FOR TEACHERS
We offer new ways to inspire the creativity of your students
FOR COMMUNITY THEATRE PARTICIPANTS 
We offer ways to contribute even more, with new skills and new ideas
FOR LIFELONG LEARNERS 
We offer personal artistic growth and enjoyment

Welcome

Off the Wall welcomes students from around the world to our courses. Hundreds of participants from Vancouver to New York and beyond hold Off the Wall certificates. Some of our graduates have gone into university theatre design programs. Others have participated in co-op placements in theatre settings. Some have served apprenticeships at the Stratford Festival; still others have gone on to work backstage in both amateur and professional theatres in Canada and the United States. Many have simply taken our courses and workshops for personal enjoyment.

Interested in becoming an Off the Wall student?

Consult these Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

 

General questions about our program?

Contact Susan Starkweather, Program Advisor

info@stratfordoffthewall.com.

FAQs

Questions about registration and payment?

Contact Cheryl Strickland, Registrar

registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com.

 
Why Off the Wall?
Why choose an Off the Wall course?

Off the Wall courses and workshops are a special experience for many reasons:

  • Our small student-to-teacher ratio and one-on-one mentoring

  • Intensive hands-on courses and workshops where you practice what you learn

  • The high calibre of our artist instructors, who are some of Canada’s most respected backstage theatre artists

  • The affordability of our courses and workshops

  • A learning experience tailored to your needs and background, including a full safety briefing to ensure you are comfortable using the tools and equipment

  • An environment where everyone is welcome and where collaboration is encouraged

  • A course schedule that fits your busy life; courses can be taken as a single week during the summer or over one or two weekends in the fall

  • Insight into how theatre really works

  • The opportunity to find your life calling, like many of our students who chose careers in theatre because of taking an Off the Wall course

Will I be in contact with theatre professionals during my time at Off the Wall?

Yes, you will be working one-on-one with our artist instructors, all of whom are working theatre professionals; many have decades of professional experience.

Will I be able to keep the items I work on during my course?

In some courses, students work on items that are part of a partnered project with a small professional theatre company, often for an upcoming production. In these cases, the projects stay with Off the Wall. Students sometimes have the right of first refusal to claim the items once the production is finished. In other courses, students work on their own personal projects and may choose to take them home. Course descriptions indicate when students can work on personal projects.

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Registration
How and when can I register?

Our online registration system is now open for all 2017 summer courses and fall workshops. To begin the registration process, click on the register button on the course page and fill in the application form. Then, pay either a non-refundable deposit, where available, or the full course fee through PayPal. That’s all it takes to secure your place.

Why do I have to provide information on my skill level and background in the registration form?

Our small student-to-teacher ratio means that instruction is always geared to your needs. Having more information about you in advance helps the artist instructor prepare for the course.

 

How long does it take to know if my registration is accepted?

Once you complete the online registration form and make payment through PayPal, you will automatically receive an email confirming your registration.

What happens if the course I want to take is full?

When a course is full, you have the option of putting your name on a wait list. From time to time, students are unable to attend the course and we will contact you if a spot becomes available. We will also ensure that you are among the first to receive our upcoming course announcements.

I can't pay the full course fee right now. Can I still register?

Yes, for many of our courses and workshops, you can pay either a non-refundable deposit or the full course fee to confirm your registration. If you pay a deposit, the balance of the course fee must be paid 15 days prior to the start of the course in order to keep your place.

 

Please note that there is no option to pay a deposit for some of our lower-priced courses and workshops. This reduces our costs and helps us keep the fee as low as possible.

I'm trying to register using my smartphone but it isn't working. What should I do? 

Some students have successfully registered using their smartphones but a few have had problems. We have asked our third-party registration system supplier why this is happening. While we are waiting for an answer, we recommend you use a tablet or computer to register. If this isn't an option for you, please reach out to our webmaster, Gail Tolley, at webmaster@stratfordoffthewall.com, for assistance.

Can Off the Wall offer academic credits? 

Students at the University of Windsor may receive academic credit for taking Off the Wall courses. Please contact your Dramatic Arts Office. Off the Wall is open to working with other post-secondary institutions to make academic credits available to their students.

If you would like to know more about transfer credits with the School of Dramatic Arts at the University of Windsor, please contact our program advisor, Susan Starkweather, at info@stratfordoffthewall.com.

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Requirements
What are the prerequisites or admission requirements?

You must be 16 years of age or older. For some intermediate or advanced courses, experience in the area is required. This is clearly stated in the course title and description. Other than that, there are no additional prerequisites or requirements. Everyone is welcome!

I’m a beginner. Can I still take your courses?

Yes, our small student-to-teacher ratio means our courses are always adapted to your needs, regardless of abilities or experience. A few of our courses are designed for intermediate or advanced students and in these cases some experience is required. This is clearly stated in the course title and description.

Do I need special equipment or clothing?

For some courses, there are requirements for specific clothing and footwear for safety reasons. This is detailed in the email you will receive about the course. In general, you should wear casual, comfortable clothing, appropriate for the season. You should also be aware that you may get paint, glue and other materials on your clothing during the courses, which all involve hands-on work.

