In Our Alumni's Own Words

A degree from the UAlberta Department of Drama is a valuable, internationally recognized degree that arms you with the experience, skills and knowledge needed to pursue any career goal. But don't take our word for what our Drama alumni have to say about the value of their degree!



"There is a level of quality and specificity of training that is held in the BFA Acting program that builds a strong ensemble on the stage. I learned my acting vocabulary there and it has transformed into my directing vocabulary. I have been invited back into the department at various levels of my theatre career and value their support each time.” - Reneltta Arluk, BFA Acting 2005




“It was the best three years I ever invested in myself. It's paid itself off numerous times—the technique and craft they teach at the U of A are second to none. I never looked back.” - Lorne Cardinal, BFA Acting '93



Jonathan Christenson
"...the U of A's extraordinary training facilities brought me back to Edmonton to complete my MFA in directing. But it was the opportunity to build relationships with other students and faculty members over the next two years that proved to be the most influential. Some of the people I met at that time have become my closest and most enduring collaborators. Others have continued to be my mentors. Their voices resonate with renewed meaning and unexpected relevance with each passing year." - Jonathan Christenson, Artistic Director, Catalyst Theatre, BA '91, MFA Directing '96, 2012 Mary Mooney Distinguished Visiting Artist



"It's hard to avoid sounding like a U of A poster child, but surely the Drama Department is one of the finest training grounds for theatre in all of North America. The faculty, facilities and fellow dreamers provide great opportunities and a challenging environment for taking chances, succeeding (and failing!) on a grand scale, and discovering how to harness the love." - Brian Deedrick, BA Honors '79, MFA Directing '85, 2011/2015 Mary Mooney Distinguished Visiting Artist


“The Drama Department at the U of A and both the BA and the BFA Acting Program provided me with a solid foundation as an artist, and fostered so many connections and relationship that I have to this day. And it is exciting to see it continue to develop, expand, change and grow.  Back as a student, I couldn’t have foreseen where I am today. I just try every day to be on a path of continual learning: passing things on that I have experienced, gathering new skills and perspectives from others, striving to help build our community’s knowledge and trying to keep evolving myself as an artist. It has not been easy, but it has been deeply rewarding. I hope that for every person pursuing a life in the theatre.” - Mieko Ouchi, BFA Acting '92


"The University of Alberta's Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting program offered me a solid foundation from which to grow. It provided me with an excellent knowledge base and a high level of craftsmanship and professionalism. The quality of the training the U of A provides is hard to match in this country. The professors are all accomplished actors and specialists in their fields, which makes for inspiring and challenging class work. Unlike other acting conservatories, it also provides students with a University undergraduate degree, which has been invaluable to me as I have ventured into the international market." - Carrie Thiel, Motion Capture Director and Combat Choreographer for the Oscar winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy, BFA Acting '97

Selected responses from a UAlberta Drama alumni survey:

Drama students are confident, self-directed learners, who become confident, self-directed leaders. - BA Drama

The training prepared me, and the school's reputation got my foot in many doors. - BA Drama

I have the skills ABSOLUTELY required to begin a career in theatre comparable to the top grad programs in the USA. I have worked for and continually compete with the top of the profession in New York City. I do a lot of classical theatre which is impossible without the quality of training I received at the UofA BFA conservatory program. - BFA Acting

Employer saw U of A - BFA Acting on my resume and called me for an interview. Absolute truth. - BFA Acting

My drama degree has helped me to use creative ways to keep the attention of children with autism who have high sensory needs. It has helped me present material to parents and to conferences. My degree has helped me to design programs for children with autism to help with working in groups and re-enacting stories. - BA Drama

The BA has afforded me the opportunity to develop skills in a variety of different ways and avenues. I feel that my BA education, coupled with my creative aspirations for theatre and drama have allowed me to branch out into different areas of professional work, but also to examine where my creative interests are in relation to theatre. - BA Drama

People pay attention when you tell them that you studied directing at the University of Alberta. - MFA Directing

My degree has qualified me for graduate study and was NECESSARY for tenure-track university positions. - BA Drama

Critical theory classes changed the way I viewed the world. Refined critical thinking and writing skills have certainly helped me secure contract positions and take my work to a higher standard. - BA Drama Honors

My favourite memory is that of being really challenged on the creative level. My drama classes provided me an opportunity to synthesize and apply what I was learning in my other classes (ex: sociology) in novel ways. Drama was the union of mind and body in which intellectual ideas were channeled through voice, body and movement. It was through Drama classes that I experienced 'flow'. - BA Drama