Theatre & Performance Studies

Why study theatre at UTSC?

  • The Theatre and Performance Studies program combines the critical study of theatre with hands-on experiential training
  • Students learn about traditional theatre practices and look at other cultural practices through the lens of ‘performance’
  • The program includes courses in historical and contemporary Western and non-Western theatre traditions as well as practical courses focused on acting technique, on technical theatre, and on directing for the stage.
  • Taking advantage of its location in Toronto, the program frequently features theatre outings and professional artist talks, workshops and residencies
  • Some graduates of the TAPS program pursue careers as actors, technicians or arts administrators and others go on to use the skills they develop in careers outside the arts such as teaching, management or government.
  • Learn more by watching the videos on this page or browsing through the TAPS alumni page on Facebook: @UTSCtheatre
     

Faculty

Barry Freeman | Assistant Professor
barry.freeman@utoronto.ca | 416 287 7136 | HW 506

Trisha Lamie | Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
lamie@utsc.utoronto.ca | 416 208 4830 | HW 505

Paula Sperdakos | Associate Professor and Program Director
sperdakos@utsc.utoronto.ca | 416 287 7168 | HW 507

Kevin Wright | Lecturer 
wright@utsc.utoronto.ca | 416 287 7190 | SW 345A

Retired Faculty

Michal Schonberg | Professor Emeritus | schonberg@utsc.utoronto.ca

FAQ

What will my first year look like?

In your first year, you will take the VPDA10: Introduction to Theatre and VPDA11 Introduction to Performance classes. The A10 course provides a basic foundation in theatre history and terminology; the A11 course is an introductory studio course in which you will be doing monologues and scene work. If your schedule permits, you may take other courses in the program, such as the theatre history courses. You may also choose to audition for the annual faculty show (auditions for it are open to all students).

Will I need to audition to register in a TAPS program?

No, auditions are not required for entry into a TAPS program. Students intending to take a TAPS program should first take the VPDA10: Introduction to Theatre Performance course since it is a prerequisite for other classes. Admission from there to the next course in the program, VPDA11: Introduction to Performance, is based on achieving an adequate grade in the A10 course.

What are the requirements for the Major and Minor programs?

For the Major Program, students must complete 8.0 full credits and for the Minor Program, students must complete 4.0 full credits. For details, please see the Registrar’s Calendar.

I am not registered in a TAPS program but I love the theatre. What are my options for taking TAPS courses or participating in TAPS performances?

Some courses, such as those in theatre history, do not require you to have taken any other TAPS courses and can therefore be taken by anyone on campus. Also, as above, auditions for the annual faculty production are open to everyone. The campus also has a student-led ‘Drama Society’ and an Improv Troupe which puts on shows in the theatre throughout the year, although this activity is all extra-curricular and not for credit.

Is there a theatre at UTSC?

Yes. You can read more about the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre here.

Want to know more about the TAPS program?

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.
~ Oscar Wilde

Theatre and Performance Studies (TAPS) strives to illustrate Wilde daily, for theatre is above all a way of life and an approach to living. The first century Roman philosopher Seneca knew this well when he wrote "Life's like a play" and our program provides students with opportunities to investigate all aspects of theatre and performance, from theatre's origins in antiquity to contemporary performance practices. We draw together three groups: students who major or minor in TAPS, those who specialize in other aspects of the Visual and Performing Arts, and students from other programs and majors who have a casual interest in theatre and performance. To address the needs of our diverse student body we offer courses in the history of theatre and performance as well as contemporary theory based and practical courses. Our students gain an intellectual and critical grounding in theatre and performance while also acquiring experience in the elements of theatre production as actors, directors, and technicians.

The program benefits from ongoing connections to Toronto’s vibrant arts scene. Field trips, guest lectures, workshops, and unique collaborations with working artists provide students with new knowledge and skills and exposure to working professionals in the field. In the 2011-2012 academic year, guest lectures included internationally renowned avant-garde performance artist Jess Dobkin and Dora and Gemini award-winning playwright and actor Rick Miller. An ongoing collaboration with the dynamic community arts collective Jumblies Theatre included a workshop and a student placement within its December 2011 production, Like an Old Tale. The TAPS program also has a history of international exchange. The Prague-Toronto-Manitoulin Theatre Project, co-founded in 1998 by Professor Emeritus Michal Schonberg was a theatrical collaboration with a company in Prague, Czech Republic and the First Nations De-Ba-Jeh-Mu-Jig Theatre Company based in Wikwemikong, Ontario. New international connections are currently being forged to continue the valuable legacy of this exceptional experiential education project.

As Shakespeare said: "All the world's a stage." Come and take your place upon it!

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Should you have any questions regarding the Theatre & Performance Studies program at the University of Toronto Scarborough, please send an e-mail to Prof. Paula Sperdakos, the TAPS Program Director.

How do I apply to this program?

To find this program on the OUAC website, search under University of Toronto Scarborough (found under the University of Toronto entry) under the category "Visual and Performing Arts, Arts Management & Media" (program code TUC); you will then be able to choose this program under the 'Subject of Major Interest' drop-down menu.