Graduate Studies

Graduate study at the Department of Theatre immerses you in a dynamic academic and research environment that is paired with the artistic and technical excellence of an established university theatre company.

Our MFA, MA and PhD programs offer:

  • small classes taught by internationally renowned artists, scholars and winners of major Canadian theatre awards
  • hands-on use of the three theatre spaces, excellent facilities and professional support team of the Phoenix Theatre
  • intense one-on-one mentorship by scholars, directors and designers who work at the finest theatres in the country (Stratford, Shaw, NAC) and at major festivals and conferences around the world (Berlin, Prague, London, New York)
  • strong connections with the theatre industry, both with local companies like The Belfry Theatre, Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre and Pacific Opera Victoria, and across the country
  • opportunities to work with distinguished visiting artists and scholars such as Daniel MacIvor, Michael Whitfield, Linda Moore, Alisa Palmer, and Dava Sobel.

Join the distinguished list of UVic alumni who went on after graduation to occupy top positions in Canadian theatre art and scholarship:

  • Dany Lyne (Siminovitch winner in Design, 2006)
  • David Ferry (Dora-award-winning actor and director)
  • Dennis Garnhum (Artistic Director, Theatre Calgary)
  • Claude Giroux (Artistic Director, Theatre New Brunswick)
  • Janet Munsil (Producer, Intrepid Theatre)
  • Roger Gaudet (Head, Theatre Division, Canada Council)
  • Jan Selman (Chair, Department of Drama, University of Alberta)
  • Ron Fedoruk (Chair, Department of Design, UBC)
  • Ted Little (Professor, Applied Theatre, University of Guelph)
  • Peter McKinnon (Professor of Design, York University)
  • Barry Yzereef (Professor of Theatre History, University of Calgary)
  • Paul Rivers (Professor of Directing, McMaster University)
  • David Lucas (Professor in the School of Architecture, University of Manitoba)

Please note that all Theatre MFAs are a non-thesis programs. All programs begin in September.

Graduate degree programs

Theatre History

MA and PhD through Interdisciplinary Studies
Theatre History students will research and prepare a scholarly paper suitable for presentation at a sanctioned academic conference. Projects with a theoretical orientation are encouraged, but other types of research within theatre history and drama are also possible. Prospective candidates are invited to discuss their research interest directly with the department.

Applicants must possess:

  • either a general knowledge of Western theatre history, from the Greeks to the present, or a strong background in dramatic literature.
  • a familiarity with the practicalities of theatre production; design, direction, and performance.


Directing students will direct a number of short projects and at least one full-length mainstage play for completion of their MFA. A practicum production is required along with a practicum report. Members of the performance faculty supervise all projects and productions.

We are also proud to offer MFA students opportunities for apprenticeships and assistant directing projects with professional companies such as Victoria's Belfry Theatre and Pacfic Opera Victoria..

Applicants must possess:

  • an undergraduate degree with a major in theatre and a minimum GPA of B+
  • a strong background in dramatic literature and dramatic theory is required
  • substantial practical experience in acting and directing

Note: Only one student is admitted to the MFA Directing program each year.


Design students develop their knowledge and skills in three major fields of design for the theatre; scenery, costume and lighting with practical application of theoretical knowledge and learned skills emphasized by providing designs for a departmental productions. Students specialize in one area of design, with a minor specialization in a second area. The candidate’s final project involves designing one or more elements of a realized mainstage production as well as a written essay about the practicum project.

We are also proud to offer MFA students opportunities for apprenticeships and assistant design projects with professional companies such as Victoria's Belfry Theatre and Pacfic Opera Victoria.

Applicants must possess:

  • a basic knowledge and experience in design of scenery, costume and lighting
  • a foundation of Western theatre history and directing

Applied Theatre

MA and PhD (both by special arrangement)
Students can apply by special arrangement to enter into graduate studies in Applied Theatre. Students research and facilitate a practicum project, in conjunction with a community organization or research institute.

Applicants must possess:

  • excellent research practices and/or experience in community-based research and workshop facilitation
  • a familiarity with the practicalities of devised theatre, theatre production and community performance
MFA Designer: Karyn McCallum
Tyrants (2006)


MFA Director: Britt Small
Electra (2004)


MFA Costume Designer:
Janis Ward
MFA Lighting
Designer: William Mackwood
Wanted (2004)


MFA Designer: Karyn McCallum
That Elusive Spark (2005)