2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Theater Design and Technology, BFA

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Carmen M. Martinez, Program Coordinator

820 East Genesee Street


David Bowman, Gretchen Darrow-Crotty, Alex Jainchill, Jacqueline Herter, Emily Holm, Izmir Ickbal, Carmen Martinez, Rebecca Schuetz, Randall Steffen, Rob Andrusko, Sandy Knapp, Mara Tunnicliff, Amanda Moore


The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Design and Technology is conducted within a stimulating environment that combines both classroom and hands-on learning experiences. The 130-credit curriculum stresses building a firm foundation in the arts and the humanities as well as in the applied aspects and crafts of the theater. In the first year theater design and technology majors are an integral part of Drama Department productions as members of backstage crews and as assistants to designers. This interaction between theory and practice is an essential part of developing an educated, creative theater person.

Advanced students design many Department of Drama main-stage productions and work with the professional staff and company of Syracuse Stage. Juniors and Seniors in the program are eligible to assist professional designers working at Syracuse Stage.

Students interested in design specialize in one or more areas: set design, costume design, and lighting design. Each area of specialization requires a specific sequence of coursework. Courses in studio art, art and architectural history, and costume history contribute to developing conceptual design skills. The theater design and technology program also offers training in the use of computers as design tools. Facilities include three design studios, a craft room, a sewing room, a Light Box and a CAD lab in addition to the technical shops shared with Syracuse Stage.

B.F.A. students interested in the technical aspects of theater may specialize in scene construction and painting, lighting, properties, or costumes, in consultation with a faculty advisor.

The B.F.A. program is appropriate for students interested in a career in the fields of entertainment design or technology.

Students wishing to explore a curriculum that combines theater design and technology with a broader liberal arts content may apply for the120-credit B.S. degree in drama, with a technical theater emphasis, provided they have been admitted to and have completed a portion of the B.F.A.

Students must complete a total of 130 degree credits for the Theater Design and Technology, BFA. This includes 30 credits of liberal arts and science courses: 6 credits of Writing, 6 credits of Art History, 1 credit of First Year Seminar, and 17 credits of academic electives.

Student Learning Outcomes

After four years in the Theater Design and Technology program, students are expected to graduate with a competitive portfolio and resume to submit for consideration for professional employment or for admission to a Master of Fine Arts program in their area of concentration. The following competencies are expected to be gained in the program through classes and experiential learning:

  1. Create a visual interpretation of a script or concept through an understanding of theater as an art form
  2. Communicate effectively and clearly with all collaborators (directors, other designers, performers, technical shops, producers, etc.) on any given project
  3. Respectfully provide and receive feedback of their own work as well as their peers
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of both two and three-dimensional design, and the use of the elements of design (color, texture, line, form/mass, and light) to affect emotional impact of theatrical design
  5. Apply knowledge of art history into theatrical design
  6. Create freehand drawings of figures, still life scenes and perspective sketches
  7. Create technical drawings - both hand and computer-aided (ground plans, sections, elevations, painter’s elevations, lighting plots, costume sketches) for the fabrication and realization of theatrical designs
  8. Use different media and methods to communicate ideas to collaborators
  9. Demonstrate proficiency with the equipment, technology and/or construction practices of one or more specific discipline (scenic, costume and lighting)
  10. Integrate safe practices in the fabrication and realization of theatrical designs

Program Requirements

University Wide Requirement


Each area of specialization (sets, costume, lights) requires a specific sequence of design courses and practicums. Please consult with the program coordinator for further information.

Theatre Laboratory: 0 credits

Drama Electives: 12 credits

Drama electives (also known as drama support) are courses that are not required specifically for the student’s program of study, but which are meant to enhance their understanding of their major field or their overall undergraduate experience.

Studio Electives 6 credits

3 credits must be in drawing.

Academic Electives: 17 credits

Academic electives are courses that involve critical thinking and theoretical understanding as opposed to practical application, mostly in the Liberal Arts. These academic courses usually have non-art-related content, such as math, natural sciences, astronomy, global history, political science, psychology, entrepreneurship, and languages, among others. You can find a comprehensive list of approved academic electives here.

Art History Electives: 6 credits


Students may only have a combined total of 12 credits from Independent Study or Experience Credit

Total Credits Required: 130

Degree Awarded: BFA in Theater Design and Technology

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