Theatre and Performance

All the world’s a stage. Find your place on it.

Learn to wow your audience as you explore theatre and performance in one of Canada’s most creative drama programs. Go beyond art history books and collaborate with professors, visiting artists, and other students to make high quality work that contributes to a just society. You'll learn by doing, covering performance to management, design to critical studies, and creation to technology. 

In the classroom, courses in performance, production, design, direction, and management will give you the technical tools to excel at your craft. Meanwhile, complementary courses in politics, race, gender, theory, technology, and aesthetics will help you decide what messages matter. You can apply your knowledge to co-op placements too.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have a rich portfolio to take into the world of theatre, plus a range of creative, analytical, and management skills that will serve you well in any number of roles, on stage or off.


Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Theatre and Performance as your major at the end of first year.




First-year courses

September to December

  • THPERF 100 - Introduction to Theatre
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Three additional courses

January to April

  • THPERF 102 - Introduction to Performance
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • Three additional courses

*The Arts First requirement consists of two first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.

After first year

40% of the classes you’ll take will be Theatre and Performance courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas.

Sample upper-year courses

THPERF 321 – Approaches to Acting with Text
THPERF 326 – Performing the Voice
THPERF 440 – Performative Inquiry and Practice


Theatre and Performance student on stage

briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Online video developer
  • Artist services coordinator
  • Communications and marketing assistant
  • Advancement communications assistant
  • Teaching assistant
  • Wardrobe apprentice

Sample co-op employers

  • The National Ballet of Canada
  • Stratford Summer Music
  • Drayton Entertainment
  • Ontario Ministry of Transportation
  • WayPoint Marketing Communications
  • University of Waterloo

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor


Customize your degree

You can additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.  

What can you do with a degree in Theatre and Performance?

Waterloo Theatre and Performance graduates often pursue careers in entertainment, teaching, stage management, and directing. They often work in theatres, at festivals, and in schools.

Recent graduates

  • Stage Manager – Drayton Entertainment
  • Production Manager – Original Kids Theatre Company
  • Senior Officer, Friends' Corps - National Ballet of Canada
  • Production Assistant – Lighthouse Festival Theatre
  • Assistant Lighting Director – Stratford Festival
  • Manager, Lifestyles & Entertainment – Sherkston Shores Beach Resort & Campground
  • Public Relations & Social – The Loyalty

For more information on potential careers, check out our page on careers in arts, humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.

A-list mentors

At Waterloo, you’ll work with award-winning professors and visiting artists to develop new plays, discover fresh approaches to the classics, and examine the performance of everyday life.

Student-led productions

Each term, students play an active role in productions in our newly renovated 400-seat theatre — from set design and costume creation to lighting, sound, producing, directing, and acting.


Ready to learn more?