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Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
Program Website: ryersonperformance.ca
Administered by: School of Performance
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

The School of Performance’s programs in Acting, Dance and Production are highly respected by the theatre, dance, and entertainment communities across the country. With an emphasis placed on a conservatory approach to training, the education our students receive, both practical and academic, is uniquely rigorous and thorough.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses including:

  • Performance Acting: Grade 12 U English.
  • Performance Dance: Grade 12 U English.
  • Performance Production: Grade 12 U English.


Notes:

  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English.
  2. The grade required in the subject prerequisite (normally in the 65-70 percent range) will be determined subject to competition.
  3. Applicants will be expected to appear for an entrance audition or in the case of Performance Production an evaluation interview. As part of the admission selection process, applicants must visit the Performance: Acting, Performance: Dance or Performance: Production program page for details about the non-academic requirements.
  4. A non-academic assessment fee of $50 CDN (subject to change) is required and will be requested by Ryerson as applicable.
  5. Dance applicants must demonstrate exceptional physical ability and possess a satisfactory background of training in dance (minimum of five years of ballet, jazz and/or modern technique is preferred).
  6. Applicants must choose their intended program at the time of application, i.e., Performance Acting, Performance Dance, or Performance Production.
  7. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the

Program Overview/Curriculum Information

The combination of intensive practical training and academic university theory truly distinguishes Ryerson’s Performance programs. While learning to achieve their professional goals, students gain a well-rounded education in the humanities and liberal arts. They develop valuable skills in problem solving, adaptability, critical thinking, research, and communication. These skills are essential for success in the current arts and cultural industry and they enrich all facets of the student’s life.

The four-year Acting and Dance programs offer an intensive conservatory approach in performance complemented by academics which are a crucial part of the program curriculum. Actors and dancers spend a portion of each day in the studio, and each year brings fresh opportunities to perform in productions of original, innovative and established works. The program trains performers who are distinguished by their capacity to generate original artistic material and their ability to bring a rich mixture of skills into the multi-disciplinary environment. Graduates of the program will be ready for immediate entry into a wide range of performance-related careers and for future professional growth.

The four-year Production program is designed for those who wish to become professionals in the production areas of the performing arts/entertainment industries – design, artisan, technical, production management and arts administration, publicity and promotion, as well as manufacturing and sales. A rigorous balance of academic and production work is integral to all four years. As students progress, they assume positions of increasing responsibility for all facets of the School of Performance dance and theatre productions. This brings them into close working contact with the prominent professional directors, designers and choreographers engaged by the School. As well, Production students network with their acting and dance colleagues in both the School’s shows and common courses and form creative partnerships that can continue beyond the School.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree awarded to our Performance graduates is recognized internationally in the profession and gives the option of further pursuing studies at the graduate (Master’s) level.

Toronto: Centre for Canadian Theatre and Dance

Toronto is one of the major centres of performing arts activity in North America and Ryerson, located in the heart of Toronto, offers students unsurpassed access to shows, performers, and the theatre environment. With more than 125 professional dance and theatre companies, commercial and nonprofit, producing over 10,000 live dance and theatre performances per year, students have plenty of opportunity for theatre-going and interaction with working performers - the key to developing discerning critical skills and to bring training into sharper focus.

The Program of Study

The Performance program challenges students with creative study, critical analysis, and exciting traditional and innovative areas of application for their performance skill development.

In the tradition of all Ryerson programming, the program offers a very strong conservatory perspective to the theoretical exploration of dance or acting. There is a wide variety of practical/studio work, active learning projects, and performance-related assignments. Everyone has the opportunity to perform under the guidance of working professionals who are leaders in the artistic community.

The Core Years - Acting

The Acting Program provides a multidisciplinary perspective to performing through a varying combination of studies in theatre, film, television, acting techniques, voice and movement training and dance. A number of theatrical productions staged annually at Ryerson bring classroom theory to life.

Experienced directors are invited to stage well-known theatrical works for annual fully produced mainstage presentations, open to the public. Students can also present their own original works in the New Voices Festival. During the summer the students have an opportunity to study ancient Greek theatre in Greece.

