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School of Creative Arts

Theatre and auditions

Practicum courses provide you with the opportunity to earn university credit for acting in or working backstage on UFV department theatre productions. Introductory backstage roles include set crew, running crew, dresser, lighting operator, sound operator, projections operator, or assistant stage manager. More advanced backstage roles include stage manager, assistant director, assistant designer, designer, or dramaturg.

Why take a theatre practicum course?

  • They are a fantastic way to get involved in the department and meet new people
  • You will learn a ton about theatre
  • They are a lot of fun
  • You will learn new skills
  • They help prepare you to apply for professional positions, and for working on theatre productions outside of UFV
  • Our programs require them — you'll earn 3-4 university credits by taking a practicum

Time commitment

Being involved in a show requires a high level of commitment and can, depending on a student’s role and responsibilities, involve a significant number of hours of work. Before you enroll in a practicum, you should carefully read the production schedule to ensure you are available whenever you’re required.


Acting in a play usually requires students to attend up to 4 rehearsals per week for 8-10 weeks, to be present for all technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances, and to spend time outside of rehearsal learning lines. Currently, our rehearsals are usually on weekday afternoons. Seasoned theatre students know to keep their schedules free to be available for all rehearsal and show dates.

Stage managers and assistant stage managers

Stage managers and assistant stage managers attend all rehearsals and production meetings. They are also expected to arrive early and stay late for all technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances.

Backstage roles

Backstage roles that are concentrated during the run of the show (set crew, running crew, dresser, lighting operator, sound operator, projections operator) require students to sit in on a few rehearsals and to attend all technical rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances.

Design and assistant design roles

Design and assistant design roles are often more flexible, as much of the work is done independently. In addition to the time spent working on the design, student designers and assistant designers are expected to attend some rehearsals and performances, all technical and dress rehearsals, and to be available to meet with other designers and the director outside of rehearsal times.

Course numbers

Currently, we offer six practicum courses.

THEA 290 and 295: Acting and Backstage Practicums

  • These one-credit practicums allow students to gain experience working backstage or acting.
  • Students cast in department productions will typically enrol in THEA 290 to receive credit for their work. 
  • Students can enrol in THEA 295 after completing all other practicum courses, to gain additional backstage or design experience, or can enrol in THEA 295 when they are new to theatre, to get a taste of working on a show. 

THEA 291: Acting in a Complex Role

  • This 3 credit course allows students to audition for, rehearse, and perform a complex role. 

THEA 299: Theatre Production Practicum

  • This practicum allows students to work backstage on a theatre department production, following their completion of THEA 121 and 123. 
  • THEA 299 includes instruction in communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and backstage safety, as well as production-specific training in a role, under the mentorship of experienced staff. 
  • THEA 299 is required for the Theatre Major, Theatre diploma, and the Associate of Arts degree

THEA 399: Intermediate Practicum in Theatre and THEA 499: Advanced Practicum in Theatre

  • These courses allow students to take on intermediate and advanced responsibilities, such as stage managing, assistant designing or designing, dramaturgy, or assistant directing.
  • These courses require students to conduct research and to complete substantial written assignments.

How to enroll?

You can enroll in practicum courses by auditioning for acting roles or by expressing interest in a backstage role to the production coordinator. Auditions take place in November for the winter production, so check the Auditions page for upcoming dates. Students wanting to work backstage should contact the Theatre Production Manager

UFV's Theatre department has been an amazing catalyst for growth. When I started in the theatre program, acting was my first love. But I got to try directing and designing, which now have an enormous place in my heart. Sometimes you don’t know what you love about theatre until you get the chance to try it — at UFV, anything is possible.

  • – Natasha Purnell
  •    UFV Theatre student