Dip. CBT, BA, MFA, PhD

Instructor, Theatre
School of Performing Arts - Theatre
School of Performing Arts

604.986.1911 ext. 2412
Arbutus Building, room AR106


PhD, University of Kent, 2021.

Dip. CBT, London Centre of Excellence, 2020.

MFA, SImon Fraser University, 1996.

BA, Simon Fraser University, 1988.

"While aiming high in terms of craft & technique, I’m a strong exponent of Emergent Learning & creative/collaborative frameworks. I’m here to inspire you to great heights in your education journey."


Stephen Atkins (PhD, University of Kent, 2021) is a performer, director, writer and creative deviser with a portfolio of works in Canada, UK, USA, EU, China and Australia. His practice-led research is in actor training, directing and creation for theatre, film, transmedia and new theatre.

After receiving degrees at Simon Fraser University, Atkins's professional practice led him to independent performance and new media production houses across Canada and the USA. He has trained with performance companies such as SITI Company (NYC), the Atlantic Acting School (NYC), the Meisner Center (LA), Meyerhold's Biomechanics (Lubljiana, Slovenia) and several independent studios in Europe, China, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Atkins received his PhD in Drama (Practice as Research) from the University of Kent under the supervision of Professor Paul Allain, a scholar of Grotowski and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training who also serves on the advisory board of Digital Theatre Plus (a.k.a. DT+).

Atkins's most recent acting role was in the independent short film Mousie, (D. Bartlett, W. Poole, Kewhaven Pictures UK, 2019). It is a short film portraying the circumstances of displaced Romani children in 1936 Nazi occupied Europe. The film was made in support of the refugee charity, The Separated Child Foundation. Mousie's premiere was at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival followed by an invitation to the Miami Jewish Film Festival. It has been invited to several USA/EU/UK festivals since. It has won two Best Short Film awards (International jury and Italian jury) at the Festival del Cinema Citta di Spello, Italy, 2021. Director: David Bartlett. Director of Photography: Paul Kirsop. Original musical score by Jack C. Arnold.

Atkins is a published author whose works include short fiction, screenplays, stage plays and Crosspoints: An Integrative Acting System, available on Amazon. The Crospoints System was developed in dialogue with Mary Overlie, the originator of The Six Viewpoints.

Future projects include a documentary series of masterclasses on Crosspoints and an open access project titled FuseRelay, a performance pedagogy journal slated for launch in early 2022.

Atkins is a former Senator for the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts. He has served on several university committees including Indigenising the Curriculum, the LGBTQ2IAS+ Steering Committee,the Senate Academic Planning and Programme Review Committee (SAPPRC) and the President's Advisory Committee for Academic Freedom. He is certified in Professional and Organisational Development and is a dedicated reader in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

Being an LGBTQ2IAS+ (queer-identifying) actor entering the industry in the 1980s, I quickly discovered the state of the field I had trained so hard for and loved so dearly. My path was one of creative "artrepreneurship" which gave me success in unconventional and unpredictable ways. My teaching is grounded in discovering the actor's unique qualities and being open to traditional and alternative career paths. My work is focused on giving you the tools to invigorate your creativity while honing your precision and craft.

My research is multifaceted; directing and performing in theatre, film, multimedia and transmedia works. I'm more recently focused on acting systems and their cultural/pedagogical underpinnings. My own work in the Crosspoints is grounded in the Stanislavski System, which differs from "The Method."

From Wikipedia: "Many actors routinely equate [Stanislavski's] system with the American Method, although the latter's exclusively psychological techniques contrast sharply with the multivariant, holistic and psychophysical approach of the "system", which explores character and action both from the 'inside out' and the 'outside in' and treats the actor's mind and body as parts of a continuum."

Other research and scholarship in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuropsychology.

My professional/research affiliations include MEAA (Australian 'Actor's Equity'), the British Association of Decadence Studies (BADS) and the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR).

Practice-led Research

I have been directing, performing and developing performance pedagogy since 1990. From 2005 forward, I have collaborated with artists in several genres and modes of performance from film in Los Angeles to immersive performance in Brisbane, Australia and street theatre in Prague.



  • Several blog articles and editorials on Acting, Directing and Teaching/Learning at stephenatkins.com. (2017 - present).
  • Teaching/training resources for the Crosspoints Acting System (2020). An online resource of acting exercises for primary school teachers (2018).
  • Programme article for the Vancouver premiere of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's original production of Dracula. (1999)

Conferences & Speaking Engagements

Crosspoints Workshops and Intensives:

Other Workshops and Intensives:

  • Viewpoints, Crosspoints and Composition, Zagreba─Źki plesni centar, Zagreb, Croatia (2012).
  • Practical Aesthetics and Viewpoints, Blue Egg Studios, Vancouver (2013).
  • Grotowski-based actor training for Nord Anglia Private Schools, Hong Kong, China (2010).
  • Viewpoints and Suzuki Actor Training in DanceSpace, Melbourne, Australia (2007).

Speaking Engagements:

  • Co-presented a salon on modern art and the work of Mark Rothko for the Vancouver Playhouse production of RED by John Logan, Vancouver, BC (2012), Performer/participant in a live art installation at Alt@ Studios, Prague, Czech Republic (2009).
  • Adjudicator of the Lethbridge Community Theatre Festival (1998).

2021 Recipient of a Capilano University, Creative Activity, Research and Scholarship (CARS) Unified award (peer adjudicated), for a Spanish language translation of the Crosspoints core practices.

BC Arts Council Scholarship for Education and Research Opportunities, 2020.

Teaching Excellence Award for the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, 2018.

Ovation Award nominee for the musical Cabaret, directed for Capilano University, 2016.

Matilda Award nominee for writing SubCon Warrior 2.0 in the category of Best New Australian Work.