About

The wîcêhtowin - Aboriginal Theatre Program is a transformative certificate program in theatre performance that provides Aboriginal students rigorous training in preparation for a career in theatre, television, film and related entertainment industries.


Quick facts
  • Two year certificate
  • Full or part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus

The two year Certificate in Aboriginal Theatre is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree, or after having already received a degree from here or another institution.

What you will learn

You will be trained as theatre professionals in the areas of Performance, Theatre Design and Collective Creation. The program culminates in a world premiere of a new theatrical work, created, designed and performed by you and other program participants.

Maskihkiyiwan nehiyawewin - Re igniting the Fire

This is a two year certificate program delivered over six consecutive semesters of study.

Suggested sequence of courses

CourseDescription

Year 1 Fall Term
DRAM 118 Acting 1
DRAM 110 Technical Theatre I Scenic Construction
DRAM 105 Aboriginal Theatre Program Mentored Learning I

Year 1 Winter Term
DRAM 119 Acting II
DRAM 231 Introduction to Aboriginal Playwriting
DRAM 105 Aboriginal Theatre Program Mentored Learning I (continued)

Year 1 Spring/Summer Term
DRAM 211 Practicum I Indigenous Performance Methods

Year 2 Fall Term
DRAM 218 Acting III
DRAM 210 Technical Theatre III Costume Construction
DRAM 205 Aboriginal Theatre Program Mentored Learning I

Year 2 Winter Term
DRAM 219 Acting IV Scene Study and Textual Analysis for the Stage
DRAM 322
DRAM 205 Aboriginal Theatre Program Mentored Learning II (continued)

Year 2 Spring/Summer Term
DRAM 310 Practicum II Capstone Course in Public Performance

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

DRAM 211: Practicum I Indigenous Performance Methods
Indigenous culture and world views are explored by using the “communicative method” fundamental to the field of language instruction. This course is divided into three distinct modules: "Acquisition," "Application," and "Expression." Module One, "Acquisition," uses immersion techniques to introduce students to an Indigenous language via a practical and expressive approach. Module Two, "Application," focuses on the application of an Indigenous language to various methods of creative expression: oratory, storytelling and especially performance arts and focuses on both individual and group exercises. In Module Three, "Expression," students develop, rehearse and present individual and group-generated creative works completely driven by the specific Indigenous language explored in Modules One and Two. The course is delivered in an integrated approach—a combination of seminars, and lab/practicum sessions. Language and cultural specialists, elders, traditional Knowledge Keepers, guest lecturers/artists, enrich this course through socio-cultural activities intended to provide a foundation for the exploration of contemporary Indigenous world views and cultural arts.

DRAM 231: Introduction to Aboriginal Playwriting
The purpose of DRAM 231 is to learn the basics of dramatic writing, with a focus on writing for the stage. The course is intended for students with little to no previous University-level writing experience, but who have an intense interest in theatre. The specific dramaturgical approach employed in the course focuses on the actor/character relationship to text, where the actor is always the first “audience” of any script. In that the actor is ultimately responsible for interpreting the text (through performance to the audience), it is the playwright’s goal to create a script that both challenges and engages the actor. The craft of writing plays is explored through exercises and class discussion, and the course focuses on First Nations and Métis cultural concerns.

DRAM 310: Practicum II Capstone Course in Public Performance
This capstone course for the wîcêhtowin - Aboriginal Theatre Program provides the opportunity to apply performance techniques and skills, the theory and practice of writing for the theatre, basic theatre design and production concepts, and the skills required for production coordination, stage and house management, in a public performance. The course requires prior knowledge of general acting, playwriting, technical and design skills and in particular, skills that are acquired in the two-year culturally-based wîcêhtowin - Aboriginal Theatre Program. DRAM 310 requires a minimum of 25 hours of production work beyond class and lab/practicum hours. Students should avoid taking other courses (especially evening classes) when enrolled in DRAM 310 because of the demands of production set-up, rehearsals and evening performances. The course features four live performances of a collaboratively developed new production, showcasing the techniques and skills gained over the course of wîcêhtowin - Aboriginal Theatre Program (Certificate of Proficiency Program).

Opportunities
wîcêhtowin - Aboriginal Theatre Program delivers meaningful and principled theatre skills that will provide you with the requisite training for success in a creative milieu with expanding employment opportunities. Completion of the program also allows you to advance your scholarly and artistic education by laddering into a diverse number of university degrees, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting or Design, a Bachelor of Arts, or a Bachelor of Education with a teaching area specialty in Drama.

Facilities
The Department of Drama teaching facility is purpose-built; acting and movement classes have large bright studio spaces with sprung floors and there is a state of the art costume lab, as well as access to Q-lab software. Sound and theatrical design facilities produce high grade theatrical productions and the Greystone Theatre itself is recognized nationally and internationally for its history of stellar and premiere productions including consistent sell-out performances.

Support
You will be supported through a “buddy system” mentorship where older students share their experiences. You will also have access to Aboriginal student advisors and academic and personal counseling.

Faculty
Several faculty and alumni of the department have received teaching awards of excellence, as well as local, provincial and international awards for theatrical productions.

Careers

Some graduates go on to use their practical experience within theatre companies, in film or television in the following positions:

  • Actor
  • Playwright
  • Screenwriter
  • Stage manager
  • Production manager
  • Stage designer
  • Costume designer
  • Lighting designer
  • Director
  • Arts administrator

Others find that the skills they've learned prepare them for a wide range of careers in areas such as teaching, media, public relations, publishing, project management or advertising.

Tuition estimates

Canadian students
Tuition $4,145 per year
Fees $893 per year
Books $1,700 per year
Total$6,738

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per year if you enrol in the suggested sequence of courses.
Fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,000 for this program.

Admission requirements

Regular Admission

Admission is based on successful completion of secondary level (Grade 12) standing with a minimum overall average of 70% based on a five-subject admission average calculation or on the successful completion of at least 18 credit units of transferable university-level course work at a recognized post-secondary institution with an overall average of at least 60%.

Special (Mature) Admission

Special (Mature) Admission is available to applicants who do not qualify for regular admission.

Applicants must:

  • be 21 years of age or older by the first day of classes
  • be entering their first year of post-secondary study
  • have fewer than 18 credit units of transferable university-level course work

Applicants must demonstrate reasonable probability of academic success and a summary of work and personal experience since leaving school.

Applying

This program accepts new students every other year. New applications will be accepted October 2018 for the program beginning September 2019.

For more information contact wîcêhtowin - Aboriginal Theatre Program Director Carol Greyeyes at 306-966-2228 or carol.greyeyes@usask.ca.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

Questions?

For more information contact:

Carol Greyeyes
wîcêhtowin-Aboriginal Theatre Program
Program Director

Phone: 306-966-2228
Email: carol.greyeyes@usask.ca