Ben Ratner's Haven Studio

Haven Studios

Acting Classes w/Ben - click here
Actors Cross Training w/Loretta - click here
Toronto Workshops w/Ben - click here
Testimonials - click here
Classes in the Press - click here


"The combination of the demanding material, the commitment and talent of my classmates and Ben's forceful yet passionate direction and guidance made me into the actor I am today - a confident and working one! He's a remarkable teacher and man. Seriously take his class."
- Ali Liebert (Strange Empire, Lost Girl, series lead Bomb Girls, Canadian Screen Award & Leo Award-winning actor)

No false promises. No gimmicks. No shortcuts. Just hard work, high standards, and uncompromising passion for the craft with one of Canada’s most highly respected and influential acting teachers.

Utilizing scenes from the great contemporary playwrights, Ben Ratner's scene study classes push the boundaries of actors’ creativity and commitment. Obstacles will be identified, addressed and overcome in a highly challenging, but always respectful and collaborative atmosphere.

To quote one of Ratner’s favorite playwrights, John Patrick Shanley, “Theatre is a safe place to do the unsafe things that need to be done.” For up and coming actors wanting to raise the bar, or for veterans in need of some new inspiration, Ben Ratner's Haven Studio will provide that place.

Ben's Bio:

A professional actor for 25 years, Ratner started teaching in 1994 as a protégé of internationally acclaimed acting teacher and author Ivana Chubbuck. He opened his own “Haven Studio” in 2002 and rapidly earned a reputation for his highly demanding and thoroughly rewarding scene study classes. Today, he is sought after as a coach, teacher and mentor to many of Canada's busiest actors, a great number of whom are working internationally.

While teaching in both Vancouver and Toronto, Ratner's own acting, writing and directing career continues to flourish. With over 100 film and TV credits and numerous awards and nominations under his belt, he most recently received the 2013 “John Juliani Award of Excellence” from UBCP/ACTRA. A Jesse Award nominee for his portrayal of “Bobby” in American Buffalo, Ratner returned to the stage in 2012 to co-star in Dinner with Friends, and in 2014 he directed the Canadian Premiere of Tommy Smith’s White Hot, both of which opened to rave reviews.

Ratner wrote, directed and co-starred in the feature film Moving Malcolm which won him a “Best First Feature Award” at the 2003 Montreal Film Festival. He directed an episode of CTV’s Robson Arms in 2005, and wrote and directed the short film Power Lunch in 2008. Most recently, he wrote and directed the feature film Down River, which has won 8 awards to date, including “Best World Showcase” at the 2014 Soho International Film Festival in New York. He is currently developing his next feature film Original 6, a TV series called Rachel, and is also producing Big Feelings, a documentary about a group of his acting students sharing true stories from their lives, and how this process transforms their experiences into creative empowerment.

Format: There are 5 classes per session. There are 5 scenes per night, and each class is 5 hours long, so each scene works approximately 1 hour per class. Every scene works every week. The fifth class of each session is taped, "on-camera," and the focus is on adjusting performances from stage to screen.

Class Times and Prices

Sunday Nights "Raising the Bar" Scene Study with Ben
$400 including GST for 5 weeks of class

Monday nights Scene Study with Ben
$400 including GST for 5 weeks of class

Wednesday nights Scene Study with Ben
$400 including GST for 5 weeks of class

Thursday nights On-Camera Scene Study with Ben
$400 including GST for 5 weeks of class

("Raising the Bar" classes are by invite only -- for more information contact Loretta at


In order to provide the most focused environment possible for the actors committed to working in class, Ben is no longer having drop-in auditors at Haven Studio. He does, however, understand that people inquiring about class need to find out if Haven is the right studio for them, so he can either chat on the phone with you or arrange a meeting at the studio to show you around the space and answer any questions you may have.

You can contact Ben at Serious inquiries only please.

Alternatively, if you want to audit for the entire 5 class session, that is encouraged. The fee for this is $125 for all 5 classes.

For more info and testimonials, please check out Ben’s class Facebook page Scene Study with Ben Ratner
Scene Study Facebook Link

Loretta Walsh and Ben Ratner - Haven studios
Loretta Walsh and Ben Ratner


Actors Cross Training is an intense three-hour weekly workout for actors. You will be on your feet, participating for most of the class, pushing past technical and emotional boundaries. You will leave the class refreshed, invigorated, and ultimately more empowered and confident in your craft.

Designed for new students to Ben’s studio and for those existing students looking for an extra challenge, Actors' Cross-Training is a place where you can build your ‘acting muscles’ with exercises to develop voice, listening, physicality, imagination, personalization, and above all, fearless commitment to your instincts. By strengthening your foundation, you'll feel authentically prepared to bring your true creativity to your next scene study class, audition, or acting job. The class will also include condensed scene study work, making it perfect preparation for any newer actors who aspire to work in Ben's scene study classes.

Note: Loretta also teaches a scene study class, aimed at newer actors looking to get a solid foundation before joining Ben's scene study classes, which are for actors with previous training and professional experience.

Ben Ratner says, “Loretta is uncompromisingly passionate about taking herself and the actors she works with to new heights. I am totally confident that anyone who studies with her will be well-prepared to take on the challenges of my scene study class and the realities of what's required to compete as a professional actor."

