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 Programs

Costume Design

Costume Technology

Lighting

Performing Arts Management 

Scene Design

Scene Painting

Sound Design

Stage Automation

Stage Management

Stage Properties   

Technical Direction   

Wig and Makeup Design

In Design & Production, extensive classroom and studio work is balanced with practical production experience. Studio and production assignments escalate in scale and complexity to prepare students to take full responsibility for productions as designers and technicians.

Current Design and Production graduate and undergraduate curricula are available in PDF format in the Design and Production section of the UNCSA Bulletin.

 

Costume Design

Costume Design
Undergraduate and Graduate study

Costume design is a rigorous program that offers hands-on design experience in theatre, opera, dance and film. Four resident faculty members teach a demanding curriculum designed to prepare students for successful careers in the entertainment industry. Students study life drawing, rendering, costume history and three full years of costume design as well as all aspects of costume production and costume crafts. Students are given considerable production experience, working in five completely different state-of-the-art theatrical spaces on several fully staged productions each year. The program enables the student to graduate with an impressive portfolio of renderings and photography of realized designs.

Costume Technology

Costume Technology
Undergraduate and Graduate study

One of the most comprehensive programs in the country, costume technology trains drapers and shop managers for professional theatre companies. It has two resident faculty members whose work is complemented by costume design faculty. Students are required to take costume design, costume history, drawing and painting, hair history and styling, shop management, and sculpture. For the 14 to 20 productions each year, students spend more than 20 hours a week in lab classes in which costumes are built. Costume technology emphasizes construction technique, problem-solving, shop organization, and management, including the use of computers for costume stock inventory and shop records. In the final year of the BFA program, an exceptional student may serve as shop manager for a major production and will act as lead draper for one or more shows. In the final year of the MFA program, the thesis requirement includes serving as shop manager for one full term.

Lighting

Lighting
Undergraduate study only

The lighting program is specifically tailored to successfully prepare students for careers in the professional theatre. The curriculum offers sequentially developed classroom instruction, laboratory work and practical production experience in color and design, drafting, drawing, principles of lighting design, stage electrics, photometrics, fixed and automated equipment, lighting technology, computer-aided design and production management. Students have the opportunity to work in virtually every type of theatre space they will encounter in the profession in all the performing arts – on plays ranging from classical to contemporary, ballet and modern dance concerts, and opera. After the second year of instruction, students can follow either the Lighting Design or the Lighting Technology track of instruction and production assignments. In the final two years of the program, students explore styles of production and are given progressively greater responsibility for lighting the 25 shows presented at the School each year. Students finish with an impressive portfolio, well-equipped to enter the profession.

Scene Design

Scene Design
Undergraduate and Graduate study

This is one of the only programs in the country that provides training in scene design for theatre, dance, opera and film. The comprehensive curriculum helps students develop basic skills in drawing, rendering, drafting and scene painting. The students' preparation includes the study of lighting and history of decor, and in the final years of the program, the area of concentration narrows to studio classes and individually directed study and practical production experience in design and scene painting. Productions are mounted in five different theatrical spaces ranging from a black box to a Broadway-scale house. A graduate in scene design enters the profession with an enviable portfolio.

Scene Painting

Scene Painting
Undergraduate and Graduate study

The program trains students in the craft, artistry and management of scenic painting for careers in the entertainment industry. The curriculum balances extensive classroom and studio work with practical experience. It includes progressively rigorous instruction in the fundamentals of drawing and production procedures, as well as the artistry of the craft of the painting scenic elements. Students work on several fully mounted productions each year on the school's large paint deck, equipped with adjacent mixing and support areas. They learn to work in a variety of techniques including older theatrical media and to manipulate various materials to achieve the desired effect. At the culmination of the training period, students have full responsibility for productions as scenic charges.

