Last updated: June 2018
Acting and Directing
at the University of Winnipeg
The Department of Theatre and Film has an in-depth and popular acting program. We consider it to be a pre-professional program; in other words, normally students would go on to a professional theatre school for further actor training after graduation, although more and more our students leave the program and enter with success directly into the field. Our graduates are known for their skill, commitment, and professionalism – all essential attributes of the successful actor.
You begin your acting training with 83.1001/6 Introduction to Theatre: Performance. This is a prerequisite course for all upper-level acting courses. In any given year there are as many as eight sections of this course, admitting a maximum of 25 students each. (We also accept 83.1002/6 Introduction to Theatre: General as a prerequisite for upper-level acting courses should you be unable to get into the Intro. Acting course, though this is unlikely.) In second year you take 83.2101/6 Acting Theory and Practice, and can augment that course with various other departmental offerings. After second year you decide whether or not to take a Major or Honours. If you do the major, in third year you take 83.3101/6 Acting III: General or 83.3110/6 Screen Acting or 83.3920/6 Musical Theatre. If you opt for and are qualified to take Honours, you take 83.4131/12 Acting III: Honours (you must audition at this juncture), followed by at least one additional FCE in fourth year. (It is in the Honours Program that you will get experience at mounting full productions for the public.)
Senior acting students also have an opportunity to take directing courses and can get credit for assistant directing our own shows or those with our community partners. An Honours degree in Directing is available.
As students progress through the levels of acting at UWinnipeg, the classes become smaller and the instruction more intense. There are only 20 students in the second-year Acting Theory and Practice classes. The senior classes have caps between 12 and 16 students. This allows for very personalized, individual instruction by the professors and Teaching Assistants; in fact, one of the things we are most noted for at the University of Winnipeg is our small class sizes, and that’s not only in Theatre!
In addition to the core acting courses which are required, there is a plethora of choice for our students: voice and diction, movement for actors, stage combat, and mime and improvisation, as well as a variety of support courses (make-up, design, production, etc.) and special studies courses (yes, it is possible for senior students to study Japanese theatre here as a tutorial, i.e. on a one-to-one basis with the professor!). We also teach extensively in theory with such required courses as Theatre History and Canadian Drama, and options ranging from Aboriginal and gender studies to aesthetics and advanced theory of acting.
Many students at UWinnipeg opt to take one or more acting courses as part of a degree outside the Theatre Department. We welcome and encourage this.
Students who graduate from either our General or our Honours program can expect to use the skills learned not only as professional actors but as teachers, administrators, public servants, lawyers and even ministers! There is a vibrant and eclectic theatre scene in Winnipeg and our graduates are simply everywhere, here at home, nationally, and even internationally.
Questions? Call the Department office at (204) 786-9955 or e-mail us anytime.
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