The first two years introduce the fundamentals of theatre performance which include courses in Acting, Voice, Movement, Dramaturgy, Anatomy of Movement, Film Studies, Time-lines of Performance History, Canadian Theatre, Music, Elements of Production and Creative Performance Studies. Through these foundation courses, students learn to critically approach their work, to develop entrepreneurial initiative, and to find joy in the creative process.

In the third and fourth years students engage in a Study of the Classics, Clown Project, courses in Commedia dell'Arte and Character Masks. They are also assigned roles in several productions and also produce their own work. The students may further refine their career goals through professional and professionally related electives. Students may choose to focus on Business and Marketing oriented courses such as Entrepreneurship, New Venture Startup and Promotion. Electives are also available in the more traditional theatrical applications of Film Acting, Vocal or Dance Pedagogy, Audition Preparation, Directing, Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire, Dance Styles: Historical Period, Modern Social or Jazz and many other courses.

The Core Years - Dance

Throughout the four years of study, the Dance Program offers intensive professional training with daily dance classes in ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary dance. It is designed to develop versatile dance professionals prepared for immediate entry into the performance industry, arts education, and multi-media entertainment.

Well-known, experienced choreographers are invited to create, stage, and rehearse their works for annual fully produced mainstage presentations, open to the public. There is also an annual choreographic workshop featuring the students’ own original creations.

The first two years introduce the fundamentals of theatre performance including courses in Improvisation, Anatomy of Movement and Lifestyle, Time-lines of Performance History, Performance Arts in Canada, The Rudiments of Music, a Dance History, and the Basics of Theatrical Production and Creative Performance. Through these foundation courses students learn to critically approach their work, to develop an entrepreneurial initiative, and to find joy in the creative process.

In the third and fourth years students may further refine their career goals through professional and professionally related electives. Students may choose to focus on Business and Marketing oriented courses such as Entrepreneurship and New Venture Startup. Electives are also available in the more traditional theatrical applications of Film, Dance Pedagogy, Audition preparation, Acting, Staging the Theatrical Production, Musical Theatre Repertoire, Dance Criticism and many other courses.

The Core Years - Production

The first two general years of the Production program introduce the student to the multi-disciplinary and collaborative nature of production work. In core courses consisting of lectures and labs, students learn the basics of the skills required to mount a show and apply those skills in junior capacities on the School’s shows. Lecture courses include instruction in the management of the process, theatre history and the research skills required for critical thinking.

In the third and fourth years, through a large menu of lecture and lab electives, students concentrate on those areas where their interests are greatest. They take the gained knowledge with the skills learned in their first two years and apply both to their duties in more senior positions on the School’s various dance and theatre productions. Academic courses broaden the understanding of the holistic process required for producing. Students also take business and management electives to broaden their understanding of those issues.

Advanced Courses

The advanced courses offered by the School of Performance are unique opportunities for special students to work in Stage Design, Directing, Playwriting and Dance, under the guidance of professionals in a complete theatre environment.

Admission to these courses is based on audition and/or portfolio of the applicant’s work and on a special project to be discussed at the interview. It is assumed that applicants are already experienced in these areas. Students are selected on the basis of background and talent, and have individual timetables prepared according to their own needs and wishes. Students may be required to take other School of Performance courses where their knowledge is limited, and may be permitted to take other courses at Ryerson provided they have the prerequisite knowledge.

Graduates in Demand

Students graduate with an entrepreneurial spirit and a wealth of versatile career skills. Their performance skills ensure that they are well-equipped to enter the Performing Arts and entertainment sector which includes Theatre, Dance Companies, Musicals, Videos, Cruise Lines, Commercials, Industrials, Film. Their exposure to the entrepreneurial dimensions of the Performing Arts equips them to function as a freelance artist, or as a member of creative companies.

Students must take three lower level liberal studies courses and three upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

THL 100 is not available for credit.
Performance Production Majors: MUS 101 and MUS 201 are not available for credit.
RTA 180, RTA 406, RTA 441, RTA 474, RTA 484 are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

All Majors: MUS 501, MUS 505, MUS 507 and RTA 530 are not available for credit.

Performance Acting Majors: Students may not take FRE 703 and FRE 803 for credit.  

