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Performance: Acting (BFA)

Trans actress and theatre grad Cassandra James

School of Performance graduate Cassandra James has been playing transwoman Dr. Terry Randolph on General Hospital for more than a year.

Read more: Living life her way — out and proud

Is It for You?

Join one of Canada’s premier acting conservatory programs in a university environment. Here you’ll train with talented actors from diverse backgrounds and be ready for the industry as changemakers of the future. This is a creative place where hard work and courage help you to become your best self as an actor, artist and human. It’s an intersectional place where your unique strengths and talents are identified and invested in, and a dedicated place where faculty sustain you through all aspects of your training — from performance opportunities to personal wellbeing to industry connections. You’ll build your artistry in acting through a deepened understanding of theory, text analysis, technique, movement and voice for a wide variety of performance opportunities. 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.

 Faculty
The Creative School

 Program Format(s)
Full Time: Four Year

 Degree Earned
Bachelor of Fine Arts

 Grade Range

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

 Experiential Learning
Studio and public performances

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Our student ambassadors are on board to give you a taste of all that Ryerson has to offer. Learn about the city of Toronto, transitioning to university, the student experience and more!

What You Need to Know

 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 2021/2022

Domestic Fees Range: $7,087 - $7,805
International Fees Range: $30,013 - $31,003

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, 2022 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.

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.

You are to include Speech A and Speech B (see below) in one video. Introduce each speech with your full name, age, and the name of the high school or last program you attended. Include the name of the play 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.

Speech C - Alternative Contemporary Speech (approximately 2 minutes)

We request that you have an alternative contemporary speech prepared for Stage 4. You may or may not be asked to share this alternative speech.

 The same parameters of Speech B 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. 

You will also be required to sing a short unaccompanied song (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: Workshop Day

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

There will be two Stage 3 Workshop dates for two different callback groups: 

  • Saturday, February 26, 2022 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 26, 2022 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The workshop will utilize Speech B from earlier rounds. The workshop will include opportunities to get to know other applicants and a student from the program. You will work individually, in pairs, in groups, and as an ensemble. Training may include sessions in movement, voice, performance creation, and redirection of Speech B.

 Stage 4: Final Workshop Day

This is the final stage and will occur on Saturday, April 23, 2022. The session will utilize Speech C. The workshop will include opportunities to get to know other applicants and faculty at the university. You will work individually, in pairs, in groups, and as an ensemble. Training will include sessions in movement, voice, performance creation, and redirection of Speech C. 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 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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