Northumberland Players offers workshops in theatre performance and theatre production. They are co-ordinated by Valerie Russell. The workshops provide opportunities to learn from recognized, experienced and knowledgeable teachers. Workshops are conducted in a group at the Firehall with others who share the passion for community theatre.

In addition, there are workshops offered by other organizations in the community that might be of interest.

Workshops will be added as they are announced with the newest at the top. Check back often to see what is coming up, check your dates and sign up.

Being YourSelf™ • Body, Mind and Music

A workshop for Singer-Actors!

Saturday, January 28, 2016, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

  • Discover your sprung, buoyant design ­– Your Elastic, Suspension System
  • Experience your expressive, authentic sound
  • Transform negative mental chatter into clear thinking

Presented by clinicians Jennifer Moir and Babette Lightner, the Being YourSelf™ workshop is interactive, lively and empowering.

Come and experience how beautifully your system is designed to support you to sing, to move and to BE. Be supported in the knowledge that the foundation of artistic freedom and expression is in YOU; how you are in the world; how you can harness all that you already know to work for you.

For details about the workshop, see Being YourSelf™. body mind voice workshop

Read about the clinicians, Jennifer Moir Bio and Babette Lightner Bio 2016

Location: Firehall Theatre, Cobourg, 3rd Floor Halligan Room

Fee: $60.00 includes snack

Interested participants should:

  • email Val Russell at
  • send fee payment by January 1, 2017, to the Firehall Theatre, 213 Second Street, Cobourg, ON K9A 3N7, attn. Leslee Argue

Comedy 101 with Melody Johnson:
How to be Hilarious / Sketches and Scenes / Foundations for Funny

Sunday, January 8, 2017, 11:00 a.m  – 3:00 p.m.

Location: Firehall Theatre, Cobourg,

Melody Johnson, (actor/ writer of Miss Caledonia and teacher at the Humber School of Comedy and The Second City) will conduct a four-hour intensive workshop focusing on the fundamentals of improvisation, (saying “yes!”, being present, listening, embracing failure by risk taking, ensemble play), while also inviting participants to bring in a memorized comedic monologue (no more than two minutes) for exploration and direction.
Cost $50.00 per participant, payable by cheque or cash (credit card on Friday mornings at Firehall) to Leslee Argue by December 20, 2016.
If you are interested in this workshop please email Val Russell at

You can access information about Melody Johnson and promotional materials for her show, see Melody A. Johnson.

A Little Illumination!
(or “what those mysterious folks in black are really up to…”)

October 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

You’ve seen plays, worked on plays, and been in plays… and you’ve seen those black-clad techies scuttling about in the dark, or dangling off ladders holding weird equipment, and communicating in their own strange language… and you’ve wondered, “what the heck is this magic we call ‘lighting’ and how does it all work?  This is the seminar for you!

David Hoare and Tim Russell will guide you through basic and advanced lighting theory and techniques in a fun and intensive 3-hour practical seminar at the Firehall Theatre in Cobourg, including:

  • functions and tools of lighting
  • classical lighting theory, 3-point lighting
  • colour theory
  • lighting instruments
  • hanging & focusing
  • advanced techniques (gobos, unconventional angles, special effects)
  • lighting console operation
  • setting cues, presets, patches
  • design theory & process
  • critical paperwork and cheat-sheets

After completing the seminar, you will be invited to join the lighting team for one or more shows during our season as a co-designer, technician or assistant.

For information about the seminar leaders, see david-hoare-bio and tim-russell-bio

Cost is $50 per participant.  Download details of this workshop at A Little Illumination

Starting with the seminar on October 12, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., this course continues over 5 of the shows in the Players season.

Space is limited, so sign up early to reserve your spot.

Please contact Val Russell ( to register.

Past Workshops:

“Can They Hear Me? Do They Get It?”
A workshop focusing on Projection, Diction and Resonance.

(September 10, 2016 – Finished)

This workshop was designed specifically for performers at the Best Western and Firehall Theatres where amplification is minimal and where acoustics are not optimal.

It was open to all performers in Northumberland Players.
Facilitator was Heather Stubbs. Read more about Heather at HEATHER STUBBS BIO, 2016.

Sound Production: Canadian Women Working in Music & Shelter Valley Folk Festival

(May 22, 2016 – Finished)

Shelter Valley Folk Festival invited women to the first in their learning series – Sound production.
This course is in cooperation with Canadian Women Working In Music, and is an opportunity for women to learn the basics of sound production for a live show. Participants would be introduced to the process of set up for a show, how to manage a sound board, what to listen for in mixing sound, basic trouble shooting, and stage management

Scene Study Workshop

(April 16 & 17, 2016 – Finished)

Northumberland Players presented a two-day workshop on Scene Study, an introduction to analysis, rehearsal and acting techniques. In a weekend workshop, focusing on short scenes that the actor will receive prior to the workshop, we will take a brief look at components of both the script analysis and rehearsal process culminating in an open rehearsal.

Facilitator, Diana Reis, has over 30 years experience teaching and directing at various colleges, universities and professional schools throughout North America. She holds a Masters degree in Theatre and Performance Studies specialized in Directing and Actor Training Pedagogy. For further details see DIANA REIS bio

Voice Articulation and Projection Techniques

(Jan 9, 2016 – Finished)

Northumberland Players presented a one-day workshop on Voice Articulation and Projection Techniques. This workshop, the second of the 2015-16 season, would be beneficial for all performers for any of the diverse and challenging venues in which Northumberland Players performs.

The facilitator of this workshop was Marie Anderson, a voice teacher with extensive international training and experience. For more details, read the biography of Marie Anderson

Stage Management Workshop

(Nov 27-28, 2015 – Finished)

Northumberland Players offered a two-day workshop on Stage Management. This workshop is suitable for both experienced or novice Stage Managers, as well as those interested in accepting the position of Stage Manager in an upcoming production.

The facilitator of the workshop was Jennifer Stobart, an excellent Equity Stage Manager with years of experience working in  theatres all over Canada. For more information, see Jennifer Stobart – Stage Manager

Jennifer used The Secret Garden to teach from.