U of T International Summer Drama Program

The curtain has closed and the reviews are in for the University of Toronto International Summer Theatre program, a new intensive arts immersion program that was offered for the first time this past summer at University College.

“Just take it!” says student Lilian Adom, who is originally from Ghana and lives in Hong Kong.  “This isn’t just a theatre workshop. The program is very diverse and covers all areas—backstage, costuming, and lighting, as well as acting.”

In a typical day, students attend classes in the morning, working on everything from voice and improvisation to movement and clowning.  After lunch, it’s time for English class, where students ,whose first language is often not English, work on their intonation, pronunciation, and vocabulary—and build their confidence along with their language skills. The small class size ensures that students work closely with instructors and get personalized feedback.

Students live in residence in University College’s dormitories for the full three weeks of the program, and take part in extra-curricular group outings to professional theatre productions and concerts. “Getting to visit Toronto’s museums, theatres, and other cultural attractions really complements your learning,” says Adon.

Hui Rui Zhang, a student and aspiring director from Beijing, China, agrees. “The instructors are friendly and have interesting ideas to improve our acting. If we want to talk to a costume designer or see backstage, they try their best to give us a chance to do that,” she says.

Recruitment for the 2018 edition of the program is already underway. In light of the success of this year’s program, "Next year we plan to offer three, interwoven three-week programs,” says program director Professor Pia Kleber. “One for students before entering university, another for students already enrolled in a university theatre program, and one intensive playwrighting course.“

To learn more about the program, please contact summer.drama@utoronto.ca