Anastasiia Ziurkalova

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Anastasiia Ziurkalova is an actor in Crane Creations Theatre Company Summer Ensemble 2022. Classiacally trained and driven by her passion for acting, she joined the ensamble to share her experiences and love for theatre. Native of Ukraine, she is hugely interested in getting essential knowledge about the arts industry in Canada and hopes to be involved into it in future.


Anastasiia Ziurkalova is a Ukrainian actress, based in Mississauga, Canada. Having started her acting career at the age of 10, she became famous as a child film actor and since that time has had several leading parts in Ukrainian feature films. Alumna of Kyiv National Karpenko-Kary University of Theatre, Cinema and Television, Anastasiia worked in several Kyiv theatres as an actor. Capable of playing a wide range of characters: from comedy roles in Anderson’s fairy tales to tragic and dramatic roles in Jean Anouil’s and Martin McDonaugh’s plays, she’s opened to new experiences and diverse theatre forms.


Anastasiia has graduated from Kyiv National Karpenko-Kary University of Theatre, Cinema and Television (Master’s degree). Besides that, she attended masterclasses on Maisner’s Technique, physical theatre, acting on camera.

Additional Experience

Anastasiia has an incomplete higher education in linguistics. After graduating from the university she started her own practice as an acting coach for children. Besides that she works as a voice actor and rans voice classes where she teaches people how to find power and beauty in their natural voices. Anastasiia also takes photography.

Summer Ensemble Member 2022

Anastasiia Ziurkalova is a member of Crane Creations Theatre Company’s 2022 Summer Ensemble. This was Crane Creations Fourth Annual Summer Ensemble.

Summer Ensemble 2022 Crane Creations
Summer Ensemble 2022

What is Summer Ensemble?

The Summer Ensemble is an 8 week training program for theatre artists. In this paid working opportunity artists learn skills required to be a professional artist in Canada, and gain valuable insights into the theatre industry in Canada and abroad. To apply artists must be between 18 and 30 years of age.

Summer Ensemble is the safe and encouraging space for exploring, creating and growing among beautiful talented people.

Anastasiia Ziurkalova


What is an Actor?

Anastasiia Ziurkalova is an actor in the Summer Ensemble. But what is an actor?

What is an actor?

An actor or actress is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs in the theatre, film, radio, television, or digital media. What does it mean to be an actor for Anastasiia?

It means being opened to life, ability to respond, show your vulnerability. It also means responsibility for what you are doing and what thoughts you bring to the audience.

Anastasiia Ziurkalova

What does an actor do?

An actor’s doesn’t just memorize lines and look pretty. An actor has a fun but important role in creating a story. They are responsible for interpreting and embodying the character in a play, television series, or film. To do this well many actors rehearse and train their bodies and voices regularly. They study their script and consult with the director and scene partners about their interpretation of the character.

The main concern of an actor should always be understanding what a character wants or needs and then what they are is doing to achieve this action. A want or a need is also called an objective, or motivation. What an actor is doing is referred to an action or a tactic. An Actor Acts. A good actor makes many different and thoughtful choices about what the character is doing. A very good actor can make many creative choices, and is always ready to change their actions on the fly.

Actors sometimes require additional special skills. For example, an actor in a Broadway musical may also need to know how to sing and dance. An actor is a puppet show must know how to operate a puppet. Professional Improvisers need to know how to create a character and make up a story on the spot without any preparation. An actor in an action blockbuster film may also be trained in stage combat and martial arts.

Want to know how to ace your next audition? Improve your cold reading ability!

How does an actor prepare for a role?

Actors prepare for their roles in many different ways. Let’s ask Anastasiia how she prepares for a role.

It usually starts with a thorough reading of a play or a script. Reading it once again. And the third time. Writing everything which has been said in the play about my character. Making a research. And then it’s a rehearsal period when I can find more about the character, try his physicality and explore motives. I also try to figure out what points of connection I have with my heroines.

Anastasiia Ziurkalova

Who is Anastasiia Ziurkalova ? An Interview with Anastasiia

Where are you from originally?

I’m from Kyiv, Ukraine.

What Is Your Favourite Thing About Your Country?

My country (and my city particularly) is my motherland. I have realised how much I love my city only when I was forced to emigrate. Kyiv is all about my home, my family, my friends, my culture. I’ve spent whole my life there and the best thing about it is surely people.

We are a company that speaks many different languages. What Languages Do You Speak?

