PHOTOGRAPHY, CINEMATOGRAPHY, DIRECTED AND CREATED BY GOODEN-ERGY
Photos by Jordan Gooden aka Gooden-Ergy
A Story Untold by Gooden-Ergy about the 26 year long Company of Rogues Actors' Studio, which has greatly influenced and supported the Canadian Film industry.
“I love Company of Rogues and the work you do. Being a graduate of sorts I can attest first hand to the quality of training you provide. I’m always happy to refer students to you. I feel our vision for growing a community of performers is very much the same and we work toward a common goal.” – Rhonda Fisekci, Casting Director (Principal & Commercial Casting).
Company of Rogues Actors' Studio and Rogues West has been helping actors hone their craft in the beautiful city of Calgary for many years, producing fine actors and diverse shows along the way.
The History of Rogues
Rogues was founded in 1993 in Vancouver, B.C. by seasoned working professionals, Christiane Hirt and Joe-Norman Shaw, who shared a desire to establish a creative home where actors could explore their craft in an environment devoted to the highest and most demanding artistic principles.
After Christiane won the lead role of Hannah in the series Lonesome Dove, Christiane and Joe moved to Calgary where they re-established Company of Rogues in 1996, and later re-established Rogues West in 2014, continuing their vision to cultivate a community of first class actors.
Joe-Norman Shaw Actor and Co-Founder & Studio Director of Rogues Actors’ Studio. Photos by Jordan Gooden aka Gooden-Ergy
Joe-Norman Shaw is a veteran actor, director and mentor to countless emerging artists. He has worked extensively on both stage and film sets across Canada and internationally. After growing up in the American Mid-west, Indiana and Illinois, Joe relocated to Canada in 1972, and in 1981 began his acting career working in the vibrant Toronto theatre scene. In 1991, a move to Vancouver, and later Calgary, brought numerous film and television roles, as well as opportunities as a director and to mentor young actors.
Joe has found a busy creative life in Western Canada, working on projects like Dead Again in Tomb Stone, Damnation, Heartland season 8-9, the CBC mini-series, Everest, shot in beautiful locations around Alberta, including the Rocky Mountains or traveling to the Austrian Alps to shoot Crazy Canucks for CTV. He has also Guest Starred on TV series shot in Alberta such as Tom Stone, Caitlan’s Way and North of Sixty, as well as numerous U.S. and British productions like Burn Up, Lost Holiday and High Noon.
Actor: Along with his prolific film career, Joe has appeared on stage in theater plays internationally and across Canada.
Since 1981, Joe has worked as an actor in theatres across Canada and internationally. Canadian theatre credits include: Twelve Angry Men as Juror 7 for Vertigo Theatre, Joe Pitt in Angels in America (Phoenix Theatre, Edmonton), the lead role of Tommy Paul in One Tiger To A Hill (Stratford Festival), Robert in the critically acclaimed Crow’s Theatre production of Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love (Toronto, N.A.C., Montreal, Mexico City); and Jude in Whale Riding Weather (Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver).
Joe has been a member of the Stratford and Shaw Festival Companies and has worked with the late Robin Phillips at the Citadel Theatre (Edmonton). Joe performed the one-man play I Slept With Tony Trouble: The Confessions of Hollywood Hustler in Toronto, Vancouver, London, Edinburgh & Stratford. Selected Calgary credits include Glengarry Glen Ross (Theatre Junction), The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (ATP), A Line in the Sand (Downstage). Ed & Ed: The Fisherman’s Trap (Lunchbox Theatre) and numerous staged readings for Theatre Calgary, ATP, Alberta Playwrights Network, and Lunchbox Theatre. Recent acting credits for Rogues Theatre: The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, The Old Neighborhood, Dinner With Friends and Heaven (Co-pro/ Downstage).