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program, Performance Acting/Dance

REQUIRED:

THF 10A/B Music I: Introduction
THF 11A/B Creative Performance Studies I
THF 100 Anatomy of Movement and Lifestyle I
THF 101 Elements of Production I
THF 200 Timelines of Performance History I
THF 201 Timelines of Performance History II

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

REQUIRED GROUP 1*: Two courses from the following, based on student's program:

Performance Acting students:

THA 100 Fundamentals of Tech I: Acting
THA 101 Fundamentals of Tech II: Acting

Performance Dance students:

THD 100 Fundamentals of Tech I: Dance
THD 101 Fundamentals of Tech II: Dance

* These REQUIRED GROUP 1 courses have a GPA Weight of 2.00 and will require additional hours of warm-ups, workshops and production requirements.

REQUIRED:

FPN 200 The Moving Image in Performance I
THF 20A/B Music II: Singing
THF 21A/B Creative Performance Studies II

LIBERAL STUDIES**: One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Three courses from the following, based on student's program:

Performance Acting students:

THA 200* Intermediary Tech I: Acting
THA 201* Intermediary Tech II: Acting
THF 403 Landmarks in Canadian Theatre

Performance Dance students:

THD 200* Intermediary Tech I: Dance
THD 201* Intermediary Tech II: Dance
THF 404 Landmarks of Choreographic Development

* These courses have a GPA Weight of 2.00 and will require additional hours of warm-ups, workshops and production requirements.

** Offered in Fall Term.

REQUIRED:

THF 31A/B Creative Performance Studies III
THP 500 Conceiving the Production

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Two courses from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table II.

REQUIRED GROUP 1*: Two courses from the following, based on student's program:

Performance Acting students:

THA 300 Performance Tech I: Acting
THA 301 Performance Tech II: Acting

Performance Dance students:

THD 300 Performance Tech I: Dance
THD 301 Performance Tech II: Dance

Additional Advanced Professional courses are available (see below) with special permission of the School.

* These courses have a GPA Weight of 2.00 and will require additional hours of warm-ups, workshops and production requirements.

REQUIRED:

THF 400 Creative Performance Studies IV
THF 401 Independent Study Seminars

LIBERAL STUDIES**: One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PROFESSIONAL: Two courses from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
Two courses from Table II.

REQUIRED GROUP 1*: Two courses from the following, based on student's program:

Performance Acting students:

THA 400 Adv Performance Tech I: Acting
THA 401 Adv Performance Tech II: Acting

Performance Dance students:

THD 400 Advanced Performance Tech I: Dance
THD 401 Advanced Performance Tech II: Dance

Additional Advanced Professional courses are available (see below) with special permission of the School. 

* These courses have a GPA Weight of 2.00 and will require additional hours of warm-ups, workshops and production requirements.  

** Offered in Fall term.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program, Performance Production

1st Semester

REQUIRED:

THF 101 Elements of Production I
THF 200 Timelines of Performance History I
THP 101* Production Technique I
THT 100 Design Communication I

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

* THP 101 has a GPA Weight of 2.00.

2nd Semester

REQUIRED:

THF 102 Elements of Production II
THF 201 Timelines of Performance History II
THM 200 Production Communication I
THP 102* Production Technique II
THT 200 Design Communication II

* THP 102 has a GPA Weight of 2.00. 

3rd Semester

REQUIRED:

THF 403 Landmarks in Canadian Theatre
THM 300 Production Communication II
THP 201* Production Technique III

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

* THP 201 has a GPA Weight of 2.00.

4th Semester

REQUIRED:

THF 404 Landmarks of Choreographic Development
THF 501 Research Methods
THP 202* Production Technique IV
THT 418 Design Communication III

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

* THP 202 has a GPA Weight of 2.00.

5th Semester

REQUIRED:

MUS 300 Musicology
THP 301* Production Technique V
THP 500 Conceiving the Production

PROFESSIONAL: Two courses from Table I.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

* THP 301 has a GPA Weight of 2.00.

6th Semester

REQUIRED:

THP 302* Production Technique VI

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

* THP 302 has a GPA Weight of 2.00.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

THP 401* Production Technique VII

PROFESSIONAL: Three courses from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:
One course from Table II.

* THP 401 has a GPA Weight of 2.00.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

THP 403* Production Technique VIII
THP 800 Independent Study

PROFESSIONAL: Two courses from Table I.

LIBERAL STUDIES: One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

* THP 403 has a GPA Weight of 2.00.