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Payment
How do I pay?

We use PayPal to collect registration fees. You have the option of using a PayPal account to pay for the course or of using a credit card to pay, without setting up a PayPal account.

I don’t have a PayPal account? Can I still register and pay?

Yes, PayPal accepts credit card payments without setting up a PayPal account.

I paid the deposit for the course. When is the rest of the fee due and how do I pay it?

The balance of the course fee must be paid 15 days prior to the start of the course in order to keep your place. A few days after you registered and paid the deposit, our registrar sent you a link to pay the remainder of the fee. If you did not receive that email or have misplaced it, please contact our registrar, Cheryl Strickland, at registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com, who will resend it to you.

I can't pay the full course fee right now. Can I still register?

Yes, for many of our courses and workshops, you can pay either a non-refundable deposit or the full course fee to confirm your registration. If you pay a deposit, the balance of the course fee must be paid 15 days prior to the start of the course in order to keep your place. Please note that there is no option to pay a deposit for some of our lower-priced courses and workshops. This reduces our costs and helps us keep the fee as low as possible.

Why is my deposit not refundable?

Off the Wall needs to order the materials and supplies required for our courses in advance, sometimes many weeks in advance depending on where they are coming from. Your deposit covers the costs we incur.

Why is there no option to pay a deposit for the course I want to take?

To reduce administrative costs, we do not offer a deposit option for our lower-priced courses and workshops. This helps us keep the fee as low as possible.

I am interested in taking more than one Off the Wall course. Are there any savings if I do?

Yes! We offer package deals. Take two weeklong summer courses and save $50. Take three weeklong summer courses and save $125. Please contact our registrar, Cheryl Strickland, at registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com for more information.

I have a promo code for an Off the Wall course. How do I use it?

Please contact our registrar, Cheryl Strickland, at registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com for details on using your code.

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Scholarships and Financial Assistance
Are any scholarships or financial assistance available to students?

Yes, Off the Wall offers a Desmond Heeley Scholarship for a student with demonstrated potential to become a backstage theatre artist; a Stipend for a Summer Student Blogger to a student who will provide a first-hand social media account of their experience at Off the Wall; and a Student Bursary to support the studies of students who would not otherwise be able to afford the Off the Wall Theatre Production Arts course. Click here for more information.

 

As well, Setting the Scene, a highly affordable two-week program that gives learners a flavour of the world of theatre production arts, is made possible by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council.

Who can receive scholarships and financial assistance for Off the Wall courses?

Everyone who enrolls in an eligible course or workshop can apply to receive financial assistance. Off the Wall raises funds from our donors and supporters to make financial assistance available to students. As a result, the number of and dollar value of awards is limited and may vary from year to year.

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Cancellation
I won’t be able to attend the course I registered for. What should I do?

Please contact our registrar, Cheryl Strickland, immediately at registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com if you need to cancel your registration. 

I have to cancel my registration. Is my deposit refundable?

No, deposits are not refundable. However, you can choose to apply your deposit to future courses until December 31 of the next year. Please contact our registrar, Cheryl Strickland, immediately at registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com.

I have to cancel my registration. Is the course fee refundable?

For courses that offer the option of making a deposit, the deposit portion of the course fee is non-refundable. Your confirmation email indicates the amount of the deposit. The remainder of the course fee is refundable if cancellation occurs 15 days before the course begins. After that, you can choose to apply your course fee (including the deposit portion) to future courses until December 31 of the next year. Please contact our registrar, Cheryl Strickland, immediately at registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com.

For some of our lower-priced courses and workshops, which do not offer the option of making a deposit, the fee is not refundable. However, you can choose to apply the fee to future courses until December 31 of the next year. Please contact our registrar, Cheryl Strickland, immediately at registrar@stratfordoffthewall.com.

What happens if Off the Wall cancels a course?

In the unlikely event that Off the Wall must cancel a course, students have the option of receiving a full refund or of having the funds applied to future courses until December 31 of the next year.

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Staying In Stratford
I am from out of town. Where can I stay?

Stratford offers many accommodation options including hotels, B&Bs and the SGH Residence. Here are some websites that can help.

Also, our program advisor, Susan Starkweather can help students find accommodation. Please contact her at info@stratfordoffthewall.com for more information. 

What other things can I do while I am in Stratford?

Stratford is alive with culture and character and offers a multitude of activities. Check out Visit Stratford for more information.

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Students From Outside Canada
I’m coming from outside Canada. Can I register for your courses?

Yes, Off the Wall welcomes students from all over the world. Be sure to check any special visa or entry requirements that may affect your ability to enter Canada. Go to Visit Canada for more information.

I’m coming from outside Canada. Are my fees different?

No, fees are the same for all students regardless of where they come from.

 

Please note that all Off the Wall fees are quoted in Canadian dollars. Be sure to check current exchange rates. For students coming from the United States, exchange rates are beneficial and mean that the amount you pay in US dollars is less than the fees as quoted in Canadian dollars.

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©2016 Off The Wall  |  design by Creative Feats  |  title photos by Terry Manzo and Bill Chan |  additional photos used with permission