The Full-Time Professional Program

The Hunter Gates Academy is a privately-run, independent school that accepts up to 10 students per year. Graduates of the training program are awarded an associate certificate.

The Academy offers a select group of artists the opportunity to acquire new skills and tools to advance their craft, as well as to develop the mindset necessary for the rigors and demands of a creative life. The work is grounded in the European-based physical theatre tradition inspired by the teachings of Jacques Lecoq and expanded by the influences of contemporary approaches making it relevant to the ever-changing nature of the artist's craft.


Body, gesture, and play are placed at the center of this creative process.

The one-year intensive is primarily geared toward performers, but it equally benefits directors, writers, designers, teachers, dancers, choreographers, circus performers, and musicians.


Why mask is so important in the process

The history of masks and their use in ritual and performance is almost as old as humanity itself, and today they remain a powerful tool in the training of actors and performers. When the facial expressions of the performer is hidden, the focus is brought back to the body as an expressive and poetic tool.


Mask work cultivates a strong emotional awareness along with powerful physical alertness that creates complete training for all theatre artists, laying the foundation for work on characters for all performance genres. When the mask is later removed, participants are left with enhanced physical awareness and an array of performance tools necessary to navigate the world of theatre-play and dramatic transposition. This journey is more than just an actor’s training program: it offers a transformative education where, through mask work, the creative side of each participant is carefully encouraged to emerge.

This program encompasses the study of specific types of theatre masks including Neutral Masks, Larval Masks, Character Mask, masks of Commedia Dell’Arte, and the smallest mask in the world, the Red Nose. 


Summary of the Training Program

Elements of Acrobatics
The 20 movements of Jacques Lecoq
Spatial Awareness
Play & Levels Of Play
Stage Combat

Writing for the Stage
Character Work
Approach to Text



Levels Of Energy
Rhythm Work
Relationship with the audience
Devised Class
Creative Ensemble

Dramatic Actor

A Uniquely Comprehensive Training Experience

With an intimate class size and intensive tuition, students form a close-knit community.

The Academy's training takes participants on a fundamental journey of constant change and evolution. Classes follow a precise progression and are a place of research and discovery, where every day is new and every gesture a reinvention of the world.


By creating a space for discovery, we don't give solutions, we create a platform for them to be discovered with artists who invent and affirm their own unique artistic journey, processes, and artistic voice. 


With this as a guiding principle, everyone in the room has the mindset where no situation results in failure, only in opportunities for learning, advancing, and reinventing.


Former students work in a variety of areas including acting in tv & film, stage, comedy clubs, writing, mask work, puppetry, broadcastin, directing, stage combat,  teaching, music and circus arts.

This is a transformative course, designed for actors and artists who want to explore, experiment, take risks, and dedicate themselves to making great work. The Academy encourages artists to embrace personal goals and independently support their personal artistic journeys, whatever path they choose to take. 

If you feel you are ready to apply or are considering whether the program is right for you, feel free to contact us to answer any questions you may have or to set up a time to talk.

Full time Program

  • Nine Month Intensive 2021/22

    Started Jan 4, 2021

    2,985 Canadian dollars
  • From Neutrality to Character

    1,150 Canadian dollars
  • Melodrama to Commedia

    1,150 Canadian dollars
  • The Human Comedy

    1,150 Canadian dollars