Theatre

Practicums

What is a Practicum?

Practicum courses provide students with the opportunity to earn university credit for acting in or working backstage on 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. The course numbers for practicums are THEA 299, 399, 499, 290, and 295.

Why take a Practicum?

  • 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 earn 1-4 university credits by taking a practicum
    • The Theatre Major,  Diploma, and Associate of Arts all require students to take THEA 299

How to Enroll?

Students 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 throughout the year, so check the Auditions page for upcoming dates. Students wanting to work backstage should contact the Production Coordinator.

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 always on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, and on Sunday afternoons and/or evenings. Seasoned theatre students know to keep their schedules free to be available for all rehearsal and show dates.

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 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 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

We offer five practicum courses.

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 many Theatre programs.

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, dramaturging, or assistant directing.
  • These courses require students to conduct research and to complete substantial written assignments.

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. 

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