Looking for a little drama in your life? The Drama Department provides undergraduate and graduate education in a variety of subject areas. Delve into the world of acting. Tackle the challenges of directing. Hone the technical skills and artistry necessary to design scenery, costumes and lighting. Experience the rigor of stage management and technical production. The exhilaration of finely tuned stage combat. The collaborative spirit of playwriting. Or the invigorating calling of theatre research, history and criticism.
Our work generally helps students develop valuable skills in public speaking and presentation, independent research and analytical thought, as well as teaching, writing, editing and reading that serve the student well in any area of endeavor after graduation.
Regionally, our faculty and graduates have played a vital role in developing drama in the schools and communities of Saskatchewan while also helping to nurture Western Canada's exciting professional theatre scene. We've been the springboard for many talented actors, directors, designers, technicians, educators, historians, dramaturges and playwrights. Many -- including Frances Hyland, Eric Peterson, Tom Rooney and Kim Coates - have graced the most prominent national and international stages, and have made highly successful careers for themselves in the theatre and motion picture industry. Still others have gone on to pursue careers as scholar/practitioners at universities in Canada and abroad.
In addition to our BA and BFA programs, our special case Masters Program offers a unique opportunity for students to combine aspects of academic, performance and production work within the context of an individually-tailored programme of study. One that can either lead directly to related work in the field afterwards, or to opportunities for further academic or professional training elsewhere. Students are often drawn by the appeal of a higher degree that allows them the opportunity to both master the more traditional literary and aesthetic aspects of the discipline, and to expand the range of their technical skills by also applying that knowledge to practical production work in an experimental laboratory environment. Both forms of training are valuable at a time when flexibility and range of experience are important to anyone pursuing a career or vocation in the performing arts.
Regardless of the program you choose, the intimacy of our department guarantees the student both a high level of individual attention and considerable flexibility in tailoring the programme to your particular needs. While we cannot supply the same range of courses as a larger department, our faculty has a rich and varied expertise and training in the American, Canadian and European theatre. As such, we can---as academics and performing artists---offer a more tightly focused and tailored course of study to the mature, strongly self-motivated student with a clear sense of direction.
So whether if your goal is be an academic, teacher, theatre professional, or worker in the community theatre, the Drama Department can arm you with the skills, tools and life lessons to serve your needs!
History of the Department
The University of Saskatchewan Drama Department was established in 1945, making it the oldest degree-granting department of drama not only in Saskatchewan, not only in Canada, but also in the entire British Commonwealth.
Springing out of a visionary joint initiative by the province's university extension, community theatre and educational drama movements, the department has continued to serve the grassroots theatrical needs of Saskatchewan for over 65 years, while contributing to the larger national and international theatre scene.
As a pioneer in university theatre studies, our department served as a basic model for many other universities across the country. Its original BA, offering a degree combining the study of theatre history and literature with accredited expertise in acting and technical theatre, was unique in Canada at the time the programme was established. Since then, the department has expanded its offerings to include an Honours BA in Theatre History, and BFAs in acting and design, all distinguished by the same unique blend of a strong liberal arts academic training with a strong grounding in design, acting and directing.
Over the past sixty five years the department has presented close to 250 Mainstage productions, countless provincial touring productions, and literally thousands of student-generated shows---a record matched by few Drama Departments of our size in Canada.
The Department of Drama sees as its mission to:
- facilitate the development of articulate, visually and textually literate individuals with the analytical and technical skills to express their imaginative, creative vision in a theatrical milieu;
- promote a mutually advantageous relationship between department faculty, students, and the professional community;
- produce graduates who will use drama and theatre to foster educational, artistic, and community development and growth;
- serve the people of Saskatchewan by developing respect for theatre as an art form and by developing cultural awareness;
- promote the mandate of the University to function locally, nationally, and internationally as an instrument to disseminate new ideas as well as encourage tolerance and respect for cultural diversity; and
- broaden the public's perspectives on the world.