I speak Ukrainian, Russian, English and try to master my French

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I dream to travel to Great Britain, especially to London. I feel like it’s my type of city and I want to explore it more. I also adore British theatre.

Is there a new skill you want to learn?

I always wanted to be less serious and don’t take things to heart. I want to learn how to fool around. And also how TO CRY ON A CUE.

Do you have any hobbies?

Besides theatre, which is my life, I’m hugely interested in psychology. Human nature is a good object to explore and by exploring it, I explore the world around me. Another instrument for exploration is an art. I appreciate arts in all its forms: films, paintings, architecture, photography, fashion, literature, poetry, dancing. All that brings me aesthetic and mental joy. That’s why I love books, museums and theatres so much.

Do you Have A Favourite Food?

Birthday cake

And what’s your favourite food to make?

Fresh and Crispy Salad!

What are your favourite plays and why?

I love plays by Tennessee Williams, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Miller, William Shakespeare. One of my favourite plays is Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. I find it very appealing not only because of the intriguing and dramatic plot, but also because of the complexity of heroes’ characters and their motives. The main heroine, Hedda Gabler is an example of such a character. She can be called a smart, strong and independent-minded woman, yet during the play we observe her darkest sides. She is deep, controversial and impulsive, suffering from depression and inability to find her own true meaning which inevitably leads her to a tragic end. This female type of character is typical for Ibsen’s plays and has certain correlation with ideas of feminism. That’s why I’d love to portray it on stage.

What is one fun fact about yourself?

I’m left handed.

Why do you love theatre?

Theatre evokes emotions and provokes reactions which are often hidden. It saves my life from senselessness and connectes with reality by reflecting it. Apart from that, theatre is a place for experiment, research and pure creativity. And when doing theatre I try to reach for the best version of my true creative self.

How Does Your Theatre Journey Begin?

I never thought of becoming a theatre artist, I always considered myself a film actress. But when I entered a theatre university (which actually was an acting school with a lot of practice), I discovered that theatre is a true magic. My first role was a leading role. It was Antigone by Jean Anouil. And I felt a lot of responsibility, and even pressure, and asked myself if I’m capable of doing theatre at all. Am I good enough for doing that professionally? Do I deserve to be the part of that magic world which impressed me so much?.. And after the opening night I told myself: I do deserve if that’s what I sincerely want to do. And so I’m still here.

Is there a play or a role you are really proud of?

I once was a part of the eco-performance. It was aimed to raise ecological awareness and draw attention to the problems of garbage recycling in Ukraine. Our performance was called RUSALKA XXI (Mermaid XXI) and was based on Anderson’s “Little mermaid” fairy tale

Why is theatre important?

Someone can do whatever they want. But if someone wants a kind of intellectual and mind-nourishing entertainment; if someone prefers live emotions and authentic atmosphere; if someone longing for catharsis – he could choose to go and see a play at the theatre.

What is the difference between acting for film and acting for television?

Acting for theatre can be imagined as drawing a continuous line. You play the story of a character in its development, from beginning to the end without being interrupted for another takes or close ups. Besides that acting for theatre demands expressiveness, bigger gestures and voice projection. Whereas acting on camera is more about genuine emotions and accurate work with voice, face expressions and body language. And also one must always remember that camera is another partner and a mediator between an actor and the audience.

You work as an actor. Why Did You Decide to Become an Actor?

Just simply because it gives me a satisfaction and a sence of being connected with society, art and literature. I realized that I want to become a professional actor after my film debut at the age of 10.

How does someone become an actor?

There are a lot of very different ways of how can you become an actor. Get professional acting training. Join theatre company. Find a talent manager. Have as many auditions and castings as possible. For me personally it was about booking a role in a film. I was really lucky then. Now it’s more about a hard work, finding opportunities and exploring the industry.

Any advice for aspiring actors?

In my opinion, the main thing to remember when starting acting career is that arts industry is a highly challenging and competitive field. You must be ready to fall and to go up, to climb and to crawl. Must be ready both for success and failure. Fake it till you make it. Put all the effort. Be brave. Don’t be too shy and don’t over do with the confidence. Observe life as it is and learn from it. Remember that theatre is a collective art. Practice your craft. Read classical literature and poetry. Take care of your physical and mental health. And don’t forget about life-work balance.

P. S. Enjoy!

What Has Been Your Favourite Part of Summer Ensemble So Far?

I love communicating with people who are very different in their personalities and backgrounds. I also find acting exercises existing.

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