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York University’s MFA in Theatre is a five-semester program. The training is rigorous and designed to meet the needs of artists—in some cases emerging, and in others more advanced- seeking to investigate the essential questions of theatre.

The MFA in Theatre is the terminal degree in its field, and at York we offer concentrations in Performance/Creation, Design, and Directing. The two years are extremely intense. Classes are small, hours are long, and the expectations from the faculty are high. Graduates from the program work in every aspect of the performing arts in Canada, the United States, and internationally.

One of the central educational goals of the Theatre Department is to produce socially-conscious artists — artists who are aware of and capable of participating in challenging dialogues about social injustice and inequality. This means that our courses, public events, and productions often grapple with difficult subject matter, including sex, violence, terror, and illness (among other topics). While these presentations will no doubt provoke strong emotions and cause discomfort, we feel that the diverse experiences they promote are also essential to the development of our students’ critical faculties, empathy, and understanding of the world. Rather than warning our students in advance about every potentially uncomfortable topic that they might encounter in the course of their studies, we instead encourage students to meet them head-on in the classroom, in rehearsals, and in performances, and to engage in civil and compassionate debate about the possibilities and effects of staging difficult knowledge. If you require an accommodation related to your p

10 Reasons to Come

Ten Reasons to Come to York for your MFA in Theatre

Since 1980, York’s Graduate Program in Theatre has been training actors and directors at the highest level for the profession of theatre;

York offers MFA programs in Performance, Directing and Design. With the only Graduate Acting program in the country, and with remarkable opportunities for graduate directors to work with seasoned graduate actors, York offers a unique training sequence for serious artists;

Collectively, our faculty and staff have written, produced, directed, performed, coached, and otherwise created hundreds of plays and films; their work has appeared on stages and been screened at festivals, in theatres and cinemas in Toronto and around the world, from New York to Vancouver, London to Boston, China to Poland;

Our former students have gone on to successful careers as actors, directors, playwrights, producers, professors and creators for theatre, film and television in Canada, the US and abroad;

Toronto is the theatre capital of Canada and a major player in North American theatre and film. Leading theatre companies in the city include: Buddies in Bad TimesCanadian StageCrow's TheatreFactory TheatreModern Times Stage CompanyNecessary AngelNightwood TheateObsidian TheatreRed Sky PerformanceSoulpepperTarragonThe Theatre CentreTheatre Passe Muraille, Theatre Smith-Gilmour and Volcano Theatre.
There are also many opportunities to create work through the annual Toronto Fringe FestivalSummerWorks, and Buddies in Bad Times' Hysteria and Rhubarb festivals, to name just four. The Luminato Festival of Arts + Creativity and Harbourfront Centre's World Stage bring outstanding contemporary Canadian and international productions to Toronto audiences each year. The Toronto International Film Festival and dozens of smaller film festivals light up the city's cinema screens every year;

We have great facilities in York. The cutting-edge Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre in the Accolade East Building offers students the opportunity to work on a full-scale, professional proscenium stage. The black-box Joseph G. Green Studio Theatre and Robert & Julia Foster Acting Studio give graduate directors and actors a wide range of environments in which to work, mirroring the variety of venues you are likely to encounter in the profession. Eight studio spaces house our classwork and unmounted productions. These performance facilities are supported by a full roster of professional production facilities including wardrobe and carpentry shops, as well as stage design studios. With one of the largest collections of films, videos, and DVDs in the country, York’s Sound & Moving Images Library is an invaluable resource for all Theatre students;

York University and the Graduate Program in Theatre are strongly committed to providing the necessary support for our students, with a range of generous admission scholarships and awards and assistance for continuing students. Our graduate assistants and teaching assistants are the best paid in the country. With regular feedback sessions through directing faculty-student conferences held each semester, and one-on-one support from their thesis advisors, students always know where they are in their journey;

With Toronto's diversity and vibrant neighbourhoods, there's a lot to be said about the city.  Toronto is home to more than 100 cultures.  With a population of more than 2.8 million ( 5.5 million in the Greater Toronto Area), Toronto is Canada's largest city and the fourth largest city in North America, after Mexico City, New York, and Los Angeles. One-quarter of Canada's population is located within 160 km (100 mi.) of Toronto;

Each year Theatre @ York presents a season of plays drawn from the contemporary and classical repertoire. Toronto and Canadian premieres are frequently found on the playbill, which ranges from challenging new North American works to enduring masterpieces of dramatic literature. Productions showcase the talents of students in our undergraduate and graduate programs.

By limiting enrollment to a select few each year, we ensure that our students are among the most creative, professional and dedicated in Canada. Student work is of the highest calibre and has gone on to be produced, screened or published outside the university, both before and after graduation. Many of our alumni have gone on to teach at colleges, universities and conservatories across Canada and the US.

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Theatre at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.