Drama studies shows us new perspectives, challenges us, and touches us – as our lives and the issues we face are reflected back in new and surprising ways.
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Degree options: BA major; Any degree, minor
At Mount Allison, students involved in drama studies are challenged to work creatively, exploring new means of communication and expression – all within a cooperative collaborative environment.
Students begin their studies with an introduction to drama, followed by courses in:
- dramatic theory
- dramatic literature
In the final year of a major in drama studies, you will complete your degree with one or two independent projects in areas of special interest. This will allow you to work with a mentor from the faculty or staff to design and execute a major theatrical project in writing, design, directing, management, or acting.
The new multi-functional Motyer-Fancy Theatre typically hosts up to ten shows each year, performed and crewed by students, with direction and design by a mixture of theatre professionals and senior students.
Find a list of drama studies courses in the academic calendar – drama studies.
*The Mount Allison drama program is designed to provide an education in drama rather than professional training for the theatre.
Popular career paths for drama studies graduates include:
- set/costume designer
- theatre manager
- stage manager
- sound/lighting designer
- drama therapist
- advertising executive/copywriter
- arts administration
- human resources specialist
Xavier Gould ('17)
Bachelor of Arts, drama with a minor in French
Actor, comedian, teacher, visual artist, drag performer, film director, poet
Gould’s alter-ego and best-known artistic endeavour to date, Jass-Sainte is the pink camo and bandana-wearing star of about 50 YouTube videos, and has a social media following of about 30,000.
David White ('13)
Bachelor of Arts, English & French with a minor in drama
French teacher, La Ronge, SK
"Tintamarre (Mount Allison's bilingual theatre troupe) is probably the biggest reason that I am a teacher now. It opened my mind to different ways of teaching and learning French. It is not only something that happens in the classroom." White has started a Tintamarre-style troupe at this current school in Saskatchewan.
"The number of productions put on at Mount Allison throughout the year is mind-blowing; there is always something to keep you busy. I was so surprised that a first year student like myself would be able to participate as much as I have. Whether you are interested in being behind the scenes or on the stage, Mount A has something for everyone and they are always looking for students to participate in all levels of the creative process. The program also offers independent study courses that give you the chance to explore topics in theatre that are of interest to you."
Drama, minor in sociology ('18)
"I originally chose Mount Allison's drama program because I could explore and take classes in drama without having to audition or apply for one specific area of study. Many other universities required this, and I wasn't sure enough about acting to audition and be in a conservatory program.
The reason I was originally attracted to the program turned out to be what I still love about it most. Because we don't specify one area of study, I've been able to branch out and try all sorts of new things I never would have thought of. While here, I have been an actor, a costume designer, a set painter, a master electrician, part of a carpentry crew, and am now trying sound design, as well as taking a plethora of classes about dramatic literature, theory, and tech."
Drama, minor in Spanish (’16)
"The drama program at Mount Allison University is perfect for students who want to explore their talents both on and off stage. Whether you are interested in lighting, costume design, directing or acting, this program has both the resources and support needed for you to excel.
Regardless if you are a first or fourth year, it goes without saying that the opportunities offered at the Motyer-Fancy Theatre are endless. Because of its open-minded and collaborative structure, I was able to learn hands-on about the fundamentals of set building. Experiences like those are what will make students better equipped for the theatrical world beyond university."
Drama, minor in French ('17)
Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts
The drama program is housed in the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts, which opened in September 2014. The $30-million Centre is also home to the Fine Arts program, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
The Motyer-Fancy Theatre
The Motyer-Fancy Theatre is a state-of-the-art black box theatre that acts as the drama students’ lab. Producing up to 10 plays a year, it provides a venue where you can learn about and practise all aspects of theatre: writing, design, directing, technical, management, and acting. Participation in the Theatre is open to all Mount Allison students, regardless of their chosen field of study.
Opportunities to get involved
Mount Allison and the Town of Sackville is home to a thriving dramatic community:
- The Garnet and Gold Musical Theatre Society – founded in 1932, presents a large-scale musical each year in the 1,500-seat Convocation Hall
- Black Tie Productions – a small-cast musical theatre society
- Tintamarre – a bilingual theatre troupe that produces an original play each year
- Sackville’s Festival by the Marsh – known for its Shakespearian productions
J.E.A. Crake Fellowship in Drama
This fellowship brings to Mount Allison, from September to April, a theatre specialist who will direct a production, participate in drama courses, supervise student projects and contribute to the drama program and the Motyer-Fancy Theatre in other ways appropriate to their expertise and experience.
This program brings Mount Allison graduates to campus to give workshops, contribute to classes, and counsel students.
Crake Motyer-Fancy Theatre Workshops
This program complements and supports both the drama program and theatre season, and have included workshops in musical theatre, stage combat, theatre in action, screen writing, and much more.
Each year, students work in the Motyer-Fancy Theatre in web and communications, front of house, costumes, stage management, props management, lighting, and general technical support.
Newcastle Exchange Program
Student in Fine Arts, Music, and drama have the opportunity to participate in an academic exchange to the University of Newcastle in Australia.
Drama awards and prizes
Drama students have a chance to win awards and prizes during their studies at Mount Allison:
- J.E.A. Crake Performance Award in Drama
- Nathan Cohen Memorial Scholarship
- Katherine (Shaw) Bigelow Memorial Prize
- Beth Robinson Award
- SAC Department/Program Award
Dr. Glen Nichols
Director, drama studies
Research interests: the role of theatre in liberal education, Canadian drama and performance pre-1967