Performance Advanced Courses

Optional course for 3rd year students in all Performance programs. Admission by interview, and permission of the Chair. This course may be substituted, with permission, for a Professional (multi-term) course, by students in the Performance Production program:

THG 32A/B Staging the Theatrical Production

Optional course for Theatre School students; prerequisite THG 32A/B, or special permission of the Chair. Open to mature students with appropriate prerequisite professional experience or training. Hours vary according to assignments:

THG 42A/B Advanced Practicum in Production

A special intensive coaching and company production apprenticeship experience. This course has a GPA Weight of 2.00.  Admission only by audition and permission of the Chair. Offered during Spring/Summer term:

THA 628 Acting Practicum II

These courses are open to mature students with appropriate prerequisite training. Admission is by audition and permission of the Chair and is contingent upon available space:

THD 151 Dance Master Class I
THD 251 Dance Master Class II
Academic Standing Variation

In addition to the general criteria used to determine Academic Standing, students in this program must also meet the following conditions:

The Theatre School requires that all students enrolled in Performance Acting must achieve a satisfactory grade ('C+' or higher) in the core acting courses in order to achieve a CLEAR Standing:

THA 100 Fundamentals of Tech I: Acting
THA 101 Fundamentals of Tech II: Acting
THA 200 Intermediary Tech I: Acting
THA 201 Intermediary Tech II: Acting
THA 300 Performance Tech I: Acting
THA 301 Performance Tech II: Acting
THA 400 Adv Performance Tech I: Acting
THA 401 Adv Performance Tech II: Acting

Students who pass these courses with a grade lower than 'C+' will be given PROBATIONARY Standing regardless of their overall Grade Point Average (GPA).

Students who fail any of the above courses will receive a REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW Standing regardless of their overall GPA.

Students who receive grades below 'C+' in any two consecutive courses above will receive a REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW Standing regardless of their overall GPA.

The Theatre School requires that all students enrolled in Performance Dance must achieve a satisfactory grade ('C+' or higher) in its core dance courses in order to achieve a CLEAR Standing:

THD 100 Fundamentals of Tech I: Dance
THD 101 Fundamentals of Tech II: Dance
THD 200 Intermediary Tech I: Dance
THD 201 Intermediary Tech II: Dance
THD 300 Performance Tech I: Dance
THD 301 Performance Tech II: Dance
THD 400 Advanced Performance Tech I: Dance
THD 401 Advanced Performance Tech II: Dance

Students who pass these courses with a grade lower than 'C+' will be given PROBATIONARY Standing regardless of their overall Grade Point Average (GPA).

Students who fail any of the above courses will receive a REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW Standing regardless of their overall GPA. Students who receive grades below 'C+' in any two consecutive courses above will receive a REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW Standing regardless of their overall GPA.

The Theatre School requires that all students enrolled in Performance Production must achieve a satisfactory grade ('C' or higher) in the core Production courses in order to achieve a CLEAR Standing:

THP 101 Production Technique I
THP 102 Production Technique II
THP 201 Production Technique III
THP 202 Production Technique IV

Students who pass these courses with a grade lower than 'C', will be given PROBATIONARY Standing regardless of their overall Grade Point Average (GPA).

Students who fail any of the above courses will receive a REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW Standing regardless of their overall GPA. Students who receive grades below 'C' in any two consecutive courses above, will receive a REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW Standing regardless of their overall GPA.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Danny Austin
Independent Dance Performer,
Choreographer and Director

Jim Brett
President
Local 58, IATSE

Eric Coates
Ryerson Alumni
Artistic Director

Blyth Festival

Andrew Fleming
Senior Partner
Ogilvy Renault

Mallory Gilbert
Consultant, Volunteer

Michael Harris
Managing Partner
CETEC INC

Eda Holmes
Associate Director
Shaw Festival

Mary Jago-Romeril
Former Principal Dancer
National Ballet of Canada

Janine Pearson
Head of Voice
Stratford Festival

Fiona Reid
Actor

Kelly Robinson
Ryerson Alumni
Director of Creative Development
Mirvish Productions
Director, Theatre Arts
Banff Centre

Sandra Robinson
Ryerson Alumni
Director of Operations 
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Shauna Sexsmith
Vice President
Senior Portfolio Manager
Manulife Financial

Peter Smith
Architect, Retired