It’s the small things that matter in the world of props, from the right kind of upholstery on a chair to a garnish on a plate of food. But it’s these small things that add up to create a final scene that comes across as anything but “staged.” Students of our three-year graduate Stage Properties program leave with the necessary skills to design and create these realistic props, and the hands-on experience to manage and run a stage properties shop.
Each year of the graduate Stage Properties program will consist of at least 20 hours a week of practical production assignments for a minimum of 14 productions. Graduate students will also be responsible for the upkeep and management of the extensive stage properties shop, which includes 1,900 square feet of carpentry, 945 square feet of soft goods and 1,200 square feet for crafts. In addition to this hands-on experience, you will take courses on the foundations of scene painting and the advanced study of techniques and materials pertaining to the construction of properties.
Similar studio and production responsibilities will continue through your second year. You will be able to choose an arts elective to study, and be expected to take a graduate course on furniture and woodworking. This advanced course will cover techniques in construction, upholstery, repair and refinishing for all types of furniture. You will also learn about furniture history, styles and design applications, and will be able to test your skills in fine woodworking.
During the final year before earning your graduate stage props degree, you will create and present your thesis research project on a topic of your choosing. You will also choose an arts elective course to take. Your practical-production experience will culminate as you take on the role of Property Director for the school’s productions, budgeting time and materials, overseeing construction and running a crew.
Nearly all of our Design & Production alumni have jobs within their desired profession, thanks to the intense instruction and hands-on opportunities available to students. Graduates of the Stage Properties program are enjoying careers making and managing props for major productions, regional theaters, commercial companies and advertising firms.
UNCSA has announced the annual recipients of the prestigious William R. Kenan, Jr. Excellence Scholarships, which pay for tuition, fees, room and board for four years of undergraduate study.
Follow the work of stage properties students as they prepare custom pieces for UNCSA's production of "Spring Awakening."