Format Studio: The Curator

The Bad Dog Theatre Format Studio Series is a leveled professional conservatory-style program for experienced improvisers, focusing on finessing and elevating classic forms of long form improvisation, like Harold.



Format Studio: The Curator with Julie Dumais Osborne

A Bad Dog staple since 2014, The Curator is a format originally conceived by Haligonian improviser Henri Gielis and lovingly adapted by the Bad Dog Repertory Players. Each show is inspired by a guest curation, usually built around a work of art or a chosen artist. The curator is given five minutes to load the stage with inspiration (physical, verbal or otherwise) for the set to follow. This might include visual samples of an artist’s work, a playlist inspired by the themes in the artist’s work, props, costumes, set pieces, parameters for play… one Bad Dog curation even featured a platter full of samples of artisanal cheeses to inspire the performers.

From this curation, the cast spontaneously generates not only the content of their longform set, but the form itself that they will play. Maybe the curation will inspire a monoscene set at a key moment in history or a piece wherein all of the edits are musical or only feature scenes that happen at night in half-light, underscored by whispered text or feature two completely different stories happening at the same time in the same space without ever acknowledging each other or where the entire show must take place on an area rug set out by the curator… the shape of the show is as improvised as the scenes themselves.

What is the Format Studio? Our core Studio Series classes (Ensemble, Narrative, Shortform & Musical Improv) explore broader categories of improvisational styles & approaches. The Format Studio is where we get specific. Each Format Studio delves into an individual existing model for performance & play within the canon of western improvisation (i.e. Harold, Cat’s Cradle, Pushpins, Story/Monologue-inspired Improv, Toronto, I Love You, etc.)... tailoring each teaching module to the specific needs and areas of specialization of the particular form being explored.

Who is this Format Studio for? Experienced improvisers with previous stage experience. This is a particularly ideal class for graduates of the Ensemble Studio. Familiarity with Harold/longform techniques an asset. Studio grad +

When? January-February 2019 | 1 level (weekday afternoon class)

Instructor: Julie Dumais Osborne

Julie in theatre.jpg

About the instructor: Julie has been Bad Dog's Artistic Director since 2010. She is an award-winning improviser, director and instructor who has done all of these things across North America, in Australia and on a boat. Previously, she spent nearly two decades working with the Canadian Improv Games in various roles including National Associate Artistic Director, Artistic Director of both Improv Camp & the Next Act Festival, National Head Judge and Regional Director of the Toronto & Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph tournaments. She is the co-creator of the internationally-franchised improv show format: catch23 IMPROV, is one half of performance comedy duo 10,000 to Flight and founded the Canadian Comedy Award-nominated improv collective PROJECTproject as well as the COMBUSTIONfestival which she now produces under the Bad Dog umbrella.

How to apply for the class: Audition or inquiry sent to

Duration: 2.5hrs/week for 8 weeks (1 level)

Price: $250 (+HST)

Please Note: In addition to the in-class hours, students will be invited to participate in one performance showcase of the format (this will be held on a Tuesday evening at 8pm).


The Curator Studio
Add To Cart


If you have any questions regarding our classes, please don't hesitate to contact our Academy Director, Vance Gillis, at