Acting

The Acting program in the Department of Theatre & Performance is designed to provide foundational performance skills and methods of both interpreting roles within diverse works and creating original work, all within a framework of fully embodied performance for stage and screen. Students study Voice, Movement and Acting over the three years of training, acquiring knowledge and a range of high-level skills that are then applied in performance projects. Acting students will be given the opportunity to perform in various York projects outside of their regular Acting program classes in third year, and in full productions as part of the Theatre @ York season in fourth-year. Each year begins with a performance called The Gathering Project led by graduate-level Theatre students with participants from all levels of the undergraduate acting program involved to create community before the semester gets underway.  

Performance opportunities both within and outside of course work will be offered throughout the program and may demand committed hours outside of scheduled class time at certain points in the year. Because of the demanding workload, it is highly recommended that students complete all courses they are taking outside the Department of Theatre & Performance before entering fourth-year. All students are encouraged to schedule their non-Acting classes on Monday during the day. It is not uncommon for Acting students to take longer than the traditional four years to complete their requirements. 

Students in the Acting program are advised not to pursue a double major or major/minor. Many students find the program challenging in terms of time management, stamina and maintaining academic standards. Not maintaining a satisfactory cumulative overall grade average can jeopardize your standing in the program so it is imperative you do well in all your courses.   

Students accepted into the Acting program must complete a Program Change form by June 30 to switch from Specialized Honours BA to Specialized Honours BFA. 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.

Criteria for Entry

Up caretIcon in the shape of a upward pointing caret

Theatre students are expected to have an academic average acceptable to continue within the Department and be prepared for an audition.

In the audition for second-year Acting, students 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 Introduction to Acting I, THEA 1100 3.0 Introduction to Stagecraft I and THEA 1200 6.0 Introduction to Theatre and Performance.  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 evaluation 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

Up caretIcon in the shape of a upward pointing caret

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 program 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. Students participate in The Gathering Project at the start of the Fall term to inspire a smooth introduction into the Acting program community.

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 History of Theatre and Performance

Third Year

Up caretIcon in the shape of a upward pointing caret

Continued exploration of the principles of acting, movement and vocal techniques.  Understanding and interpreting scripts through performance, together with skills and techniques in building a character allow students to explore a variety of styles and actively expand the range of their work. Students again participate in The Gathering Project at the start of the Fall term and are provided several more opportunities to perform in other Acting projects throughout the year.

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 Canadian Theatre and Performance

All Theatre majors must complete either THEA 3150 3.0 Theatre Management or THEA 4150 3.0 Theatre Career Management and three additional credits at the 3000 or 4000 level from the following list in order to graduate:
THEA 3135 3.0
THEA 3211 3.0
THEA 3235 3.0
THEA 3240 3.0
THEA 3260E 3.0
THEA 3260H 3.0
THEA 3290 6.0
THEA 3300 3.0
THEA 3331 3.0
THEA 3450 3.0
THEA 3450 6.0
THEA 4111 3.0
THEA 4200 3.0
THEA 4225 3.0
THEA 4270B 3.0
THEA 4270L 3.0
THEA 4290 6.0
THEA 4330 3.0
THEA 4331 3.0
THEA 4333 3.0
THEA 4334 3.0
THEA 4334 6.0
THEA 4335 3.0
THEA 4360 3.0
THEA 4440 3.0
THEA 4440 6.0

Fourth Year

Up caretIcon in the shape of a upward pointing caret

Advanced work in voice, movement, and acting will be developed in class work and in Theatre @ York productions. Particular emphasis is given to career-oriented skills, such as audition techniques for both stage and screen, self-promotion and self-care fundamentals. Students participate in the Theatre Ontario Next Generation Showcase to audition for agents, casting directors and artistic directors. Once again, students participate in The Gathering Project at the start of the Fall term.

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 4071 3.0 Performance Practicum IV

Acting students may also take FILM 4180 3.0 Acting and Directing II – Directing Actors for the Screen as one of their AMPD electives.

Students enrolled in the Acting Conservatory of the Specialized Honours BFA Theatre will be required to complete at least 81 credits in Theatre.

All Theatre majors must complete either THEA 3150 3.0 Theatre Management or THEA 4150 3.0 Theatre Career Management and three additional credits at the 3000 or 4000 level from the following list in order to graduate:
THEA 3135 3.0
THEA 3211 3.0
THEA 3235 3.0
THEA 3240 3.0
THEA 3260E 3.0
THEA 3260H 3.0
THEA 3290 6.0
THEA 3300 3.0
THEA 3331 3.0
THEA 3450 3.0
THEA 3450 6.0
THEA 4111 3.0
THEA 4200 3.0
THEA 4225 3.0
THEA 4270B 3.0
THEA 4270L 3.0
THEA 4290 6.0
THEA 4330 3.0
THEA 4331 3.0
THEA 4333 3.0
THEA 4334 3.0
THEA 4334 6.0
THEA 4335 3.0
THEA 4360 3.0
THEA 4440 3.0
THEA 4440 6.0