Sep 29, 2020

Vancouver, BC – Long-standing Artistic Director of Studio 58, Kathryn Shaw will retire at the end of 2020 after 35 years of leading Langara College’s celebrated Theatre Arts at Studio 58 program. Her decades of leadership have brought her well-earned recognition and have elevated the program to its standing as one of Canada’s most sought-after theatrical training programs.

"The time has come for me to move on in my life and to allow Studio 58 to change and grow under new leadership. I will miss working with my colleagues, the students, and all those who have contributed to the success of Studio 58 over the years. I feel privileged to have had one of the best jobs I could imagine," said Shaw.

We are pleased to confirm Courtenay Dobbie will succeed Shaw as Artistic Director, a position elected by the Theatre Arts faculty, effective January 2021. Dobbie is a Studio 58 alum, and an acclaimed director and former Artistic Director of Caravan Farm Theatre. She has been teaching acting at Studio 58 since 2017. She most recently directed the College’s production of Urinetown: The Musical, earlier this year.

“It is with great honour that I take on the role of Artistic Director at Studio 58,” said Dobbie. “I’d like to thank the incomparable Kathryn Shaw for her incredible commitment to fostering young talent for the past 46 years, her belief in me as an actor, teacher, and leader, and her astounding dedication to Studio 58 and all that she has shaped it to be.”

“We face challenging times in the theatre world. It is my goal to work with our students, staff, and professional colleagues in the global movement to find greater equity in our industry, while innovating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Dobbie. “The Studio 58 graduate will remain the same: a highly skilled and creative professional responding to their world by making and participating in dynamic and inspired art.”

Shaw began as an instructor at Studio 58 in 1974 under Artistic Director Anthony Holland, and replaced him when he retired in 1985. Under her leadership, the program has flourished, becoming one of the top theatre programs in the country. Shaw has inspired and fostered the careers of hundreds of actors and production professionals, leaving a lasting impact on the Canadian theatre community.

Recently, Shaw has been focussed on several initiatives to foster a more inclusive and diverse learning environment at Studio 58, including founding a student-led diversity committee. In 2018 she embarked on a research project to diversify the curriculum and program offerings at Studio 58. This is an ongoing project with the goal of creating a living database of plays by BIPOC playwrights.

About Studio 58
Studio 58 is the professional theatre training program at Langara College, located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Under the direction of Kathryn Shaw, it offers nationally recognized training for both actors and production personnel. More information at

About Langara College
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 23,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as 'house of teachings', a name given to it by the Musqueam people on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located. Langara is celebrating its 49th year on West 49th Avenue with Beyond 49, an integrated celebration, alumni engagement, and fundraising campaign to reconnect with alumni, and raise funds for student support and important College initiatives.

Learn more.
Linda Pitt 
Communications & Administrative Manager
Studio 58

Mark Dawson
Manager, Public Affairs
Langara College


Courtenay Dobbie