Aaron Coates


Aaron is a director, actor, playwright, and teacher. He studied acting at Mount Royal College and at École Philippe Gaulier in Paris. Aaron co-founded Trepan Theatre and co-created and performed in their productions of La Mexicaine de Perforation, The Cat Lady Show, Matadora, and SHE.  His directing credits include: The After Party, The Way of All Fish (Lunchbox Theatre), Ticket to Love, The Bat, Archibaldo, The Bachelor, La Bohème, The Phantom of the Opera Sing-Along (Cowtown Opera), L’Elisir d’Amore, The Scorpions’ Sting, Hansel and Gretel, Hannaraptor (Calgary Opera), Dying City (Pangloss Productions), The Old Neighborhood (Rogues Theatre), Iraq & Back (Ghost River Theatre), Refuge, The Zoo Story, Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs (Dark Forest Theatre Company) and The End of the Rope (Vertigo Theatre).  Acting credits include: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare—Abridged (Lunchbox Theatre/The Shakespeare Company), John and Beatrice (Verb Theatre), Man Out of Joint (Downstage), Moliere (ATP), Much Ado About Nothing and Good (Theatre Junction), The Comedy of Errors and Richard III (Shakespeare in the Park).  Aaron has written numerous plays including Pratfall, The End of the Rope (shortlisted for the Writers Guild of Alberta Award for Drama), The Pants, Down to the Ground, The Frozen Limit and collaborated with UK-based Aitherios Theatre on their production of Tin Soldier, a new adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story, which premiered in the Courtyard Theatre in London, England. He was Co-Artistic Director of Calgary’s long-running improvised soap opera Dirty Laundry for nine seasons, directing over 150 episodes.

Classes: Essentials of Acting | Movement for the Actor | The Next Step: Getting Acting Work
Scene Study: Foundation RotationInternational Scene Study | Performance Intensive

Testimonials for The Next Step: Getting Acting Work:

I loved Aaron’s class “The Next Step: Getting Acting Work”.  If you are early on in your acting career and feel that you are stuck in a rut and not sure how to move forward, or if you are just starting out and trying to make that jump from course work to real acting experience, this is a great class to take.  It reminds you to continue to doing some of the things you are already doing to improve as an actor and it re-reminds you to do some of those things you may have stopped doing because you thought they weren’t as important.  This is a hard go this acting thing —  it’s very nebulas.  It’s not just about getting work but about all the things you do between gigs.  You can be working really hard and not getting results so you don’t know if you are working on the right stuff.

I liked the practical side of finding and working on relevant monologues.  I would like to see a class just for this.  Say a follow up class for people to just practice their monologues and participate with others in this process.   To be coached/directed and to watch others being coached/directed.  It’s an amazing learning process.  And you need to do it, not just talk about it.  It’s good to have deadlines to learn new material and try to take it to performance level before the audition call out.

The business side of course was worthwhile.  Even if you aren’t convinced that you can make a living in the acting profession, Aaron will open up your eyes to all the potential work that’s out there, even in Calgary.   As a working professional he practices what he preaches and can draw from real experiences — both good and less good.

He reminds us that it’s not just about waiting for the next audition call. It’s oh so much more.  What else is there? That’s what this course is all about.

A very worthwhile course for your time and money.  

– Kathleen Fraser, Rogues Alumnus, Calgary based Actor

Aaron’s approach encourages students to keep up to date on what’s happening with industry trends. Assignments are directly aimed at learning more about the various local and national companies.

As someone who is just starting out as an actor, this class was one of the best things I’ve done. Aaron’s excitement and enthusiasm is contagious and he introduced the class to numerous opportunities that we likely wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

The performance portion of the class boosted in my confidence in finding, preparing and performing both classic and contemporary monologues.

-Michelle Roth, Rogues Alumnus, Calgary based Actor

Where to begin in describing all of the useful, insightful and exciting information that Aaron shared with us in his class “Next Step”.  This class really opened my eyes to what is possible in the arts as an actor, director, writer and collaborator. From auditioning for various theatre companies, to getting an agent, to creating your own work and opportunities, I am now knowledgeable enough to start working.  In fact, since the first class I have already booked two shows in Calgary!

The information on the industry was extremely enlightening, but we also learned how to perform monologues in an audition setting from entering the room to leaving.  I have done monologues in classes before, but the tips on how to start and finish my monologue, where to look, what to say, how to pick my contrasting monologues, how to stage and self direct, plus time to work on them in class with helpful and useful feedback that I could implement immediately was so valuable to me. I feel confident that I have my audition prepared and ready to go.  

Aaron’s enthusiasm, passion and humour make this class incredibly fun to be part of.  I have encouraged all of my friends in this industry to take Aaron’s class.  I personally recommend it.

-Susan Rowland, Rogues Alumnus, Calgary based Actor

The Next Step is an essential class that should be taken sooner rather than later.  The knowledge and insight provided in this course is something that takes years to learn on your own.  Aaron is an engaging instructor who does not disappoint.  Do yourself a favour and take this class!

-Lydia Adair, Rogues Alumnus, Calgary based Actor

I would highly recommend Aaron’s class, The Next Step: Getting Acting Work, especially, to anyone new to the industry. The first half of the semester was spent learning about industry; the importance of performance hours and the many shapes and forms they come in. Aaron asked us many thought provoking questions which I enjoyed for two reasons. First, I started to really think creatively about projects and topics that naturally interest and motivate me. This helped me identify what I’d like to be involved in. Second, I left feeling inspired to create work for myself. The second half of the semester was spent learning about monologues. Aaron’s monologue structure provided tons of confidence for my first theatre audition. I was able to apply his taught structure to my movements, pace, eye lines, volume and specificity. The structure for how to begin and end created a wonderful, trigger to indicate to my body that it was time to perform. Thank you so much, Aaron. I feel so much more well informed and prepared for this industry.

-Dawn Nagazina, Rogues Alumnus, Calgary based Actor