Scene construction, stage automation, theatrical rigging, and even management are covered in our intensive Technical Direction program. With actual production experience and an impressive portfolio to tout, you’ll be able to hit the ground running in your career as a Technical Director.
Classes in your first year will explore the intricacies of what it takes to become a technical director, such as advanced computer techniques, technical graphics, scenery construction techniques, and courses on welding and metalworking. You will be expected to commit time to productions, and during your first year will serve on crews in the scene shop, practicing construction and fabrication techniques.
Classes in the second year will emphasize skills such as the use of motion-control systems and equipment and theatrical rigging. Shop organization and methodology will be included in your courses. You will undertake a self-directed study of a technical topic or project of your choosing. During this second year, you will take on a middle-management position within the shop, assuming more responsibility for production projects.
In your third year, you will explore the role of the manager in the production process, learning the processes of season planning, budgeting, contract negotiations, artistic relationships and production partnering. Classes will cover the foundations of scene painting, and an arts elective of your choosing. You will advance to the role of Technical Director for a production, which may be documented as part of your thesis research paper.
Nearly all of UNCSA’s graduates find careers in their chosen profession. You will find alumni of the graduate Technical Direction program doing precisely what they had hoped for – serving as a theatrical Technical Director, building scenery for network and cable television, working on sets for cruise ships, and constructing scenery for theater and dance companies.
"Everything is about the connections with the people, just as much as it is the education," says Technical Direction alumnus Mark Gentry of his time at UNCSA.
Walker White returned to campus less than a year after graduation to connect with current students at the annual D&P Job Fair, and to share his journey with NETworks.