Information for Students

York’s Department of Theatre, with 22 full-time faculty members teaching more than 60 half or full-year courses for majors, is the largest theatre department in Eastern Canada. Because of the Department’s location in Metropolitan Toronto, students have access to Canada’s biggest concentration of English-language professional theatre companies and artists. The Department of Theatre offers both a BA Honours degree and a BFA Honours degree, providing students with different approaches to achieving their own theatrical goals. (Information on our MFA, MA and PhD programs is available here.)

The first undergraduate year is a common time for Theatre majors to learn about all aspects of theatre, to get involved in both acting and backstage work, and to understand theatre as it existed in other times and places. In this “apprentice” year, students must also complete several courses in other areas of the University. In their remaining years, students may choose a broad program of study or follow a more specialized option in acting, devised theatre, production, design, playwriting and dramaturgy, criticism, dramatic literature or theatre history.

Admission to courses above the first year level is usually by audition, portfolio and/or interview, with the students’ work in first year both within the Department and the University given particular emphasis. Advancement within the Department is based upon demonstrated proficiency in one or more aspects of theatre, and a satisfactory academic standing. Be aware that the study of theatre requires a special commitment and demands enormous amounts of time and energy. Most majors take far more than the minimum number of courses in Theatre and, for that reason, the Department recommends completing the general education requirements as soon as possible.

Faculty Advising in the Department of Theatre

Students are assigned to a faculty advisor in September and may meet with their advisor as often as is necessary. Advising is recommended to students to ascertain progress and for individual direction. There is a compulsory meeting for first-years with advisors in both terms. We will provide information about the compulsory meetings at the start of each term. The Office of Advising and Integrated Student Services (OAISS) is your destination for undergraduate advising, resources, workshops and information to support you throughout your degree.

Lost and Found

If you lose something in any of the AMPD/Theatre spaces (or if you find something!) please check with the Department of Theatre, 322 CFT. The University maintains a Lost and Found Office in S107 Ross Building, ext. 33369 or lost@yorku.ca.

Prime Time

Prime Time, a forum for guest speakers and announcements, is held on specified Wednesdays during the year, starting at 11:30am. Prime Time is a requirement of all first year Theatre majors and is open to the rest of the Department. Prime Time is also an opportunity for students to meet alumni and other professionals working in Canada and abroad to discuss theatre issues. Directors, actors, designers, theatre makers, and playwrights are among the many interesting guests invited to share their experience. Sessions are also held on the many services and resources available to students on and off campus.

General and Prime Time Date announcements are usually made in the THEA 1100 or THEA 1200 classes. Students should also watch the Department’s “call boards”—they are found backstage of the Joseph G. Green Studio Theatre— the third-floor board, as well as emails (to the address the dept. has on file for your) for dates and guests.

In early spring, there is a special Prime Time meeting outlining the steps to take into upper year areas of concentration. In this special session, representatives from each area will discuss the structure and attributes of their area. Details about dates and deadlines to apply to the various choices of area of concentration will be provided at this meeting.

Property Damage or Loss

Security guards check the Centre for Film and Theatre on a regular basis, but we need to ensure that equipment and property, whether belonging to you or the University, is kept protected and in good condition. Take care when using equipment and tools. If you notice something damaged or missing, report it to the instructor or the Department of Theatre.

The Department of Theatre is not responsible for loss or damage to personal belongings. Thefts do not happen often but they do happen. Please help to prevent them by keeping track of your belongings at all times. Do not leave wallets, purses, backpacks etc. unattended. Do not leave money in coat pockets unattended – this invites trouble. If a theft does occur, please report it to the Department of Theatre immediately.

Student Representative/Theatre Students' Association (TSA)

Each “class year” elects students who become class representatives in the Theatre Students’ Association and who act as liaison with faculty for a number of areas of common concern. Student Representatives can attend all regular Department meetings, where important Department policies are discussed and acted upon. Students may also be represented on some Departmental Committees. In addition, student representatives are a valuable line of communication between students and the Chair of the Department. For more information on the TSA, see our Getting Involved page.

Surprise! Surprise!

This subscription series allows students to see professional productions downtown. The fee for Surprise! Surprise! is collected with tuition for all first, second and third-year students. Tickets for these shows are available through the Department of Theatre office.

Toronto Theatre Tickets

Toronto’s professional theatre community often offers York Theatre students free and discounted tickets for their performances, usually for their previews. Be sure to check your e-mail for notices from TO Tix.

For more information, contact the Department of Theatre – theadept@yorku.ca / 416-736-5172