Photos by Dahlia Katz
Training talented actors as the changemakers of the future.
As a student in Acting at The Creative School, one of Canada’s premier acting conservatory programs, you'll train alongside other talented actors from diverse backgrounds. We'll help you identify and develop your unique strengths and talents, and empower you to become your best self as an actor, artist and human. Through studio classes, live productions, and industry collaborations, you'll become a versatile and skilled performer. By studying in Toronto, a North American hot spot for theatre, television, and film production, you'll make connections and start building your professional network from day one.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Full time / 4 years
Build a robust set of performance skills, including: theatrical acting, performance creation, film acting, movement, voice, motion capture, and more.
Make professional connections by working with nationally-acclaimed guest directors and professional companies.
Learn about the business side of performance in lessons covering contracts, consent practices, unions, and agents.
Perform live in both original and contemporary productions.
Courses & Curriculum
In the first and second year of the program, students are introduced to the foundational concepts of theatre performance through movement, voice, intimacy training, stage combat training, scene study, and rehearsal projects. Students expand their understanding of the craft of acting by bringing their own unique artistry to the work and by thinking critically about the practice of performance. Celebrating the voice of each student is central to our training.
In the third and fourth year, students integrate their studio work by taking on roles in live performances for the public. They are also introduced to on-camera acting for film and television, motion capture, and voice-over training to expand their notions of performance. The opportunity to bridge to the profession is given by working with professional companies and by learning about the business of performance through professionally-related electives. For example, they can choose to focus on entrepreneurship to learn more about marketing, promotion, and new venture startups. Electives are also available in performance history, performance theory, Black creative expression, musical theatre, and more.
- THF 120 Music I: Introduction
- THF 121 Music I: Advanced Introduction
- THF 111 Creative Performance Studies I
- THF 112 Creative Performance Studies II
- THF 100 Anatomy of Movement and Lifestyle I
- THF 101 Elements of Production I
- THF 200 Timelines of Performance History I
- THF 201 Timelines of Performance History II
- Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.
Required Group 1
Two courses from the following, based on student's program:
- FPN 200 The Moving Image in Performance I
- THF 230 Music II: Introduction to Singing
- THF 231 Music II: Intermediate Singing
- THF 221 Creative Performance Studies III
- THF 222 Creative Performance Studies IV
- One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.
- One course from Table II.
Required Group 1
Three courses from the following:
- THF 331 Creative Performance Studies V
- THF 332 Creative Performance Studies VI
- THP 500 Conceiving the Production
- Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.
- Two courses from Table I.
- One course from Table II.
Required Group 1
Three courses from the following:
- One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.
- Two courses from Table I.
- Two courses from Table II.
Required Group 1
Two courses from the following:
The audition panel uses your written statements to learn more about you as an individual and gain a sense of who you are beyond your application, transcript, and audition. Each written statement should be 350 words or less, typed and in English. It must be your own original work. Please save all four written statements into ONE .pdf file.
Write a short (350 words or less) written response to each of these questions. You should have one statement per question:
- Tell us about who you are. How would your family, friends, and/or members of your community describe you?
- Why have you decided to become an actor and why do you think it’s necessary to perform in today’s world?
- In your opinion, what is the most important aspect of working in a group?
- Explain how you responded to a problem and/or an unfamiliar situation. What did you do, what was the outcome, and what did you learn from the experience?
Please list ONE private link (without a password) to a website (YouTube, Vimeo, personal site) that has your two monologue audition pieces and personal video. Please provide a link to your work in a .pdf file and upload this file (use these submission Instructions). Please ensure the link works and does not expire. Your application will not be considered if the link you provided does not work.
In one video you are to include Speech A, Speech B, and your personal video (see details below). Introduce each speech with your full name, pronouns if it is safe for you to do so, and age. Include the name of the play the speech is from, the writer of the speech, and the name of the character you are playing (if applicable).
- Background: If possible, choose a wide-open space that you can move around in for your speech. Some people find a neutral background useful.
- Lighting: Try to ensure that your face is well-lit with no stark contrast and dark shadows.
- Sound: Please check your digital recording to make sure that you can be heard.
- Size of shot (Please refrain from using close-up shots):
- Speech A: Use a full shot for your poetic speech.
- Speech B: Use a full or medium shot for your contemporary speech.
