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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University
students during performance

Theatre Arts Major, Bachelor of Arts

From script to stage, direct the scene and develop an effective voice, reaching your audience and beyond.

Get creative coordinating technical theatre elements such as lighting, sound, costumes, props and sets. In this progressive program, learn and practice the role of the director in a formal rehearsal setting.

For more than 25 years, we’ve offered a full range of university-level theatre arts courses where imagination, creativity, collaboration and discipline come together. Hone your production, design and acting skills through comedies, tragedies, serious scripts and fun monologues.

Push yourself, into the performance spotlight or behind the scenes. You’ll develop into an accomplished director, actor, set designer, stage lighter—through the challenging yet rewarding Theatre Arts course options. Our curriculum is a training ground for you to thrive in the many facets that modern theatre and live performance take on today.

Why pursue Theatre Arts at TRU?

From first to fourth year levels, directing, theatre history and technical theatre courses offer you a full range of options linked to both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees. In addition, you can acquire credit through participation and performance in several major, high-calibre productions staged by our department each year.

Set the stage and find your voice

  • Learn from accomplished industry professionals, with hands-on training
  • Direct a one-act play for the Directors Festival
  • Through performance, examine classic scripts and the eras in which they were written
  • Comprehensively study select styles of acting from significant periods in history
  • Learn how to present character portrayals from contemporary and historical theatre

Be the protagonist in this supportive community

By participating in workshops, seminars and rehearsals you’ll engage with other creative artists and passionate performers, fast-tracking growth, sharing in inspiration and complementing development. Share ideas, constructive criticism and camaraderie among classmates.

Actor student with sword

When the curtain drops, TRU actors transform themselves and lead audiences through epics of history and happiness, tales of love and agony. It all comes alive because of the talented performers, producers, directors and technicians in this program that was established close to three decades ago.

From movement, to voice and improvisation

Enhance your understanding and appreciation of today's theatre. You’ll read contemporary scripts selected from the current season of Western Canada Theatre and Actors Workshop Theatre, watch film versions of plays and attend live theatre performances.

Explore the theatrical process of acting, playwriting, directing and designing. You’ll discuss theatre history, theory and criticism.

Take your education to centre stage

  • Learn from a faculty of accomplished actors, directors and playwrights
  • Explore a wide range of acting techniques
  • Perform in full-scale theatrical productions staged in the TRU Actors Workshop Theatre
  • Train in voice, movement, improvisation, stage combat (including sword-fighting), dance, and acting for live audiences
  • Become both an actor and creator who can contribute to an artistic production on several levels
Theatre Arts Major

You’re normally expected to enter the major program in your third year of studies. All candidates must meet with the major’s advisor to verify their qualifications and then design the best-suited path for completing the BA degree, and to discuss the various theatre courses options available. The admission requirements into the Theatre Arts major program requires the completion of:

54 total theatre credits and all other general requirements of the arts degree (120 credits total).

A minimum of 24 credits (eight courses) in first and second year including:

  • THTR 1100 & 1200 Intro to Theatre I & II, the past and practice of
  • THTR 1110 & 1210 Intro to Acting I & II, fundamental performance
  • THTR 2120 & 2220 Intro to Technical Theatre I & II, backstage practice
  • THTR 2110 & 2210 Acting & Character Portrayal I & II, intermediate performance

And at least 30 credits (10 courses) in third and fourth year with six credits at 4000 level.

Theatre Arts Minor

36 total theatre credits and all other general requirements of the degree.

All students take THTR 1100 and 1200, THTR 1110 and 1210, THTR 2110 and 2210, plus a minimum of 18 credits (six courses) in third and fourth year.

Theatre Arts Concentration

30 to 36 total theatre credits (10 to 12 courses), including 12 to 18 (four to six courses) in first and second year, 18 to 24 credits (six to eight courses) in third and fourth year, and all other general requirements of the degree.

Theatre Arts Program, Bachelor of Arts Requirements

Please visit Theatre Arts Program: Year by Year for information about which courses are typically taken at each year of study or for the full list of courses offered.

Apply to Bachelor of Arts

  • Grade 12 (or equivalent) or mature student status
  • English Studies 12/English First Peoples 12 with a minimum of 73% (or equivalent)

Admission to each major program may have specific requirements.