Loretta's Bio:

Loretta Walsh teaches Actors Cross Training and Scene Study at Ben Ratner’s Haven Studio in Vancouver. She formerly taught at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre and for Arts Express in Toronto. Loretta also coaches actors privately for auditions.

A classically trained actor and graduate of the University of Southern Queensland Australia, Loretta has worked in film, television, theatre, commercials and voiceovers.

She is currently shooting the recurring role of “Florence Blakeley” in the second season of Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart. Other select television credits include The Whispers, Bates Motel, Psych, Chaos, The Troop, and Life Unexpected. Film credits include the soon to be released Master Cleanse with Johnny Galecki and Angelica Huston, the award-winning comedy Focus and Ben Ratner’s critically acclaimed feature film Down River. Selected theatre credits include White Hot, Dinner with Friends, Lobby Hero, Othello, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Hamlet, 99% Accurate, Moulin Rouge, A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, Metamorphosis and Black Comedy.

Loretta is also a producer with her own production company “Kindred Entertainment” ( She was named one of the top 10 Artistic Leaders for her producing and acting work by The Vancouver Sun.

Class Times and Prices

Tuesday Evenings Scene Study with Loretta
$295 including GST for 4 weeks of class

Saturday Afternoons Scene Study with Loretta
$295 including GST for 4 weeks of class

To enquire about classes and private coaching, please contact Loretta Walsh at

For student testimonials and more information, please check out the page "Actors Cross Training with Loretta Walsh" on facebook.
Scene Study Facebook Link



Ben teaches 3-day acting workshops in Toronto twice a year, generally in October and April. For the past 5 years, these workshops have always sold out and have attracted many of Toronto's top actors.

For information about upcoming workshops in Toronto with Ben, please email Ben directly at



"Ben is a treasure - a rare combination of instinct, intelligence and compassion..."
- Brian J. Smith (series lead Sense8, The Good Wife, The Glass Menagerie on Broadway, Outer Critics Circle Award winner, Tony Award & Drama Desk Award-nominated actor)

"I credit many of my 'breakthroughs' to Ben's insight, support, and trust, and highly recommend him to any actors seeking to go deeper into the work..."
- Erin Karpluk (Rookie Blue, Saving Hope, series lead Being Erica, Gemini Award & Leo Award-winning actor)

"Ben Ratner is an amazing teacher and mentor...and an inspiring talent."
- Ryan Robbins (Arrow, Continuum, Falling Skies, multiple Leo Award-winning actor)

"After too many years of lazy television acting, Ben reminded me what my tools are, provided an environment where I felt safe to take risks and gave me permission to jump!"
- Sonja Bennett (Mistresses, Motive, star/writer of Preggoland, Gemini Award & Genie Award & Leo Award-nominated actor)

"Working with Ben is an incredibly deep experience for me as an actor. I feel challenged to ground my work and find truth."
- Gabrielle Miller (Good Witch, Call Me Fitz, series lead Corner Gas, Gemini Award & multiple Leo Award winner, Genie Award-nominated actor)

"BEFORE I met Ben, I didn't feel or consider myself to be an actor. AFTER I met Ben, I jumped and took the plunge. Thank you Ben for instilling the habits of professionalism, commitment, belief, and discipline – teachings which have not only influenced my approach to the craft, but what I believe has also contributed to me having a career in acting."
- Jadyn Wong (series lead Scorpion, Rookie Blue, Spun Out)

"Ben's class is an artistic sanctuary. He cultivates an atmosphere based on kindness, professionalism, and integrity where actors feel inspired to offer their craft the focused discipline that will bring out their best."
- Leah Gibson (The Returned, iZombie, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce)

"I can draw a straight line between Ben's class and the next few jobs that I was cast in...I'm having a ball, I feel more empowered in my work and that journey was kick-started at Haven."
- Nicholas Lea (Continuum, The X Files, The Arts Club's international tour of Helen Lawrence to Edinburgh/Munich/Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver/New York, Gemini Award & UBCP Award-nominated actor)

"I cannot say enough about how much I have benefited from working with Ben Ratner...He's invested in your success and I've learned how to work smarter and harder to reach my goals."
- Olivia Cheng (series lead Marco Polo, The Flash, Arrow)

"Ben Ratner has guided me through years of training, he's enabled me to break through many barriers and enabled me to fly with confidence and vulnerability."
- Damon Runyan (series lead Gangland Undercover, Prisoner X, Amber Alert)

"He is, without a doubt, one of the finest teachers I've worked with."
- Stephen Lobo (series lead Continuum, Arctic Air, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Leo Award & UBCP Award-winning actor)

For more info and testimonials, please check out Ben's class Facebook page Scene Study with Ben Ratner
Scene Study Facebook Link



Ben and Loretta’s classes featured in The Vancouver Province
(Click on the image below to read the article.)

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Ben Ratner's Acting and Scene Study class featured in the Province.

Ben’s class featured in The Jewish Independent
(click here to link to the article)

Ben's class featured in the Province's "Behind the Screens".
(Click on the image below to read the article.)

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Ben Ratner's Acting and Scene Study class featured in the Province.