Theatre & Performance Studies

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The Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies offers two degrees, an MA and PhD, both of which emphasize our collective interest in theatre, performance, and cultural politics.

For us, this means teaching classes that explore performance both onstage and in everyday life in order to highlight the cultural, political, material, and ideological dimensions of performance practices, both past and present. Studying performances across a broad range of cultural contexts–in theatres, galleries, rituals, the media, the streets, the political arena, mass spectacles, interpersonal interactions, etc.–helps to capture performance’s potential to frame critically nuanced responses to public events, and thus to model politically and ethically engaged forms of public life.

Our areas of program specialization, which structure our curriculum and degree requirements, reflect this focus. They include:

These areas foreground the spirit of political inquiry and practice-based experimentation central to the particular faculty research projects and centres that are connected to our program, including the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography; Sensorium: Digital Arts and Technology Research; Future Cinema Lab, InTensions; and the Performance Studies (Canada) Project.

We encourage our students to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of theatre and performance by taking courses, and working closely with, supervisory faculty who come from diverse backgrounds in a range of disciplines including Theatre Studies, Performance Studies, Anthropology, Business, Cinema and Media Studies, Dance Studies, English, Environmental Studies, Humanities, Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies, Nursing, Sociology, and Visual Arts. Students also have ample opportunities to engage in performance practice through coursework, workshops, and department activities. Please visit Performance Opportunities for more details.

We take seriously York’s commitment to forging a just and sustainable world through critical and artistic inquiry and encourage our students to do the same.

If you have questions about the Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies or the application process, please contact us.