MFA in Technical Production

Our Master of Fine Arts in Technical Production program provides developing theatre professionals with the opportunity to cultivate their artistic identities while refining and enhancing their craft.

Our program seeks to:

  • Enhance artistic expression, communication, and production skills through hands-on, mentored production experience within a wide range of production opportunities and classroom instruction.
  • Explore creative collaborations with directors, actors, designers, and playwrights.
  • Create new forms of theatrical expression for the next generation.

MFA Production students are being prepared for substantive careers as theatre artists. Training includes a rigorous curriculum, production opportunities, and collaboration with professionals through our Professional Theatre Initiative. Students are mentored by working professional faculty and advisors.

Financial aid is available to some students in the form of scholarships, living stipends, and teaching assistantships. Admission is highly selective, with the School of Theatre admitting one to three students each year into each of the Technical Production, Costume Production, or Production Management programs.

Curriculum Highlights

  • In-depth classroom instruction in artistic, practical, and skills applications of production for the art of theatre.
  • Production opportunities in multiple venues and multiple genres.
  • Preparation and execution of a Thesis that represents the culminating of three years of study.
  • Opportunity to work on productions with companies through our Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI).

Learning Outcomes

The Technical Production program aims to develop a complete theatre artist by fostering a passion for theatre, storytelling, design, production, and the collaborative process. Through their required coursework and production assignments, Technical Production students will:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of Technical Production and how it relates to the theatre-making process.
  2. Collaborate and participate effectively by working in teams, in both leading and supporting roles.
  3. Demonstrate the technical skills required to safely build, draft, and load-in scenery.
  4. Demonstrate management skills in: personnel, finances, scheduling, collaboration, and problem solving as they relate to technical production.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in Technical Production sufficient to successfully obtain a professional position in the performing arts field.

Program of Study

(minimum of 60 credits)

First Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 697 & 698 Production^ 2+ 2+
CFA TH 653 & 654 Master Class 2 2
CFA TH 769 & 770 Technical Production Studio 3 & 4 3 3
CFA TH 663 & 664 Directed Study: Scene Design 1 & 2 3 3
CAD elective* 1
Approved elective* 2 2
Total 13± 14±
Second Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 797 & 798 Production^ 2+ 2+
CFA TH 869 & 870 Technical Production Studio 5 & 6 3 3
CFA TH 665 & 666 Scene Painting 1 & 2 2 2
Production elective* 1 2
Design elective* 2 2
Management elective* 2
Total 12± 13±
Third Year
CFA TH 591 Internship 4
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0
CFA TH 898 Production 1
CFA TH 950 Grad project 3
Total 4 4

^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 production process = 1 credit
  • Participation in two stages of the production process = 2 credits
  • Participation in three stages of the production process = 3 credits

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

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

CAD Elective

  • CFA TH 660 AutoCAD 1
  • CFA TH 662 VectorWorks 1
  • CFA TH 759 AutoCAD 2
  • CFA TH 761 VectorWorks 2 

Design Elective

  • CFA TH 571 Media Design 1
  • CFA TH 572 Media Design 2
  • CFA TH 586 Color Interaction
  • CFA TH 651 Intro to Design 1
  • CFA TH 652 Intro to Design 2
  • CFA TH 675 Costume Design Studio 1
  • CFA TH 676 Costume Design Studio 2
  • CFA TH 683 Lighting Design Studio 1
  • CFA TH 684 Lighting Design Studio 2
  • CFA TH 687 Sound Design Studio 1
  • CFA TH 688 Sound Design Studio 2
  • CFA TH 755 History of Period Styles 1
  • CFA TH 756 History of Period Styles 2
  • CFA TH 763 Scene Design Studio 3
  • CFA TH 764 Scene Design Studio 4

Management Elective

  • CFA TH 594 Theatre Management
  • CFA TH 695 Production Management Studio 1
  • CFA TH 696 Production Management Studio 2
  • CFA TH 795 Production Management Studio 3
  • CFA TH 796 Production Management Studio 4
  • MET AD 642 Project Management

Production Elective

  • CFA TH 671 Theatrical Welding 1
  • CFA TH 672 Theatrical Welding 2
  • CFA TH 679 Costume Production Studio 1
  • CFA TH 680 Costume Production Studio 2
  • CFA TH 689 Production Audio 1
  • CFA TH 690 Production Audio 2
  • CFA TH 765 Scene Painting 3
  • CFA TH 766 Scene Painting 4
  • CFA TH 789 Systems Design 1
  • CFA TH 790 Systems Design 2

Approved Elective

  • CFA TH 555 History of Theatre 1
  • CFA TH 556 History of Theatre 2
  • CFA TH 669 Technical Production 1
  • CFA TH 670 Technical Production 2
  • CAD, Design, Production, and Management electives listed above

Students electing to take courses to fulfill their CAD, Design, Management, Production, and Approved 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 MFA Technical Production students must earn at least 60 credits to graduate.