The Acting Area in the Department of Theatre offers students accepted into the program intense, rigorous, integrated training in acting for the stage and screen. Students study Voice, Movement and Acting in both semesters of the three years of training, acquiring knowledge and a range of high-level skills that are then applied in performance projects.

Acting Area students perform in three Studio projects in their third year, and in fully mounted productions as part of the Theatre @ York season in fourth year. Each year begins with a week-long collective creation called The Gathering Project with participants from all levels of the graduate acing program, undergraduate acting program, and Devised Theatre. Each year ends with The Shakespeare Projects — three to four unmounted productions of hour-long versions of Shakespeare plays, again with participants from all years of the BFA and MFA Acting programs.

Students accepted into the Acting Conservatory must complete a Change of Degree form by June 30 to switch from BA Honours to BFA Honours.

All three general education requirements must be completed within your first 90 credits, and it is strongly recommended that you complete them within your first 60 credits. Because of the intense workload in fourth-year acting, it is highly recommended that students complete all courses they are taking outside the Department of Theatre before entering fourth year.

Students enrolled in the Acting Area cannot schedule GenEd classes (out/out or in/out) during the evening or on Saturday as this will conflict with rehearsals and performances. All students are encouraged to schedule all classes for Monday during the day.  Students in the Acting Area are advised not to pursue a double major or major/minor.

Criteria for Entry

Theatre students are expected to submit an individual Statement of Intent, have an academic average acceptable to continue within the Department, and be prepared for an audition.

In the audition (first year into second-year acting), each student should prepare two contemporary monologues in contrasting styles, and a song.  Students are advised to choose material that reflects their strengths.

In order to audition for second year, Acting students must successfully complete THEA 1010 3.0 (with a grade of B or better), THEA 1100 3.0 and THEA 1200 6.0.  Students who successfully audition but do not successfully complete THEA 1200 6.0 will not be accepted into the Acting area.

Please note:  Acceptance into second-year Acting does not automatically guarantee entrance into third- or fourth-year Acting. Students are reassessed at the end of each term. Assessment is based on academic average, an evaluation/audition, and progress in class work.

Students in the Acting Conservatory must maintain a grade of B or higher in each course of Voice, Movement and Acting in each term in order to be allowed to advance to the next term.

Anyone leaving the Acting Area for a period of one year or more, for whatever reason, even if in good academic standing, will be expected to re-audition to re-enter the Area unless a statement to the contrary has been received in writing from the Area at the time of withdrawal.

Second Year

An introductory approach to the principles of acting, stressing spontaneity, concentration, relaxation and personal expression through contact of the self and the ensemble.  There is a strong emphasis on acquiring individual technical skills in voice and movement.  Work will also be developed through scene study exercises.  Students in the Acting Stream must maintain a B in their Voice, Acting and Movement courses in order to be allowed to advance to the next term. Students participate in the Origins Projects in September and in the Shakespeare Projects at the end of the winter semester.

Required courses:

  • THEA 2010 3.0 Voice I
  • THEA 2011 3.0 Voice II
  • THEA 2020 3.0 Acting I
  • THEA 2021 3.0 Acting II
  • THEA 2030 3.0 Movement I
  • THEA 2031 3.0 Movement II
  • THEA 2200 6.0 Theatrical Worlds in Transition

Third Year

Continued exploration of the principles of acting, movement and vocal techniques.  Understanding the script through performance, together with techniques in building a character will be explored in a variety of presentations. These include three Unmounted Productions: the first is the “Naturalism Project,” the second in early Winter is the “Image Project”, and the final unmounted show is the “Language Project.” Students also participate in the Origins Projects in September and in the Shakespeare Projects at the end of the winter semester.

Required courses:

  • THEA 3010 3.0 Voice III
  • THEA 3011 3.0 Voice IV
  • THEA 3020 3.0 Acting III
  • THEA 3021 3.0 Acting IV
  • THEA 3030 3.0 Movement III
  • THEA 3031 3.0 Movement IV
  • THEA 3200 3.0 Modern Theatre and Society
  •  3.0 credits in Theatre Studies at the 3000 or 4000 level

Fourth Year

Advanced work in voice, movement, and acting will be developed through projects in un-mounted and fully mounted productions as part of Theatre @ York. Particular emphasis is given to career oriented skills, such as audition techniques. Students participate in the Theatre Ontario showcase for agents, casting directors and artistic directors. Once again, students participate in the Origins Projects in September and in the Shakespeare Projects at the end of the winter semester.

Required courses:

  • THEA 4010 3.0 Voice V
  • THEA 4011 3.0 Voice VI
  • THEA 4020 3.0 Acting V
  • THEA 4021 3.0 Acting VI
  • THEA 4030 3.0 Movement V
  • THEA 4031 3.0 Movement VI

Acting students may also take FILM 4180 3.0 Acting & Directing II as one of their AMPD/Out-of-Major courses.

Students enrolled in the Acting Conservatory of the BFA (Theatre) will be required to complete 81 credits in Theatre.

All Theatre majors must complete either THEA 3150 3.0 Theatre Management or THEA 4150 3.0 Professional Aspects of Theatre in order to graduate.