Joe-Norman Shaw, photos by Jordan Gooden aka Gooden-Ergy
Selected Film & TV: His numerous film/TV credits include principal and supporting roles in: Blackstone, Forsaken, Supernatural, Everest, Crazy Canucks, Lost Holiday, Burn Up, Dream Me A Murder, Burn, Tom Stone, The Investigation, Caitlin’s Way, Johnson County War, Wasted, Children of Fortune, High Noon, North of Sixty: Trial by Fire, Bad Faith, Noah, Oklahoma City, Lonesome Dove, MacGyver, The Commish, Clare (AMPIA Award Winner), Lies My Mother Told Me and Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss.
Joe-Norman Shaw in Damnation
Instructor: Joe was a resident acting instructor at Gastown Actors Studio (Vancouver) from 1991-1993, co-founding Company of Rogues in 1993. Joe has also worked as an acting instructor for The Alberta Centre of Acting Studies (1994-1996), Mount Royal University, The University of Calgary and is currently the Director of Drama at St. Mary’s University in Calgary.
Joe Normal Shaw as Colin Lund in Crazy Canucks
Director: West End, A Beautiful New City First and Last. As Artistic Director of Rogues Theatre, Joe has directed Den of Thieves, Some Girls, Storm Warning, Italian American Reconciliation, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, Red Light Winter, Cow Town, Pushup, Criminal Genius, Savage In Limbo, Selling Mr. Rushdie, The Melville Boys, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, St. Scarlet and Tape. He has also directed numerous fringe and student productions including: Museum, Green Space, The Dining Room, Scenes From American Life, Rimers of Eldridge, Barbarians, Metastasis, LaRonde, Lysistrata (all for Rogues), Bobby Fell in Love (Art Ranch), D.I.N.K.S (Lunchbox Theatre, Stage One) and The Zoo Story (Vancouver Fringe). University Credits: Our Town, Museum and The Dining Room (St. Mary’s University College), The Diviners (Mount Royal University) and Rocket to the Moon (University of Calgary).
Training: MFA – Directing, University of Calgary; Honours BA -Acting/Directing, University of Guelph; Post-Graduate acting (in Toronto): George Luscombe, Michelle George, Marti Maraden, Bernadette Jones, Tom Bentley Fisher; Film acting: David Rotenberg, Christiane Hirt.
Created and Directed by Jordan Gooden aka Gooden-Ergy
"WE ARE ALL COLLECTIVELY CREATIVE, AND WE FEEL WHEN WE ARE TRAINING ACTORS WE TRY TO INSPIRE THE CREATIVITY IN OTHERS, BECAUSE FROM THAT GOOD THINGS WILL ALWAYS COME."
What Makes Rogues Training Different Than Other Theatre Schools?
Our training is rooted in the tradition espoused by the major studios in NYC and other American based institutions. From the teachings of Constantine Stanislavski and his interpretations through Sanford Meisner and Uta Hagen, our focus is on “authentic performance”. This is based on the Stanislavski concept of “the actor living the part”. Working from the first person, subjective tradition, an actor’s performance is deeply rooted in truthful human behavior and emotion. This authenticity is the hallmark of many of the great, New York trained American film/stage actors-like Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Jessica Lange, Faye Dunaway, Diane Keaton, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Harvey Keitel, to name a few.
At Rogues, we train actors to apply this authentic style of acting to both theatre and film. Our actors have an honesty and raw emotional power not taught by most other actor training programs in Canada that are based in other traditions. While we provide training in all aspects of the craft including Voice, Movement, Scene Study and Shakespeare, setting us apart is our in-depth classes in Meisner Technique and Acting for Film & TV. It is our belief that a well-trained actor can work in all mediums if their work is grounded in the truth of human behavior and emotion; this is the essence of an “authentic performance style”. This is what separates us from other actor training programs.
