Theatre Major: Design & Theatre Technology Option (B.A.)

Theatre Major: Design & Theatre Technology Option (B.A.)
Theater design students working on theatrical lighting

What is design and theatre technology?

Designed for students who are interested in the magic behind the scenes, this option in the theatre degree program will prepare you to apply both artistic and technical elements with design principles to create the world for performing arts. You will work with faculty who are artists in the profession to develop an individually tailored program of study based on your interests and skills, including set design, costume design, lighting design, property design, scenic painting, technical direction and costume technology. The design and theatre technology option emphasizes the importance of collaborative creative processes and offers a wide range of hands-on production opportunities and career choices.

Why study design and theatre technology at UNH?

In addition to the award-winning faculty, the UNH Department of Theatre and Dance offers more than 25 productions every year in musicals, plays or dance concerts. As a student in the design and theatre technology program, you will have the opportunity to gain practical experiences in all areas of technical theatre and take on design assignments for the departmental productions. You’ll also be able to pursue independent studies and be eligible to apply for R.E.A.C.H., financial assistance provided to students who participate in internships with professional theatres or organizations. This option can be coupled with the secondary theatre education option that prepares students to teach K-12 theatre.

Potential careers

  • Costume designer or wardrobe supervisor
  • Film art director or production designer
  • Lighting designer
  • Makeup artist
  • Master electrician
  • Production manager
  • Property master
  • Set designer or scenic artist
  • Stage manager
  • Teaching artist
  • Technical director
  • Theater technician
  • photo of Bryson Badeau
    Secondary Theatre Education and Design & Theatre Technology Major
    Hometown: Dedham, Mass. What made you choose UNH? I was looking for schools that had a secondary theatre education major and when I visited UNH I fell in love with the campus! I found a place where I…
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Curriculum & Requirements

Design and theatre technology students who show significant progress and ability may earn the opportunity to demonstrate practical application of their studies through the department’s main stage production design assignments. Through classwork, production assignments and problem-solving, this option prepares students for both practical skills and aesthetic sensibilities needed for the creation of visual and technical elements for the performing arts. The challenging coursework provides both fundamental knowledge and critical thinking practice, which are skills that help students pursue a successful profession in theatre and related fields; the core principles of hard work, problem-solving and creativity are transferable to other career paths as well. UNH-trained graduates hold careers across the nation as designers, technical directors, stage managers, property masters, head electricians and scenic artists.

Contact Szu-Feng Chen, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-4445.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

In the freshman and sophomore years, students should enroll for at least two major and two Discovery courses per semester. The minimum grade requirement for major courses is C- per course. Any grade lower than C- will not count toward the major. Under department policy, students who complete both COMM 401 American Sign Language I and COMM 502 American Sign Language II satisfy the bachelor of arts language proficiency requirement. All majors must take courses in the following areas: performance, design/theatre technology and theory/history as well as fulfill between four and eight practicums and complete a capstone course.  Although timing will vary with each option, it is strongly suggested that all introductory courses be taken prior to the end of the student's sophomore year.  Students must also complete a digital portfolio that demonstrates fulfillment of student learning outcomes related to their area of study.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Theatre department majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

All UNH B.A. degrees require a minimum of 128 credit hours.

Required Courses
THDA 436History of Theatre I4
or THDA 438 History of Theatre II
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 462Ballet I4
or THDA 463 Theatre Dance I
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 589Practicum (A- D) 14-8
THDA 799Capstone Project2
Select 12 credits of the following:12
THDA 546
Costume Design for the Theatre
THDA 548
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
THDA #641
Stage Management
THDA #652
Scene Design
Select 12 credits of the following:12
THDA 458
Costume Construction
THDA 475
Stage Makeup
THDA 541
Arts Administration and Entrepreneurship
THDA 546
Costume Design for the Theatre
THDA 548
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
THDA 549
Vectorworks Computer-Aided Design Drafting for the Theatre
THDA #641
Stage Management
THDA 650
Scene Painting for the Theatre
THDA #651
Rendering for the Theatre
THDA #652
Scene Design
THDA 741
Select 8 credits of the following:8
ARTS 510
Principles of Design
ARTS 532
Introductory Drawing
ARTS 546
Painting Design I: Perceptual Painting and Color Theory
ARTS 552
Introductory Digital Photography
ARTS 567
Introductory Sculpture
ARTS 613
Design and Place
THDA 532
The London Experience
THDA 791
Internship in Theatre and Dance
THDA 795
THDA 796
Independent Study
and Independent Study
INCO 590
INCO 790
Student Research Experience
and Advanced Research Experience
Total Credits58-62

The practicum ensures a breadth of experience in the major, including sets, costumes, lighting, props, box office, marketing, and performing.  Students must register for practicum every semester.  They are notified of their practicum assignment at the beginning of each semester.

Core Student Learning Outcomes for the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre major: On completion of the B.A. in Theatre, students will:

  • Recognize and distinguish between various styles and forms of theatre or dance that have shaped the evolution of these disciplines.
  • Effectively communicate artistic ideas and/or critical analysis of theatre or dance works through appropriate oral, written or practical means.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and fundamental skill level of the basic areas of theatre or dance production in areas related to performance, design, technology or management.
  • Create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions (i.e., design, dance, directing, acting).

Additional Student Learning Outcomes for Option in Design and Theatre Technology: In addition to the shared department learning outcomes for all THDA students, upon completion of the major with an Option in Design and Theatre Technology, students will:

  • Exhibit an understanding of the general principles and practices for the design/tech area.
  • Apply knowledge of design/tech skills and technologies to the production of theatrical creations.
  • Demonstrate skills in script analysis, research, and critical thinking for design development.
  • Demonstrate development of a creative process as well as practical problem-solving skills for artistic work.
  • Effectively use communication and collaboration skills in writing, speaking, and visual presentation.
  • Utilize critical assessment skills to evaluate the work of other students and to show improvement on their own work as a result of the collective feedback process.
  • Develop a resume, portfolio, and interview skills that reflect professional standards.

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