The MFA in Technical Direction program offers comprehensive training to successfully prepare students for meeting today's challenges of mounting theatrical productions. The curriculum emphasizes instruction in technology and craft and is designed to develop aptitudes in fundamental theatrical disciplines including drafting, metalworking, carpentry, stage electrics, and scene painting. Additional classes in management, computer-aided design, automation, stagecraft and structural engineering fully equip the student to deal with any problem encountered in Technical Direction.
The 25 fully staged theatre, dance and opera productions in five different performance spaces (including proscenium thrust, proscenium, flexible black box) give students an enviable range of practical experience. The School's extensive shop facilities are unrivaled anywhere and include scene, metal, prop, paint, electrics, costume, sound, and wig and makeup shops covering more than 70,000 square feet. Students utilize state-of-the-art tools and theatrical equipment and are given progressively increased responsibility for budgets, scheduling, and theatre and shop personnel management for productions, and by graduation they are ready to compete for the best jobs in the business.
In the first year, students focus on work specifically in the scene shop, including construction and fabrication techniques, along with their implementation. Coursework focus is on project analysis with regard to budget, resource and structure. The second year, students work in middle management positions in the scene shop and assume greater responsibility for projects while the coursework focuses on peripheral skill sets necessary for the well rounded development and coordination between areas to function as a Technical Director. The third year typically culminates in overseeing completely a fully-realized production project of sizeable scope, which may be documented as a component of the MFA production thesis, which is required for graduation.
Zachary Stevenson - Director of Technical Direction Program; Technical Direction Faculty
Dennis Gill Booth - Technical Direction Faculty
John H. MIller - Director of the Stage Automation program; Technical Direction and Stage Automation Faculty
Bill Volz - Technical Direction Faculty