Archival photograph of a performance



Founded in 1998 by our then Artistic Director, Richard Monette, the Conservatory nurtures talented young actors for a future in classical theatre. Michael Mawson was the first Principal of the Conservatory, followed by David Latham. In 2007, Stratford Festival actor and director Martha Henry became Director.

The Directorship has now transitioned to Stephen Ouimette, a veteran actor, director and teacher of Canadian theatre and the Stratford Festival.

Participants are given the unique opportunity to interact with many of the finest English-speaking actors in North America. The program also includes classes in voice, movement and text by celebrated guest instructors and Festival coaches, and much more.

Participant Selection and Contracts

The Festival's mandate for participants is that they be able to stand on the Festival stage and be heard – with emotional nuance, intelligence, flexibility and power. And that they will be able to work in any theatre, anywhere in the world.

Selected participants are usually graduates of an accredited theatre training program with at least two years’ experience in professional theatre. Participants are paid and are offered a position in the acting company for the following Festival season.

If you would like to apply to the Conservatory, please email your résumé and photo to Beth Russell, Casting Director, or Jennifer Emery, Casting Assistant. 

We recognize that diversity – in our workplace, in our audiences and on our stages – fosters a rich and creative environment. We are actively engaged in building a more diverse workplace and encourage all qualified applicants to apply.

The Birmingham Conservatory is made possible by the support of the Birmingham family, the Stratford Festival Endowment Foundation and the Department of Canadian Heritage. Supporting the 2017 in-season work of Conservatory participants are the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Fund, the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival, John & Therese Gardner and The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.


This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada

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Frank Bach
Rod Beattie
Franklin Brasz
Dennis Cahill
Peggy Coffey
Brad Cook
Paul de Jong
Jane Gooderham
Adrienne Gould
Katie Grube
Kate Henning
Martha Henry
Lori Holmes
Thomas Morgan Jones
Jon Kretzu
David Latham
Kennedy C. MacKinnon
Kelly McEvenue
Seana McKenna
Rebecca Northan
Janine Pearson
Nora Polly
JoJo Rideout
E.B. Smith
John Stead
Ann Stuart
Jennie Such
Terry Tweed
Ian Watson