The Training Group


Session 2: Contemporary Canadian Monologues,
a ‘scene study’ approach with Ken Gass

As the seasons change, we’re thrilled to get back to work with another session of The Howland Company’s newest initiative – The Training Group. 

  • The Training Group is an opportunity for actors, both emerging and established, to explore seminal plays, monologues and the actor’s craft in an intimate training group setting guided by one of Toronto’s leading theatre artists.
Ken Photo 3A

Artistic Director, Director, Writer, Educator – Ken Gass

Join us this Fall for the second session in this exciting new training series, as we explore Contemporary Canadian Monologues through a scene study approach. The Training Group aims to integrate advanced monologue and scene study work while engaging participants in active dialogue focusing on exploring the actor’s process. We are honoured to continue the series under the guidance of one of the country’s leading directors, writers, and educators, Ken Gass.

This intensive 15 hour Training Group will be set up over five workshop sessions – three Mondays and two Saturdays in the month of November.

Session Breakdown:

Over the course of these five workshop sessions, participants will each develop and ultimately present two contemporary Canadian monologues, preferably new material that the actor has not previously performed.

  • Participants will be asked to prepare one monologue where the character is alone on stage, speaking directly to the audience, whether from a solo play, or a fragment from a larger play.
  • Participants will then prepare a second monologue that is part of a scene where, in normal performance conditions, at least one other actor/character would be present. Suggestions for alternate monologues will also be given, if needed.

Contemporary Canadian playwrights use monologues in widely varying ways, and there are often many complex conventions implicit in their execution. Monologues allow us to embrace the notion of open theatricality and the multi-layers of the actor/audience relationship. Yet often the challenge for the actor is how to make these monologues constantly live in the ‘present tense’ in the absence of a live scene partner. Part of the process of this workshop will be to create short scenes inspired by the monologues themselves in order to develop layers of thought, inner action and emotional reference that can be incorporated into the final performance.

Of course, attention will be given as to how these dramatic texts/monologues can best be adapted for audition purposes as well.

This is the second session in an exciting new training series held twice a year.


  • Monday, November 13: 7-10pm
  • Saturday, November 18: 4:30-7:30pm
  • Monday, November 20: 7-10pm
  • Saturday, November 25: 4:30-7:30pm
  • Monday, November 27: 7-10pm


Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, Toronto

Price: $375

Morning Glory Discount Deadline Wednesday October 25th: $300

Early Bird Discount Deadline Wednesday November 1st: $325

Final Deadline to apply is Friday November 10th.

Apply Here:

Please fill out the following form to apply for Session 2 of The Training Group:

For any questions, please email us at:

About Ken Gass

Ken Photo 3A

Ken Gass is currently the artistic director of Canadian Rep Theatre, where he has directed several recent projects, including the Dora-nominated How Do I Love Thee? and Armstrong’s War. Ken’s own plays include Claudius, The Boy Bishop [Chalmers Award finalist] Amazon Dream, Slip Knot, Bethune Imagined and the popular Hurray for Johnny Canuck!. He has also written extensively for television and radio and is collaborating with composer John Mills-Cockell on a full-length opera, Savitri and Sam.

Ken’s recent projects include the founding of ENSEMBLE Canadian Youth Theatre/Théâtre Jeunesse Canadien with productions of Dreams (Rêves) by Wajdi Mouawad and an ensemble adaptation of Tough! by George F. Walker. He also directed the world premiere of Walker’s The Damage Done in the fall of 2016.

Ken was also the founding artistic director of the Factory Theatre (1970–79; 1996–2012) a company that has been at the forefront of new playwriting in Canada. Notable productions Gass directed there include the critically acclaimed Belle by Florence Gibson at the National Arts Centre and The Leisure Society by François Archambault (for which he won a Dora for Outstanding Direction), several plays by George F. Walker and a major revival of The Rez Sisters by native playwright, Tomson Highway.

Winner of the highly prestigious Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in Ontario, Gass has also been awarded the Toronto Arts Award; the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship; and the Dora Silver Ticket Award for lifetime achievement.




Past Training Group Sessions & Instructors:

Session 1: Strengthening the Actor’s Process with Nancy Palk – Exploring Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

Session 2: Contemporary Canadian Monologues, a scene study approach with Ken Gass

%d bloggers like this: