We offer a four-year Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with concentrations in three different areas of study – Performance, Design and Production, and Creation. We also offer a four-year Honours BA without a specific concentration of study, and a three-year BA or pass degree. Non-majors can acquire a minor in Dramatic Arts. There are also concurrent BA /Bachelor of Education, Combined Major (Dramatic Arts and another subject), and Coop Honours degree programs. The various degree options all emphasize an integration of theory and practice known as ‘praxis’. See this brief overview of the opportunities at Dramatic Arts and for more details, visit our course calendar.

Because of our program’s emphasis on ‘praxis’ – the integration of theory and practice – our students develop a diverse skill set that confidently prepares them for a variety of fields. Our students have won scholarships to pursue graduate degrees in theatre and performance studies and pursued professional studies to support careers in acting, directing, writing and criticism, administration, design, and production. Some graduates have pursued careers in cinema and television. Others go on to join the technical production teams of theatre companies both large and small. Many of our students are interested in becoming teachers and pursue internships in schools alongside their studies. Our graduates have secured teaching posts and placements in post-graduate teaching programs.

Here’s a list of careers and professions that our alumni have pursued.

DART is a small, tightly knit department and we privilege individual communication in our community of learning. Our courses are structured as lectures with seminars and studio-based labs, many involving embodied practice.

Depending on the year or level of the course, lecture courses will have between 40 and 140 students. Following the lecture with the course professor, you will attend seminars of 15 to 20 people where you discuss the lecture and exchange ideas about the material.

The majority of our courses are studio-based. These courses have an average enrollment of 18 students. In the studio-based courses you receive between 3 and 6 hours per week of instruction with your professors and instructors.

The department culture is modeled after the collaborative framework of theatre creation and production. Your professors are approachable, ready to assist you, and eager to share their knowledge and excitement about their specific fields of research and expertise.

Students registered in other programs may enroll in courses at DART as long as they meet the prerequisites. Many of our theory and literature courses are of interest to students of the Humanities such as History, Studies in Arts and Culture, or sister programs in the School of Fine and Performing Arts. Some courses, however, are exclusive for DART majors. These courses include specific prerequisites such as studio-based performance courses and some technical courses. Many courses only have one section and Dramatic Arts Majors, including Coop and Concurrent BA/Bed students have priority registration.

If you are interested in becoming a teacher or pursuing a career in business or government, you will need to be able to speak clearly and present yourself well. You should consider taking one of our DART courses in Acting for Non-Majors, Foundations of Theatre and Performance, Indigenous Theatre for Non Majors, and Performance as Cultural Practice. Consider Dramatic Arts for your second teachable subject, a Minor program, a Certificate program or for context courses that support your Major program.

From the very first year of your studies, you will receive training in Acting for Theatre, Scenography and Stagecraft, and study historical and contemporary theatre practice in the course Foundations of Theatre and Performance. By third year, you will be taking more specialized theatre courses in script writing, scenography, directing, devising, performance styles and voice. In fourth year, all DART students participate in a major department production as part of the degree program informed by the applied critical theory work of DART 4F90. Our program also includes upper year courses at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario and the DART Summer Institute of Performance Research.

Our program boasts high-calibre training from award-winning teachers with a wealth of professional experience. Although our program is not a conservatory program specializing in actor training, students leave our program with a competitive combination of a Bachelor of Arts degree and the most intensive studio training you can find among BA programs in Canada. Right from the first year, students are training in five-hour studio courses every week, which is rare to find among degree programs in theatre studies.

Our training emphasizes embodiment, ensemble work, and praxis:

Embodiment: The body is central to everything that the actor does. Breath is the source of the gesture and voice, and ultimately the source of all meaning.

Ensemble: Here, we mean working in a team; creating in a team, being responsive, and being able to make strong bold offers to your playing partner.

Praxis: every performance offers a theory, an argument, and ideas can be tested and expanded in practice, through embodied work and learning.

Generally, we produce two mainstage productions in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre (in fall and winter), a ‘One Act’ play festival in spring and a fourth-year collective creation. We also coproduce works in progress with affiliated theatre companies. Every student is guaranteed at least one opportunity to participate in a department production.

One of the benefits of joining our tight-knit community is that it’s easy to get involved. Casting and crew calls are posted on our production board, the onliine DARTboard on Brightspace, and Student Facebook Group. Students also have an opportunity to propose independent productions for public presentation.

We privilege DART majors for our casting opportunities (specifically Mainstage performances), but other students may participate in the One Act festival, Summer Institute programs and student-initiated independent productions.

Yes, you will have an opportunity to produce your own work whether as an actor, designer, writer, director or technician. This may occur in your course work, an independent production or in a student club production. Courses in Devising a Solo Performance and Self Producing support your independent creative productions.


Yes! We offer a unique third-year course in directing that gives our students an on-their-feet experience directing in a studio setting (DART 3P53). Students will apply their learning in the One Act play festival or as an assistant director for a mainstage.

Yes! In third year, students have an opportunity to take a Script Writing Course (DART 3P92) that attracts theatre, film and game students.

Students in every concentration take a series of core courses in theatre praxis, performance, creation, design and stage craft in first and second year.  Specialized courses are offered for each Concentration beginning in the third year.

Yes, books can be expensive and you should plan to budget wisely. In some courses a course pack (a selection of readings from different sources collected by the instructor) is made available for purchase at the bookstore, which is often a more affordable alternative to course books. Course texts are available at the on campus bookstore and are also available through suppliers such as Theatre Books in Toronto and online sources. Used copies may be available from DART students. You should also budget for the cost of tools and materials required for some courses such as Design for the theatre or courses in visual arts.

The office of International Services at Brock organizes international exchange opportunities for Brock students. Recently our DART students have completed their third year of studies at universities in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Click here for more information on studying abroad and exchange opportunities. In a similar manner and on occasion you will enjoy the opportunity to study with international students who choose to come to Brock. Recently this has included students from as far away as Australia and Africa.

The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts sits just behind the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and provides exposure to international and professional performance. On occasion DART students may participate in workshops with these companies, developing skills in physical theatre, movement, drumming and dance for example.

Our department is a small, friendly community offering many opportunities for you to define yourself, take creative risks, and explore your own horizons in a supportive and nurturing environment. We encourage and respect individual expression, as we teach you to collaborate effectively in research and creative endeavours. Your time here in DART is what you make of it: the more you seek the more you will discover.

St. Catharine’s has a burgeoning young theatre scene populated by our graduates and professional artists from Canada and the US. This includes companies such as Suitcase and Point, STRAY, Essential Collective Theatre, and Theatre Beyond Words. Carousel Players is a renowned theatre company for young audiences that tours around the province and also employs our graduates. They are responsible for managing the primary community theatre performing venue, the Sullivan Mahoney Theatre, in the Old Court House in downtown St. Catharines. Garden City Productions is a community theatre company that produces musicals in the Mandeville Theatre of Ridley College. NAC (Niagara Artists Center) is one of the oldest artist-run organizations in Canada and supports a vibrant community of productions and exhibitions.

St. Catharines and Niagara is home to many up-and-coming bands such as Sea of Gold and Burgundy (lead by a DART graduate). Every year approximately 150 acts shake the downtown core during the SCENE music festival.

To get involved, contact local theatre companies to inquire about opportunities for internships and speak to a DART faculty member about DART 3P97 courses that allow professional development placements for students with local theatre companies. Visit the DARTboard for updates and information on local theatre events.

Theatre Beyond Words is a theatre company founded in 1977 and since 1982 is the resident theatre company at Brock. The company has created 18-20 productions of visually-based theatre and has toured internationally and nationally. Company members also teach courses in the department that reflect the company’s physical and visually-based devising approach to the creation of the material. Theatre Beyond Words has a series of family-based shows called “The Potato People” – a combination of a non-verbal situation-based comedy and cartoon, featuring performers in large white masks.

One of the best ways to get involved with the company is to take their course Introduction to Mime (DART 2F04, offered in the spring session). Occasionally the company engages DART students, sometimes as an apprentice and on occasion, they continue to work with the company upon graduation.

Student life at DART hovers around Marilyn I. Walker campus, and the surrounding cafes, eateries, boutiques and public spaces in downtown St. Catharines. The downtown core of the city is currently experiencing a flourishing renaissance, and DART students can often be found together at local watering holes. The program’s emphasis on creative, collaborative work makes it easy to bond with like-minded people and develop long-lasting friendships that will likely last long after your graduation.

DART students work for the department as research, marketing, production and technical assistants. DART students pick up production calls with the Center for the Arts, assisting with the load-ins and strikes (or load-outs) of their professional season. DART students animate the Youth University courses run in the spring and in the summer. Our students work for on-campus services, such as the Parking Services office and also serve as Dons in residences.

The Brock University Student Union (BUSU) offers many employment opportunities. The Career Services office is a good place to begin your search.

DART students have a dedicated faculty advisor who guides them through their academic career at Brock. All DART faculty are also available for consultation during weekly office hours or by appointment. The Student Services Centre at Brock provides academic counseling and support including free courses in study techniques, paper and exam writing.

Read here for more information about university residence, meal plans, transit, and parking options when you are a student at the MIWSFPA.