Artist Training

Odyssey regularly holds workshops for theatre professionals, often in specialized skills and theatre forms not taught elsewhere in Canada. Past workshops have included: mask, Commedia, improvisation, experimental puppetry, dance-theatre, and more. We have also provided training in international dance-theatre forms including Peking Opera, Indonesian Wayang Wong, Indian Kathakali, and Sri Lankan Kolam. Actors, directors, playwrights, designers, and teachers have participated in our workshops.


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 Past Workshops:

Storytelling and Mask Workshop

Over the weekend of January 10-12th, 2020, we offered a free workshop to members of the Four Nations Exchange, an Indigenous grassroots theatre group led by Suzanne Keeptwo. Our Artistic Director Laurie Steven partnered with Saskatoon-based Cree theatre artist Curtis Peeteetuce to guide participants through exercises in mask and physical theatre to uncover stories and characters within them to share with the group. We closed the workshop with a short presentation for friends and family.
Laurie and Curtis were both blown away by the creativity, honesty, and courage of all the participants. Everyone took such different directions with the masks and enormous steps forward in their artistic practices. Below is a sampling of what some of the participants had to say about what they learned from the workshop:
“I felt I learned so much more from this workshop than I could ever expect. It helped me focus on the art of live performance from the ground up from beginning to our conclusion.”
“I learned not to be afraid…that I can do this. I can use my voice and my actions to make a difference – make you laugh, think or cry!”
We offer many thanks to Suzanne for all her help organizing the workshop, to Curtis for sharing his theatrical approach, and to the incredible group of artists who participated. A special thanks to The University of Ottawa Theatre Department and Arts Court for their important support of this initiative.


Curtis Peeteetuce is a theatre artist from the Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation. He is a former Artistic Director of the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company and playwright of the popular Rez Christmas Story series. A descendant of Almighty Voice, Curtis is also a director, grass dancer, and storyteller.

Laurie Steven is a playwright, director, dramaturge, and the founding Artistic Director of Odyssey Theatre. Laurie has taught mask, Commedia dell’Arte, improvisation, and writing for physical theatre at the University of Ottawa, community theatres, and high schools, as well as to professional actors through Odyssey.


Artistic Directing for Independent Theatres – SOLD OUT
Six sessions – October 2019-April 2020

Designed to inspire and offer practical assistance to the leaders of Ottawa’s vibrant independent theatre scene, the workshop series examined the role of the Artistic Director in a range of company models, and provided ideas for effective leadership of a Theatre. Open to current and aspiring Artistic Directors, the sessions tackled topics such as: articulating artistic vision; creating an identity in the theatre community; having an impact on theatre and on the public; financing your vision; effective grant writing; developing a company structure, including Board of Directors and staff; sustainability; managing creative relationships; and much more.

Read the full workshop overview here.

This workshop is presented in partnership with the Ottawa Fringe and Arts Court.

If you would like to join Odyssey’s Theatre Professionals’ Network and receive notices about: upcoming workshops; auditions; administrative, production and artistic jobs; and performance discounts for theatre professionals, please sign up at the top of the page!


How to Leverage Podcasts For Your Arts Project 

On November 30, 2021, we offered a free workshop, led by podcast-marketing expert, Sam Laliberte, host and producer of Freedom Lifestyle Podcast. Designed for both beginner and established podcast creators, this workshop helped these artists learn how to set up a show for success and expand their reach.

The workshop was presented with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.