Applied Theatre

What is Applied Theatre?

Applied Theatre is the use of theatre and drama skills for the purposes of teaching, bringing about social change and building a sense of community.

Where is Applied Theatre used?

  • Teachers use Applied Theatre in the classrooms to teach drama and a variety of other core subject areas using dramatic skills.
  • Applied Theatre is used in the education and training of health practitioners, lawyers, and many other areas to role-play career-related situations (whether a reenactment of a trial or medical symptoms) to identify and practice interpersonal relations.
  • Seniors centers work with Applied Theatre practitioners to devise educational and entertaining performances to address issues in gerontology, bring personal stories to life and build community.
  • Museums hire Applied Theatre practitioners as interpreters to enact historic moments in exhibition settings.
  • In communities, Applied Theatre performances can be used as an intervention or public awareness tool to address social issues – like addiction, recycling or racism – as a way of engaging a specific audience in a dialogue about these issues.

What do you learn?

  • acting, role-playing and improvisational skills based on real-life scenarios
  • leadership and directorial skills
  • using improvisation and group collaborative skills to create scripts
  • how to build a sense of community within a group of people
  • alternative ways of presenting information
  • research skills
  • communication, public speaking and presentation skills
  • how to purposefully adapt your information and presentational approach for specific audiences and environments.
  • organizational and strategic planning skills
  • creative curriculum planning
  • historical examples of Applied Theatre applications

Our program:

  • offers a combination of theoretical foundations and practical applications
  • creates opportunities to work with diverse groups across campus and in the community
  • focuses on group project work in the second and third year
  • provides you with the knowledge and skills to research, design and implement your own self-directed project in the fourth year.

Program Outline

Suggested course selections for each year for students interested in Applied Theatre specialization.




Year 1


  THEA 105: Introduction to Stage Craft & Technical Practice 3.0
  THEA 111 / 112: History and Language of the Theatre (Parts I & II) 3.0
  THEA 120: Introduction to the Art of Acting 3.0


THEA 132: Exploring Theatre Through Dramatic Process


  FA 101 - Creative Being 1.5

English Course
At total of 3.0 units are required for a theatre major, of which 1.5 units must be taken before the end of second year. If required, the Academic Writing Requirement should be satisfied in the first year.



1st Year Total:   


Year 2


  THEA 205: Intro to Production and Management 3.0


THEA 210 / 211: Theatre History – French Classicism to 19th Century / Modern Theatre


  THEA 235: Introduction to Applied Theatre 3.0
  English Course
At total of 3.0 units are required for a theatre major of which 1.5 units must be taken before the end of second year. It is recommneded to take all your required English courses by the end of 2nd year.

A total of 15 units of elective courses must be taken outside the department to complete this theatre major. These electives include the 3.0 units of English courses and 1.5 units for FA 101.
NOTE: Students applying to the Secondary post-degree professional program (PDPP) in Education should consult with an Education Advisor for required admission courses.



2nd Year Total:   


Year 3 & 4


  THEA 331/ 332: Directing I & II 3.0


THEA 335: Applied Theatre I 3.0


THEA 355 / 356: Design Aesthetics I & II 3.0

THEA 394 Directed Studies in Applied Theatre
or EDCI 487 Special Topics in Education
Directed Studies or special topics courses can be taken more than once in different topics to a maximum of 6 units. 1.5 units are required to complete Applied Theatre specialization.

  THEA 435 Applied Theatre II 3.0
  Theatre History 300+ level
Choose from 309A, 309B, 310, 311, 312, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 328, 333, 337, 338, 362, 363, 390, 391, 409 410, 411, 412, 414, FA 315, FA 335 and/or FA 356 if offered.
  Electives (Outside the department)
A total of 15 units must be taken outside the department to complete a theatre major. These electives include the 3.0 units of English and 1.5 units for FA 101. See note below.
  Electives (Outside or Theatre)
See note below.








  • A minimum of 3.0 units of English electives are required to complete a theatre major, with 1.5 units required to be taken before the end of second year. If required, the Academic Writing Requirement can be satisfied by taking one of ENGL 135, 146, or 147.
  • A minimum of 4.5 units of senior level 300+ Theatre History courses are required to complete a theatre major..
  • A minimum of 15 units of elective courses must be selected from outside of the department. These include FA 101 and your English courses,
  • *Of the total of 12 units of electives in the 3rd and 4th year, 3.0 units of these must be at the 300+ level.

For more information on our program requirements, please refer to the UVic Calendar or contact Anne Heinl, the Fine Arts Academic Advisor.

Professors and Instructors

 Warwick Dobson
, MA Lancaster, MA (Education) & PhD Sussex
Associate Professor

Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta, BA Utrecht, MA Utrecht, PhD Manchester
Assistant Professor

Alumni Profiles


Chelsea Haberlin (BFA’07)
Student’s theatre company develops into alumna’s budding career as “Most Promising New Director” for Vancouver’s “Favourite New Theatre Company”.

  Will Weigler (PhD’11)
Applied theatre research from director, playwright, producer and author informs transformative and meaningful community-initiated theatre.

Project Examples

Project Examples

  • In partnership with Applied Theatre Consulting Services, mounted two Reminiscence Theatre Festivals (March 2006 and March 2007) which including two plays (BURNT TOAST and ALPHABET SOUP) devised and performed for seniors by Applied Theatre undergraduates; 
  • Theatre-in education programme for middle school students, entitled WOBBLE;
  • Ongoing collaborations with the university's Centre on Aging, Law Faculty, School of Nursing, Equity and Human Rights Office and Department of Psychology;
  • Community collaborations include work with the Eldercare Foundation and the Royal BC Museum;
  • Applied Theatre students have worked in a variety of different contexts, including: workshops with new immigrant women at Victoria's Intercultural Association; work with indigenous women; classroom projects in elementary, middle and high Schools; a conference for The Force (Families Organised for Recognition and Care Equality); work with prison populations.