After 22 years

Theatre SKAM takes over popular drama school

Artistic producer Matthew Payne will be taking over the Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio.

Honoured. Delighted. Intrigued. Cautious.

Those are the words Theatre SKAM’s artistic producer Matthew Payne uses to describe his reaction when he was approached by Kate Rubin in April to buy her theatre and drama studio that’s operated in the community for the last 22 years.

Payne knew it was a big deal, and if Theatre SKAM was to take this on he wanted to do it right. After further discussion, the company decided there was more reasons to do it than not.

“I think the founders of SKAM always felt like the company was bigger than any one of us, so definitely adding the school component really helps solidify that,” said Payne, noting the company had previously been in the old Burnside elementary building, which was recently reclaimed by the school district, forcing them to hunt for a new space.

“We haven’t had a teaching component before at all, so it for sure expands the operations of the company.”

The Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio offers year-round acting courses for children, teens and adults, catering to about 75 students for each of the four terms.

A drama teacher for more than 20 years, Rubin’s studio became her passion while working on the side as a director and for many theatres, schools and organizations including Kaleidoscope Theatre, Langham Court Theatre, Theatre Inconnu and Camosun College.

But eventually Rubin reached the point where she wanted to expand into other things, and after much contemplation, the hunt began for someone to take over her studio rather than shut it down — a thought that made her sad whenever she imagined telling parents and the members of the community who’ve been coming to the studio for years.

She talked to people from Vancouver and Oregon about her studio, but eventually decided she wanted to hand it over to someone local.

“Really understanding the Victoria community is important to me and it’s hard for someone coming in from somewhere else to assess the world here. It’s very unique, the arts community here,” said Rubin, who admits it was a hard decision to leave.

“I still go through feelings talking about it, but it feels like it’s time to let go. I am quite excited about what’s coming up in the future for these guys and for me. It feels like a win win all around.”

According to Payne, the school will still function the same way with all the same teachers and programs, and Kathleen Greenfield stepping in as school administrator.

Having taught for Rubin and other local institutions in the past, Payne has an understanding of what it takes to teach a class to both kids and adults. The school not only increases the size of Theatre SKAM, but also connects it with emerging artists by training them. Ideas are already being floated to add other components such as stage combat or production classes to the school’s programming in the future.

As for Rubin, she has a number of projects she’s already buzzing about lined up for the new year that involves directing and she currently facilitates the Belfry 101 program at the Belfry Theatre. She also wants to do performance coaching, not only for actors, but for professionals and people who want to stand out. She’ll also return to the studio from time to time, teaching special workshops and classes.

“I would love to still continue teaching because I love to teach,” said Rubin. “I love seeing people gain in confidence in themselves and in their expression really….Educating kids about theatre is super important because otherwise it’ll die if we don’t.”

The new SKAM studio is located at 1030 North Park Rd. For more information visit katerubintheatre.ca or skam.ca.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

An incident on Sooke Road is slowing traffic Wednesday evening. (Courtesy of Mona Hazeldine)
Sooke Road incident snarls evening traffic

Witnesses report two-vehicle collision

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Soccer player Ethan Finnigan juggles the ball at Oak Bay High. The Grade 12 student was injured much of last year and was relying on his senior year to score a scholarship and play at university. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
High school athletes remain on sidelines across B.C.

Recruiting for university on hiatus, future unknown

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read