Video produced by students Amanda Verhagen and Alina Cerminara.
Music thanks to Myles Black and the Pearly Whites.

The Performance focus begins in the second year of study in the department and is based on academic standing and audition.

Students enter a concentrated program of acting, voice and movement which progresses in depth, detail and challenge over a period of three years. Classes meet several times a week and demand a great deal of commitment, self-discipline and practice, both within and outside of class time.

The performance focus begins in second year with scene work and character study, emphazing Canadian plays. Third-year acting concentrates on styles and special genre work with an emphasis on such playwrights as Ibsen, Chekhov, Shakespeare and Molière. Fourth-year acting explores various aspects of self development and self created work, especially in voice anemphasisingd acting.

Voice and movement classes are meant to strengthen each actor's vocal and physical instrument by introducing incremental levels of expertise in such areas as breath control, tonal and consonant action, resonance and range, speaking Shakespeare, dialects, etc. as well as Alexander Technique, modern dance, neutral and character mask and acrobatics. Depending on available professional artists, the program is further augmented with various workshops in disciplines such as clown, stage combat or mime.

At the fourth year level, audition skills are honed in preparation for the transition into either the professional world of theatre or conservatory training. One semester is devoted to development of acting skills for film and television. Artistic directors from Victoria and Vancouver participate in annual workshops to assist the graduation class.

By the end of the fourth year, with the instruction and guidance of some of Canada's best scholars, performance teachers and theatre professionals, performance students leave the department with an excellent basis upon which to build their professional and academic lives.

Program Outline

Performance Focus

Students may enter the Performance Focus (formerly known as the acting specialization) after completing the first-year Theatre requirements. Enrolment is limited. Admission is by audition and interview only and permission of the department is required.


  • All courses should be taken in the sequence indicated. Failure to follow the course listings suggested for each year and for each Focus may jeopardize the ability to complete the BFA degree within four years.
  • THEA 120B is strongly recommended for students interested in pursuing the Performance Focus. Students entering the Performance Focus who complete both THEA 120B and 132B will take an additional 1.5 units for a total of 61.5 units.
  • Electives*: English 135 and an additional 1.5 units of English electives must be taken before 30 units are completed.


  • Auditions are held for students wishing to enter the acting specialization after first year. Only selected students will proceed into 2nd year.
  • Students who are not selected after their 1st-year auditions are welcome to audition again at the end of their 2nd year.
  • Permission must be granted by the department for students to progress to each subsequent year in the acting specialization.
Third Year (Permission Required)
Fourth Year (Permission Required)

Professors and Instructors 

Conrad Alexandrowicz
BA York University, MFA University of Alberta
Assistant Professor

Fran Gebhard
MFA University of British Columbia
Assistant Teaching Professor

Linda Hardy
BA Brock , MA University of Toronto
Assistant Professor

Brian Richmond
MA University of Toronto

Jan Wood
BFA University of Alberta
Assistant Professor

Alumni Profiles


Sebastien Archibald (BFA'07)
Vancouver-based actor and playwright, Co-Artistic Director and Playwright in Residence of ITSAZOO Productions.

  Deanne May Bertsch (BFA'92)
Choreographer and drama, dance, choir and Blackfoot teacher.
  Beatrice Boepple (BFA'84)
Actor for film, television and stage and yoga instructor.
   Kate Braidwood (BFA’03)
Actor, deviser, sound designer, director, teacher and co-founder of WONDERHEADS
  Shannan Calcutt (BFA'97)
Best known as Izzy the Clown, this writer, actor, instructor and clown is also a Co-Comedic Director and Clown Coach for Cirque du Soleil.

TJ Dawe (BFA’97)
Writer, performer, director and dramaturge has become “Canada’s most prolific writer of autobiographical monologues.”

  Megan Dennis (BFA '90)
International actor for stage and camera.
  Victor Dolhai (BFA ’07)
Is a prominent performer with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.
    Michael Dudley (BFA'86)
Author, editor and book reviewer who is now an academic librarian at the University of Winnipeg.
    Erin Karpluk (BFA ’00)
Found fame and acclaim in her leading role on the hit Canadian series Being Erica.
  James Leard (BFA '70)
Writer, director and founder of the Story Theatre Company, which going strong after 30 years of touring children's theatre.
  Joan MacLean (BFA '84)
Professional actor and teacher in Vancouver since 1989.
  Alison Matthews (BFA’91)
Actor with extensive film, television and stage experience, and works regularly as a professional voice-over artist and coach.
  Nicolle Nattrass (BFA ’91)
Award-winning playwright and actor known for her one-woman shows.
    Peter Outerbridge (BFA ’88)
Has made his mark on stage, screen and television.

Meg Roe (BFA ’04)
Much acclaimed and awarded actor is making waves as a director at the Shaw Festival.

  Charles Ross (BFA '98)
Acclaimed star and co-creator of the internationally touring shows One-Man Star Wars and One-Man Lord of the Rings.
    Zachary Stevenson (BFA ’03)
Acclaimed actor and a musician has made a name for himself by interpreting musical performers from days gone by.
    Celine Stubel (BFA ’02)
Victoria native is becoming one of BC's busiest actors.
  Sara Topham (BFA ’98)
Went from Stratford to Broadway in a Tony Award-winning production.
  Andrew Wade (BFA'15)
Playwright and actor based out of Richmond, BC.

Krista Wallace (BFA'89)
Author, actor, vocalist, and musical director.