Courses Offered in the First Year of Study

Performance / Directing / Design

THEA 5040 3.0 / 5041 3.0: Graduate One Directing.

This is the primary course in stage directing. It handles textual issues, working with actors, working with designers, and the exploring of personal style.
Co-requisite: THEA 5020 3.0/5021 3.0: Graduate One Acting

THEA 5042 6.0: Graduate One Directing Practicum.

The main focus of this first year course is the direction of a Gathering project, a Shakespeare project, and other studio productions as assigned.
Co-requisite: THEA 5040 3.0/5041 3.0: Graduate One Directing or permission of the instructor.

THEA 5075 3.0: Solo Performance Creation: Devising for Solo Performance in any Medium

Through sourcing exercises, presentation of student-created material, and feedback, students develop material for solo performance in any medium.  The class focuses on creation rather than production.  Prerequisites:  Some studio training required (dance, digital media, acting, sculpture...).  Submission of a resume (portfolio/video if available), interest statement and permission of course director.  Also available to MA/PhD students in Theatre and Performance Studies.


THEA 5076 3.0: Solo Performance Production: Staging and Production for Solo Performance in any Medium

Production of a solo performance in any medium.  The student is mentored while creating a 'mood-board', a detailed budget, building/working with a support team, and producing previously devised or created material, with documentation.  Prerequisites: Some studio training required (dance, digital media, acting, sculpture...).  Submission of material ready for production/performance and permission of the course director required (can be developed in THEA 5075 3.0)

THEA 5111 3.0: Sustainable Design in Performance.

Sustainable Design in Performance prepares students to tackle issues of sustainability in theatrical and related artistic practice.  Students will build their literacy in contemporary sustainable thinking, environmental/climate issues, emerging models of creations, pedagogy, and community stakeholder engagement through a combination of research, modeling and field work as strategic change agents in professional settings.

THEA 5210 3.0: Graduate Research Seminar.

An examination of the major theories of theatre and their evolution in the last half of the twentieth century.

THEA 5221 3.0: The Interactive Stage: Explorations in Electronically Mediated Performances

 This course explores the creation of interactive stage environments for live performance.  Students investigate various strategies whereby on-stage 'events' (physical, vocal, physiological, etc.) manipulate audio, video and/or lighting events.  Students are introduced to dedicated interactive and show control software, and become adept at programming interactive environments.  Prerequisite: Fine Arts Cultural Studies 2936; Dance 3220; Dance 4220 or equivalent, or permission from the instructor.

THEA 5400 3.0: Historical Sources for Designers and Directors

This is a survey course relating the architecture, art, clothing, interior design, and furnishings of world civilization to the theatre.  The course also touches on the visual aspects of the theatrical styles of various periods.  Required of all design and directing students.

THEA 5412 6.0: Graduate One Directing and Design

An opportunity for directing students and design students to develop skills in the evolution of ideas towards the producing and designing of theatre pieces.

Summer Research Project

A Summer Research Project is a required component for each of the existing fields in the MFA program in Theatre. This requirement will extend to the proposed Ecological Design for Performing Arts field. The proposal for the Summer Research Project has to be submitted to the Graduate Program Director and Design Instructor. Students are required to research and develop ecological practices for design in theatre, whether sets, costumes, or sound and lighting. Design students are challenged to respect the creative and innovative processes as an important component in all stages of the design regardless of the medium. A research paper will be the end result and can be the basis of the sustainable technology of their thesis project.

Courses Offered in the Second year of Study

Performance / Directing / Design

THEA 5077 Performance Creation III.

This course is designed to support artists in the process of learning to create their own performance material from generation to structuring work in the artists medium(s) and expanding their vision beyond their typical medium. It covers both practical and artistic challenges in the process as well as principles of composition in time and space. The course also addresses broad issues related to sustainability in the current arts ecology. The class is lead through specific structured sourcing exercises and then the students present work for feedback from the group and the instructor. The student work on their own independent 10+ minute piece for a final presentation. This class can encompass any artistic medium (dance, installation, digital media, theatre, music, live art…). Although presentation of material is a part of the class, the class focuses on creation rather than performance. 5078 is designed to follow this class in second term and take the work created in 5077 into an actual production.

THEA 5078 3.0 Producing Independent Performance.

Business related aspects of producing independent performance work in any medium. People will continue to show material created in previous classes but course material will focus on business versus artistic elements of the industry; grant writing, budgeting, press materials, pitching, promo kits, documentation, touring, tech riders, fundraising and producing - all focused on their own devised or created material.                                                                                                                            Prerequisites: THEA 5075 3.0 OR 5077 3.0

THEA 6042 6.0: Graduate Two Directing.

The main focus in the second year is a series of directing exercise productions.
Prerequisite: THEA 5040 3.0/5041 3.0: Graduate One Directing or permission of the course director.

THEA 6075 3.0 Graduate Two Practicum.

Intended for the final-year students of Acting, Performance/Creation or Directing in the MFA Theatre Program working on mounted department or devised productions in the Winter term. This course offers students an opportunity to intensively develop and perfect advanced skills in the creation of a theatrical performance.

THEA 6413 3.0 Graduate Two Design for Performing Arts.

Students will research, design, and present a project that will cross the boundaries between theatre, fine art, film, architecture, and other medium. This course will emphasize the importance of visual arts in a modern society.  As part of the contemporary approach to performing design, students will incorporate sustainability of alternative spaces and elements of production.

In addition, as a Graduate Student, you are able to take any course offered at York University (pending the approval of the instructor). Please contact for the appropriate paperwork.

To overview the courses offered, please visit:

Courses Website

Thesis Project and Oral Defense

Please visit the handbook for guidelines:

MFA Handbook 2019-2020