The MFA sound design program at BU guides each student in the development, implementation, and execution of their designs. Storytelling through sound and examining both creative and technical choices in classwork and productions encourages each student to discover their voice as sound designers and collaborative theatre artists.
At BU, sound design graduate students focus on leadership skills and advanced conceptual and technical skills, and are encouraged to provide leadership for undergraduate students in the program.
As an MFA Sound Design Student, you’ll…
- Enhance your artistic expression and communication skills through hands-on, MENTORED DESIGN EXPERIENCE within a wide range of production opportunities and classroom instruction
- WORK COLLABORATIVELY with directors, performers, other designers, managers, administrators, and technical crews
- Analyze and examine creative and technical choices to DISCOVER YOUR VOICE AS A SOUND DESIGNER
- Become an EXPERT IN STORYTELLING through sound
- MENTOR undergraduate level students in sound design, gaining sought-after LEADERSHIP skills
- PLAN AND EXECUTE system designs, leading crews and participating in every work call
Program of Study
Training includes a rigorous curriculum, design opportunities on a varied range of projects, encouragement in creating collaborative partnerships with peers within the graduate directing and design programs, and the discovery and formulation of their own working process. The average class size consists of two students.
Sound design students collaborate with theatre professionals from leading regional theatres, opening the door to opportunities to work on productions with external theatre companies.
Students are regularly mentored by the sound design faculty at BU, comprised of professional designers who work regularly in all facets of theatre, in the classroom, weekly colloquium, hands-on production advising, and end-of-semester conferences.
Students take courses in sound design, production audio, systems design, and a music elective. During their final year, students complete a thesis project, that explores specific and complex ideas of sound design, theatre, and artistic expression.
Excellence in Sound Design
Each year, BU School of Theatre (SOT) awards outstanding students who’ve demonstrated excellence in their work and collaborations. In 2021, Ryan Blaney and Jacob Montgomery were awarded the Design & Production Excellence Awards.
“Ryan Blaney and Jacob Montgomery have been integral members of Team Sound during their time at SOT. They are both excellent conceptual sound designers, outstanding systems engineers, and they also each compose beautiful music. It has been the pleasure and honor for James McCartney and me to have mentored them these past few years, and we look forward to hearing and supporting their next sonic explorations.” David Remedios, Assistant Profesor, Sound Design & James McCartney, Lecturer, Sound Production
Sound design students work in venues of varying scales and resources, working with both analog and digital audio technologies. Within this small design program (BU accepts one to two sound design grad students per year), each student has the opportunity to contact their faculty mentor on a regular basis. All School of Theatre faculty members are working theatre artists who maintain active professional careers.
All sound design students work alongside each other extensively, as designers, assistants, and system and production audio engineers. Production calendars transpire on a quarterly basis, with ample opportunities for both conceptual design and system implementation.
Classes meet primarily in the Sound/Light Lab, the Sound Studio, and the Sound Production Shop, providing opportunities for project development and experimentation in studio and lab environments before implementation in theatre spaces.
Lecturer, Sound Design
Assistant Professor & Program Head, Sound Design
Meet BU’s Sound Design Program Head
Aside from training future sound designers at BU, David Remedios is a Boston-based sound designer and composer who has designed extensively for theatre and dance around the globe. His work has been honored with an Elliot Norton Award, a Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award, and four Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards.
In CFA’s Faculty Feature series, Remedios shares with CFA reasons why BU’s MFA in Sound Design program stands out from other programs across the country, further explaining how the program offers a balance of thinking about sound in a conceptual way while learning practical skills. For Remedios, the key in his teaching philosophy is to encourage students to make mistakes, trust the process, and think about sound in a musical sense when thinking of sound as storytelling.
“A lot of experimentation happens in the creative process. We foster the notion that it’s okay to make mistakes because of where it will lead you. That exploration is valuable, especially as you develop your voice. That (experimentation) will lead you to what you ultimately want to say. The heart of it is: what do you want to say, not how you’re going to say it.
Remedios also dives into the opportunities students have studying in a major art and cultural city like Boston.
Graduates can find ample design opportunities to build their portfolios. Since our faculty and staff all work professionally in theatre, we have the opportunity to offer professional experiences to our students. With our relationships with Wheelock Family Theatre and Boston Playwrights Theatre, BU appeals to someone interested in a multi-faceted experience.
Next Steps for Applicants
The best way to determine if BU is right for you is to explore our admission requirements, financial tools, and resources.
Reach out to our Director of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions along the way or to request information. We are happy to discuss your educational interests and career goals.