The heart and soul of a stage falls into the hands of the scene designer. The right scene design can transport you to a new world, elicit certain moods, depict themes that no other theatrical element can, and entertain the audience by its beauty, detail or mystery. At the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, you can be a part of one of the only Graduate Scene Design degree programs in the country for theater, opera, dance and film, launching you into the exciting career of professional stage design. The Master of Fine Arts program offers unique, hands-on opportunities and an advanced, comprehensive curriculum that can only be found at UNCSA.
The first year of the graduate scene design program will be focused on the foundations of scene design. Classes will include scenic rendering, model building and scene painting. Graduate-level courses will cover the principles of scene design, emphasizing the various stage spaces, research techniques, visual presentation, and integration with costumes and lighting. You will also be given practical production experience working on scene design teams for at least 14 of the school’s productions.
Your second year will consist of added expectations for your practical production experience, as well as more advanced classes on drafting, architectural sketch techniques, and projects in translucent, transparent and opaque media. This year’s graduate scene design course will focus on the process and development of skills from conceptualization of a design to its execution.
Much of your third year will be centered on your thesis, for which you will be expected to present a professional gallery showcasing the body of your work throughout the years. You will continue your hands-on laboratory work for the school’s productions, as well as courses in wet media, advanced model building, and a course emphasizing advanced scene design concepts for theater, opera, ballet and musicals.
Graduates of the Scene Design program go on to start careers in their chosen profession. They have become scenic designers for productions across the country ranging from Broadway, regional theatre, dance, opera, film, television and themed entertainment.
Brett Sellitti, a senior in the School of Design and Production, has received the Richard Hay Undergraduate Scene Design Award from the United States Institute for Theater Technology (USITT).
Students in the School of Design & Production have created an interactive installation, "Soundscape," that explores the information we exchange, the spaces where we exchange it, and the technology that assists that conversation.