Many of our students and parents are interested in what a day looks like in a first year theatre student’s life.
- Most classes are weekdays, between 8:30am and 4:30pm, but not necessarily all day, every day.You may be required to get special permission to take evening elective courses as they often conflict with other theatre commitments.
- The first year cohort of about 60 or so students will all take the same prerequisite courses, but not always together, varying from one group in their Theatre History lectures to Acting classes, which are offered to about 20 students at three different times.
- Attending THEA 105: Intro to Stagecraft classes varies from group lectures to hands-on lab classes where students migrate to different production areas – from lighting, to scenery to costumes and front of house. As “homework” these students must complete a set number of lab experience hours working on a play in each area outside of class time.
- First year students can also volunteer be involved in a production as a stage crew or costume dresser. This requires being available during rehearsal hours, Tuesday through Friday from 6pm to 10pm and Saturdays from 10am to 6pm.
- When not involved in a mainstage production, many students get involved in “Directing Scenes” for other undergrad or graduate students. Or they may participate by writing, directing, acting or production support in the weekly plays by the Student Alternative Theatre Company (SATCo).
- On Sundays, we recommend you get all your homework done, go grocery shopping and do your laundry!
It’s an intense program, but one that give our students the maximum academic and hands-on experience over 4 years.
First Year Tips
Theatre students are very busy. Between classes during the day and rehearsals in the evening, you will need to organize yourself to be successful.
TIP: We recommend students use a day planner to keep track of classes, theatre call times, assignments and course contact information. They can get one for free from the UVic Student Society in September!
Plays versus textbooks
While there are some textbook requirements, many theatre courses instead require students to attend theatre performances as part of their curriculum. Performances may be at the department, at the Belfry Theatre and/or other local theatres.
- TIP: The Belfry makes affordable student ticket subscriptions (usually less than $70 for four plays) available during the first few weeks of classes. Make sure you are prepared to take advantage of this great deal. It gets more expensive if you have to pay for individual single tickets. Get organized and save money!
- TIP: Phoenix Theatre plays are available to theatre students for FREE on Preview nights, the Tuesday and Wednesday before a play opens. Advance preview tickets for theatre students are available in the afternoon on performance days. Student prices apply on other performances. Check the department's student ticket policies for more details.
Hands on learning
All theatre students are required to complete two courses in theatre production and management. These hands-on courses involve students backstage in every aspect of the production, learning essential skills in lighting, stage carpentry, wardrobe and front of house in their first year.
In second year, these options expand to include stage management, props, marketing and sound, and students take on important management roles in a production. These unconventional courses means you need to purchase tools, put in extra lab hours after regular classes, or stay late after performances end. Instructors are here to make sure that they are safe and supported.
No matter which specialization students enter, this important comprehensive learning approach gives you the experience working in a functioning theatre from all sides – an experience that holds fond and amazing memories for many of our alumni.
- TIP: Bring a lunch or dinner to school on very busy days and take advantage of the department's fridge and microwave that are just for student use. Keeping a UVic Campus Dining Card close at hand helps too!
- TIP: Make sure that you get departmental approval for any part-time jobs or activities outside of the department that may conflict with these prerequisite courses. Try to find part-time jobs that are flexible when times are busy.