A teacher of Creative Performance Studies at the Ryerson School of Performance and producer of their New Voices Festival since 2015, Clara McBride’s professional expertise is informed by 20 years of professional practice as a performer, director, teacher and researcher. Her focus is creating playful, uplifting, impulsive and inclusive theatre. She is inspired by her in-depth study of a range of traditions, from the seminal dramatist Jacques Copeau to the practice of the Meisner and Chekhov acting techniques, as well as improvisation systems in the tradition of Keith Johnstone, Le Théâtre du Soleil and Footsbarn Travelling Theatre.
Clara’s theatre career started in Paris where she lived and worked for seventeen years, co-founding two theatre companies: the Improfessionals, an improv touring troupe, and Et Alors!, a physical theatre based group, for which she directed shows performed at major theatres throughout the city. Across the Channel in London, she taught mask, improvisation, and ensemble physical theatre for the Masters programs at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Clara is guest director and lecturer at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, bilingual workshop leader for the Second City Training Center, and facilitates business workshops throughout Canada and the U.S. with Second City Works.
As part of her research in redefining commercial representation of physical archetypes and exploring body image within the creative ensemble, she is a guest artist for the Masters in Contemporary Physical Performance Making (CPPM) at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Artistic Director of Amphibious Works
Recent directing credits (selected):
"Operation SUNshine" by Jennifer McKinley, which received critical acclaim at both the Toronto Fringe 2017 and the Feminist Fuck It Festival 2018;
Rita Shelton Deverell's "Who are you Calling Black Eh?" for the Toronto Fringe 2019 at the Factory Theatre, which won the Teen Choice Award;
Carol Zoccoli's one woman show "How to Beat up any Man", at the Second City.
"Route 1" and "Morceaux Choisis" by Carol Fréchette (currently in development with Amphibious Works)