Theatre Studies

The two-year MA Theatre Studies program offers students the opportunity to pursue theatre studies through coursework and a thesis project.

Program Overview

The master’s program in Theatre Studies is designed for students to develop research expertise in an area of their choice while training in the broader theoretical, critical and historical contexts of the field. It serves as a gateway to immersive scholarly exploration, fostering research acumen and advanced writing skills.

Students will enjoy strong mentoring relationships with faculty members as they progress through their degree and research.

The MA in Theatre Studies is a theoretical program. If you are looking for a practical theatre program to enhance your skills as an artist, review the MFA in Directing or the MFA in Design & Production.

Faculty & Research Specialities

  • Olivia Michiko Gagnon – performance studies, minoritarian performance, critical race and ethnic studies, feminist and queer theory, critical Indigenous studies,  performative/experimental writing
  • Kirsty Johnston – theatre history, Canadian theatre, intercultural theatre, disability arts, theatre and health
  • Lindsay Lachance – dramaturgy, critical Indigenous studies, Indigenous theatre-making
  • Siyuan Liu – theatre history, Asian theatre, Asian-Canadian theatre, modern and traditional Chinese theatre, intercultural theatre
  • Hallie Marshall – dramatic literature, theatre history, ancient Greek theatre
  • Keren Zaiontz – performance studies, cultural studies, contemporary theatre practices, the intersection between artists, city spaces and performance, the cultural politics of festivals and mega-events, art-activism, the aesthetics of global north far-right movements and authoritarian regimes.

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing a master’s degree in theatre studies must follow these requirements:

  • Enrolled in either full-time or part-time studies
  • Full-time students must be located in Vancouver for at least one year
  • Complete their program within five years of initial registration
  • All students are required to register in successive years of their candidacy, failure to do so will result in the student forfeiting their candidacy

Those in the MA Theatre Studies program must complete 30 credits following these guidelines:

  • 12-credit thesis
  • 18 credits of graduate seminars related to drama, theatre or performance topics, including:
    • 6 credits of required seminars
      • THTR_V 500: Research Methods and Bibliography (3 credits)
      • THTR _V562: Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3 credits)
    • 12 credits of other seminars:
      • A maximum of 6 credits may be taken at the 300 and 400 level
      • Any credits offered outside the Department of Theatre and Film must be approved by the graduate advisor


Applications for Fall 2025 will open in late September 2024. 

The theatre studies master’s program only selects a handful of students each year. For those interested, please follow these application instructions:

  • Submit your UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies application
  • A copy of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended and are currently enrolled in. If your transcripts are in a language other than English you must also provide a certified translation
  • A statement of purpose (1–2 pages) that details:
    • Your proposed area of study and its potential contribution to the wider field in which it is situated
    • Your academic training and how it has prepared you for a research intensive and theoretical MA
    • How the faculty and their expertise fit your needs and research interests
  • A recent academic writing sample that demonstrates the quality of your research and writing skills
  • Three letters of recommendation via UBC’s eReference system
  • A resume of your academic background

Do not send paper documents or hard copy media to the Department of Theatre and Film. All application material should be sent in with your UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies application.

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