Recommended: Foundations of Mathematics 11 or higher is strongly recommended for students pursuing Education or a major in Geography and Environmental Studies, Sociology or Psychology

Career Options / Laddering options

Your career in theatre, rehearsal to real life

You can apply your theatre arts education to a diverse set of productions and career opportunities.

Depending on the level of work you achieve and your previous education and experience, pursue a range of options including:

  • Actor
  • Announcer
  • Art Director
  • Production Assistant
  • Director
  • Stage Manager
  • Technical Director
  • Set Designer
  • Costume Designer
  • Lighting Technician
  • Sound Designer
  • Scenic Artist
  • Special Effects Technician
  • Rigger
  • Casting Director
  • Editor
  • Playwright
  • Production Carpenter/Woodworker
  • Interviewer
  • TV/Radio Reporter, Host or Personality
  • Extra
  • Voice Over Artist
  • Comedian
  • Stunt person
  • Audio-Visual Technician

Build on your experience during your time at TRU, in preparation for laddering into post-baccalaureate or masters programs and applying for varied career opportunities. Your education in theatre arts can open up a number of career opportunities, from lead role and script writer to set painting and sound design. Other career choices include anything related to public speaking, television, hosting, art directing and much more.

Where the bright lights shine

The skills acquired in theatre arts lead to many allied areas of industry. In addition to the stage, graduates find work in television, video production, cinema, on cruise ships, advertising, retail and marketing activations and with major design companies. Graduates can also continue their education with the goal to teach theatre at elementary, high school and college levels.

“My favourite part about TRU was finding a community that taught me to be confident and encouraged my talents to grow while also having fun!”

—Lizzy King, 2018 Graduate, Bachelor of Arts, Theatre Arts major

“Theatre really helped me come out of my shell, I’d recommend taking acting classes to help with public speaking, presentations and improving your overall self confidence in front of an audience or crowd.”

— Berlin Jr Msiska, Computer Science major, theatre Arts minor

“My time at the Actors Workshop Theatre was extremely informative and has shaped the rest of my career as a theatre artist because it provided such a deep and well-rounded education that spanned multiple disciplines including performing, writing, technical theatre, directing, dramaturgy, musical theatre, and so much more.”

—Andrew G Cooper, 2014 Graduate, Bachelor of Arts, Theatre Arts major, English minor

“Taking classes and doing shows with the theatre program at TRU has provided me with so many opportunities that have deepened my appreciation for the art, honed my skills and allowed me to experiment with new ideas in a way that I never expected it would.”

—Rem Murray, Theatre Arts major

“Through performance, you develop a better sense of your body, mind and spirit—as well as a sense of self-awareness and expression.”

—Kennedy Aberdeen, Accounting major, Theatre Arts minor

Acting Students Acting Students Acting Students Acting Students Acting Students Acting Students

“I love teaching because we get to make play into work, and work into play. My advice to students is to rehearse like it's never been perfect, perform like it always has.”

—Wesley Eccleston

More at theatre faculty.

TRU Faculty of Arts– Research Spotlight

“I want to introduce my students to good theatre, at least what’s good in my opinion- that’s theatre that’s challenging, theatrical, interesting and actually explores ideas,” explains Nichol. “It’s not predictable or stereotypical. It introduces us to characters and voices we haven’t heard before.”

Staging practice – a spotlight on the study of dramatic composition
Robin Nichol, MFA

“What I love about teaching are the students. Seeing them grow. Seeing the light bulb go on when something really lands. Hearing them talk easily about concepts they couldn't wrap their heads around last year.”

—Robin Nichol

More at theatre faculty.

Program Details

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Theatre Arts
Four years
Intake dates
September, January, May
Now accepting applications
Open to international applicants

Apply now Request more info Visit the program website Print this page


Admission requirements

Faculty Highlights

Tuition & Fees

Cost for this program per semester:

  • Canadian
  • International
Choose the number of courses:
Tuition $0.00
Fees $0.00
Books and supplies
Typically about $150 per course
Total (CDN) $0.00

Does not include a lab fee of $23.03 that may apply to some courses.

These are only estimates - your actual cost may vary.

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