Master of Fine Arts, Directing for the Theatre

Additional information


Admission requirements

How to apply

Applicants to the program are required to have an honours baccalaureate in theatre, or the equivalent, with a minimum average of 75% (B+) in their last two years of study and an overall average of at least 70% (B).

Program requirements

To be eligible, the candidate should have:

  • a solid background in dramatic literature, theory and the history of the theatre;
  • knowledge about the operation of the theatre, including an understanding about the basic techniques of acting, production and theatre administration;
  • experience, talent and an obvious aptitude for theatre directing;
  • some theatre experience outside the university environment;
  • proficiency in one of the two official languages and at least a basic knowledge about the other language; basic knowledge implies the ability to follow courses in both official languages, and to appreciate the English and French theatrical traditions, culture and practice.

Nota: In compliance with University of Ottawa policy, students may choose to do production work, and to write assignments and examinations in either English or French.

Degree requirements

The program combines directing seminars and practical production courses in which students direct a series of problem-scenes and plays with the guidance of professors and working professionals, and two core courses. Students will undertake a practicum in which they will observe a senior director mount a production in a professional theatre.

A total of 39 course credits are required.

  • Production courses (18 credits)
  • Graduate directing seminar (12 credits)
  • Core Courses THE5130 and THE5140 (6 credits)
  • Directing practicum (3 credits)

Students must pass a diagnostic examination upon entry into the program. The program must be completed in two years (five sessions of full time registration). The students register for the fifth session in the second year in order to complete their post-production analysis (THE 6001), the directing practicum (THE 6901) and write their comprehensive exams.

The minimum passing grade in all courses is C+. A student who receives two failing grades (equivalent to six credits), or who fails the same course twice, is required to withdraw.

The program is governed by the general regulations of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Documents required for admission

The following documents are required for admission:

  • the official University of Ottawa application for admission - graduate studies form;
  • a detailed up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  • an undergraduate transcript;
  • A letter of intent by the applicant (three pages maximum) outlining why he or she wishes to pursue graduate study in directing at the University of Ottawa ;
  • three letters of reference, including:
    • at least one from a professor familiar with the applicant's undergraduate work.
    • at least one from a person active in theatre outside a university setting.

After an initial selection process, the candidates whose applications have been retained will be requested to submit a dossier detailing their directorial work on a recent production. The dossier should include, at least:

  • the text of the play as it was performed;
  • a detailed written account of the applicant's directorial vision of the play and how that vision was carried out;
  • copies of newspaper, radio or television reviews, if they exist;
  • some visual documentation of the production;
  • a self-evaluation of the process and the performance.

These documents must be sent to the following address:
Office of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts, c/o Graduate Programs - Theatre
55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 8159
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1N 6N5

Based upon all documentation submitted to this point, a second selection will be made. Applicants remaining on the short list will be interviewed. The interview will include questions in both French and English. The interviewers will question candidates in detail about issues raised in their written submissions and will assess their communication skills and bilingualism. Following the interview, two candidates will be recommended for admission, and two or three will be placed on the waiting list.

Normal sequences for completion

  First year
Fall session
First year
Winter session
Second year
Fall session
Second year
Winter session
Second year
Exams and
Diagnostic examination
(before beginning of first session)
Final production proposal
(at end of second session)
THE 5952
(3 credits)
Formal pre-production analysis
Production courses THE 5901
(3 credits)
Production I
(Assigned problem-scenes and exercises)
THE 5902
(3 credits)
Production II
(One-act play)
THE 5903
(3 credits)
Production III
(One-act play)
THE 6001
(6 credits)
Final production
THE 6001
(Formal post-production analysis)
THE 6901(3 credits)
- Directing practicum
- Practicum report
Core courses THE 5130
(3 credits)
  THE 5140
(3 credits) 
Theory of Performance
Directing seminars THE 5931
(3 credits)
Graduate directing seminar I
THE 5932
(3 credits)
Graduate directing seminar II
THE 5933
(3 credits)
Graduate directing seminar III
THE 5934
(3 credits)
Graduate directing seminar IV
Total credits 18 credits 24 credits
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