Create a space for the audience, actors, and story to live together.

Boston University’s scene design programs focus on the development of skills, knowledge, and understanding needed to become a valuable professional theatre artist in the increasingly diverse theatre communities found nationally and internationally today.

As a BFA or MFA Scene Design student, you’ll…
  • Receive INTENSIVE TRAINING in the skills needed to communicate your ideas such as drafting, drawing and painting, model making, and storyboarding
  • Dive into detailed RESEARCH, both historical and visual, and look at its value in understanding the work you are creating
  • Develop ANALYTICAL AND CRITICAL THINKING skills, along with the skills to collaborate with the other disciplines involved in making theatre

Under the leadership of Associate Professor James Noone, whose teaching is informed by his extensive work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and with many major opera companies, students in BU’s scene design programs are exposed to a variety of artistic challenges with the focus on how design can inform, reveal, and transform a story into a potent and meaningful theatrical event.

Graduates of BU’s scene design programs find employment in all different types of live for-profit and nonprofit performance venues and organizations found in the United States, as well as educational settings. Some take their training in theatre design and use their skills for installation work as well as television, movie, and theme park work.

Ranked nationally as a top theatre design program

#7 Best Theatre Design & Technology Schools (2022 College Factual Rankings)
#54 Best Colleges with Theatre Design Degrees in America (2022 Niche Rankings)

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Meet BU’s Scene Design Program Head

Working as a scene designer since 1983, James Noone’s teaching is informed by his extensive work on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and with many major opera companies across America, as well as in national tours and on television. As program head of BU’s scene design programs and associate professor of scene design, Noone’s impact has made the program rank nationally as a top theatre design degree.

In CFA’s Faculty Feature series, Noone defines what scene design means in the present day, why an aspiring scene designer should pursue their studies at BU, and the importance of storytelling through scene design.

“The scene design is where the story is revealed. It’s not a decorative space. It’s connected to the drama and the action of the piece. You want to focus on the purpose and reasons behind the stories. The purpose is to develop a deeper understanding of (the story), really engaging them in conversation with the world of the production. The space needs to be truthful.

read Q&A with Noone


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