Create a feeling through light and design.

Boston University’s lighting design programs enjoy a national reputation under the leadership of Professor Mark Stanley and Assistant Professor Jorge Arroyo, both leading lighting designers for theatre and dance with over 25 years of experience. The program aims to develop a complete theatre artist by fostering a passion for theatre, storytelling, design, and the collaborative process.

As a BFA or MFA Lighting Design student, you’ll…
  • Critically ANALYZE a wide range of texts, music, movement, and design
  • CREATE AND INTERPRET visual, conceptual, and emotional responses
  • COMMUNICATE THROUGH LIGHT AND DESIGN these responses to an audience in support of the theatrical experience

BU lighting design students have the opportunity to work collaboratively on every aspect of a production, from planning to creating the design ideas, hanging lights, programming, cueing, and executing the design in performance.

Ranked as one of the best stage lighting design programs in the nation by Careers in Music and OnStage Blog, BU’s lighting design programs provide a unique opportunity for a young student designer to discover how light can support story themes, text, music, and movement. Graduates go on to become successful lighting designers, teaching high school to working on Broadway.

“It’s not just lights on and off; there’s a lot of thought that goes into everything.”

Get an inside look at the work School of Theatre Professor Mark Stanley does for the New York City Ballet, as their Resident Lighting Designer, where he has designed over 200 premieres. Immersed in two worlds—academic and creative—Stanley uses his ballet experience to convey to his students the sense that lighting is crucial in a production. The medium can drive a narrative, set a place, time, and mood, transforming a stage with actors, dancers, and musicians into a different world.

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Meet BU’s Lighting Design Program Head

Having designed more than 200 premieres for New York City Ballet’s repertory, Mark Stanley, Professor of Lighting Design at BU and NYC Ballet’s Resident Lighting Designer, is a leader in lighting design and shares his wealth of knowledge with current theatre students.

In CFA’s Faculty Feature series, Stanley shares with CFA what makes him excited to teach lighting design at BU and his mission in helping students find their artistic voice.

“I love helping individual students find their artistic voices. When they enter the program, many of them are still trying to figure out who they are as artists. That journey is very exciting for me. They go from someone who is trying to sort out what their point of view is about lighting and theater and at the end of the program, they come out – not as fully formed artists because hopefully, we’re always growing throughout our entire career – but having a better sense of who they are as artists and are ready to confidently enter the world of theater-makers.”

read Q&A with Stanley


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