- Length: Your video should be no longer than five minutes. The panel may stop watching if your recording exceeds this time.
- Movement: We encourage you to use the full capacity of your body and to move freely within the architecture of your space when making your digital recordings.
Speech A – Poetic monologue (two minutes maximum)
The audition piece should be in poetic form using heightened language. This is a piece in which words are chosen for their sound and suggestive power as opposed to a naturalistic speech. While it need not be originally written in English, we ask that you perform an English translation for your poetic monologue. There is no boundary in time period, culture, or form (as long as it’s poetic) in which you choose this speech from. For example, Shakespeare, Tang Zianzu, Kate Tempest, Aleshea Harris, The Mahabharata, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Joseph A. Dandurand are all appropriate choices.
Speech B – Contemporary monologue (two minutes maximum)
The contemporary piece should provide a clear contrast to your poetic piece. It ideally uses naturalistic speech and was written after 1960.
Personal video (one minute)
A one minute video about something (other than acting) that you are especially passionate about. Consider why it is important to you and how it brings you joy. Record a snippet of a song you love, a rant about something you're passionate about, share a painting you made, a tour of your kitchen - anything that will better help us know YOU!
Select applicants will receive an invitation (by email) to participate in a Callback audition with other applicants to the program. The Callback will occur on campus. Please dress in athletic wear for movement and be prepared to stay for the entire day.
Applicants will be invited to a specific date and cannot choose which date they will attend.
- Friday, March 15, 2024 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Friday, March 22, 2024 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
In addition to repeating Speech B, we may also ask for a new speech and/or for you to memorize a short scene. There will also be classes/workshops for candidates to participate in, as well as a tour of the campus. Further details will be provided in the invitation email.
The Callback may include opportunities to get to know other applicants, faculty, and students currently in the program. You may work individually, in pairs, in groups, and as an ensemble for performance creation, group discussions and embodied sequences. The Callback will give you an opportunity to better understand our school and what to expect from our training.
Zoom or Google Meet Option
For those who live out of province, arrangements can be made to attend an online callback audition on Google Meet or Zoom. Further details will be provided in the callback invitation email.
The non-academic requirements assessment fee is $50 CDN and must be paid in order for your submission to be reviewed. Here’s how to pay:
Access your ChooseTMU Applicant Portal account (instructions to access the portal can be found below under Submission Instructions).
Click on the button to link to the eForms Centre.
Next, click on the eForms Center tile.
Then click on the Non-Academic Fee Form link.
Applicants are required to submit all components of their non-academic requirements via the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal. Due to the volume of applications received and our system performance, we strongly encourage you to submit your documents well in advance of the noted deadlines.
Here’s how to access your ChooseTMU Applicant Portal account:
- Get your TMU Student Number in the email acknowledgement of your application
- Activate your TMU Online Identity. Fill in the Activation Form on the Accounts website. When asked for your Student/Applicant ID, enter your nine-digit TMU Student Number. Keep a record of your user name and password
- 24 hours after activating your TMU Online Identity, visit the ChooseTMU Applicant Portal
If you are applying for readmission or reinstatement, you may not be required to submit non-academic requirements. You must inform Undergraduate Admissions of your intentions.
Contact ServiceHub at 416-979-5036 and ask to speak with the admissions officer by February 1, 2024, or 10 business days from your application submission date (whichever comes later).
Frequently Asked Questions
Our program offers students a generous syllabus stretching beyond the principal acting classes including specialized training in stage combat, intimacy, voiceover work, self-tapes, devised creation processes, and experience in motion capture technology.
Not only is our program an intersectional incubator for revolutionary upcoming voices, it also offers you the highest quality of individualized training that is all about “bringing yourself to your work.” Performance Acting at The Creative School does not compress students to fit into a one-size model; our training is flexible and malleates to best support the student, with a mission to unleash the exquisites of their full potential.
We encourage our students to focus on who they are, not who they wish they were. We see beauty in the differences in personality, skill, and passion; we are interested in our students as people, not only as artists. We want to bring together a harmony of diverse individuals into a space where they can focus on what value they bring, rather than what they lack. Our program prepares students to find power in their own voice, so they can shine with individualized intention as the changemakers of the future.
