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 UNCSA, you can be a part of one of the only undergraduate Scene Design programs in the country for theater, opera, dance and film, launching you into the exciting career of professional stage design. The degree is offered as separate three-year programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each program offers unique, hands-on opportunities and an advanced, comprehensive curriculum that can only be found at UNCSA.
Students seeking a Scene Design degree will experience a thorough curriculum, molding designers into well-rounded artists that understand all aspects that go into a performance. Since theater is a collaborative art, the goal is to ensure that the set designer understands how all pieces of production work together with the stage as the backdrop to it all. Classroom instruction at the beginning of the program will help you master basic skills like drawing, rendering, drafting, model building and scene painting. You will also have plenty of opportunities for hands-on work in a studio environment seeing your designs come to life. Your responsibilities for actual productions will continue to grow as you progress through the program.
In your remaining years in the program, you will begin to spend more time in the studio working on at least 14 actual productions for a minimum of 20 hours a week. Your practical production experience will cover a variety of theatrical spaces ranging from flexible black-box venues to large-scale Broadway-type spaces. Your classroom instruction will include more advanced production and studio skills, lighting design and even costume design, helping you develop a broad understanding of professional theater.
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.