Program Overview | College of Arts

Program Overview

Theatre Studies Areas of Research / Graduate Courses

Students take five courses, including two mandatory courses and three elective courses.  The required courses include i) THST*6220 Theatre Theory, which provides a context for the discipline and establishes a consistent discourse for students working in the program; and ii) THST*6150 Theatre Historiography, a course that introduces students to the theory and practice of theatre-historical analysis, situating selected aspects of theatre history as a practice and an institution, providing opportunities for students to pursue in depth an area of specialized research.

Elective courses are subject to the special interests of faculty research and practice; these courses will rotate regularly among core faculty.  For their electives students may take any graduate course offered in English or Theatre Studies, and may apply to take graduate courses in other programs.  Prospective students are encouraged to become familiar with current offerings.

The theatre archives at Guelph constitute the largest collection in Canada, with particular strengths in Ontario theatre and materials relating to Bernard Shaw. Three major journals are edited Guelph, providing opportunities for editorial assistantships. Students have opportunities to gain teaching experience by appointment to graduate teaching assistantships, or to graduate research assistantships connected to faculty research projects.

Some recent course offerings include:

* Historiographies of Canadian Theatre Research
* Communication of meaning in performance through design and staging
* Critical media literacy
* An Introduction to Editing Early Modern Texts
* Performance, Enactment and Re-enactment
* English Theatre & National Security in the 16th & 17th Centuries
* Drama and Canadian Identity
* Theorizing Shakespearean Adaptations
* Theatrical Radicalism: Political Intervention Theatre
* Canadian Intercultural Theatre Studies
* Performing the Body – Science/Sex/Culture
* The Politic of the Cross-Dressed Body
* Early Modern Bodies
* The Semiotics of Drama and Theatre
* Ben Jonson Now
* Crescent and Cross:  Fantasy, Islamaphobia, Empire
* Exploring the Formal Properties of Theatrical Innovation

Semester System

Guelph’s academic year is divided into three 12-week semesters. The Fall Semester begins in September and ends in mid-December; the Winter semester begins in January and ends in mid-April; the Summer Semester begins in May and ends in mid-August. Students are expected to register in each consecutive semester until degree requirements are completed. Students who wish not to register for a particular semester are required to apply for a leave of absence.

Length of Program

The Theatre Studies MA Program is designed to allow for completion in one academic year (three consecutive semesters), however, some students require four or five semesters in order to complete all degree requirements.

Pathways Through the Program: Thesis or Coursework/Major Research Paper (MRP)

Students may choose between two options for completion of degree requirements:

  1. Course-Work Option (MA.THST:L): five courses (5 X 0.50 credits) plus THST*6500 Research Paper or THST*6280 Independent Reading Course.  Of the five courses, two are required (THST*6150 and THST*6220, both are offered in the Fall Semester).  In addition, two of the remaining three courses must have THST prefixes. 

      2. Thesis Option (MA.THST): three courses (3 X 0.50 credits) plus an original research-based thesis (approx. 20,000 to 25,000 words).  Of the three courses, two are required:  THST*6150 and THST*6220 (both are offered in the Fall 

Creative Writing Option: both the Research Paper and the Thesis may, with approval, and contingent on faculty availability, be completed as exercises in creative writing.

Internship Opportunities

All students may apply to the Graduate Studies Committee to include an internship as part of their program as a course, or as a component of the Major Research Paper or thesis.  Internships are not guaranteed, and it is the responsibility of students to make arrangements with their hosts and submit a thorough application, including a clear statement of how the internship articulates and supports their program of research.

Library Resources

The University of Guelph’s library resources are remarkable for all aspects of the study of drama and theatre, and particularly for archival and special collections in Canadian Theatre, theatre and performance history, theatre festivals, and individual authors.  Applicants who wish to work with these collections are especially welcome.