Sound Design

Sound Design
Undergraduate and Graduate study

The school is one of only five programs in the country that offers training in sound design and engineering for dance, theatre, musical ensembles, opera and film. The curriculum addresses analog and digital reproduction as well as live reinforcement. It offers a challenging progression of skill acquisition, from the technical aspects of sound engineering and the craft of sound, to the art of sound design, including acoustical effects. Sound design students will be responsible for sound design and reproduction with an artistic team for 25 annual productions in a variety of performance spaces including a 390-seat proscenium thrust, a 200-seat black box and a 1,300-seat proscenium road house. They will become proficient in the business of sound design in the entertainment industry as well as post-production sound and scoring for film.

Stage Automation

Stage Automation
Graduate study only

The newest area of concentration in the School of Design & Production, the stage automation program provides extensive training in the design, manufacture, installation, and operation of stage machinery. The extensive curriculum covers mechanical design, drafting, structural design, motors and motor controls, hydraulics, pneumatics, welding, machining and computer control systems. Additional classes in computer-aided drafting, rigging, and production management all unite to give the student the proficiency necessary to become successful in this popular and fast-growing field. Augmenting the curriculum are the school's extensive performance spaces and shop facilities, including a 5,000-square-foot Motion Control Laboratory equipped with the latest technology in machine design and control.

Stage Management

Stage Management
Undergraduate study only

The stage management program focuses on the mechanics and the art of the profession and the development of skills necessary for a successful career as a stage manager. The comprehensive curriculum instructs students in all the technical and constructional elements of scenery, lighting and costuming (including drawing and drafting) as well as hands-on production classes. Students acquire a variety of skills including musical score reading and working with the choreographic and directing process. This foundation gives the student a working knowledge of all areas of theatre, applied in pre- and post-production management in the 25 fully staged productions mounted each year. In progressively responsible production roles, students schedule, cue and run rehearsals and performances. The program stresses the role of the stage manager as an artist, sensitive to all the needs of the production with ultimate responsibility for maintaining the standards of the director or choreographer throughout the process. Students gain considerable experience in interview techniques and résumé preparation.

Stage Properties

Stage Properties
Undergraduate and Graduate study

One of only a handful of programs in the country, the stage properties curriculum focuses on the research, design, procurement, restoration and construction of hand and decorative properties for the stage and film, as well as the management and organization of the property crew. Students are afforded ample opportunity to practice their craft on one of the many operas, musicals, plays, ballets, contemporary dances, and film projects that the school produces each year. The curriculum provides both a foundation in the various aspects of production, as well as more advanced courses that focus on the unique materials and techniques utilized by the modern property master. Additional exposure to classes in design, drawing and painting, career development and theatre history round out the educational experience. Prop crews work in a separate prop shop, which has discrete spaces for woodworking, crafts, and working with hazardous materials. The school's extensive stock of hand and large furniture props is housed in a separate building. Larger shows have specific crews assigned to handle only the props requirements for the production, and prop masters are responsible for their own budgets, which are separately allocated.

Technical Direction

Technical Direction
Undergraduate and Graduate study

The 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 progressively given 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.

Wig and Makeup Design

Wig and Makeup Design
Undergraduate and Graduate study

The School offers one of the few undergraduate and graduate programs in wig and makeup design in the country. The curriculum provides thorough and comprehensive training for professional careers as makeup artists, wig-makers and period hair specialists in theatre, dance, opera, television and film. Classes in wig design focus on wig-making, toupees, extensions, wefting, ventilating, punching, and period hairstyling; and in makeup design, glamour makeup, fantasy and realistic character design, trauma makeup, prosthetic application, and two- and three-dimensional aging techniques. Students also study and utilize fundamental techniques in mold-making, foam latex, foam urethane, and silicone. Classes are small and students often work one-on-one with teachers. The 25 fully staged dance, theatre and opera productions and numerous films each year offer unparalleled opportunities for students to practice their craft. Students are also prepared in the business of the profession in classes and production experience and are assisted in portfolio development through career counseling.

Current Design and Production graduate and undergraduate curricula are available in PDF format in the Design and Production section of the UNCSA Bulletin.