School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

York's Theatre programs immerse students in all aspects of theatre, fostering the ability to specialize or to assume a wide range of roles and apply various approaches to performance.  Through their creative and scholarly practice, students learn to constantly reassess the meaning of their work in the context of our ever-changing society, and to develop the critical thinking to understand and make a contribution to the world around them. 

Program Structure

All Theatre students share a common first foundation year, in which they take courses across the various fields of theatre and performance. At the end of first year students branch into one of four streams based on their interests and goals.*

Throughout the programs, students work together as actors and as members of creative and production teams in the department's many productions.


Acting Conservatory, BFA Honours

With intensive studies in acting, movement and voice, the Acting Conservatory takes students deep into scene study, script analysis and character development. Upper year Conservatory members are cast in Theatre @ York's mainstage shows, featuring classic and contemporary masterpieces from Canada and around the world, chosen to address some of the big cultural and politacal debates facing society. 

Production and Design, BFA Honours

Combining hands-on technical skills with creative aspects of theatre as storytelling, this program engages students in all elements of theatrical design and stage production. Courses in sound, lighting, scenery and costume design and construction are complimented by studies in technical direction and management.

Performance Creation, BA Honours and BFA Honours

The Department of Theatre offers two similar programs in Performance Creation. One has a stronger emphasis on studies/academic work and results in a Bachelor of Arts Honours (BA), while the other highlights studio work and culminates in a Bachlor of Fine Arts (BFA).

This BFA degree stream places emphasis on studio coursework, such as Stagecraft, Devised Theatre, Scene Study and Directing. In keeping with the broad scope of Performance Creation work, this degree prepares students to move fluidly across artistic disciplines and to assume a range of roles in collaborative performance settings. This degree is ideal for students who want to produce sophisticated, meaningful performance work that engages with larger issues of social justice and sustainability.


This BA program focuses on studies in dramatic and performance theory, cristicism and history, and in theatre education. Students may choose to specialize in Playwriting and New Play Dramaturgy learning to write for the stage, or Devised Theatre focusing on collaborative creation of original works, incorporating all elements of playmaking, design and management to performance. Students planning to pursue graduate or teaching degrees are strongly encouraged to take the BA program.

*Admission to some streams is by audition or interview. 

Performances and Festivals

The Department of Theatre mounts an annual season of public events showcasing student work. Almost every aspect of Theatre @ York productions is imagined and realized by students under the mentorship of faculty and guest artists. Student-authored works are presented in the playGround Festival, site-specific Ashley Plays, Devised Theatre Festival and the playwrights' class, Telling Tales out of School. The Scenes by Design exhibition features work by production and design students.

Featured Facilities:

  • Numerous acting/rehearsal studios
  • Lighting lab and carpentry shop
  • Drafting and design studios
  • Scene shop
  • Wardrobe production shop and fitting rooms
  • Extensive costume collection
  • 120-seat Joseph G. Green Studio Theatre
  • 600-seat thrust stage
  • 325-seat Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre

Program Details

Offered by

School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Fall entry


Winter entry


Summer entry



Apply for scholarships and awards by February 15 and submit your application in PDF format. View the Financial Aid tab on this page for awards specific to your student status.

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