School of Theatre Design, Production, and Management Core

Before officially declaring a BFA major, each first-year student entering the School of Theatre is admitted into a First Year Theatre Core curriculum, in either Design, Production & Management or Performance.

During each year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, courses in the major follow a carefully integrated sequence of class exercises and production assignments. Additionally, the School of Theatre provides for artist-scholars and scholar-artists to experience all the opportunities of a Research 1 university as they deepen their knowledge of foundational techniques within the art form.

Not only does the First Year Theatre Core serve to begin a sequence for the next four years of creative exploration and collaboration; it also sets the tone for the professional path essential to the BFA Theatre and BFA Theatre Arts programs at BU School of Theatre––and the standard of practice which distinguishes our many working alumni in the profession.

By creating a base of artistic and technical skills, students begin to explore the breadth and depth of what it means to be a theatre artist in professional theatre today.

Design, Production, & Management Core Admissions

Design, Production & Management Core Curriculum

The DP&M Core provides the groundwork for future study in the BFA Costume Design & Production, Lighting Design, Scene Design, Sound Design, Stage Management, Technical Production, or Theatre Arts––Design & Production, or BFA Theatre Arts––Design, Production, and Management. Students take courses in design, drafting, with electives available in AutoCAD, Vectorworks, and Figure Drawing. Students in the first year of the DP&M Core can expect to take between 15 and 18 credits per semester.

  • Dramatic Literature
  • Introduction to Design
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Drafting 1
  • Colloquium
  • Production
  • Theatre Ensemble
  • CFA First Year Experience
  • Writing Seminars
Introductory Crafts Courses:
  • Scenery Construction
  • Costume Construction
  • Lighting Crafts
  • Audio Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Stage Management
Introductory Methods/Drafting Courses:
  • Drafting 2
  • Auto CAD 1
  • VectorWorks 1
  • Figure Drawing

Language and Craft of Theatre
Students gain an overview of the people and the physical techniques involved in each major area of theatrical production: scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, properties, scene painting and stage management.

Theatre Collaboration: Equitable and Inclusive Practice
Students work on strengthening their kinesthetic awareness and stage composition skills as they engage in writing, improvisatory, and devising exercises to form and present dramatic material as performers, directors, writers, dramaturgs, and designers.

Learn more on the BU Academic Bulletin

Design, Production, & Management Core

Major Selection

At the end of their first year in the program, with School of Theatre faculty guidance and review, students who have successfully completed the Design, Production, & Management Core will choose a major in one of the following:

Curriculum Highlights

The School of Theatre Curriculum for individuals pursuing BFA Theatre and BFA Theatre Arts degrees to fully immerse themselves in the artistic rigor of the School of Theatre and the academic discipline of Boston University at-large.

  • Interdisciplinary course sequencing including a dedicated focus on communication, collaboration, language, and equitable practices such as consent-based ensemble, and inclusive theatre methodologies.
  • Focused study in core techniques, with comprehensive coursework on technical skill and craft.
  • Scheduling flexibility for HUB requirements, electives, and wellbeing-focused activities.

Unique Opportunities

  • Design, Production & Management Core provides the opportunity for individual students to develop the ability to work and think as an ensemble, providing a community-oriented foundation within each graduating class.
  • The core year allows freshmen to explore all facets of theatrical design, production, and management before committing to a specific area of study.

For more information, please email us at