Professional Affiliations: ACTRA/CAEA/WIDC
Throughout a professional career spanning over thirty years, Christiane has studied extensively in Vancouver, LA and is an Alumni of New York’s prestigious, HB Studio. As Co-Founder of Company of Rogues Actors Studio (est. 1993) Christiane has taught and mentored thousands of actors to date. Under her training, many of these artists have won Genie, Leo and AMPIA awards, and continue to enjoy successful careers both in Canada and Internationally. She is also an Alumnus of The Women in the Directors Chair Program, where she is often invited to fulfill the role of Mentor Actor – empowering the actor/director relationship. As Co-Founder & Studio Director of Rogues West, Christiane has returned to Vancouver to inspire a new generation of actors through her classes and workshops.
Actress: Christiane began her professional career in 1982, playing opposite James Gardner, Colleen Dewherst, and John Lithgow in the feature film The Glitterdome, The Accused 1988, with of Jodie Foster. She has since played over 60 lead and supporting lead roles in feature films, MOW’s, and in series television.
Christiane Hirt’s credits include the Lead Roles of ‘Lil’ in For the Moment starring opposite Russell Crowe, ‘Hannah Peale’ in Lonesome Dove the Series, ‘Jennie’ in the feature-film, Heart of the Sun (AMPIA award winner for Best Actress), ‘Lori LaRoche,’ in CBC’s Blades of Courage (Skate)! – Gemini nomination for Best Actress, and numerous Guest Star appearances including DaVinci’s Inquest and Intelligence. See her IMDB for complete list of credits.
Christiane is also an award winning screenwriter for If You Really Knew Me – recipient of the AMPIA Award for best screenwriter, 2013. Through her company, Philosophia Films, Christiane has several original screenplays in development.
Training: Throughout a professional career that has spanned over 30 years, Christiane studied extensively in Vancouver, LA and is an Alumni of New York’s prestigious HB Studio.
Teacher: Christiane is Co-founder of Company of Rogues Actors’ Studio (est.1993-present), and its newest inception, Rogues West; the creative homes she shares with acclaimed actor/director Joe-Norman Shaw. To date Christiane has trained and mentored thousands of actors, many of whom enjoy prolific careers within the professional world. In 2010, two of her Vancouver students each won a Gemini and Leo Award: Jared Keeso, Best Actor in the title role of Don Cherry, The Don Cherry Story-Keep You’re Head Up Kid; and Benjamin Arthur Gutknecht, Best Comedic Actor, in the series Less Than Kind. Christiane has also taught professional development and acting for Film and Television at Mount Royal University.
Christiane Hirt on screen with Russel Crowe
WIDC Mentor: For a number of years Christiane was invited to fulfill the role of Mentor Actor for the Women in the Director’s Chair program at the Banff Centre. Christiane also serves on WIDC’s Board of Directors.
Writer/Film-maker: An Alumni of the Women in the Director’s Chair program, Christiane directed the short film Craving which appeared at the Calgary International Film Festival in 2005. She wrote and directed another short film, If You Really Knew Me (Voice Pictures/Pangloss Productions). As founder of Philosophia Films Inc., Christiane’s feature, Belly is now in development. Her first play The West End was produced and premiered by Rogues Theatre Company Calgary. Directed by Joe Norman-Shaw and starring Sophia Hirt.
Created and Directed by Jordan Gooden aka Gooden-Ergy
"ACTING IS ABOUT BEING SOMEONE ELSE. AS MUCH AS IT IS ABOUT BEING OTHER PEOPLE, THAT TAKES AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF EMPATHY AND PASSION TO STEP INTO SOMEONE ELSE'S SHOES. I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG I STARRED USING THE POWER OF VISUALIZATION, NOBODY TAUGHT ME THIS."
Christiane won the AMPIA for best actress, Heart of The Sun, nominated for a Gemini for Blade of Courage (Skate) and won the Sam Payne award for developing emerging artists.
