Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg

The Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg offers a full program of undergraduate and pre-professional training for theatre and film artists and practitioners.The program includes the opportunity to obtain a B.A. (General) or a B.A. (Honours) in one or more of six different concentrations: acting and directing; design; drama in education; filmmaking; playwriting; and stage management and production. Coursework encompasses a full range of practical and theoretical study in all areas.

Our program started as the Department of Theatre and Drama in 1982 as a natural outgrowth of the English department in response to a burgeoning interest in performance, directing and playwriting over and above the traditional emphasis dramatic studies. From these early beginnings production and design courses were added along with more intensive performance studies to complete a fully rounded more practically oriented pre-professional program offered within a liberal arts institution. Under the direction of Per Brask as the first department chair, the emphasis of this program has stressed academic achievement grounded in a professional approach. In keeping with this philosophy, all of the academic staff bring practical work and experience to the classroom and continue to be closely integrated with the professional community.

Our students quickly found work in the local community and an Honours steam was developed to replace the original 4-year BA to help prormote academic excellence and the ability to offer greater concentration for our performance students. Honours options were soon added for design, directing, production and stage management students which provided potential employers with even more skilled graduates expanding professional placements. As a result, the Honours program has become an extremely successful option for students and Manitobans no longer had to go to Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver to get the training needed to start their careers.

Over the next few years degree studies were added in contemporary dance through a unique association with Winnipeg's School of Contemporary Dancers and most recently studies in practical filmmaking. Today the program is one of the largest in Canada and offers degree studies leading to either a BA or Honours BA in Performance, Dance, Theatre Production, Filmmaking, and Design with optional studies in Directing, Singing, Drama in Education and Musical Theatre. We now have graduates working across the province, throughout Canada and beyond on stage, backstage and on screen and behind the cameras.

Specific information relating to course content is listed in the University of Winnipeg Calendar. Many of the courses listed are offered in rotation depending on the availability of staff and the requirements of the program and so the complete catalogue is not offered every year. Click here for a current copy of our entire Calendar and Timetable of courses offered this year (choose the Timetable which reflects your term choice) or contact our Records Office at (204) 786-9256. The Calendar describes general university policy and provides particular information relating to our Theatre program. In any given year you must use the University Timetable in conjunction with the Calendar. The Timetable lists specific details of what courses are offered, when and where, who teaches them, and exam information.

In order to register for any courses at the University of Winnipeg students must first apply for admission [call (204) 786-9159 for information]. There are three terms: Fall (September-December), Winter (January-April), and Spring (end of April-July). Full and half courses are arranged over one or two terms with the majority being taught from September through April. The Department of Theatre and Film, specifically, generally relies on Fall and Winter terms to teach, however occasionally we do offer courses in the Spring term and have sometimes run a popular intermediate course which culminates in the production of a fully-mounted show in the Winnipeg International Fringe Festival in July.

In 1999, the University acquired the former Salvation Army Citadel building adjacent to the main campus as the new home of the Department of Theatre and Film. Three construction phases have following and now major construction on the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film is largely completed. We hope to fully complete the building in the near future but virtually all of our enhanced spaces are already operational. Nevertheless we continue with some internal developments and to finish equiping our new home but we are very excited about the opportunities this acquisition provides and we have already seen a 250% increase in registration since moving to the new spaces.

Questions?    Call the Department office at (204) 786-9955 or e-mail theatre@uwinnipeg.ca.

University of Winnipeg Home Page
Theatre Home Page