Student Experience Office

Student Experience Office
Student Experience Office

ExistereFor more information about Existere, email:


​Existere is a theatre performance that aims to raise awareness around important issues relevant to first-year students coming to Queen's. The production is a favourite part of Orientation for many students. All of the scenes presented in the show are written by the cast members based on their own experiences at university.

The cast is assembled in January, and is comprised of students in their first year at Queen's. They are by no means all actors or writers or performers – in fact, for many cast members it’s their first time in this kind of show/performance. Cast members rehearse during the winter term by discussing relevant issues and messages with campus partners, and working together and individually to brainstorm, create, and write concepts or scenes for the September performance. The cast returns to Kingston near the end of August where they work for about a week putting together the final show for Orientation Week.









Existere explores a number of themes relevant to the first year experience:

Theme #1: Community & Belonging

  • Existere welcomes students to campus, contributing to a sense of community and belonging here at Queen’s

  • Existere motivates students to engage in responsible and respectful behaviors both in their living and learning environment at Queen’s and in the greater Kingston community

Theme #2: Understanding Campus Resources

  • Students who attend Existere will better understand the variety of resources and tools available to them on campus and build confidence in accessing them

Theme #3: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

  • Existere provides students with opportunities to witness difference and diversity in connection with their own identities (social, cultural, ideological, etc)

Theme #4: Resilience

  • Existere encourages students to reflect on stories of resiliency, allowing them to identify the internal and external skills, strengths and resources they can draw on in overcoming adversity