An award-winning actress and screenwriter, Christiane. is co-founder of Company of Rogues Actors' Studio (Calgary, AB) and founder of Rogues West in Vancouver, BC. Christiane has garnered national recognition, delivering her highly successful workshops in her constant pursuit to nurture the artists' evolution in acting, writing and directing.
Words from Christiane
“My acting training began at the ripe old age of 13, in the year 1981. Having never taken an acting class before, my first exposure to training was in the Meisner Technique through Sanford Meisner’s student June Whitaker-an Alumni of The Neighbourhood Playhouse since 1968. In keeping with the tradition of passing Sanford Meisner’s legacy on to others; Ms. Whitaker taught with Meisner’s blessing, which was evident from their many correspondences. Where the letters pertained to the craft, June shared some excerpts with our class. Through listening to his words, I vividly remember feeling Mr. Meisner’s devotion to the Craft and his profound dedication to his students- an experience that was both humbling and richly inspiring. My Mentor’s deep love and admiration for her Teacher was nothing less than profound. It is with that same dedication, devotion and humility that Ms. Whitaker taught her students The Meisner Technique.
For the 10 years that followed, I was to study primarily under June until the birth of my daughter in 1991. Within that decade Ms. Whitaker had built a prolific following, not only having trained some of the most respected actors Vancouver has known to date but more importantly instilling within us a work ethic and reverence for what the Craft actually means.
Telling the truth, living imaginatively, trusting my inner life, trusting my instincts and above all Doing the Work simply for the Joy of Doing the Work.” – Christiane Hirt (Co-founder & Studio Director, Company of Rogues Actors’ Studio & Rogues West)."
Sophia Hirt, created by Jordan Gooden aka Gooden-Ergy
SOPHIA LAUCHLIN HIRT
"I JUST LOVE WHAT WE DO, I LOVE MY FAMILY. I LOVE TELLING STORIES AND I LOVE TELLING THE HUMAN FROM THE HEART, THAT'S JUST WHO I AM."
Sophia’s credits include recurring roles on the TV series Cardinal, The Romeo Section & Olympus and gust star on The Good Doctor. She also starred in the highly acclaimed, locally shot feature-film Ice Blue. Other appearances include Bad Times at the El Royal with Jeff Bridges & Klondike with Tim Roth. A graduate of Company of Rogues Masterclass program, she then made her theater Rogues Theatre debut in The West End.
See Sophia In Ice Blue
Photo by Small Dog Design - © Iylond Entertainment Inc. Directed by Sandi Somers and Produced by Scott Lepp.
Sophia, created by Jordan Gooden aka Gooden-Ergy
Sophia Hirt is an accomplished Canadian Actor, Meisner teacher and Audition coach based in Vancouver British Columbia. She has been mentored by her mother - Christiane Hirt, Rogues West’s studio director, for the last 10 years.
She is known for her work in major Canadian series such as Chris Haddocks “The Romeo section”, CTVs “Cardinal” and Calgary’s Award winning Indie thriller “Ice Blue”.
She has worked on multiple large-scale productions for film and TV such as Syfis “Olympus”, History Channel’s “Klondike” working alongside the Tim Roth, and 20th century Fox “Bad Times at The El Royale” in the company of the Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth.
Sophia's’s objective in training actors is to strengthen their talent by developing their knowledge of the Meisner technique and philosophy.
She is dedicated to empowering actors, by creating a safe space where they may explore their inner life in a positive and nurturing environment.
At family owned Company of Rogues and Rogues West, innovation and adaptation has created the legacy of Western Canada's two Premiere Acting studios.
Discover the difference at Company of Rogues and Rogues West, in the vanguard of training and mentoring actors for over 25 years.
We love the Rogues family and will support them always! - I'm Here With Magazine
Company of Rogues Actors’ Studio is certified as an educational institute by the Minister of Employment and Social Development. For more information, contact the studio during office hours.
REGISTERING IS OPEN FOR FALL CLASSES
VISUALS EDITED AND CREATED BY GOODEN-ERGY