Master’s in Drama in Canada

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Students who aim to work in the theatre arts may want to consider being part of a Master’s in Drama program. In Canada, there are many different postgraduate degree opportunities for those interested in this field. This is a degree geared towards individuals who strive to be actors, directors or playwrights. Most students pursuing advanced studies in drama have a background in theatre and a college degree.

What Is a Master’s in Drama?

A Master’s in Drama degree is a way for students interested in the dramatic arts to gain additional knowledge and practise in the field. Drama studies include analysing and reading plays, performing as actors, set design, visuals and lighting, audio performance and directing. Additional topics of study may include other work behind the scenes like costume design or makeup application. A graduate program often goes beyond what a Bachelor’s course of study covers and involves deeper explorations into the subject. Students may work in a combination of settings in a drama program, such as on stage, behind the scenes and inside the classroom. Programs in Canada that provide graduate studies in drama are the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and York University.

Students may graduate after two or three years of full-time studying in a Master’s in Drama program. They may be required to be part of several different stage productions and take on different roles within the theatre. Depending on their career plans, students may additionally focus their studies on a specific path in the dramatic arts, such as director, actor, crew or playwright. Examples of course topics include:

  • Acting and Movement: Students can get training in the various techniques of voice direction, acting and movement. Different methods of characterisation for the screen and stage may be explored.
  • Costume Design: Students interested in this role learn about the history of clothing. They may also explore costume design methods and go through the steps of creating a costume for performance.
  • Set Design: The role of props, stage lighting, audio and stage direction may be discussed within this important aspect of theatre.  
  • Performance Direction: Those who aspire to direct may learn about the ways to get actors, crew and writers working towards the same performance goal.
  • Performance: During the program, students are usually expected to participate in various performances on the stage to demonstrate mastery of skills.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Drama in Canada?

Students can benefit from getting a Master’s in Drama because this type of program offers even more performance opportunity. With more time on the stage, students gain the knowledge and skills to prepare them for a successful career within the theatre. Being part of a theatre production can be a thrilling and rewarding experience as well. Additionally, studying in the dramatic arts can help fine tune your verbal and written communication skills for your future endeavours. You can also get an advantage with advanced study showing future employers your commitment to the industry.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Drama?

Most graduates hope to enter the competitive world of entertainment with a Master’s in Drama degree. Some graduates stay in the academic setting or move on to the education industry. If a career in entertainment is not possible or desired, there are plenty of other fields that can utilise your performance or directing skills.

Your Master’s in Drama degree may help you most if you focused your study. Finding work as an actor, either in film, television or on the stage, may be more feasible if you spent time honing your acting skills. If you worked on developing your playwriting skills, you may be able to secure a position as a screenwriter or teleplay writer. Those who worked behind the scenes during their coursework can get hired as part of a stage, film or television crew. Directors may find work on the stage or on the screen. Some directors decide to focus their efforts on independent features and work as freelancers. If you want to switch gears a little, you could get work in a foundation that provides dramatic outreach to young people. Another popular path is to be a theatre arts teacher or English instructor.

If theatre is what drives your passion, a Master’s in Drama may be a good fit. Find what you are looking for with some top programs in theatre that are located in Canada.