Nested within the Theatre Studies area is a series of classes called Devised Theatre (DT), which offers students an intensive curriculum in devising and performing original theatre pieces. This interdisciplinary sequence is overseen and taught by faculty from all three areas of the department (Acting, Production, and Theatre Studies). The goals of the DT series are:
- to expose students to a variety of methods for devising theatre in group contexts;
- to deepen students’ historical and interdisciplinary understanding of devised theatre; and
- to train students to work in several areas of theatrical production.
The DT sequence is structured through a graduated system of learning, in which students devise increasingly more complex projects each year, culminating in public presentation(s) of their work. The studio courses in Devised Theatre explore the successive phases of creating, rehearsing, and presenting assigned projects from a variety of starting points. Collaborative ability, communication skills, imagination, and risk-taking are the foundations for these rigorous courses. Effective time management is essential as a significant amount of rehearsal is required outside of scheduled classes.
It is strongly recommended that DT students seek DT advising before each year of study to ensure accurate and appropriate degree management for successful completion of the 120-credit Specialized Honours BA degree (Theatre Studies).
This sequence also requires immersion in the history and theory of devising, and this grounding is provided through readings and assignments on collaborative playmaking and contemporary experimental theatre. Students in the DT sequence are strongly advised to take specified courses in theatre production and design, as well as theatre history and theory courses in order to gain the interdisciplinary knowledge that is essential for devised theatre makers. FFA courses (selected from Dance, Design, Film, Music, and Visual Arts) and non-FFA courses are required for degree completion and will enable students to develop breadth and interdisciplinary skills.
Accessible and recommended to students taking Devised Theatre are a wide range of courses, including Playwriting and New Play Dramaturgy, Scene Study for Theatre Studies, History of Ensemble Theatre, Canadian Theatre, and Aspects of Directing. Production/Design courses are available to Devised Theatre students as well. Many DT students apply to assistant direct both unmounted and mounted Department productions for Performance Practicum.
The DT series of courses is only available to Theatre majors in the 120 credit BA Specialized Honours. They are not available to students in the Acting Conservatory or Production/Design.
Acceptance into THEA 2050 3.0 Introduction to Devised Theatre does not guarantee entrance into further upper-level Devised Theatre classes. Admission into each subsequent Devised Theatre course is on the basis of a ‘B’ standing in the pre-requisite class.
Criteria for Entry into Devised Theatre:
- Prerequisites: THEA 1010, THEA 1100, and THEA 1200
- Grade minimum: Offers of placement to Devised Theatre are conditional, pending final grades at the end of the winter term, based on a satisfactory 5.0 (C+) overall grade point average. Any student who fails any of THEA 1010 3.0 Introduction to Acting I, THEA 1100 3.0 Introduction to Stagecraft, or THEA 1200 6.0 Origins of Theatre: Greeks to the Renaissance will not be allowed to audition.
- A correctly formatted, one-page letter of intent detailing your interest in Devised Theatre (using good grammar and correct spelling), accompanied by an up-to-date theatre résumé addressed to the Devised Theatre Committee, must be submitted. Students who do not submit this letter of intent and résumé by the due date will not be further considered for DT.
- Audition. There will be two parts to the audition: the first will explore movement and improvisation; the second will be the formal presentations of the pieces you have prepared. For this presentation you are asked to create an expression of your life, as told by another person. This can be a monologue that you write and perform, or a design that you present. Ensure that your presentation has a theatrical form, and is not just narration. There is a firm time limit of 3 minutes. All presentations will be timed and you will be cut off, if you should exceed the time limit.
Please note that there are no call-backs for the DT auditions.
Students must accept or decline offers of placement by the dates posted after the auditions or the offer will be made to the next person on the waiting list. Once the online registration process is open in early summer, students have two weeks to register, or the offer will be made to the next person on the waiting list.
It is recommended that students in Devised Theatre track their progress through their program with a degree check list