Students building set2 actors onstage in production of Unity (1918)

Production Participation (PP) Courses FAQ

Here is a list of the more frequently asked questions regarding Production Participation courses.

What is a Production Participation (PP) course?

In PP courses, students contribute to the Theatre and Performance program’s mainstage productions. We normally mount one production each Fall and Winter term, with performances in November and March. In some years, there is also a Spring term production. Every student participating in a mainstage production must be enrolled in a PP course. See PP Courses at a Glance for a summary of the courses available.


How do PP course sections work?

All PP courses are divided into three sections according to production area.

Section 1 = Performance and Direction.

Section 2 = Design and Technical Production.

Section 3 = Dramaturgy and Play Development.

Each section has its own instructor. In your section, you may be working with students enrolled in PP courses with different numbers, but you will all be working in the same production area.

How do I get into a PP course?

To get into a PP course, you must submit an application for the position you are interested in.  The program circulates “calls for applications” at least one term in advance. They list the positions available and give the course weight (academic units and number of courses).

For acting roles in section 1 (performance and direction), apply to audition.  

For directing in section 1, all positions in section 2 (design and technical production), and all positions in section 3 (dramaturgy and playwriting), submit a production application.

If your application/audition is successful, the instructor for your section will sign you into the course most appropriate to the level, workload, and amount of instruction needed for the role/position to which you are assigned.

Deadlines for applications normally fall at least one term before a production. Remember to check how much space you have in your term schedule before you apply.

What are the audition requirements for section 1?

Auditions are normally held at the end of the previous term or in the first week of the term in which a production is taking place. Requirements are posted approximately one month in advance. See the Auditions page for details.

What are the application requirements for sections 1, 2 and 3?

Application forms are normally available in March for the upcoming season and again in November for the Winter term. You may request as many positions as you are interested in and rank them in order. For specific course requirements, see Production Participation and Capstone Courses at a Glance.

Which PP course should I enrol in?

If your application is successful, the instructor for your section will sign you into the course most appropriate to the level, workload, and amount of instruction needed for the role you are assigned. See Production Participation and Capstone Courses at a Glance.

Why do PP courses have different weights?

Some production roles require more of your time to complete course assignments and more of your section instructor’s time to teach, guide, and assess your work. Each 0.5 academic unit takes an average of 7-9 hours of your time each week, including class meetings, rehearsals, work calls, and preparation. Some weeks are heavier than others, depending where we are in the production process. PP courses come in three weights:

0.5 academic unit = one course (ave. 7-9 hrs/wk)

1.0 unit = two courses (ave. 14-18 hrs/wk)

1.5 units (21-27 ave. hrs/wk)

Your section instructor decides how each production role will be weighted before the call for applications goes out. Remember to check how much space you have in your schedule before you apply.

Can I be in two PP courses or sections at once?

No. In the very rare case of an exception to this rule, it will be noted in the call for section 1 auditions and section 2 and 3 production applications.

What if I don’t have enough space in my schedule for the production role I want?

If you are in good standing (your major average is above 70% and your overall average is above 60%), you may ask your undergraduate advisor to allow you to enrol in an overload of 3.0 academic units (6 courses) in the term of the production. The Theatre and Performance Advisor normally approves overloads only when they are necessary for a student to complete degree requirements.

When do PP courses meet?

PP class meetings and rehearsals, and most required production work calls, appear in the Schedule of Classes for Undergraduate Students. Most take place on weekday evenings, Fridays, and Saturdays. Students enrolled in section 2 also sign up for additional evening work calls. During technical rehearsal and performance weeks, students should expect to be called every weekday evening, Saturdays, and Saturday evenings. Sunday is normally our day off.

What if I have a schedule conflict with PP course rehearsals, required work calls, or class meetings?

PP courses are not normally scheduled against any other courses in the Theatre and Performance program. Schedule conflicts with courses in other programs are treated the same way as other schedule conflicts. Minor conflicts can be accommodated with the permission of both instructors, in consultation with the Theatre and Performance Advisor. The Theatre and Performance Advisor normally approves schedule conflicts only when they are necessary for a student to complete degree requirements.

What if I have a schedule conflict with PP course technical rehearsals or performances?

Tell the Stage Manager for your production about your conflict during the first week of rehearsals. Theatre and Performance Advisor will write a letter to the instructor of the conflicting course, requesting permission for you to be released without penalty from the classes you will miss. There is no guarantee that this request will be granted. If it is granted, you will be responsible for making up all missed work.

Employment Opportunity for Sessional Instructors

The Speech Communication program at the University of Waterloo is searching for several new sessional instructors to teach core communication courses.  Based in a liberal arts faculty with high national and international standards, the Speech Communication program currently serves approximately 150 majors, 50 minors, and delivers many sections of communication courses to four Faculties from across the University.

Sessional instructors could teach up to three sections per academic term of the following courses: Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Science Communication, or Communication in the Engineering Professions. Each of these courses include emphases on foundational communication competencies and are designed to align with the Speech Communication program objectives. More information on the Speech Communication program can be found here:

Interested instructors should have a PhD or be working toward completing a PhD, and should send a CV and a brief letter of interest that addresses qualifications and teaching philosophy to:

Dr. Robert Danisch

Chair, Department of Drama and Speech Communication

University of Waterloo

200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1