May 2016: Projection Design Workshop with Jamie Nesbitt

After attending a 3-hour workshop led by projection designer Jamie Nesbitt in Victoria, Open Pit Theatre was inspired to offer an extended version here in Whitehorse.  

From May 6-9, 2016 a hands-on workshop was offered to Yukon videographers, multi-media artists, theatre directors, photographers, and theatre creators.

The workshop introduced participants to the art and use of projections.  Jamie outlined how and when projections can be used for those wishing to incorporate projections into their art - whether it be for theatre, performance art, visual art, music performances, or public events.  Each participant was provided temporary access to the software that Jamie uses to design his projections, and from there learned the basic skills of projection design.  We covered image sourcing, mapping, editing, and execution. 

Jamie is an award winning designer and has worked in every major theatre across Canada and we were very lucky to have him as our guest!  Here is a link to his website:

Thank you to the Cultural Industry Training Fund for making this workshop possible!


What's Up Yukon article: CLICK HERE

January 2015: Verbatim Workshops with Joel Bernbaum


In January, 2015 Open Pit Theatre invited Joel Bernbaum, from Saskatoon SK, up to the Yukon to offer three public verbatim workshops. 

The workshops were in conjunction with a the development of a new verbatim play as part of the Yukon Verbatim Project.  

Participants of all abilities were introduced to verbatim, given tools to create a verbatim piece, and learned how to act verbatim.  

Here is a more detailed description of the workshops:


Participants joined us for an active morning of learning how to make verbatim art.   This workshops was open to everyone and no experience was required. By the end of the morning, participants had worked on their feet to explore the tools and secrets of verbatim creation.  



In this workshop, the participants learned how to make their own short verbatim theatre piece.  Building on exercises and tools learned in the INTRO TO VERBATIM workshop, participants recorded, edited, and shared their short pieces.  


This workshop focused on learning how to interpret, explore, and perform verbatim theatre text. Acting verbatim text presents new and interesting challenges for actors.  Participants had the opportunity to work with recently produced verbatim theatre monologues and scenes.  



What's Up Yukon article: CLICK HERE

Yukon News article: CLICK HERE


October 2013: Vocal Workshops with Cindy Block

Poster Design: Maxime Deschesnes

Poster Design: Maxime Deschesnes

After attending Canada's National Voice Intensive, Open Pit was inspired to bring a guest vocal instructor to Whitehorse to offer a variety of vocal workshops.  Here is a description of the workshops that were offered:  

Voice Intensive Workshops 

Saturday October 19th – 20th and 26th 

 The voice intensive weekend was an active exploration of alignment, breath, and resonance to bring sensation, ease and confidence to the performer.  The practices encouraged attunement to the physical self and brought awareness to physical tensions, which may inhibit a free voice. 

A Movement & Voice Workshop

 Wednesday, October 23rd

This workshop was geared toward the dancer or mover who has little or no experience in bringing voice and movement together. We explored the role that breath plays in moving, sounding and speaking. We explored resonance and sound as a physical act. We explored the following of impulse and awareness of sensations as the basis of being vocally and physically Present on stage.

A Monologue Workshop  

Thursday, October 24th

The monologue is the performers conundrum; it is both a necessity in the business and, a fantastic way to practice our craft. In this workshop we will explore how to approach a piece of text and develop a precise yet liberated performance.  How do we get if ‘off the page and onto the stage”?  What questions do we ask?   What decisions do we make?  How do we make it active and present?   Together we’ll explore methods of connection to what we are saying and who we are speaking to and encourage your passion to be revealed.  

To read more about Cindy Block please read her bio HERE.  


What's Up Yukon: Courageously Putting your Voice into the World

CBC Radio: How to Find Your Real Voice


October 2012: Victoria Play Development Workshop

From October 8th to October 14th Open Pit held a one week workshop of Nowhere Near in Victoria, BC.  Eleven physical theatre artists were hired and the company spent seven days working with the ensemble to both create new material and re-visit material from the first production in 2010.  The goal of the workshop was to focus on the physical aspects of the show and to then document the material for future grants. 

The workshop was held at Suddenly Dance Theatre.  On the last day, Open Pit rented the Intrepid Theatre and hired a local film company, Lighthead Productions, to film the generated material. Please see the video below.  Here is a list of partcipants:
  • Whitehorse, YT:  Sam Bergmann-Good, Genevieve Doyon
  • Vancouver, BC: Sarah Moore
  • Toronto, ON:  Shae Wojtus
  • Victoria, BC: Michael Shewchuk, Mily Mumford, Emma Zabloski, Connor Parnall, Ryan Levis, Camille Janicki, Alexa MacDougall, Andrew Barrett, Brandy Baybutt, Diana Nielsen, Jessica Hickman

July 2011: Physical Theatre Workshops with Ker Wells

Nakai Theatre, with assistance from Open Pit, organised two workshops taught by guest instructor Ker Wells. Here is information about the first workshop, An Introduction to Physical Theatre:

    Date: July 12th - July 14th
    Location: Yukon Arts Centre Studio Theatre
    Total in-studio hours:  9
    Number of participants: 11
    Age range of participants:  20 - 50
The second workshop was titled The Nature of the Performed Action and was considered advanced training.  Here is more information on the second workshop:

    Date: July 19th - July 23rd
    Location:  Yukon Arts Centre Studio Theatre
    Total in-studio hours: 18
    Number of participants: 6
    Age range of participants: 24 - 30

Upon request, we offered subsidized rates for those in financial need. 

The participants of the workshops had a wide range of skill levels, therefore the training affected each of them differently. We asked that participants have previous theatre experience, but we made sure to not exclude anyone with a keen interest.

Participants who had less experience in theatre thought the workshops were interesting and very different from what they were used to.

I loved that Ker offered a type of training that I have never tried before.  Physical Theatre does not exist in the north so I am appreciative that I could learn new techniques.”

The more professional level participants, who took both workshops, found some great insight into creation using Physical Theatre. A post mortem was held on the final day and participants remarked how they benefited from getting to see Ker Wells’ creative process. It was also noted how this work could be directly applied to the creation of a new play. There was also benefit in the training as an actor. Participants learned about creative impulses and how to access them. Ker Wells’ training made impulses seem tangible and, if not understood, more accessible.

“Physical Theatre is a new concept to me and as yet, I have not grasped it’s essence; however, I have no doubt that it would be a valuable tool for me to add a richer element to the development of characters in the future.”

These workshops also had an impact on the trainer, Ker Wells. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in our city and even took part in a public reading of Catherine Frid’s Homegrown. He has committed to returning this winter for Nakai Theatre’s Pivot festival. There were also informal discussions about further partnerships and opportunities in the north. We believe that having this calibre of talent interested in working in Yukon is an exciting development for the theatre industry.

“It was immediately apparent that Ker Wells brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to the workshop.  I highly respected the quality of the responses he provided to any participants questions as well as his instinctive awareness of what is needed to overcome any blocks that a participant is struggling with.”