BFA–Theatre, Technical Production major

The Design & Production programs prepare talented and committed students for careers in the professional world of theatre and related entertainment media. The program curriculum stresses the development of a student as a theatre artist, focusing on collaboration, imagination, intellect, communication skills, and oral critique, as well as professional behavior.

During each year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, courses in design, production, graphic skills, management, and dramatic literature follow a carefully integrated sequence of class exercises and production opportunities. The committed students who pursue the BFA degree in Design, Production, or Management at Boston University discover who they are, what they do well, and what they are capable of doing. They learn to be collaborative theatre artists who work productively under the stresses of the theatrical profession and, most importantly, they learn to integrate design, production, and management skills with their own personal sensibility.

Students in the Technical Production program will gain the required hands-on and artistic skills to excel in their chosen field. Those skills include woodworking, drafting, metal work, rigging, organization and personnel management, and leadership. Through their required coursework, Technical Production students will hone an artistic sensibility to best complement a show’s aesthetic and become a member of the design team.

Learning Outcomes

Students in the Technical Production program will:

  1. Demonstrate how Technical Production relates to the theatre making process.
  2. Demonstrate the skills required to safely build and load-in scenery. This includes both metal and wood fabrication.
  3. Demonstrate ability to work safely on all overhead grid installations including automated, fixed, and counterweighted.
  4. Demonstrate ability to clearly articulate how scenery is built using AutoCAD.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work within a given budget while maintaining the artistic integrity of the design while engineering common scenic pieces.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to lead a team of their peers to safely build and load-in scenery.
  7. Demonstrate management skills in: personnel, finances, scheduling, collaboration, and problem-solving as they relate to Technical Production.
  8. Foster the idea that the Technical Director is an artist and an important member of the collaborative process behind making theatre.

Requirements

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Technical Production will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Aesthetic & Historical Interpretation, as well as some of the requirements in Communication; Diversity, Civic Engagement & Global Citizenship; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

Program of Study (minimum of 130 credits)

First Year

All freshmen Design, Production, and Stage Management students are admitted to the Theatre Design, Production, and Management core curriculum. The freshman core is designed to provide an appropriate context for faculty evaluations of each student’s strengths, interests, and potential for success in the upper years of training. At the end of the freshman year, each student declares a major. This decision is reviewed by all members of the School of Theatre faculty before a student is officially enrolled in his or her major.

The Theatre Design, Production, and Management core provides a foundation for all future study in design (costume, lighting, scenery, or sound), production (costume or technical), stage management, or theatre arts design and production. By acquiring a base of artistic and technical skills, students begin to explore the breadth and depth of what it means to be a professional theatre artist today. Please see the Freshman Core section for complete distribution guidelines.

The foundational methods class for Technical Production majors in the Core is CFA TH 170 Methods of Construction–Scenery. Should students elect not to take this course as part of the Theatre Design, Production, and Management core, they will be required to take this course in the spring of their sophomore year.

The foundational drafting class for Technical Production majors in the Core is CFA TH 160 AutoCAD 1. Should students elect not to take this course as part of the Theatre Design, Production, and Management core, they will be required to take this course in the spring of their sophomore year.

Second Year

1st 2nd
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 297 & 298 Production^ 2+ 2+
CFA TH 269 & 270 Tech Production 1 & 2 3 3
CFA TH 271 & 272 Welding 1 & 2 2 2
CFA TH 259 AutoCAD 2 1
CFA TH 283 Lighting Design 1 3
Drama Literature elective* 3
Production elective* 1
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Total 16±  16±

Third Year

1st 2nd
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 397 & 398 Production^ 2+ 2+
CFA TH 369 & 370 Tech Production 3 & 4 3 3
CFA TH 263 & 264 Scene Design 1 & 2 3 3
CFA TH 265 & 266 Scene Painting 1 & 2 2 2
CFA TH 395 Production Management 2
Directing elective* 2
Production elective* 1
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4
Total 15± 16±

Fourth Year

1st 2nd
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 497 & 498 Production^ 2+ 2+
CFA TH 469 & 470 Tech Production 5 & 6 3 3
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Drama Literature elective* 3
Production elective* 1
Management elective* 2/4
Total 13± 13±

^ Production classes in the core are 2 credits each, as assignments are closely monitored to help students acclimate to the workload in the program. Thereafter production classes are variable credit, depending on the artistic assignment. Production assignments are made by the faculty based on individual student assessment and can be viewed in three stages of the production process:

  • Pre‐production: The preparatory work before the rehearsal and build process begins.
  • Production: The rehearsal and build process through opening performance.
  • Performance: The run of the production in front of an audience.

Typically, credits will be awarded as follows:

  • Participation in one stage of the design and production process = 1 credit
  • Participation in two stages of the design and production process = 2 credits
  • Participation in three stages of the design and production process = 3 credits

Credits listed are the fewest a student can earn in a given semester.

* Students select Directing, Drama Literature, Management, and Production electives in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor. Courses from which a student may select include but are not limited to:

Directing

  • CFA TH 240 Beginning Directing
  • CFA TH 453 Undergraduate Masterclass
  • CFA TH 454 Undergraduate Masterclass

Drama Literature

  • CFA TH 201 Dramatic Literature: 1850–1950
  • CFA TH 202 Dramatic Literature: 1950–1990
  • CFA TH 402 Contemporary Dramatic Literature: 1990–Present
  • CAS EN 355 Modern Drama 1
  • CAS EN 356 Modern Drama 2
  • CAS EN 363 Shakespeare 1
  • CAS EN 364 Shakespeare 2
  • CAS LR 355 Chekhov: The Stories & Plays (in English Translation)

Management

  • CFA TH 594 Theatre Management
  • MET MG 415 Project Management

Production

  • CFA TH 162 Vectorworks 1
  • CFA TH 182 Methods of Construction–Costumes
  • CFA TH 186 Lighting Crafts
  • CFA TH 190 Audio Fundamentals
  • CFA TH 194 Introduction to Stage Management
  • CFA TH 261 Vectorworks 2
  • CFA TH 289 Production Audio 1
  • CFA TH 365 Scene Painting 3
  • CFA TH 366 Scene Painting 4
  • CFA TH 389 Systems Design 1

Students electing to take courses to fulfill their Directing, Dramatic Literature, Management, and Production electives that are not listed above require the approval of their faculty advisor.

± Total credits per semester vary according to the courses selected. Credits listed are the fewest a student could earn. All BFA‐Theatre students with a Technical Production major must earn at least 130 credits to graduate.