Barry Freeman

Associate Professor



Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE/UofT


Barry Freeman is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies with a cross-appointment to the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE/UofT. He is the author Staging Strangers: Theatre & Global Ethics (2017), co-editor with Kathleen Gallagher of In Defence of Theatre: Practices and Social Interventions (2016) and has served since 2011 as Associate Editor of Canadian Theatre Review, for which he has co/edited 8 special issues and co/authored 15 articles on issues of importance to contemporary Canadian theatre and performance.

Barry’s current research is focused on theatre pedagogy and education, particularly in Canada. His main research project since 2019 is Belongings: On the Virtues and Values of Drama, Theatre and Performance Education in Canada, which is a national, empirical survey and analysis of post-secondary liberal arts and professional training in Canada. In 2022, he joined the team of Staging Better Futures / Mettre en scène de meilleurs avenirs, a long-term, cross-Canada, bilingual project that responds directly to the many public calls for action against colonialism, racism and sexism in post-secondary theatre training. Barry’s goal is to produce research that will help build open-access, non-competitive resources, programming and supports for theatre educators.

Selected projects

Belongings: On the Virtues and Values of Drama, Theatre and Performance Education in Canada
is a multi-year, qualitative study of the history and state of Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies (DTPS) education in Canada at the post-secondary level. The goal of the project is to learn more about the personal, professional, or pedagogical values that shape DTPS curricula in Canada, how values relate to material conditions, and ongoing pedagogical reform in the field. (Status: In year three of a national empirical survey, supervising team of 3 student RAs, papers presented nationally and internationally and publication in process, funded thus far by internal UTSC grants. Role: Principal Investigator.)

PLEDGE Project: A Production Listing to Enhance Diversity and Gender Equity aims to provide educators and theatre producers further means to address the lack of gender equity producing plays for the Canadian stage, with a particular focus on plays produced in post- secondary theatre schools. The fully searchable database includes plays written by Canadian women that suggest a cast size of six or more performers. The project also invites schools, departments, professors, visiting directors, and the like to make public pledges to improve the representation of women playwrights and other marginalized communities at their institutions. (Status: In year five of research and design, has employed and trained 8 student/professional researchers and designers, funded by ACM/UTSC Equity and Diversity in the Arts initiative. Role: Co-creator and Project Lead.)


Department of Arts, Culture & Media, University of Toronto Scarborough (undergraduate)

Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies (graduate)

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (graduate, cross-appointment)

Teaching Interests

Canadian Theatre, Theatre History, Intercultural Performance, Education and Pedagogy

Research Interests

Theatre and Performance in Canada, Education and Pedagogy, Ethics and Interculturalism

Recent Grants

  • 2022 UTSC Experiential Education Development Grant, $8,750
  • 2022 UTSC Experiential Education Tier II Grant (co-applicant), $20,000
  • 2020 SSHRC Connections Grant (co-applicant), $10,980
  • 2019 UTSC VPR Research Competitiveness Fund, $10,000


Director, 10 out of 12 (Anne Washburn), UTSC, 2018.

Director, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Bertolt Brecht), UTSC, 2016.

Director, The Rouge Park Project, Community-Engaged Verbatim Theatre Project A collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation, Leigha Lee Browne Theatre and UTSC Campus Grounds, April 2012.

Graduate Student Supervision & Mentorship

2019+ Ross Slaughter, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies “Videocabaret: Performing The History of the Village of the Small Huts”

2017+ Julia Mathias, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies “Negotiating Ethnic “Otherness” in Neo-Burlesque Striptease” (ABD)

2019+ Grahame Renyk, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE, UofT “Come From Away/Come From Here: Theorizing Canadian stage musicals at home and abroad”

Post-Doctoral Fellow Supervision & Mentorship

2021+ Jeffrey Gagnon, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies + Department of Arts, Culture & Media, 2-year fellowship, “No Cloud Without Sky”, an investigation into mobilizations for spectrum sovereignty. (Co supervision with T.L. Cowan)


PhD, University of Toronto
MA, University of Toronto


Administrative Service

Former Chair, Arts, Culture & Media, UTSC