Training and familiarity with acting, movement, or singing can enhance a student’s adaptability to the program, however, it is not necessary. This program seeks to gather the next generation of artists with a desire and drive to improve their craft, expanding beyond the scope of individuals with pre-existing experience. During the stages of auditioning, faculty searches for artistry and persona rather than solidified skill. We believe that every individual has their own rich potential, which we strive to sharpen and hone during their four years in the program.
To be concise, both! During the course of our 4-year intensive program, students are exposed to a diverse range of courses, spanning from theatrical training to film, television, and on-screen techniques.
Our program weighs more towards live performance training, but the skillset that is created is not only easily transferable to the screen, but it also strengthens the muscles of the actor by deepening their sense of connection to character, their scene partner, props, set, and presence.
The same cannot be said for film acting training translating to the stage, as theatre is much fuller and more expressive in comparison. It is much more difficult for an actor to amplify their performance for live theatre than to tame their work to match the subtleties of film.
Our carefully curated course arrangement gives our students the best of both worlds; you’ll leave our program with a multidisciplinary artistic palette enabling you to thrive in theatre, film, and beyond.
We believe the “stage” can be anywhere that space exists. We see the importance of resisting the illusionary rush to be on a big stage with beaming light and fleshed-out costumes.
Our program strives to equip students with the fundamental tools in their kit as the primary step, so they can approach their future performances with confidence in their skills. The first and second years of this program are focused on building a solid foundation with training, workshops, and scene studies. In the third and fourth years, students work with guest playwrights, directors, and Production + Design students to participate in full-scale productions in our season.
To sum it up, you are given the opportunity to perform nearly every day you attend class. But on a full scale, your third and fourth years will be the most concentrated with professional performance opportunities.
You can expect vigor in our comprehensive training - there is an 80:20 ratio, so you’ll be spending approximately 80% of your time in the studio on your feet, and approximately 20% of your time in academic classes. Our program is intensive and challenges our students to be prepared for the high demands of the industry. As a student, you are expected to commit to your studies, but the world is your oyster! Minor degrees are available to Performance Acting students and there are no restrictions against part-time occupations. These are definite possibilities, but balancing commitments is a personal responsibility.
Your week typically consists of an exhilarating mosaic of labs, lectures, and acting core classes (which is an umbrella term that involves voice, movement, speech, etc). Aside from your liberal electives, your peers from the acting program will be present in all your classes; dancers and production students also join for bigger lectures. Though the schedule will be busy due to the nature of this program, but we place an emphasis on scheduling classes with regular breaks.
Here’s an example of what your week may look like:
On Mondays, you might have your elective in the mornings, then a break, followed by speech class to study diction, intimacy to learn how to healthily establish boundaries, and ending the day with creative performance studies where you have the opportunity to collaborate with the dancers in your year.
On Tuesdays, you may begin with voice class where you’ll dive into resonance and breath, movement to explore how your body can take up space, and then have a longer break before your next class. On Tuesday evening you may go to a Timelines of Performance History lecture in which you are studying the roots of what you love today.
Wednesdays might be wholly dedicated to in-studio time; you may have stage combat where you learn how to dodge punches and use faux swords, a longer break, and then finishing with bodywork where you can experience a feel-good sweat.
On Thursdays, you may begin your day with a lecture like an anatomy, then a break, followed by your elective and ending on ensemble games class where you get to enjoy your time taking risks and experimenting with playful exercises.
Fridays might begin with voice and movement in the morning, followed by a break. Post-break you could have music where you study theory and sing, and finally, conversations, where all four years of acting gather to discuss important topics holding relevance to the industry.
Yes! Of course, remaining on campus means there is less back-and-forth, but because of Toronto’s elaborate transportation system, you are able to commute easily to and from school. A number of our students are commuters who can successfully maneuver through their courseload, and commitments, and thrive in our program.
The world of performance is much bigger than you may think! Even if you’re pursuing a specified Performance Acting degree, your career can hold many possibilities. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts, some general fields of expertise include but are not limited to performer, director, producer, stage manager, photographer, designer, teacher, screenwriter, playwright, public speaker, arts administrator, museum exhibitions officer, multimedia artist, and special effects technician.
You belong at
The Creative School
As a Performance student, you'll be part of The Creative School, a dynamic faculty offering 27 degree programs in media, design and creative industries. Through global experiences and transdisciplinary opportunities, our students emerge as some of the most in demand and employable graduates anywhere.