Artistic Director

John Cassini

Besides having an award-winning, busy and formidable Film and TV career for over 25 years, John has never lost his passion for theatre. He was a founding member of the 3rd Street Theater in Los Angeles where he appeared in Edmond, Geography Of A Horse Dreamer, One For The Road, They Shoot Horses Don't They? and Cash Deal (Actors Studio). In Vancouver, God Of Carnage (Vancouver Playhouse) and Rabbit Hole (Arts Club). In 2016 John co-founded Haberdashery Theatre Company whose inaugural and critically acclaimed production of The Motherf**ker with The Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis garnered several Jessie Theatre Award nominations including "Best Actor" for John.

Most recently, John’s passion and 20 years of teaching experience has led to being an on-set acting coach as well as a producer of several feature films and TV movies. He is a proud lifetime member of the Actors Studio in New York and LA and  is thrilled to call Vancouver his home and the Railtown community his artistic oasis.  

For an extended list of Film and TV credits, please refer to IMDB.COM.  You can also learn more about John at his website: johncassini.com


Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist

"Excuse my language, but John Cassini fucking rocks.  He has what a lot of the industry doesn’t - heart, soul, feel, humanity, and he actually cares ... really deeply.  This job can be a hard one.  It can grind up what starts as a passionate, wide-eyed optimism and turn it into dust in a hurry.  It can become a job, if you're lucky... but to have it still light you up and feel like a dream because you love the craft... that’s special.  My favorite part about John isn’t his acting ability (though considerable) or his ability to communicate with passion and expertise and advocate for other actors (he’s amazing); my favorite part about John is his humanity.  And from that, so many good things come.  Xx j."

Danny Nucci

The Fosters, Titanic, The Rock, Crimson Tide

"John Cassini is a gift to the craft.  I've had the benefit of working with him as an actor as well as having been directed and coached by him.  Perhaps coached is the wrong word.  The experience is more like being "guided".  He not only understands what a particular part may need, but his ability to communicate the "how of it" is what makes me wish I could work with him on every script.  His experience in having played such varied characters is invaluable when breaking down any role from first read to performance.  His insight and passion for making a character "live" in you is inspiring.  I always feel like I've discovered something I didn't know was there."

Jennifer Beals

L-Word, Flashdance, Book of Eli

"Sometimes in the early process of creating a character I feel like I'm circling the castle looking for a way in. There are the initial impulses which are like treasures but in breaking down the entire arc and having an initial sense of flow there are times I just need to talk to someone I trust. For me that person has always been John Cassini. When I get stuck, or am afraid, or am afraid of getting stuck I call John and we talk about the material. His insights never cease to amaze me. He has such a lucid, grounded, powerful gift for analyzing text. He never tries to direct you; instead John asks all the right questions, and unveils clear paths so that you can see and DO more clearly. He is an invaluable friend and colleague."

Sonja Bennett

Award-winning Actor, Writer.  Ghost Wars, Preggoland, Godiva's, Cold Squad.

"After 20 years in the business I was feeling like the spark had died a little so I enrolled in John’s Film Immersion class.  When I shared with John that I had begun to turn down auditions that I knew I was “never gonna get” John challenged my rationale.  Why couldn’t I play these roles?  He encouraged me to work scenes in class that scared me.  Throughout the course, John helped me break down what the fear was, demystify the material and empowered me to discover my own versions of these characters.  Suddenly the work felt fun and fresh and exciting again.  John creates a safe and playful learning environment and the one–on-one structure of the class means each student gets a tailor made education.  John’s passion for the craft is infectious and I left the class feeling inspired and alive.  Spark’s back, baby!"

Chris Haddock

Writer, Davinci's Inquest, Intelligence, Boardwalk Empire, Romeo Section

"John Cassini and I go back a long way, to Da Vinci's Inquest where he made an indelible impression when I first cast him, enough so that I brought him back for a longer arc. I cast him again on a show I did for CBS, as a series lead opposite Joe Pantaliano. The two of them together were riveting. When we made Intelligence, he was cast as Ronnie Delmonico and was again unforgettable. John's acting skills are renowned, and his dedication to the job at hand second to none, as he brings distinct unique characterizations to every thing he does. As an alumni of the famous Actors Studio, John continues his training in that great school of top flight actors. As an actor, teacher and coach, his reputation is gold."

Elias Koteas

Thin Red Line, Zodiac, Curious Case of Benjamin Button

"To me acting at its purest is about giving.  John Cassini personifies that for me.  I remember a few years back we were working together on this mini series.  It was a tough scene and I was having a particularly rough time getting to where I needed to be in it.  A few choice words from him and suddenly anything was possible.  He saved my ass that day.  I will never forget it. I hope one day I can give back a fraction of what he has given me."

Terry Keli Chen

House of Cards, Jessica Jones, The Expanse

"From script analysis to character development, John has always been the go-to guy for me. Working with him before starting my latest project gave me invaluable insights that I could bring to set. From understanding what the writers' intention is, he will lead you through a process that will be adaptive, and ground you as an actor in any work environment. Do the work with John and you will grow as an artist."

Jack Noseworthy

Actor & dancer.  Broadway: Come From Away, Sweet Smell of Success.  Film & TV: Law & Order, U-571, Alive

"I first met John over 25 years ago when we were both cast in the film ALIVE.  John brought a dedication and an unwavering sense of professionalism to his craft those many years ago, which have now become legendary.  As an actor, John embraces preparation and allows for the unexpected to happen.  Over the years I have coached with John on various projects.  He has the unique ability to focus his own endless curiosity on your material, while patiently allowing you to answer specific questions that keep you out of your head.  He gets you back to "brass tacks" by helping you develop the foundation of your character, so you'll have the freedom to play.  Like all the best teachers, John generously and unselfishly shares his knowledge.  He invests in his actors and holds you accountable to build upon your time with him."

Jamie Dornan

Dinner with Hervé, The Fall, Fifty Shades of Grey

"I had a brilliant experience working with John Cassini. He has a distinctly passionate take on the craft of acting and is thorough and precise with his influence. He’s a great actor himself, but above everything he’s just an amazing guy to be around. ."

Erin Karpluk

Being Erica, Rookie Blue, Saving Hope, Godivas

"Over the past 18 years I have had the fortune to work with John as my acting teacher in scene study, coach for auditions, my producer on set, and cast mate. Regardless of what hat he wears, John always brings the same thing to the work: professionalism, insight, humanity, no BS, and FUN. I feel the craft is unique to each actor, and appreciate John doesn’t teach “his way or the highway”. Rather, he is incredibly perceptive and intuitive and will challenge and guide his students based on their individual needs. I’ve seen him coach leading actors to people who are just starting, his dedication to empowering all is the same. I have looked to John to help navigate all forms of obstacles, on set, in the work, and the ups and downs of this bizz. He always elevates my craft and confidence and keeps me feeling sharp & creative. It’s not common to have a teacher with an extensive background in film, theatre, and television, both in front and behind the scenes. I feel this is invaluable in a coach, he is out there on the field battling with us and gets it. While John is supportive and empathetic, the best part of working with him is knowing he will always call me on my sh*t and push me to go outside my comfort zone. This is when I grow as an actor. Best advice he every gave me was to ‘surprise myself’ in the work. Once I understood this, my craft and career completely expanded. Forever grateful to him as a coach, peer, and all round great guy!."

Photo: Charles Zuckerman


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