The best way to learn about theatre is to do it...

First year Drama students at Bishop’s University, get involved in plays from the beginning.

The department of Drama offers a program balanced between practical theatre and academic study of dramatic literature and theatre history. Our aim is to permit undergraduates to explore the subject as a liberal arts discipline and prepare them for graduate, professional, and conservatory schools.

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The department offers Major and Honours programs designed to expose students to all facets of theatre practice and study as well as provide them with the flexibility to orient their program towards a particular field of study: Dramatic Literature and Theatre History, Performance (acting, directing, and playwriting), and Production (technical, stage management, and design).

Program strengths

  • A 6 production season in 2 performance spaces
  • Committed Faculty with significant professional experience
  • Visiting artist program
  • 2 Student Festivals each year (New Plays and Theatre Activ)
  • Countless opportunities for involvement, backstage and onstage.

Popular courses

  • Concentration in performance with 3 levels of Acting followed by 3 full productions
  • 2 levels of Playwrighting and Directing
  • Senior seminar courses ie: Topics in Shakespeare, Contemporary Theatre Practice, and more !

Did you know ?

  • Student playwrights have the opportunity to see their scripts staged and student directors put theory into practice during our annual TheatreActiv student festival and bi-annual New Plays festival.
  • The New Plays Festival not only provides student writers with an opportunity to showcase their work, but also gives first year students the chance to become involved in a play almost immediately upon arrival at Bishop’s.

Where can this lead me?

Our graduates are involved in many careers, such as:

  • Directing, producing
  • Stage and studio management
  • Set design
  • Dance/choreography
  • Broadcasting
  • Performing artists

The Kotler Fund

Through the generous support of our alumni, Bishop’s Drama offers a wide variety of program enrichment activities.

In 1995 the family of independent filmmaker, Beth Kotler, (BA ’95, Drama Honours) generously donated $5,000 to the Drama Department. The interest generated from this fund helps to defray some of the expenses for students to see professional productions, attend special events or leave campus to do research related to production work.

The Drama Department invites other graduates of the program or friends of Bishop’s to make donations to the Kotler Fund so that the Department can continue to augment and develop its program to best meet the needs and interests of students. Such new contributions would not only enable the Department to increase the number of students able to go on these field trips, but also help the Department sponsor much-needed specialized workshops, professional development seminars or other worthy projects.

Anyone interested in supporting these causes or requiring further details about the Kotler Fund and development projects can contact:

Dr. Rebecca Harries
Email: rharries@ubishops.ca,
Phone: 819-822-9600 ext. 2386

Dakota Wellman
Drama alumnus, Dakota Wellman, wins the META award for Outstanding Emerging Artist.

Courses & Programs

New Concentration in Musical Theatre

Student Reps of 2019-2020

Jessica Bournival and Maria ClavelliHello! We’re Jessica Bournival and María Clavelli, your Drama Student Reps of 2019-2020. We’re incredibly excited to represent the students of Bishop’s University Drama this year. A creative, hard-working and social environment, we want to welcome all perspective students to the Drama life on campus. If you have any questions regarding the productions, classes, clubs etc. Don’t hesitate to contact us at budd@ubishops.ca.

Featured Drama Graduate

Helen MonroeHelen Monroe

Helen Monroe is a director, producer and theatre artist who recently moved to Boston to complete a Masters in Theatre Education at Emerson College and work as a managing editor for a theatre newspaper. She started at Bishop’s University in 2009 as a drama student, where she worked on many productions as an actor and director, coordinated student festivals and worked in the costume shop. Her favourite project was her Honours thesis production of a Sam Shepard play. She graduated in 2013 with an honours BA in Drama and a creative writing minor. After graduating, she moved to Toronto and has been working in the Canadian theatre industry for companies like Tarragon Theatre, Appledor Productions, Jewel Weed Theatre Company and Theatre Gargantua. Her focus has been on the development of new Canadian plays and she has spearheaded and collaborated on over thirty new works and adaptations. She recently completed a residency in direction at Tarragon Theatre in collaboration with Richard Rose, Andrea Donaldson, and Esther Jun. As a producer and dramaturg she helps emerging companies and artists find their voice within the Canadian theatre landscape and beyond.

Guest Director

Gabrielle HouleGabrielle Houle, Ph.D.

Gabrielle Houle is a multilingual artist, educator, and theatre scholar specialized in the recent staging history of the Commedia dell’Arte, masked performance, movement for actors, oral history of performance, and the creation of masks. She holds a Ph.D. in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Toronto. Gabrielle trained internationally as a physical performer and as a mask-maker with people such as sculptor Donato Sartori, Commedia specialist Antonio Fava, members of the Odin Teatret in Denmark, and artistic director of SITI Company (New York) Ellen Lauren. As an actor, Gabrielle performed in French, English, and Italian in Canada and in Europe. A mask-maker, she has designed masks for university programs, theatre and dance productions, and film. Since 2009, Gabrielle has taught a wide variety of theatre courses, given workshops, and directed plays in universities across Canada. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Lethbridge. Her scholarly work has been published in Theatre Research in Canada, Theatre History Studies, Canadian Theatre Review, Cuadernos de teatro (Universidad de Costa Rica), International Year of Astronomy 2009: Bringing Galileo to the World (Legas Press, 2015), and Futurist Dramaturgy and Performance (Legas Press, 2011). Her upcoming publication titled “Teaching Cycles REPÈRE: A Conversation with Jacques Lessard” will appear in the collection of essays Why Devise? (Intellect Books, publication date TBA). Gabrielle is thrilled to spend Fall 2019 at Bishop’s University, where she is directing Slave Island by Marivaux in a new English adaptation by Justin A. Blum.