Layla Ainsley

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Layla Ainsley is an emerging actor from Toronto. Layla is a multidisciplinary artist. Layla has studied multiple forms of dance, singing, and acting. Layla is a Crane Creations Theatre Company 2020 Summer Ensemble Member. 


Layla Ainsley is currently studying at the school formerly known as Ryerson University. She will attain a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Acting Performance Program. She has been in numerous productions at Ryerson University and plans to graduate from her program in 2022. 


Layla is a triple-threat, meaning that she is an actor who is trained as a singer and a dancer. Layla is also a content creator, and has written articles for Arts Guide: Mississauga. Some of her articles include the history of Hip Hop.

Layla Ainsley: Summer Ensemble 2020 

Layla Ainsley is a 2020 Crane Creations Summer Ensemble Member. Layla is one of the first summer ensemble members to join the team in June 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to lock down restrictions a large portion of the program was conducted over zoom. Layla as well as the rest of Crane Creations Summer Ensemble handled the transition beautifully, and Layla was quickly able to adapt her talents to  Zoom’s online platform. 

Summer Ensemble 2020
Summer Ensemble 2020

What is the 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. 

“Crane creations has so many things to teach artists, such as financial aiding, budgeting, grant writing, etc. This program has taught me to be a better performer, artist, creator and community member.”

Layla Ainsley

As part of the Summer Ensemble Layla Ainsley engaged in many activities. She was a cast member  Crane Creations Theatre Company’s 2020 workshop production of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Layla played the roles of Juliet and Mercutio. Layla Ainsely also worked on Mirror, a brand new play in development, and was cast in the role of Little Bear. Mirror is a new children’s puppetry play inspired by “The Little Mirror” by Grigor Vitez. Layla was is part of original workshops of the play Terror. Terror is a play by Ferdinand Schirach and translated by David Tushingham. Crane CreationsTheatre Company presents  Canadian premier the Canadian premier on November 26th 2021, in Clarke Hall. Layla Ainsley is a former Summer Ensemble member, who was is a workshop of Nicole Bonder’s new play. Nicole Bonder is 2019 Crane Creations Summer Ensemble Member. Layla was part of interesting conversations about the future of theatre in Canada, and learned about industry of theatre inside and outside of Canada. 

” One of the most valuable things that I have learned is that we are a community and a team, therefore we must work together. Although this profession is extremely competitive, I believe that we must assist and inform each other.  Someone once told me that ‘it is not that you weren’t good enough for the part, but you were just not right for it’. I think this is a very important lesson because, you can never control what the panel is looking for, and at the end of the day you are either what they envision, or not. I believe this allows us to take away the need to compete with others. It shifts the focus on improving yourself, because there is only one artist with your experiences.”

Layla Ainsley
Layla Ainsley

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 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. 

How do I become an actor?

There are many ways of becoming an actor.

Some people learn how to become an actor by studying at a theatre school. Theatre schools are learning institutions which offer students intensive training. Students learn the basics of acting and are taught various techniques such as Meisner Technique, Stanislavski Technique, Suzuki, and other methods. Students train at these institutions typically between two to four years. Some theatre schools are part of public or private colleges and universities. Theatre schools can also be independent conservatories and learning institutions.

Acting classes are also offered outside of educational institutions. Some acting classes offer specialized training, such as audition technique or improvisation. Others are more generic or cater to your specific needs.

Some actors don’t have any prior training. Johnny Depp and Jennifer Lawrence are famous actors who don’t have any formal acting training. These actors learn on the job by gaining lots of  professional and non professional experience.

Want to learn how to become a professional artist?

Who is Layla Ainsley? An Interview with Layla.

Q: How did you fall in love with theatre?

A:I used to watch musicals with my grandpa. We would watch Singing in the Rain and Calamity Jane. I remember really liking the music and the dance. Through that I fell in love with the magic of live theatre.” 

Q: Do you have a favourite musical currently? 

A: Back then it would have been singing in the rain. Now, I think my favourite musical would be Waitress. I saw it when it came to Toronto. 

Q: You are in theatre school. Would you recommend people who want to go into theatre should go to theatre? 

A: Going to theatre school is really worth it in my opinion. More than learning about what the industry is like and “what they are looking for” , it instills a lot of confidence in you. They teach you to be confident just being yourself instead of trying to be what you think other people want. 

Q: Do you have a favourite moment from Summer Ensemble? 

A; My favourite memory while we were doing it was learning how to write blogs with Arts Guide Mississauga. I think it’s interesting to learn how to write like that and we learned useful research skills.

Q: You also dance. What is your favourite style of dance? 

A: I would say personally I like jazz or modern the most. 

Q: When you are not doing theatre, do you have any hobbies? 

 A: When do I have time outside of theatre? I do a lot of arts and crafts. I do a lot of crotchet and knitting and embroidery. I watch movies and TV and I listen to music. I find that whoever i’m doing something, I often relate it back to theatre. 

Q: Do you have a favourite food? 

A: Italian food is my favourite. I love pasta. I used to love lasagna before I stopped eating beef.  You can still have veggie lasagna, but it’s not the same. 

Q: You are originally from Calgary. What was it like growing up there.  

A: You kind of end up finding your own scene there. It is really easy to grow a community and find people with like minds as you.

Q: Is there anything coming up soon that you are excited about?  

A: I’m graduating this year. At Ryerson, we partnered with Tarragon last semester , which was fun. We did Eva Barrie’s new play Untamed. Next semester we are partnering with SoulPepper and working with an up and coming director. I’m doing Spring Awakening with them. 

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you travel to? 

A: I really want to go to Greece. That’s a life goal of mine. 

Where to find Layla Ainsley

Layla Ainsley is one of the many talented artists that joined us for the 2020 edition of this program. Let us introduce you to one of her colleagues Joel Koshy!

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A photo of Evie Hamilton, Actor in the 2022 Summer Ensemble at Crane Creations Theatre Company in Mississauga

Evie Hamilton

Evie Hamilton is an actor, artist and student based out of both Toronto and Vancouver. Evie is thrilled to be working with Crane Creations Theatre Company this summer!

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Jobs For Stage Managers

Summer Ensemble

Manage schedules, provide practical and organizational support during rehearsals, prep the space, make sure Zoom meetings are scheduled properly. Stay on top of contact lists, blocking notes, prop lists and make sure to remind everyone to take a break and to stay hydrated.

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