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Performance: Acting (BFA)

"Join the world's stage at one of Canada's premier schools for theatre education."

Visit Performance: Acting at Ryerson

Stories in Acting

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Is It for You?

Join the world’s stage at one of Canada’s premier schools for theatre education. You’ll explore the theory, skill and business of live performance and build skills in acting, movement and voice. You’ll participate in studio and public performances in a variety of classic and original works from Canada and beyond, collaborating with faculty, artists, and visiting directors who teach, direct and coach. You’ll also learn the business side of performance and gain a global perspective as you work with internationally acclaimed guest directors and professional companies. You’ll do it all in the heart of Toronto, home to the third-largest English language theatre district in the world and a North American hot spot for television and film production.

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What You Need to Know

 Program Format(s)
Full Time: Four Year

 Degree Earned
Bachelor of Fine Arts

 Grade Range
72-75%+*

 Non-Academic Requirements
Audition/interview, personal statement, photograph

 Experiential Learning
Studio and public performances

 Thinking of applying? Make sure the program is still accepting applications.

*Actual minimum grade ranges required for fall 2021 admission/wait list consideration will be determined based on grades and qualifications presented by the applicant pool as they become available. Required grade ranges may fluctuate from year to year (up or down) as a result of competition. Applicants not educated in Ontario may present the equivalent of the Ontario requirements. Ryerson reserves the right to determine equivalency at its sole discretion.

Tuition and Fees 2020/2021

Domestic Fees Range: $7,046 - $7,814
International Fees Range: $28,638 - $29,611

For detailed fees information visit Tuition and Fees by Program.

Academic Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with a minimum of six Grade 12 U or M courses including the following program specific requirements.

Typically, a minimum overall average of 70% establishes eligibility for admission consideration; subject to competition individual programs may require higher prerequisite grades and/or higher overall averages:

  • English/anglais (ENG 4U/EAE 4U preferred).
  • The minimum grade required in the subject prerequisite (normally in the 65-70% range) will be determined subject to competition.

Academic admission requirements for all other applicants are available at:
Admission Requirements.

Non-Academic Requirements

In addition to meeting competitive academic requirements, you are required to submit the following non-academic requirements. Your ability to follow and adhere to the requirements is part of the assessment of your application.

 Your non-academic requirements are due by February 1, 2021 or 10 business days from your application submission date, whichever comes later.

Submit a recent 8x10 photograph of yourself.

 Please save the image as a .pdf file and upload it per the submission instructions below.

Ryerson’s audition panel uses your personal statement to learn more about you as an individual and gain a sense of who you are beyond your application, transcript, and audition.

Please describe your artistic goals and why you have decided to become an actor. We are not asking for an academic essay, rather we are asking you to frankly share the heart of who you are and your creative ambitions in this personal statement. We encourage you to write about your relationship to performance and why you think it’s necessary to perform in today’s world. Consider pointing towards your passion for people, community, politics, different forms of art, or anything that is of great importance to you. We want to see YOU in your writing.

Your statement should be 400 words, typed and in English. It must be your own original work.

 Please save your personal statement as a .pdf file.

Due to COVID-19, auditions for admission to fall 2021 must be submitted online. The School of Performance prioritizes the health and well-being of everyone auditioning for the Acting program and therefore in-person auditions will not occur.

Stage 1: Online Audition

Use YouTube or Vimeo to show us your work. Please provide a link to your work in a .pdf file and upload this file (see instructions below). Ensure the link does not expire. Make the link public OR be sure to include the password in your .pdf file. Confirm that your link works! Your application will not be considered if the link you provide does not work.

At the beginning of your video, provide an introduction including your name, your age and the school(s) you have attended.

You are to include Speech A and Speech B (see below) in one video. Introduce each speech with information about it. You may include the name of the play/anthology the speech is from, the writer of the speech, and the name of the character you are playing (if applicable).

  • Background: If possible, choose a wide-open space that you can move around in for your speech. Some people find a neutral background useful.
  • Lighting: Try to ensure that you are lit in such a manner to avoid stark contrast and dark shadows. 
  • Sound: Please check your digital recording to make sure that you can be heard.
  • Size of shot:  Use a full shot for your poetic speech and full or medium shot for your contemporary speech. Please refrain from using close-up shots. 
  • Length: Your video should be no longer than five minutes. The panel may stop watching if your recording exceeds this time. 

We encourage you to use the full capacity of your body and to move freely within the architecture of your space when making your digital recordings.

