University of Calgary

Valerie Campbell

  • Associate Professor Emerita - School of Creative and Performing Arts

Research Interests

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Valerie Campbell is an educator, creative researcher, actor and director working in actor training and performance creation with a specialization in movement. She currently holds a tenured faculty position as an Associate Professor in the School of Creative and Performing Arts - Drama in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary.


My research falls into the following streams: Movement, Acting, Performance Creation, Directing and Pedagogy.

Although each is distinctive, all four areas interconnect, meld and inform each other. For example, my long time study of Authentic Movement created the basis for my research project on the application of Authentic Movement to Performance Creation. The outcome of this investigation resulted in two original clown/theatre creations, “under the maids/over genet” and “under the parrot/over tennessee”. 

he Cassandra Projects a five-year collective performance/social project created with colleagues from across Canada deepened the research in this area. Papers, workshops and performances on the work have been presented at national and international conferences and theatre festivals in Athens, Greece and Malareques, France.

Embodied Practice™ frames my research in movement, its practice and application to movement coaching and pedagogy.

Directing within the Drama’s Mainstage season integrates creative research with pedagogy, most recently using the Meisner Technique with actors in “Comrades”

Creating performance pieces with Momo Dance Theatre allows me the opportunity to engage in collective work with a mixed ability population.


I am passionate about teaching.  For me, it is a highly creative endeavour and the ongoing and evolving expression of the synthesis of my experience and understanding. It offers the opportunity to satisfy a deep curiousity about and engage with the inquiry into: the art and craft of acting, the development of young artists and perhaps most importantly, creativity and the mystery of the human spirit. As writer Robert Bringhurst claims, “Vocation is fascination, not ambition”

My approach to the study of acting provides a process, experiential oriented model with solid practical tools and analysis techniques supported by and grounded in the development of the students’ inner resources, self- awareness and personal artistry.

I hold current certification as a Meisner Technique teacher.

The movement curriculum, “ Embodying the Work- a movement approach for actors” is a unique synthesis of my training, experience and ongoing research and professional development in the areas of physical theatre practices, sensory and somatic practices and experiential anatomy. The development of kinesthetic grounding and awareness and the physical freedom, spontaneity and ease gained in the movement work provides a vital foundation for and complements the study of   acting, voice and other performance styles.

As an authorized Embodied Practice™ teacher I offer instruction of both Syntonics and Authentic Movement within the movement curriculum and professionally outside the university setting.

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