’s own Mel Tuck.

Having taught acting in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, Benjamin established Haven Studio in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood in 2002. He and his team at Haven Studio continue to offer extremely in-demand classes to both top-notch veteran actors and ambitious up-and-coming performers. 

Loretta Walsh
Loretta Walsh
Loretta Walsh is an award nominated actor and has been a professional performer for over 20 years. On television, she’s most well known for her 8 seasons on the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. Some of her other favourite film and television credits include Batwoman, Gabby Duran & the Unsittables, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bates Motel, The Sinners, Down River, Cold Pursuit and The Cleanse.

Loretta is also the founder of theatre company Kindred Entertainment and has starred in over 30 plays including: Dinner with Friends, Lobby Hero, Sex with Strangers, THIS, Either We Talk or We Don’t Talk, White Hot, Othello and Hamlet.

Loretta has studied with Benjamin Ratner for over a decade and been an acting teacher at Haven Studio for 7 years. After a brief hiatus she is happy to be returning to the studio to teach Scene Study. 

Nelson Wong
Nelson Wong
Having worked for over 15 years on stage, TV and film, and amassing over 80 IMDb credits, including recurring roles on Riverdale (CW), Lucifer (FOX), and The Romeo Section (CBC), as well as roles in the feature films Bigger Fatter Liar (Universal) and American Mary (Twisted Twins Productions), Haven Studio alumnus Nelson Wong is ready to share his care and insight informed by his vast experience in the industry, to guide actors in gaining confidence and enjoyment throughout the casting process.

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