Speech A – Poetic Monologue (approximately 2 minutes)

The audition piece should be in poetic form using heightened language. This is a piece in which words are chosen for their sound and suggestive power as opposed to a naturalistic speech. While it need not be originally written in English, we ask that you perform an English translation for your poetic monologue. There is no boundary in time period, culture, or form (as long as it’s poetic) in which you choose this speech from. For example, Shakespeare, Tang Zianzu, Kate Tempest, Aleshea Harris, The Mahabharata, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Joseph A. Dandurand are all appropriate choices.

Speech B – Contemporary Monologue (approximately 2 minutes)

The contemporary piece should provide a clear contrast to your poetic piece. It ideally uses naturalistic speech and was written after 1960.

Alternative Poetic Monologue (approximately 2 minutes)

We request that you have an alternative poetic speech prepared for a possible call-back.

 The same parameters of Speech A apply.

 Stage 2: Call-Back Audition

Only select applicants will receive an invitation (by email) to participate in a call-back audition. 

The call-back will occur on Zoom or Google Meet with the audition panel. Further details will be provided in an invitation.

You will be asked to repeat Speech A and Speech B, or you may be asked to share Speech C. It is also possible that you may receive a recommendation to prepare a new audition piece. 

You are also required to sing a short prepared unaccompanied song (one verse and one chorus only). 

There may be a short interview component of the call-back, where we try to learn more about you beyond your shared speeches and personal statement.

 Stage 3: Short Workshop

Candidates who are successful in Stage 2, will be invited to participate in a three-hour workshop with other applicants to the program.

The sessions will utilize Speech A and B from earlier rounds, and possibly Speech C. You will be asked to prepare a space in which you can move and make sound as freely as possible, given your living arrangements. There will be group exercises and individual exercises.

 Stage 4: Workshop Day

This is the final stage. If you have not been asked to share Speech C in previous rounds, you will be utilizing it here. The workshop will include opportunities to get to know other applicants and faculty at Ryerson. You will work individually, in pairs, in groups, and as an ensemble. Training will include sessions in movement, voice, performance creation, and scene study. It is our hope that the workshop will be relaxed and fun for all applicants. We want you to have a rewarding experience regardless of the outcome.

The non-academic requirements assessment fee is $50 CDN and must be paid in order for your submission to be reviewed. 

Payment Options

 Pay using a Canadian bank account - by internet or telephone banking:
  1. Sign up with your bank for online or telephone banking
  2. Add Ryerson as a payee - Ryerson University - Tuition & Res Fees
  3. Your nine-digit Ryerson Student Number is your account number
  4. Follow the prompts to ‘pay bills’ and choose ‘Ryerson University - Tuition & Res Fees’ as the Payee
 Pay using Western Union Business Solutions: 

International students who do not have a Canadian bank account can pay through Western Union Business Solutions GlobalPay for Students, external link. This option allows you to pay the Canadian dollar student fees in the currency of your choice. Visit the International Payments section on our Fees Payment web page for instructions.

Applicants are required to submit all components of their non-academic requirements via the Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal. Due to the volume of applications received and our system performance, we strongly encourage you to submit your documents well in advance of the noted deadlines.

Admission decisions are provided via the Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal. The selection committee’s decision on admission is final. Unfortunately re-evaluation/reassessment of the non-academic requirements or individual feedback will not be available. Consider seeking feedback from a teacher or mentor who knows you more deeply than we can in our short time together.

Here’s how to access your Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal account:

  1. Get your Ryerson Student Number in the email acknowledgement of your application
  2. Activate your Ryerson Online Identity. Fill in the Activation Form at www.ryerson.ca/accounts/. When asked for your Student/Applicant ID, enter your nine-digit Ryerson Student Number. Keep a record of your user name and password
  3. 24 hours after activating your Ryerson Online Identity, visit the Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal

Instructions on how to upload documents, as well as common questions and answers, can be found on our Ready to Submit Your Documents? web page.

If you are applying for readmission or reinstatement, you may not be required to submit non-academic requirements. You must inform Undergraduate Admissions of your intentions.

 Contact ServiceHub at 416-979-5036 and ask to speak with the admissions officer by February 1, 2021, or 10 business days from your application submission date (whichever comes later).

After Graduation

Access various creative and business opportunities through practical experience and artistic knowledge, including acting for stage, film, or television; arts administration, trade and industrial shows; or become an educator or entrepreneur. You may work as an actor, casting director, acting coach, or director. Or, pursue graduate studies in the arts.

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